Preparing To Tow: Ensuring Your Car Is Ready

Posted on: 25 June 2017


Adding a hitch to your car or SUV in preparation for towing can be exciting -- once it's installed, you expand your hauling/storage capability by a great amount -- but it's not as simple as choosing a pretty hitch and attaching it to your vehicle. Your car needs to be ready to tow and you need to be ready to drive with all of that extra material in the back. It's essential that you calculate weight correctly, practice driving while hauling, and get your car checked out.

Include What You Normally Carry

Hitches are available for different weights, and different vehicles can tow different amounts of weight. Plus, engines can handle up to a certain amount of strain. When determining the weight class of the hitch you need to install and also whether or not your car can handle all the weight you plan to tow, include all the weight you normally carry. In other words, instead of looking at the weight of the vehicle and trailer, include the weight of the vehicle, trailer, hitch, items in your trunk, your weight, the weight of other passengers, the items you plan to haul, and so on. If you normally attach a roof rack to your car and place items there, too, include that weight.


Once you do get the hitch installed, attach a small trailer, put a few items in the trailer, and then go practice driving. You need to know how that extra weight back there is going to affect how your vehicle handles the road, how the wind affects your ability to control the vehicle, and so on. The last thing you need is to get out on the road for real only to find that the trailer makes it difficult for you to control the car.

Have the Engine Checked

When you tow something, you're placing extra strain on the engine of your vehicle because there is now all this extra weight that the engine has to account for. That requires more power, more fuel, and more coolant to keep the engine in check. Have your vehicle's engine inspected before you haul something, especially for the first time. The cooling system and battery should be in good shape, and the parts of the engine, like hoses and belts, should not be on the verge of failing.

When you have the hitch installed, the automotive center that you bring your car to should be able to walk you through all the steps to ensure your particular vehicle is ready to go. If you've got everything accounted for, then your trips while hauling items should proceed smoothly.

Contact a company like TNT Towing & Equipment Hauling for more information and assistance.