Trailer Hitch Coupler Problems & Solutions

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Last Updated on July 20, 2022

Your trailer hitch coupler is a very important part in your vehicle. It plays a major role in transporting your trailer properly.

Facing the trailer hitch coupler problems is not new. You don’t need to worry much if you face problems with your trailer hitch coupler. Because these problems are easy to solve.

I have actually used my trailer hitch coupler quite frequently. However, I noticed that it was not latching properly. I also got stuck into my trailer hitch coupler. This is very common issue that the trailer hitch owner faces. After going through a bit, I came across few solutions.

Here, I will talk about these common trailer hitch coupler problems and their solution.

Trailer Hitch Coupler Problems & Solutions

Trailer Hitch Coupler does not latch properly

If your trailer hitch coupler is correctly adjusted, you are supposed to be able to release the handle using a little pressure.

The first thing you need to verify is whether the handle is moving freely or not. If you find it moving freely, then you need to adjust the tension on your vehicle’s coupler by tightening the lock against the tension spring so that the hitch coupler is not loose. 

However, if you find the handle is not moving freely, then it can be due to over-tightening the two bolts securing the coupler to the tongue assembly. This problem can happen often while going through the assembly process.

In order to fix this problem, you have to make the two bolts lose by half a turn with the socket and wrench. The socket and wrench size will depend on your bottle. You may need to use a 9/16 or 3/4 inch socket and wrench. 

After loosening the bolt, you have to place the coupler on the ball. You have to make sure that the coupler is nested in the ball socket. Then, you should rotate the handle of your coupler backward until the handle is in the locked position. Keep in mind that you should check the coupler for tightness on the ball for hassle-free towing.

Trailer Hitch Coupler gets stuck

Another problem is that you may find your coupler gets stuck and it does not work properly. Many people think about hitting the coupler using a hammer. This is not the actual solution though.

In order to get your stuck coupler going, you need to take a pin and pass it through the hole you will find where the coupler remains attached. After passing the pin, the coupler will come out. Then pull out the bold part that was attached underneath the coupler that was not allowing the coupler to move. 

Now, you have to mildly ground down the edge of this part a bit. and paint it so that it does not get rusty. Then, put a little bit of marine grease on it to make your coupler move easily. It will allow your trailer hitch coupler to move back and forth easily. You also can paint and clean your coupler at that time. 

The best way to do it is using a C-clamp. It will allow you to press the bold back in place. Using a hammer in this position is not a good idea as the colar may act as a spring. So, place the coupler in its place again the way you have removed it earlier. That’s it. Now you will find your stuck trailer hitch coupler is moving freely.

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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