Maintenance Tips for the Chevrolet Equinox Hitch
Hitches for the Chevrolet Equinox SUVs are designed to be tough enough to pull up trailers reaching thousands of pounds in weight, but they are still susceptible to wear especially without regular maintenance. Just like any part of the Equinox, hitches must undergo periodic cleaning and maintenance to keep it functioning in top condition. In this guide, we've listed down some key pointers to follow when caring for and maintaining the Chevrolet Equinox hitch.
- Do not use the hitch beyond its class.
Although they vary in features and designs, all hitches are categorized according to their weight class limit. And any hitch that pulls anything beyond its weight class is likely to get damaged or even snap off entirely. So before you attach a trailer to your hitch, make sure that it is well within its specified weight class.
Typically, hitches for the Chevy Equinox are pegged at a Class 3, meaning they can support up to 6,000 lbs of weight. However, it is still best to refer to your SUV's manual and that of the hitch to determine the exact weight class both can support.
Washing the hitch with your preferred cleaning product and warm water can effectively get rid of dirt it has accumulated over time, although make sure to rinse the hitch well and dry it off to prevent the onset of rust. Also, you can take the opportunity to inspect the hitch for any signs of damage, rust, and loose bolts during washing.
- Use an anti-rattle device to keep swaying to a minimum.
As its name implies, an anti-rattle devices prevents the hitch components from rattling, but it also has the added benefit of keeping the hitch from swaying. Caused by heavy or uneven loads, swaying can make steering difficult as well as damage hitch and trailer components. But with an anti-rattle device, this problem is greatly mitigated.
Most hitches for the Equinox are rust-resistant, but they can still get rust spots especially if you live in humid environments. For chromed hitches, rust spots can be cleared up by simply rubbing the affected areas with aluminum foil that's soaked in vinegar and cola. Unpainted hitches with rust spots, on the other hand, will need scrubbing by a wire brush and rust dissolver treatment.
Helpful Tips You Can Use When Installing a Chevrolet Equinox Hitch
Whether you're bringing your fishing skiff for the summer or taking your ATV for a weekend trail run, a new hitch in your Chevrolet Equinox can make all of these a possibility. And while most mechanics will be all too eager to install a hitch on your SUV, it is actually easy enough for you to install one at the comfort of your own garage.
Most trailer hitch kits come with all the necessary hardware and instruction manual, so you can definitely start installation right from the box provided you have the tools on hand. In this guide, we'll share some key tips you can follow when installing a Chevrolet Equinox hitch.
Tip #1: Clean the mounting points
The Chevrolet Equinox has a pair of pre-drilled threaded holes designed to accommodate a hitch receiver, and if you have had your SUV for a long time these holes may have accumulated dirt and rust. So before mounting the receiver, make sure to check the holes first and clean them with penetrating oil and a sturdy tube brush. If there are extensive rust spots in and around the holes, wet sand the area until the spots disappear.
Tip #2: Lift the SUV for easier access
Raising your vehicle as high as safely possible will give you ample room to work around and spare you the hassle of crawling underneath the chassis. Use a jack to lift the car up, and place jack stands on the frame of the vehicle. Better yet, if you have access to a hydraulic car lift, we recommend using that instead.
Tip #3: Secure the nuts with a thread-locking compound
Even if your hitch comes with lock washers and locking nuts, treating the mounting hardware with thread-locking will help prevent the bolt from slipping and the threads from being damaged especially when pulling particularly heavy objects. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully on the locking compound and work in a well-ventilated area.
Tip #4: Tape up any loose or sagging bolts
Are the bolts getting in the way during installation? Place some duct tape over the bolt heads to keep them in place. You can remove the tape once the bolt ends go through the holes in the hitch.