How to Tow With a Ford Taurus

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The Ford Taurus is a midsized car available in sedan and wagon body styles that has been in production since 1985. The Taurus (especially the wagon model) has a large cargo carrying capacity, but it may become necessary to tow a trailer when extra cargo room is needed. Although Ford offers no tow packages with the Taurus, it does class the Taurus as a light-duty tow vehicle able to tow up to 1,250 lbs. if equipped properly.

Things You'll Need

  • Load-carrying hitch
  • Electric brake control
  • Wiring pig tail
  • Trailer
  • Bathroom scale
  • Have a load-carrying hitch installed on your Taurus at a reputable trailer dealer. Have the dealer install an electric brake control if your trailer requires it. Read the manual that comes with your trailer. Some small trailers do not have brakes. Rental trailers have surge brakes. Neither of these instances require the installation of a brake controller.

  • Have your trailer dealer or rental company install a wiring pig tail to operate the trailer lights. Make sure the pig tail’s wiring connector matches the wiring plug on your trailer.

  • Make sure the trailer’s load is distributed so that 10 to 15 percent of the weight is on the tongue of the trailer (for instance, a 1,000 lb. trailer should have 100 to 150 lbs. of tongue weight). Lower the tongue onto the center of a bathroom scale placed on the ground to measure tongue weight. Readjust the load to get the correct tongue weight if necessary.

  • Hitch the trailer to the trailer hitch. Crisscross the trailer chains beneath the trailer tongue and attach them to the hooks welded to the trailer hitch. Push the trailer’s wiring plug into the wiring pig tail installed on your Taurus.

  • Practice towing your trailer in a parking lot to get the feel of it before getting under way. Take turns wider than usual to keep the trailer tires from running over curbs. Use a lower gear when going up or down hills to maximize your braking and to keep the transmission from overheating. Stop and check all hitch and wiring connections after driving 50 miles.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your Taurus is new, do not tow a trailer until the car has traveled 500 miles.
  • If towing a rental trailer, follow the directions that come with the trailer.
  • Do not use speed control when towing a trailer as it may shut off automatically when going up grades.
  • Place the transmission in park when stopped in traffic for long periods to keep it from overheating.
  • Travel slower than normal for safety. Check local or state laws for speed limits while towing.

References

  • Photo Credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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