If you use your vehicle to tow a trailer, you will need to install a compatible trailer hitch. However, you might have to install a new one after a certain number of years or due to concerns with its condition. Here are six telltale signs that trailer hitches in Eugene, OR should be replaced as soon as possible:
- Rust: You might have a highly recommended trailer hitch installed on your vehicle, but the reality is that all hitches can begin to show signs of rust over time. Once you notice rust forming on your trailer hitch, it’s time to consider replacing it with a brand-new one. Maybe you can even upgrade to a better hitch than the one you have now. The thing about rust is that even a small spot is a problem. A minor spot of rust can quickly grow out of control and cover the entire hitch, potentially even spreading to the towing vehicle itself.
- Corrosion: A corroded trailer hitch is not safe to use and should be replaced with a new one. It’s important to note that the rustier the hitch, the more prone it will be to corrosion. This can lead to the trailer hitch failing, which puts your trailer at risk of major damage down the road. Be sure to check your hitch for rust and corrosion periodically.
- Cracks or breaks: Heavy-duty trailer hitches are made strong. After all, they are relied upon to pull thousands of pounds down the road. However, just because they are strong doesn’t mean you can slack on regular maintenance and quality control inspections. Take a close look at the side brackets for cracks or breaks before and after towing your trailer. Cracks can seem to hide, so you will probably need to clean dirt and road debris off the hitch in order to see the whole thing more clearly. If you identify any breaks, replace the hitch as soon as possible.
- Damage: Trailer hitches can sustain damage other than cracks and breaks. If you know or suspect that your hitch has been damaged—for example, if it was hit by a vehicle or accidentally backed into a wall—it should be replaced to avoid a safety risk. Missing parts would also put a hitch in the damaged category.
- Poor rating: Some trailer hitches are of better quality than others. Then there are hitches with poor ratings. Go online and check the rating of your hitch and compare it to the weight carrying load of your trailer. Also, be absolutely sure you have the right hitch for the trailer you’re pulling. Upgrade it if you need to!
- Buying a new trailer: Another reason to replace your hitch is when you’re buying a new trailer to pull with your vehicle—the new trailer will likely need a new hitch to match. The right hitch ensures safety and can prevent damage to components.
If you notice one or more of these signs, don’t wait long to pay a visit to Ron’s Hitch N Tow. Stop by and let our experts help you understand trailer hitches in Eugene, OR a little better!