Dodge Dakota Hitch
Dodge Dakota Hitch Care and Maintenance Tips
Dodge Dakota owners know that it is a standard practice to inspect their truck, their trailer, and the trailer hitch before starting a journey with them. And of the three, the hitch is arguably the most critical. Hitches are often the point of failure when hauling a trailer, as it undergoes a lot of stress particularly when pulling a full load. And when it fails, it will lead to potentially dangerous consequences for both you and others on the road.
Maintaining the Dodge Dakota Hitch in good condition is essential in ensuring your truck and your trailer will arrive safely at your destination. Here's a list of tips on how you can do just that:
- Do not use the hitch to pull trailers above its weight class.
Hitches are classified according to weight class. For the Dodge Dakota, this is usually between Class 2 and Class 3, which specifies the amount of weight the hitch can safely support. Pulling a trailer that is beyond the specified weight class will put too much strain on the coupler and the hitch, therefore damaging them. So before coupling that trailer, make sure that it complies with the hitch's weight class first.
- Check for strange noises.
If you hear rattling or clanking noises coming from the truck's behind when hauling a trailer, it likely means the hitch's components—the drawbar and receiver in particular—are too loose and are probably hitting each other. This could potentially lead to damage, so it is recommended to readjust the hitch's mounting hardware and tighten them accordingly. We also suggest investing in an anti-rattle device, a hitch accessory that locks the drawbar and receiver to prevent them from hitting against each other.
- Clean up any rust spots as soon as you can.
Hitches can get quite rusty due to constant exposure to mud and rain, and if not cleaned for too long, it can promote corrosion that will eventually eat away the metal and render it unsafe for use. For chrome hitches, you can remove rust spots by scrubbing it with aluminum foil dipped in vinegar: the aluminum/vinegar combo can help break up the rust particles for easier removal. For hitches that have a painted or machined finish, you can apply rust dissolver gel on the affected areas to dissolve rust.