What to check before towing


Towing something with your car is an important thing to think through. You’re putting a lot of load on your car’s components and that can lead to breakages and issues.

We’ll walk you through the basics to check to know before you tow…

Things to check on your car before towing

  1. Can your car tow this load?

    Your car has a towbar I’m assuming. You’ll need to check your car’s towing capacity. Is it rated to tow that amount. There’s a difference between the ‘braked’ and ‘unbraked’ rating. That’s because a braked trailer has, well, brakes. This ensures your car can handle the weight and transfer of that weight.
    Another key thing to look at is the ‘tongue weight’. This is the weight your towbar will have to ‘lift’. Overdoing this can lead to snapping your towball off.
  2. Is your car set up to tow?

    Do you tyres have the right amount of air? Are the brakes healthy and ready to stop? Is your coolant topped up to stop the engine overheating? Do you have two safety chains ready to be attached to the trailer? How much tread is left on your tyres?
    Do you need new tyres?
    Basically, your car should be ready for whatever the extra load is going to throw at it.
  3. What are the conditions going to be like?

    Sounds pedantic but hear me out. Is it going to rain? Are you going to have to drive over different terrains?
    There’s a reason that cars come with all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. It’s to help them get where they need to be, when point B isn’t easy. Plan your trip around what the best conditions for your towing will be.

Things to check on your trailer before towing it

  1. Are the lights and brakes working?

    Plug the connector into the socket by the towball. Put the hazards on and check the trailer lights are working. Get someone to check the brake lights. If the trailer has brakes, check they are working by letting the car roll forward and brake, feeling if the trailer is ‘pushing’ or ‘pulling’.
    Pushing means the brakes are weak, pulling is ideal.
  2. Is the load inside secure?

    Don’t be that person with their stuff all across a state highway. Cover it up, strap it down, and double check. Kinda defeats the purpose of towing if none of the stuff you were towing arrives with you at your destination.
  3. Does the trailer have a current warrant and registration?

    Should be found next to the licence plate. Also pays to check the tyres and general trustworthiness of the trailer before driving around as well.

Once you’re towing it what do you do?

Good thing we wrote another handy article right here to answer all your questions.

If you need any help getting your car or trailer ready to tow, just click here. We can get your WoF, and any other repairs for that matter, sorted quickly and easily.