Should I Install a Transmission Cooler to Tow a Trailer With My Car?

If you are new to the world of trailer towing, you are already on the right track. Research and preparation are critical parts to towing safety. In order to tow your trailer, you need to fully understand the parts, process, laws, and safety regulations involved. On your way to learning how to tow, you have probably already gathered most of your towing parts, including your hitch receiver, ball mount, hitch ball, pin and clips, safety chains, and more.

But if you plan on using an automatic transmission vehicle to tow your trailer, there is another towing accessory that should never be overlooked, and that is an aftermarket transmission cooler. This is especially important this time of year when seasons are warming up.

Continue reading to learn what a transmission cooler is and what it does, and better understand their importance.

24 Hour Towing Roadside Assistance Indianapolis Indiana 317-247-8484
24 Hour Towing Roadside Assistance Indianapolis Indiana 317-247-8484

The Importance of Transmission Protection When Towing a Trailer

When towing a trailer, a vehicle’s automatic transmission must work harder to manage the extra weight and resistance of its load. And when a transmission works harder, it creates more heat, which is not good for transmissions. An aftermarket transmission cooler is a towing accessory that prevents an automatic transmission from overheating as it tows. This allows a vehicle to perform at its strongest while towing.

They operate by cooling heated fluid from the transmission, power steering, and engine. The heated fluid passes over the fins in the cooler, cools down, and then flows back to its original source in a loop-like pattern. This process keeps the transmission and other vehicular components from overheating as you tow your trailer.

How to Install a Transmission Cooler

There are a few different installation methods for transmission coolers. Most often, they are attached to the radiator or air conditioner condenser with narrow plastic rods, pads, and fasteners.  You can also install them using a metal bracket mounting kit. Be sure to choose a cooler with quality cooling performance. The general rule of thumb is, “the bigger the cooler, the better the cooling capacity.”

Also, “plate-and-fin” coolers tend to perform better than “tube-and-fin” coolers. So that is something to think about when choosing one for your vehicle. Consider talking to a local and trusted tow truck operator for advice on mounting a transmission cooler for towing purposes.

Do you need professional trailer towing? Or are you dealing with a roadside trailer emergency? Contact Zore’s Towing for economically-priced towing and recovery service in Indianapolis, Indiana. We serve all of Central Indiana.

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3 Factors to Consider When Buying a Trailer Hitch
6 Maintenance Tips for Your Personal Watercraft Trailer
3 Simple Steps to Using a Trailer Hitch Adapter

Towing Wrecker Company Indianapolis Indiana 317-247-8484
Towing Wrecker Company Indianapolis Indiana 317-247-8484

Trailer Towing Tips You Need to Know Before You Hit the Road

No matter how much experience you have, it is important to do a basic trailer towing review before you hit the road on any long or short distance trip. Whether you are traversing the country or just to the other side of town, safety is the most important element of towing a trailer.

Continue reading to learn some of the most important trailer towing tips you need to know, including a recommended pre-trip checklist, road safety, and jackknife prevention.

24 Hour Trailer Towing Indianapolis Indiana 317-247-8484
24 Hour Trailer Towing Indianapolis Indiana 317-247-8484

Top Considerations for Pulling a Trailer

Pulling a trailer is no simple feat. From safety and clearance precautions to regulation towing equipment like hitches and signals, towing laws, licensing, and more, there is much you need to know and stay on top of when it comes to trailer towing. Not only do towing vehicles require more stopping time when pulling a trailer, but they must also adhere to all local and state towing regulations and traffic laws.

For instance, some states require anyone towing a trailer to drive slower and remain in the right lane at all times, while other states have more specific or unique regulations for trailer towing. It is important to check with your county clerk’s office to ensure that you are in accordance with all local and state trailer towing guidelines.

It is important that you are properly equipped to safely to a trailer, which includes being properly licensed to tow, plus having all of your necessary safety chains, lights and signals, hitches, receivers, and all other towing components in order. It is important to check these components before leaving on every trip. This brings us to our recommended pre-trip checklist for trailer towing.

Pre-Trip Checklist

Before hitting the road with trailer in tow, check all of these components. First:

Hitch – if you have a standard ball hitch, your trailer tongue should be properly attached. According to manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure the locking mechanism is secured with the lock pin in proper position. Check that your hitch is secure by trying to pull it up. If you can pull it off, then it is not attached properly.

Trailer Connection Chains – check that the connection chains between your trailer in the towing vehicle are crisscrossed and in the right position, which would be directly in between the vehicle of trailer.

Brake Lights and Signals – Your next priority is to check that the trailer brake lights and turn signals are in sync with your towing vehicle. You will likely need a partner to help you with this step, but you can also use the reflection of another window or vehicle windshield.

Towing a Trailer on the Road

Once you do hit the road with your trailer in tow, there are still some more rules and considerations you need to keep in mind. It is strongly encouraged to drive directly to a large open area or a parking lot to practice your maneuvering skills. Practice backing up and parking, as well as stopping and turning. Allow yourself to get a better feel or reminder of just how big your caravan is. This little bit of practice can really help you be more confident on the road, which in turn can make you a safer driver.

Jackknifing prevention

One of the most common trailer towing errors is jackknifing, which usually results from backing up incorrectly. This can cause the trailer and towing vehicle to turn into an L or V shape, which can be damaging to both the hitch and the trailer. This is a very difficult position to get out of, which is what is important to learn how to avoid in the first place.

Practicing in an open area or parking lot, as mentioned before, can really help you get a better feel for your trailer and avoid jackknifing errors. To avoid jackknifing when towing a trailer, just take it slow and never let the trailer and towing vehicle get beyond an L or V shape.

Do you need professional towing assistance or have a roadside trailer emergency? Contact Zore’s Towing for economically-priced towing and recovery service in Indianapolis, Indiana. We serve all of Central Indiana.

Related Posts:

Will Trailer Towing Damage My Car?
What Should I Do If My Trailer Starts To Sway?
Do I Need a Hitch Ball When I Buy a New Ball Mount?
Trailer Hitch Adapter Installation Tips

Towing Wrecker Company Indianapolis Indiana 317-247-8484
Towing Wrecker Company Indianapolis Indiana 317-247-8484

How to Do a Pre-Trip Check Before Hitting the Road With Your Trailer

Summer has officially begun, which means everyone is looking for ways to take full advantage of the amiable weather. From fishing and kayaking, to biking, camping, road tripping, and more, there are several summertime options to choose from, most of which likely requires the use of a trailer haul! But when you plan to hitch a trailer and hit the road this summer, whether driving a short distance or a long one, it is important to know how to stay safe. Fortunately, your experience puts you in a great position to haul your trailer from one point to another. So, all you really need is a reminder on how to perform a pre-trip inspection!

Continue reading to learn what to do when preparing your trailer haul for a road trip this summer!

24 Hour Towing and Roadside Assistance
24 Hour Towing and Roadside Assistance 317-247-8484

Pre-Trip Trailer Check Guide

The most important part of your pre-trip inspection is to ensure your trailer is properly connected to the hitch. Equally important is to ensure the vehicle and trailer brake lights and signals are connected and compatible. Here are the steps to take to ensure all of this and more:

Step 1 – Check your hitch.

If you have a standard ball hitch, the trailer tongue should attach to the towing vehicle’s hitch, properly. Test the quality of this connection by physically lifting the trailer. If it is properly attached, you should not be able to lift it at all. Be sure that the lock pins and locking mechanisms are also snapped into place, correctly. Along with checking your hitch in this step, be sure your trailer safety chains are properly crisscrossed and connected. To complete this first step, also check that your trailer connection has enough clearance. Any trailer wheels or stands should be placed back in their UP or DRIVE position.

Step 2 – Check Brake Lights and Signals

As mentioned, checking that the brake and signal lights are functioning in alignment with your towing vehicle’s lights is a top priority. Not only do you check that they work, you need to also ensure they are aligned with your towing vehicle. When you apply the brake in your car, the brake lights should illuminate on your trailer lights, and so forth. If you are alone, use the reflection from other cars or windows to see the lights. You can also do this the night before in the dark. Also in this step, ensure that the electrical wires that make these brake and signal light connections are cleared from the ground, as well as all other undercarriage parts.

🏞 You are now ready to drive!

It does help to practice a little before the big drive day to give you some more confidence on the road. Practice turning, backing up, parking, and disconnecting the trailer from the hitch. See our blog, “Frequently Asked Questions About Towing a Trailer” to learn some more tips and tricks for safe trailer towing.

Who to Trust for 24 Hour Towing and Roadside Assistance in Indiana

If your vehicle breaks down in Indiana at any point during your trip, call Zore’s Towing at 317-247-8484 for 24 hour roadside assistance and towing recovery services you can trust. Our friendly staff is waiting by the phones, ready to help you get back on the road, safe and sound. We operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year, so you can always count on us. Request a free estimate, today.

Indianapolis Towing & Recovery 317-247-8484

Frequently Asked Questions About Towing a Trailer

Towing a trailer doesn’t have to be a daunting task. As long as you have the right experience, knowledge, and equipment, you can easily tow a trailer without any difficulties. It is always a great idea to review some helpful trailer towing tips before executing your voyage, especially when it comes to towing safety. Not only do you want to ensure you are protected on the road, it is important to do what it takes so that others are protected as well. In addition to your safety and the safety of others, you want to protect your cargo too.

Continue reading to learn some common questions and answers about trailer towing, and what options are available for those who are not equipped to tow a trailer themselves.

Indianapolis Towing 317-247-8484

Indianapolis Towing 317-247-8484

Should I Rent or Buy a Trailer?

Although you can choose to rent a trailer for towing needs, you also have the option of investing in one. In order to determine which avenue is most cost-effective, you must consider various factors, including trailer type, trailer cost, trailer storage, and most importantly, frequency of use. If you are going to use a trailer often and for many years, purchasing one would pay for itself overtime.

Which Vehicles are Suitable for Towing a Trailer?

You can use virtually any make or model car to tow a trailer as long as it is equipped to fit a hitch. Not all cars and trucks are built with hitch receivers. These vehicles, although rare, are not equipped for towing a trailer. Check the owners’ manual to confirm the trailer towing capabilities of your vehicle.

What Do I Need to Tow a Trailer?

There are six paramount parts you will need for any tow. These parts include a trailer hitch receiver, safety chains, pin and clip, ball mount, trailer hitch ball, and wiring harness. Although many towing guidelines will not mention safety chains as a “necessary” component for towing, they are actually mandatory under law.

Which Hitch Do I Need for My Trailer?

There are a variety of tow hitches available, so it is recommended to learn the different types before choosing one for your truck or trailer. Refer to your trailers’ manual to determine the tongue weight and trailer weight when empty. Then add the weight of the load you expect to haul. The total amount of weight of the trailer can help you determine which size hitch to use. It is a good idea to always get a larger setup then you actually require, so that you have room to change and adjust as you need.

Do I Need a Hitch Lock?

Hitch locks are meant to stop thieves from stealing trailers and the commodities they carry. They are lock a trailer hitch and hitch receiver together, which makes it impossible to lift the receiver and “un-hitch” a trailer. The trailer hitch can only be removed when the hitch lock is open. There are a few different hitch locks available for purchase, all with different features and qualities.

Do I Need a Permit to Tow a Trailer?

To tow a trailer, you do not need any special permits. You do, however, require a valid drivers’ license. On top of a drivers’ license, you will need to abide by your states towing regulations. All states will require safety chains, trailer lights, and a license plate light to tow a trailer legally.

Where Can I Find Reputable Towing Assistance in Indianapolis?

Indianapolis Roadside Assistance 317-247-8484

Indianapolis Towing and Roadside Assistance 317-247-8484

Call Zore’s Towing at 317-247-8484 for safe and affordable Indianapolis tow truck services you can trust. Our licensed and insured tow truck operators provide punctual and prompt tow truck services, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week! We also provide numerous community services, roadside assistance services, wrecker and recovery services, and much more. Call 317-247-8484 to request a free estimate, anytime!

What Parts Do You Need to Tow a Trailer?

Indianapolis Towing Company 317-247-8484

Indianapolis Towing Company 317-247-8484

No matter what it is you intend to tow, there are principle accessories and parts required to turn, haul, and maneuver your trailer safely and smoothly. Without the necessary components, towing anything at all can be a very dangerous and risky choice. In fact, you probably wouldn’t get farther than the end of the driveway without the proper towing parts and fittings. If you are interested in purchasing a trailer, or simply want to brush up on towing rules and guidelines, start by reviewing the tools and parts
needed for a safe and legal tow.

Towing Accessories

There are six chief trappings you will need for any tow. These parts include a trailer hitch receiver, safety chains, pin and clip, ball mount, trailer hitch ball, and wiring harness. Although many towing guidelines will not mention safety chains as a “necessary” component for towing, they are actually mandatory under law. Beneath their description below, you’ll see why.

Trailer Hitch Receiver

The trailer hitch receiver is the portion that connects to the frame of a vehicle on its underside. They are made to “receive” certain types of tow ball mounts. They are assigned a “class” rating that defines their weight capacity, or the amount of weight a trailer is intended to pull. There are five classes, from Class I to Class V. It is vital to use the proper class hitch receiver for the safest and most effective towing possible.

Trailer Hitch Ball

Also called a tow ball or trailer ball, trailer hitch balls come in three different sizes and must also be matched according to weight capacity. The trailer coupler mounts and locks on top of the ball hitch, creating the link between the vehicle and the trailer. Sizes are measured in diameter and include 1-7/8”, 2”, or 2-5/16 inches.

Ball Mount

The ball mount, or drawbar, is the component that fits into the trailer hitch opening and provides a platform to mount the hitch ball. These come in different shapes, sizes, and styles depending on the type of tow you need.

Pin and Clip

The pin and clip is a device that holds the ball mount within the trailer hitch receiver. You can also purchase hitch locks for additional security. It helps to prevent theft of your towing accessories.

Wiring Harness

A wiring harness is used for connecting power to the lights for the trailer. This includes turn signals, flashers, brake lights, and parking lights. Not only are these mandatory under law, they are extremely important for road safety. These should be checked every single time a vehicle and trailer are driven, even multiple times per day.

Safety Chains

Although a trailer can be towed without using safety chains, it is like driving a car without wearing your seatbelt. Safety chains ensure that, in the case of an emergency, the trailer and hitch do not become completely separated from each other while on the road. They cross underneath the towing vehicle and trailer, securing the trailer load to the trailer hitch. Without them, a trailer could entirely detach from a vehicle and go awry on the road.

Zore’s Towing

Indianapolis Towing

Indianapolis Towing 317-247-8484

Call Zore’s Towing at 317-247-8484 for a professional tow truck services in Indianapolis, Indiana. We retain a full fleet of trucks and equipment, allowing our towing operators the ability to tow anything from airplanes to semi-trucks, and much more! We also offer emergency traffic clearance, storm damage clearance, emergency roadside assistance, free towing advice, junk car auctions, scrap metal recycling, and much more. Call 317-247-8484 to learn more about our Indianapolis towing services, today.

Tips to Towing a Trailer Safely

Indianapolis Towing Company 317-247-8484

Indianapolis Towing Company 317-247-8484

If you intend to haul a car, motorcycle, or anything else with the use of a trailer, you should know all there is to know about hitches, trailers, towing, and safety. Safe towing requires this type of knowledge, and preferably, experience as well. Everyone has seen that amateur tower on the road, and goes to great lengths to avoid his swaying trailer. Do not be this amateur ever. Once you have learned to be a towing expert, here are a few extra tips to towing your trailer safer.

Avoid Parking on Grades

Try to avoid parking on steep grades. If you have to park in a spot with a slight grade, be sure to have someone outside before you place the gear into park. Have them put down wood or cement blocks on the downhill side of the trailer wheels. Once the blocks are set, shift the gear into park and then release your foot from the brakes. This is the way you should park a trailer on a grade so that it cannot get locked into the parking gear due to the excess weight on the transmission.

Drive at Moderate Speeds

Driving at higher speeds while towing a trailer causes the dangerous swaying showcased by the above mentioned “amateur”. These are the drivers we typically avoid, so do not become one yourself! Driving at slower speeds reduces the potential for sliding, skidding, and slipping when approaching bumpy roads or stopping.

Adjust Your Braking

A larger vehicle and heavier load will need more time to come to a stop on the road. Be sure to adjust your braking times so that you have enough time to come to a complete stop, and avoid the risk of running red lights and intersections. Keep in mind that approaching a stop at the bottom of a hill will need even more barking time.

Passing Other Vehicles

When planning to pass someone on the highway or road while towing a trailer, be sure to signal far in advance. Often times, other drivers will neglect to cooperate with larger trucks, vans, and trailers, and not pay attention to them. By letting them know your intentions far ahead of time, they will be able to react accordingly. Also, be sure to allow extra distance when switching lanes, and keep in mind the traffic behind you.

Indianapolis Towing

Zore's Towing Indianapolis 317-247-8484

Zore’s Towing Indianapolis 317-247-8484

The importance of safety on the road while towing trailers, bikes, cars, and other loads, is limitless. Be sure you consult an experienced tow truck driver before attempting a tow on your own. For more information on towing trailers or if you need a tow in Indiana, visit our Indianapolis Towing Service website and give us a call today!