What to Look for When Buying a Tow Strap
A tow strap is a must-have for every car. In case your auto stalls in the middle of the road or another person's car get stuck on the highway, use the tow strap to pull the vehicle to the side or to bring it to the nearest service facility. Since it is used to carry heavy loads, a tow strap cannot be just any ordinary rope. To be able to perform its task, the strap must possess extra-ordinary strength and flexibility. If you're looking for a reliable strap for your car, here are some of the things you should know.
Most tow straps are made from nylon and polyester. Between the two, nylon is highly recommended because it has more stretch capacity, which is really important to keep the strap from breaking. Don't forget that the tow strap has hooks as well. The hooks are used to fasten the strap between the load and the car that pulls it. When hooks are weak, recovering the vehicle becomes impossible because hooks won't bear the tension and pressure and they would just break. Therefore, choose a strap with heavy-duty hooks made from zinc-plated metal. This metal is very hard and durable; it's highly resistant to corrosion too. Also, select strap hooks that fit in your car's tow eye.
It is very important to determine the break or tensile strength of the tow strap. A very simple equation is used to know the break capacity: tow capacity (load weight) x strap width x number of ply (strap layer). Note that one ply is strong enough to pull a car weighing 10,000 lbs. Strap width ranges from two inches to twelve. Remember this equation so you can calculate the tensile strength that you need for your car requires. This can also help you in determining the right tow strap size for your car.
Other things to consider:
- Learn the proper way to install a tow strap in your car. Never hook the strap to your car's bumper. That part of your car won't be able to withstand the pressure; it might just break down. Always connect the tow strap to the tow eye.
- Storing the tow strap properly is the key to make it last. Keep it in a dry place, inside a tool box perhaps, to bar it from mold, mildew, and rust.
How to Remove Mildew from your Nylon Tow Strap
Pollution, moisture, and dirt can trigger the development of mildew in your tow strap. You have to get rid of it right away for it's dangerous not only to the strap fibers, but also to your health. Cleaning it is very simple. Just follow these steps and other tips on how to keep you tow strap clean and mildew free!
Difficulty level: Easy
- Scrub brush
- Detergent soap
Step 1: Take the tow strap outside the house. Use the brush to wipe mildew off the strap fibers. Use safety glasses to protect your eyes. Avoid inhaling mildew spores by wearing a gas mask. If you have pollen allergies, it is best for you to skip this process.
Step 2: Heat water and pour it in a bucket. Add a few drops of detergent soap.
Step 3: Scrub the tow strap with a brush and soap. Continue brushing until you remove any mildew residue. Rinse the tow strap with clean water. Hang the strap and let it dry under the sun. Once, it's dry, take the strap to a cool dry place; don't let it bake under the scorching heat for it can make the strap fibers brittle.
Step 4: Remove mildew stain by soaking it in a bleach solution. Soak colored straps in warm water mixed with one to two tablespoons of powdered bleach. For white straps, put two tablespoons of chlorine in a bucket of warm water. Leave the strap for 30 minutes.
Step 5: Rinse the strap thoroughly and let it dry completely before storage.
Other ways to keep your tow strap clean:
- Don't let your tow strap rub against hot and sharp surfaces. The nylon webbings may cut loose and break the strap apart.
- Always coil the tow strap to store it properly. This prevents the strap from twisting and kinking.