Towing-Oriented Performance UpgradesWhile many vehicles have plenty of power for around-town driving, their engines can be seriously taxed when it's time to tow. If you're tired of being passed by everybody (including semis), you're probably ready to extract better performance from your engine. Towing can also be extremely hard on a vehicle's transmission, but there is a wide range of transmission performance products available.

While pulling more weight can put some strain on your vehicle's engine and transmission, stopping more weight can really tax its brakes, especially on long grades. Of course, shifting into a lower gear can help slow your vehicle, but this does generate heat, which means that you'll need a good radiator and water pump and a good transmission fluid cooler. You also may find it necessary to install better brakes. (We're sure that you're running appropriate trailer brakes and other important towing supplies.)

Have trouble hooking up to a hitch? Whether the problem is a matter of seeing what you're doing by yourself, finding the right size ball at the last minute or trying to connect a high tongue to a low hitch (or vice versa), there are quick and easy solutions.

Trailering is a much more complex subject than many people suspect. The improper use of trailers and hitches can lead to disastrous, if not fatal, consequences. It pays to be aware of what's involved. Take care and pay attention to the tips offered here; they may help to ensure that your next trailering attempt isn't your last one.

If you have a safety problem with your vehicle, or if information is missing from your trailer certification label, call the DOT Auto Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236 or visit www.nhtsa.gov. We have also included information on trailer types, brakes, towing tips and product photos in this Guide. Check it all out so won't have a trailering trauma when you tow your low to the show.