How to Install a Tow Bar

This is a guide on fitting a tow bar to your car. Learn how to install a tow bar by reading about the preparation and installation steps.
Written by Nicholas Wilson
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
A larger vehicle has the tow bar attached on one side, and the towing mechanism is then fitted to your car, allowing it to be moved.
A tow bar is a great tool that you can use to pull your car. It is not as simple as it sounds, however, because you do need to keep a few considerations in mind when fitting a tow bar to your truck or
Fitting a tow bar should be done by professionals, not amateurs. Drivers should also consider that trying to fit a tow bar themselves might result in a voided warranty.
Read on to find everything you need to know about tow bar installation.

Preparing for tow bar installation

Consult owner’s manual. The first thing you should do before jumping into the process is consult your
owner’s manual
The manual may have some essential information you need regarding tow bars and your car. At any rate, it is always a good idea to check the manual before you undertake any major project with your car.
Choose a style. You can have a tow bar that is mounted onto the vehicle that is doing the towing or onto the vehicle that is being towed.
Which style is best for your situation is going to depend on your needs, as each of these can be mounted onto your car or removed in different ways. Some may need to be detached from the car, for example, before driving.
Investigate your brakes. The brakes on the vehicle you will be doing the towing with should be able to sustain the added weight of your car.
Your brakes are rated to stop the weight of the RV or truck, for example, but with the extra weight of a car in tow, they may not be able to stop successfully. You can have a professional take a look at your brakes and determine if you need some sort of supplementary braking system installed.
Gather any extra equipment. Once you know the tow bar style you want to go with, verify if there are any extra pieces of equipment you’ll need before installation.
These should be indicated by the seller or the packaging of the tow bar, and they could include tools and safety equipment.
Key Takeaway: Decide what kind of tow bar you want, find out if your brakes can handle the towing, and get any equipment you might need before the installation. Make sure to check the owner manual as well.

How to put a tow bar on a car

Fitting a tow bar to your car requires some care and precision, so act accordingly.
Find a location for the tow bar. Look for a strong place on your bumper to install the tow bar, making sure there is enough room for the tow bar to fit.
If you are uncomfortable doing this, have a professional do it for you.
Drill holes. Drilling into anything, especially a car, is a dangerous task and should be approached with the utmost care.
You should take precautions to make sure you are drilling exactly where you intend to, which means making pilot marks of some sort to guide your drill bit.
You should drill a hole that will match the size of your mounting bolts, but start by drilling a hole that is slightly smaller and work your way up to the appropriate size. Be sure that you drill the hole straight.
Attach the brackets and pivoting joints. Use the bolts to attach the brackets to your car, and then follow the instructions for attaching the pivoting brackets.
Depending on the type of tow bar, how these individual parts work could differ, so be sure to follow the specific directions you are given in the instruction manual.
Wire the car. You need taillights on the back of the towed car, and there are two ways you can do this.
You can wire the two vehicles together onto the same system, so that the car’s lights brake when the towing vehicle brakes. You can also use attachable lights on the back of your car that wire into the towing vehicle.
Use safety chains. You should attach the safety chains to prevent any possible dangers associated with the tow bar failing.
Key Takeaway: After finding a good spot for the bar, drill holes in the place where the mounting bolts need to go. Then attach the brackets and pivot joints, set up the backlights on the towed vehicle, and add some safety chains.
Fitting a tow bar to your car is not overly difficult, but it can be a slightly involved process. Depending on your expertise with cars, you may want to have a professional do the installation.
Whether you're towing a trailer or another vehicle, you'll want to make sure you have the best coverage possible should anything happen on the road. The
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Where can I get a tow bar fitted?

If you're not sure you can fit the tow bar yourself, it may be time to bring it to a mechanic. Bring the vehicle to your trusted mechanic, or
find a local one
that's willing to do the job.

Can you fit a tow bar yourself?

If you're experienced with cars, it's possible to fit a tow bar yourself. However, doing so improperly could be dangerous or void your warranty. Bring the tow bar to a professional instead.
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