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Adding a trailer hitch

18225 Views 10 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Danny13
I bought a new 2016 Trax two months ago and got the extended warranty. Haven't had it into the dealer yet for the first oil change to ask this question, so I thought I check here first.
I want to add a trailer hitch so I can put a Cargo Carrier or bike rack on it. I will never hook a trailer up to it. I only want to haul off a few bags of trash at a time instead of putting them in my vehicle. Will adding this trailer hitch cause warranty issues down the road?
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No, not if you not exceed whatever the weight capacity is noted for this vehicle. Also, having installed a bike rack type platform probably would not be considered towing anyway ?
The Hitch is not a reason to refuse a warranty claim. Damaging the vehicle usually the transmission or clutch) would be.

I believe there is a bike carrier mounting hitch offered from GM for this vehicle anyway. So you are safe unless you decide to tow a trailer or a boat :)
If you do decide to go through with this, look up best practices when towing. That should help position you best for staying within what you vehicle allows and what keeps you within warranty.
The owners manual has this: "This vehicle is neither designed nor intended to tow a trailer". I have no intentions of ever towing one, but I'm thinking if I ever have a transmission problem, they would see the hitch and automatically use it as an excuse to deny warranty work.
The dealer would have to prove the modification caused the damage before they could invalidate your warranty.
Has anyone added a receiver for towing a light trailer? I have a 5' x 8' aluminum trailer that I'd like to use for moving my rider lawn mower locally. My Trax is a 2016 LT.
Similar situation. I have a small canoe I'd like to haul for waterfowl hunting. I know I could put it on the roof but, with other gear, it'd just be easier to toss it in the back of a small PWC trailer or something. Anyone else done this and have some thoughts?
Even a small trailer will be several hundred pounds of weight to pull plus the aerodynamic drag of the trailer and it can put a surprising load on the tow vehicle. One of the big concerns is the ability of the braking system to safely stop that extra weight, and the transmission cooling to handle the heat load of the extra weight. When there are this many places saying to not do it and you go ahead and do it anyhow, it will not be real hard for a dealer to "prove" that the trailer damaged the engine or transmission and not have to honor the warranty.

On the other side of the coin, as long as you keep the trailer plus its cargo under 300 - 400 lbs and it is small enough to not add extra wind resistance and you are not going far. you can probably get away with it and not do any actual damage. Something like the trailers that are made to be pulled behind a motorcycle. But be ready for a fight if you should have an engine or trans issue. I am guessing that a lawn tractor will be way to much weight and wind resistance. I believe that the receiver that GM makes for the car has printed on it NOT FOR TOWING. But using that one for a bike rack should be no problem. I do not what the difference is to have any idea if the GM receiver could safely pull a small light trailer.
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We tow with our Trax, with a "real" Class I hitch. Sometimes towing a total load of 1000# including the 400# trailer across town, carrying mulch or topsoil on occasion. Just as we had with our previous Focus, Vibe & Matrix over the years. No clutch jobs (they were all manuals) and brake wear was normal. And in the case of the Vibe & Matrix, we kept to 100K miles plus.

Ironically, all of our previous cars had manufacturer published towing capacities of 1000# or more - and they were similar sized/horsepower! I think in the case of the Trax, GM is thinking liability & warranty, not the actual capability of the vehicle. And our dealer has not commented on the trailer hitch.

If you do a Google search, check out the specs for the European versions of the Trax - the Opel Mokka and the Vauxhall Mokka, They have manufacturer published towing capacities of at about 1000# - or more. They are both mechanically similar to the Trax.

I understand that if I have a drivetrain issue, I might be in for a hassle but from my experience, I think that it will be unlikely.

Your experience may differ. My two cents to this discussion.
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I tow with my Trax using a class 1 hitch. Tows a 5' by 8' utility trailer with a four wheeler and generator on it no problems. I don't feel it behind it and don't have any problems coming to a stop. The stance of the Trax is not as appealing but hoping to fix that soon.
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