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Talking About Automotive Maintenance

Hi there, my name is Nancy. Welcome to my site about automotive maintenance. My car has lasted for more than 10 years without any major problems due to the strict maintenance schedule I follow. Vehicle maintenance includes oil changes, tune ups, tire rotations, alignments and a host of other important services. These services protect the vehicle’s components from excessive wear and unexpected failure. I will use this site to explore all of the different maintenance procedures and schedules available. I hope you can use the information on my site to keep your vehicle in great shape over the years. Thanks for visiting. Come back soon.

Talking About Automotive Maintenance

Factors To Consider Before Buying A Trailer Hitch

by Saira Tanis

Purchasing a hitch for a towing vehicle can be very complex. You cannot choose any hitch. The option you choose will depend on a variety of factors.

Towing Capacity

One of the first things you need to know before choosing a trailer hitch is knowing the towing capacity of your towing vehicle. This is typically available in your vehicle's owner's manual. If you don't have access to your manual for any reason, you can often contact the manufacturer and ask about the towing capacity of the make and model of the vehicle. The compliance certification label may also have this information, which is located on the inside of the door frame.

This number will provide you with the heaviest weight or load that you will be able to tow. Knowing the proper capacity will ensure that you do not do any damage to the engine, axles, brakes, frame, and transmission. This information will play a major role in which trailer hitch you can get.

Weight and Capacity of Trailer

The next thing to know is the weight and capacity of the trailer you intend to tow. Check the gross vehicle weight rating on the trailer that you have. This rating refers to the maximum weight of the trailer when it is loaded with cargo. To find this rating, check the vehicle identification number placard. You can find this near the tongue of the trailer. This will help you determine the lightest hitch that can support the trailer.

Weight and Capacity Ratings of Hitch

Another component of choosing an appropriate hitch is the weight and capacity ratings of the hitch. The tongue weight rating refers to the force the tongue exerts on the hitch ball. It is recommended that the tongue weight not exceed 10 to 15 percent of the total loaded trailer weight.

It is also important to know the hitch weight capacity. This refers to the weight of the heaviest load that the hitch can tolerate. The hitch weight capacity and the loaded trailer should have an equal weight.

Simplify Your Options

The final thing to keep in mind is the fact that there is no reason to get a hitch with the lowest weight capacity possible. Even if you only intend to tow a light boat or trailer, you may decide to tow something heavier in the future, such as a recreational vehicle or heavy trailer. Instead of getting a hitch that will only accommodate a light load you intend to haul immediately, get a hitch that will tow the heaviest possible load for your vehicle. This way, you will have flexibility in the future.

Purchasing a hitch can be very confusing to those who have no experience doing so. Be sure to ask the salesperson (at stores like Burnsville Trailer Hitch) questions and have the weight capacity information available to ensure you choose the best hitch.