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How to Install a Tow Hook

by Allison Melman

Tow hooks are heavy-duty metal hooks that can be attached to your car to allow for easy hitching to a tow latch. While some cars may come with tow hooks already in place, you can easily install a hook onto your car even if it never had one. A tow hook can be installed onto the front or rear bumper of your car with little effort or prior mechanical experience on your part. The instructions below are for installing it on the front bumper.

Park your car and raise the front end with a car jack. Rest the car on jack stands to secure the car. Make sure you lift the car enough to be able to slide underneath and access the parts there.

Open the hood so you can access the retaining bolts holding the top of the bumper cover onto the car. Remove these bolts with an Allen wrench.

Remove the top of the bumper cover and take out the bolts going through the painted part of the cover. You may not need to remove all of the bolts, depending on your model of car.

Take off the wheel well covers with a wrench to expose the inner bumper cover bolts. Unscrew the bolts on the inside of the wheel wells that are securing the bumper cover.

Slide underneath the car and remove the bolts on the underside of the car. Gently pry the side of the cover off and pull out the plug connecting the cover lights to the car.

Hold the tow hook against the underside of the metal bumper and trace the holes drilled into it with a marker. Make a mark on the front, vertical side of the bumper so you can access the bolts that will go through the hook.

Drill the holes that you marked on the underside of the bumper using a power drill and a self-starting ½-inch drill bit. Drill out the mark on the front of the bumper so you can reach inside and tighten the nuts once the bolts are inserted.

Place a washer over each of the drilled out holes on the bottom of the bumper and press them into place with the tow hook. Insert the bolts through the hook and washers into the holes in the bumper.

Slip the nuts over the ends of the bolts through the access hole in the front of the bumper and tighten them with a wrench.

Replace the bumper cover and cover top and all of the bolts holding it in place. Put the wheel well covers back inside the wells.

Tip

  • Many tow hooks will allow for placement at different depths along the bumper, so experiment with different positions.

Warning

  • Do not install a tow hook unless your car has the power to handle whatever load you apply to it.

Items you will need

About the Author

Based in West Windsor, N.J., Allison Melman has been writing health- and travel-related articles since 1999. Her work has appeared in "Salon" and "Better Health" magazines. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Southern Connecticut State University.

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