Auto Accessories Tips

When it comes to Auto Accessories, we've been there, done that, now serving 162 tips in 18 categories ranging from Air Filters to Winches.

what safety precautions should i take when using an after market tail light

The Right Tail Light and Tail Light Guard

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.

how do i keep my tail lights looking good

Keeping Your Tail Lights and Tail Light Guards Looking Great

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.

what is the best way to protect my hood from road debris

Protection For Your Vehicle

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.

what is the easiest way to install a trailer hitch

Installing Your New Trailer Hitch

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.

what class of hitch will my vehicle need

Hitch Class

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.

  • Class I : These are hitches that have a tow rating of up to 2,000 lbs. and a maximum tongue weight of 200 lbs. Normally equipped with a 1 1/4 inch receiver tube, these hitches usually are attached to the vehicles frame, or bumper.
  • Class II: These hitches have a 3,500 lb trailer weight and a 300 lb tongue weight. They are equipped with a 1 1/4 inch receiver tube and mounted to the bumper or frame, depending on the vehicle.
  • Class III: This hitch is a bit different, with a rating of up to 6,000 lbs and 10,000 lbs with weight distribution and a tongue weight of 600 lbs/1,000 lbs. (Though not all class III hitches are not rated to be both, always consult the hitch specifications.) This hitch will have a 2 inch receiver tube and can only be mounted to the frame.
  • Class IV: This hitch has a 10,000 lb trailer rating, and a tongue weight of 1,000 lbs. This hitch also comes with a 2 inch receiver tube.
  • Class V: This hitch has a rating of 12,000 lbs -17,000 lbs trailer weight and 1,200 lbs -1,700 lbs. This hitch will be equipped with a 2 1/2 inch receiver tube and attaches to the frame only.

what are some precautions i should take before towing

Safety When Towing

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.

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Carma Spence-Pothitt