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5 key things to check before you tow a trailer with your car

When it comes time to tow a trailer, you need to exercise extreme caution. You’ll need to adapt your driving and keep in mind that your trailer could cause a severe accident if it isn’t properly attached or loaded. Before you hit the road with your camper, boat, ATV, bicycles or building material in tow, make sure you double-check the following five elements.

1. Towing capacity

It’s a bad idea to tow a trailer that’s too heavy for your car. Make sure you know exactly what the maximal towing capacity of your vehicle is (ask your mechanic or consult the owner’s manual), and never exceed it.

2. Mechanical condition

Using a car with any type of mechanical defect to tow a trailer is just asking for trouble. We recommend that you have your vehicle inspected before heading out on the road with a load in tow.

3. Trailer hitch

Having a strong trailer hitch that’s suitable for your vehicle and solidly attached is essential for any towing job. Make sure that all the components of your hitch system, including the safety cable or chain, are in perfect condition (impeccable welds, no traces of rust, etc.).

4. Signal lights

Your trailer’s turn signals and tail lights need to be synchronized with your vehicle’s. Test them before setting off on your trip, and take the same opportunity to check your reflectors. You need to be visible day and night!

5. Load distribution

An improperly distributed load can make driving difficult, if not dangerous. Place the heaviest items near the wheels, as low as possible, and make sure that the trailer is level. If it leans toward the back, the front, the left or the right, rearrange the contents until it’s horizontal.

Auto Value Certified Service Centers experts, your safe driving partners

Are you planning to tow a trailer with your vehicle? Stop by Auto Value Certified Service Centers first. Our experienced mechanics can give your car or truck a full inspection and make any necessary repairs. Tires, brakes, steering—nothing will be left to chance so that you can hit the road with your trailer with peace of mind.

Service is the difference. We get it.

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