How to Install Hitch on Car

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Last Updated on May 18, 2022

Welcome to this guide where we discuss how to install hitch on a car today. Now, this is not a very usual thing to come to mind of those who would think about towing using a certain type of vehicle.

However, let’s assume your situation right now just demands to use the car and you must know the right way of hitching on it.

Well, don’t worry we will try to give you guidelines on exactly how you can do that along with some handy information that hopefully makes it even better. Are You Ready?

Let’s Find Out How to Install Hitch on Car Now

To install a hitch on a car there are a few things you would have to consider first. Let’s start with those.

Before Car Hitch Installation Focus on the Numbers

Take note of how much towing your car can do and then choose the trailer hitch. Because getting a tow hitch that is meant for heavy-duty trucks will simply fail the entire process from the very beginning. 

Let’s say, for example, you have a car that cannot tow beyond 8000 pounds. Now the tow hitch comes with 150 pounds of weight. This means you will be able to get around 7900 pounds of towing here. And that’s what you want to consider while loading weight.

Pick The Suitable Tow Hitch for The Job

For installing a hitch on a car, you are bound to make a careful choice of tow hitch as well. There are several types. And all of them would differ in towing capacity. So again, it depends on your car’s towing characteristics for determining which one would work for the process.

Prepare The Space Where You’ll Work

You want to clear the space out a bit so that there’s no obstacle messing with the process. Also gathering all necessary tools is important before the installation.

You want to get wheel chocks, a c-clamp, a torque wrench, a power drill for creating holes in the vehicle, some lubricant, a clip as well as a pin, and a wire tube brush.

The tow hitch box will come with instructions, bolts, and washers for the installation. You also need some gloves for keeping your hands mess-free.  Then you also need to do some car preparation.

Here are the things to take care of before the car hitch installation process

  • The car should not start rolling so make sure the parking brake is activated.
  • Rear tires need some wedges for ensuring no rolls again.
  • To have enough access detach the spare tire for now.
  • Bring the car a bit up with a jack if you are working in a tight space and need more room.
  • Get rid of parts or bolts that are necessary to go out before hitch installation, as that’s sometimes the case.
  • Using the wire tube brush and lubricant clean the hooking hole beforehand.
  • Make the holes with a drilling machine, it usually is in the frame area. For most cases, you should not go beyond 1/16 inches thicker or wider than provided bolts, or else it will get loose in no time.

And you are ready to install the car hitch now!

Attaching Hitch & Installing Ball  

So, you are all ready for the main part, which is attaching the hitch. Start by taking the hitch into its position in which you want to fix it. use some C-clamps for holding it in the place next. 

Bring the bolts and hand tighten those. You just don’t have to torque them right now. Don’t miss the other side as well.

The ball mount shank shall go into the tube for receiving it that you can find in the vehicle. Make sure both the receiver tube and shank holes are aligning just right.

Use a pin or clip next for mounting the hitch lock. And that’s pretty much it. Make sure there’s no rattling of the ball mount. If there is, you can use an anti-rattle kit for this.

If there’s no ball, you need to add one then. Get the right size one as these come in various configurations and widths.

Take the washer and nut out from the shank using a wrench and then put the shank inside the hole of a ball mount. Then get the washer and nut secured by rotating with your fingers. Use the torque wrench later to tighten things well.

For Your Information – If the ball mount is ill-fitting, you can simply use a receiver tube adapter.

Tighten Up the Bolts

You have already tightened the bolts of the hitch using your hand as much as possible. Now it’s time to use a torque wrench for further tightening. There must be instructions on exactly what torque you need for tightening provided in the manual.

The Wiring Matters

You must wire the turn signals as well as brake lights with the tow hitch using the wiring harness of the trailer. Also, make sure the safety chains are crossed. As in case of any loosening or dropping off trailer tongue, it will catch and save the day.

Don’t forget to check your work by tugging, shaking, and wiggling the tow hitch. The brakes and turn signals should also work if the wiring was done right.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you install a hitch on any car?

Yes, any vehicle can have the trailer hitch. Some old car models have the hitch already installed in them.

Can I put a hitch on my car myself?

If you want to save the hitch installation cost by not hiring a professional, then trying it yourself isn’t a bad idea. There’s no hard and fast rule on who can install a hitch on my car. 

Wrapping Up

That’s how to install hitch on car. Now you can try it for yourself. Make sure to always get the installation right before trying to tow. 

Because otherwise, the whole task will be super unsafe. If you don’t think the hitch installation is quite possible by you, hiring a professional is still an option to go for. So, give it some thought!

How to install hitch on car

About the Author: Brian Silvestro

Brian Silvestro is the founder and chief editor of OffroadersArena. He spends his free time tending to his BMW iX SUV and explaining its merits to anyone who'll listen.

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