With the right servicing,
you'll always be on the safe side!
Proper servicing of a towbar
Ideally, a towbar should last a lifetime. "Unfortunately the reality is often different, as corrosion and servicing delays can cause problems", explains Rüdiger Niemann, head of customer service at Westfalia-Automotive.
"Although a towbar is a robust piece of steel, regular inspection and servicing must not be neglected". In order to maintain your towbar or that of your customer as well as possible, there are a few tips & tricks you should observe.
For technical questions about Westfalia-Automotive products and their installation, please do not hesitate to contact our technical customer service as follows:
- Tel.: +44 117 955 1011 / 1022
- Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Signs of damage or severe corrosion can mean that the towbar is no longer roadworthy. Regular inspection is particularly relevant if the vehicle is exposed to salt.
This can occur in winter due to gritting salt on roads, or near the sea, especially if the towbar and the ball head are immersed in water, for example when launching a boat. Salt is very aggressive and without regular care it will corrode even the best quality steel, seriously weakening the parts, which can ultimately lead to failure.
Rüdiger Niemann advises regular checks whereby you remove the towbar and check it for wear and corrosion. If you detect damage, considerable wear or corrosion, it could be unsafe to continue using the towbar.
In order to guarantee proper functioning, the towbar, detachable towing hitch and receiving lug must always be kept clean. Therefore ensure that the mechanism is regularly maintained. The lock should only be treated with graphite. It is also helpful to regularly lubricate bearings, sliding surfaces and balls with resin-free grease or oil. Greasing and lubricating also provide additional protection against corrosion.
When cleaning the vehicle with a steam jet, the towbar must be removed and the closing plug inserted. In order for the stopper to sit correctly and not get lost easily, "you can lubricate the receiving lug with grease and then insert the closing plug so that it it is properly sucked in", Nieman adds. "Also a steam jet should never be used on the towbar."
Very important: The ball head should be greased before use with a trailer. If however a cycle carrier is placed on the towbar, the grease and oil must first be removed from the ball head! If the towbar is not being used, please use the towball cover.
Repair & replacement
Only Westfalia-Automotive is authorised to repair and dismantle the detachable towbar.
Spare parts like stoppers and cover caps are provided by Westfalia-Automotive for all our products. If the towbar is extremely worn or corroded, we recommend replacement!
Westfalia-Automotive generally advises against purchasing used towbars, because you can never be sure about the background and condition of the towbar. Used towbars are often sold with worn elements and no longer include the assembly instructions.
In the worst case, the towbar may have been damaged in an accident. Hairline cracks or breaks often cannot be identified "with the naked eye". Therefore we recommend to all garages not to install used towbars!