general maintenance

Tow vehicles often have more frequent maintenance requirements, including changes of engine and transmission oils and filters, lubrication of components, and cooling system checks. Check your owner’s manual for information on scheduled maintenance of your tow vehicle and trailer. Here are some additional maintenance suggestions. 

Tires

Periodic inspection and maintenance of tow vehicle and trailer tires and wheels are essential to towing safety, including spare tires. Proper tire pressure affects vehicle handling and the safety of your tires. You can find the correct tire pressure for your tow vehicle in the owner’s manual or on the tire information placard.

  • Underinflation reduces the load-carrying capacity of your tow vehicle or trailer, may cause sway and control problems, and may result in overheating, causing blowouts or other tire failure. 
  • Overinflation causes premature tire wear and affects the handling characteristics of the tow vehicle or trailer.

Brakes

On a regular basis, have the brakes on both vehicles inspected. Be sure that necessary adjustments are made and any damaged or worn parts are replaced.

Hitch

Check the nuts, bolts, and other fasteners to ensure that the hitch remains secured to the tow vehicle and the coupler remains secured to the trailer. The connection point may require periodic lubrication to permit free movement of the coupler to the hitch ball.

 

Wiring

Make sure connector-plug prongs and receptacles, lightbulb sockets, wire splices, and ground connections are clean and shielded from moisture. Lightly coat all electrical terminal connections with nonconducting (dielectric), light waterproof grease.

Clean the prongs with very fine sandpaper, being careful not to damage the contact area.

Clean the surface deposits in the connector holes. (Make sure the lights are off to prevent blowing a fuse.) Try to clean off only the deposits and lubricate lightly with dielectric, light waterproof grease.

other articles that may interest you
towing terms
tow hitch
weight ratings
sway prevention
trailer tires

 
tow vehicle
weight distribution
braking
scale weights
trailer wiring
trailer towing
tongue weight
trailer sway
loading the trailer
backing up

 

 

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