DIY Auto Maintenance and Servicing Tips

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3 Tips for Servicing Your SUV Before Using It for Trailer Towing

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When preparing an SUV for towing, many people are keen to inspect and service the hitching devices. However, the extra weight of a trailer exerts stress on the car's key systems too. Therefore, it's crucial to service these components beforehand to avoid costly damage. With this in mind, here are three servicing tips to prepare your SUV for trailer towing.

Check the braking system

When towing, the added weight of a trailer increases the towing vehicle's braking distance. Therefore, even slightly worn brakes can increase the risk of rear-end collisions, especially if you brake too close to the car in front of you. Thus, service your SUV's braking system to ensure reliability during the towing process. 

Check the brake pads and rotors for wear. If the braking distance increases significantly without a load hitched to your vehicle, it's time to replace the brake pads. Also, flush and replace old brake fluid, as it can lower the effectiveness of the brakes. Listen out for screeching and grinding sounds or vibrations, as these mean that your braking system requires servicing.

Service the cooling system

When a car is hitching a heavy load, it tends to heat up quickly. Therefore, you need an efficient cooling system to remove excess heat from the engine and maintain optimal operating temperatures. If the cooling system isn't in excellent condition, your SUV may overheat during the towing process, causing costly damage to the engine and other components.

Service your vehicle's cooling system to avoid mishaps during towing. In particular, conduct the following tasks:

  • Flush the cooling system and replace the coolant
  • Check the fans and temperature sensors
  • Inspect the radiator for leaks
  • Check the water pump and hoses

Repair worn components to prevent coolant leaks and engine overheating. 

Inspect the tyres

If your tyre tread is too low, it can present various problems during towing. Worn tyres lose air pressure, which impacts the vehicle's braking capabilities. The last thing you need is for your brakes to fail due to low tyre tread. Furthermore, worn tires are more susceptible to punctures, especially when driving on dirt roads.  

Check your SUV tyres for excess and irregular wear. Replace worn ones to ensure safety during towing. Quality tires will also uphold your car's fuel economy and save on fuel costs. Also, confirm proper air pressure, alignment and balancing. Check the tyre load rating and ensure that the trailer's weight corresponds to the tyre load capacity.

A pre-towing service allows your vehicle's systems to work optimally during towing. It also increases safety, boosts fuel economy and lowers the risk of costly repairs. Visit a car service for professional servicing and repairs.