Safety should be the number one priority on the road. Being able to see other drivers' tail lights on the road is crucial. Even though there are numerous styles of tail lights and tail light guards, having the right application for your vehicle is very important.
Some tail light guards should be removed after dark, so the other motorists can see your tail lights clearly. Of course, most manufacturers will tell you that their tail light guards exceed safety regulations, but anything that blocks the tail lights ability to illuminate can be a hazard.
One of the worst things you can do is spend a lot of money on a vehicle and Euro or black tail light guards, and leave them unprotected. You wash, then wax your vehicle, you vacuum, then clean your interior. But, then you leave the tail lights and head lights to fade or become dull.
The best way to protect your tail lights or tail light guards is to put a coat of wax on them every time you wax your vehicle. You should wax your vehicle at least once a month. This will help with scratching, fading and will keep the elements from destroying the tail light or tail light guards' finish.
Never use a dish washing soap or detergent of any kind on your vehicle or the tail lights or guards.
Bugs, rocks, snow, ice and anything the road can throw at you can be deflected by bug shields or hood shields. By installing a bug shield or hood shield you can cut the chances of bugs and road debris doing damage to your windshield and hood by up to 75 percent. Bug shields are inexpensive as well as quick and easy to install. Consult your car's manufacturer for the best bug shield make and model fit. If you need help with installation, talk to your mechanic or deal.
Even though about 95% of all trailer hitches are made to fit your car, truck, van, or SUV without any modifying or drilling, the older trucks and vehicles may need some drilling and or modifications. When it's time to install your new trailer hitch, no matter what class hitch you are installing, always remember to use the hardware (nuts, bolts, washers, shims, etc) provided by the hitch manufacturer. This is vital to the hitches strength and proper use on your vehicle.
The hitch manufacturer will list the tools needed in the instructions. The best way to start the install is to get the hitch into place. The holes for bolt placement closest to the rear of the truck are usually the best place to start. Work from side to side per hole -- do not bolt up all bolts on one side first, then move to the other side. Only finger tighten until all bolts, washers, nuts, shims, etc., are in place. Center the hitch and tighten the bolts from side to side. While this is a very basic guide to installing your hitch, always follow the manufacturer's instructions to ensure the hitch is installed safely and properly.
Hitches come in five classes. The class of each hitch is rated for a specific trailer weight range. Always make sure the weight rating of the hitch is greater than the loaded weight of the trailer that will be towed.
Some trucks and SUVs have hitches installed from the factory. Other may come with towing packages without the hitch. Vehicles over 1,500 pounds may require trailer brakes. When getting ready to tow anything, remember that safety comes first. Hitch capabilities, such as the tow load, draw bar length, height, and the proper wiring all contribute to the safety factors of the hitch. Vehicles that come "unhitched" or lose from any vehicle in tow have the ability to cause injury, death and damage. Rule of thumb when towing: you can never be to careful. Having the right equipment is a must in any situation, and towing is no exception.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|