How To Properly Prepare Your Vehicle For Towing
Cars break down from time to time and when that happens, you will need a tow truck. While this is a common occurrence, there are some things you can do before the tow truck arrives to make your experience easier on both you and the tow truck driver. This blog will educate you on how to properly prepare your vehicle for a towing. Take the time to review these tips and you will have a much safer experience on the road!
One of the most important things to check before you start towing is the pressure in your tires. Over-inflated or under-inflated tires can make a big difference in handling, gas mileage and how well your car brakes. A tire inflated too high can be dangerous in turns, and an under-inflated tire can feel sluggish and take longer to come to a stop when you brake. To properly check the pressure in your tires, you need to use a tire pressure gauge. Most cars have a sticker on their driver’s door or the owner’s manual that lists the optimum air pressure for each tire. This pressure is usually in the form of pounds per square inch (PSI).
To prevent brake fade, which is a common cause of braking performance issues when towing, it’s important to check your brakes before a trip. This will ensure that your braking system is in proper working order and allow you to safely slow down or stop at any time you need. Brake fade is a result of too much heat being created by the friction of your vehicle’s brakes when you have more weight in your car than usual. This can occur when towing a trailer, especially with electric brakes. The added weight of a trailer more than doubles the load on your vehicle’s brakes, which can result in overheating, fading, and premature wear. In addition to checking the pads and rotors, your braking system may need a thorough inspection. An expert technician can ensure that the entire braking system is functioning correctly and safely so you can avoid accidents, get better fuel economy, and save money on repairs.
Using the correct trailer hitch is one of the most important things you can do before towing your trailer. The wrong hitch can cause your vehicle to have improper handling or braking, as well as damage your trailer and other towing equipment. It’s also important to make sure your hitch is compatible with the weight of your trailer and your vehicle. The hitch should be labeled with the maximum trailer and tongue weight it can safely support. The height of your hitch can be determined by measuring from the top of the receiver to the bottom of the coupler. This is called the rise and drop of your hitch. If your hitch doesn’t have height adjustments, you should look into an adjustable model or get a new one.
Your vehicle isn’t complete without its lights – whether it’s headlights, taillights, brake lights or other features, they alert other drivers on the road to your presence. They also allow you to see more clearly at night and in bad weather conditions. A lot of rules and regulations have been established for these features, including how bright they should be (candlepower). Some states even have specific light requirements for vehicles that are towed. Having your turn signals, taillights and brake lights working properly is essential, especially when pulling a trailer. This will ensure other drivers can easily see your trailer and prevent accidents or collisions. Another important light is the check engine light. This is an onboard diagnostics feature that can indicate a problem with your car’s engine, emissions system or other key components. Ignoring this light is never a good idea, as it could lead to serious damage.