Towing is a necessity for many truck owners. In fact, many have bought a truck specifically for towing. If you need to tow with your truck, you should be aware of the fact that towing can put some strain on your vehicle's engine and transmission. However, you can ensure that your engine and transmission stay in the best possible shape by avoiding the following six towing mistakes:
Hauling extremely heavy loads without a trailer brake
Having an electric trailer brake and using it properly are important precautions to take when towing in order to minimize strain on your transmission. While towing smaller loads might be ok without a trailer brake, trailer brakes and a quality trailer brake controller are necessities for heavy loads.
Towing excessively even when you don't need to
You should keep towing to a minimum on your truck, and always detach your trailer when it's not being used. Regardless of how you do it, towing a trailer is always going to put greater strain on your vehicle. You shouldn't get into the habit of towing your trailer around all the time because you use it so frequently; this will cause your engine components and transmission to wear out more quickly.
Towing a trailer with improper air pressure in your tires
If your tires are not at the proper air pressure while you tow a vehicle, your vehicle won't have as much traction on the road surface and both your engine and your transmission will have to work harder. Make sure that you're frequently checking your tire pressure if you have to tow with your truck often to avoid premature mechanical wear and tear.
Having the tongue weight at an improper setting
You'll need to set the tongue weight of your hitch so that it is properly adjusted to tow the load. As a general rule, you should have the tongue weight set at anywhere between nine and 15 percent of the weight of the trailer. An improper tongue weight setting will cause wear on both transmission components and your truck's brakes.
Driving too quickly while towing
You should definitely be driving slower than normal when you're towing. Pulling a trailer at higher speeds will put strain on the transmission while accelerating and braking.
Being unaware of your truck's tow rating
Your truck's tow rating is an indication of the maximum weight it can tow. Exceeding this weight rating will cause premature wear and tear on many different mechanical components of your truck and can also create a safety hazard on the road. For more information, contact companies like Downtown Garage & Auto Body.