Tongue jacks are essential for trailers and RVs, allowing you to easily hitch and unhitch your trailer from your vehicle. But when your tongue jack stops working, it can be frustrating and even dangerous. In this article, we'll cover what to do when your tongue jack is giving you trouble, from troubleshooting common issues to replacing a faulty jack.
Reasons Why Your Tongue Jack May Stop Working
Before you can fix your tongue jack, it's important to understand why it's not working. Here are some common causes of tongue jack malfunctions:
Electrical issues, such as a blown fuse or faulty wiring
Physical damage, such as bent or rusted parts
Dirt or debris clogging the gears or motor
How to Troubleshoot a Non-Functioning Tongue Jack
If your tongue jack isn't working, there are following some steps you can take to diagnose and fix the issue:
Check the fuse - if the jack isn't getting power, a blown fuse could be the culprit. Check the fuse box and replace any blown fuses.
Inspect the wiring - look for any loose or damaged wires that could prevent the jack from functioning properly. Repair or replace any damaged wiring.
Lubricate the gears - if the jack is making noise or seems to be struggling to lift, it could be due to lack of lubrication. Apply grease or lubricant to the gears to help them move smoothly.
Check the switch - the switch that controls the jack may be faulty or damaged. Test the switch and replace it if necessary.
Replacing a Faulty Tongue Jack
If your tongue jack is beyond repair, you'll need to replace it. Here's how to do it:
Remove the old jack - use a jack stand to support the tongue of the trailer while you remove the old jack. Loosen and remove the bolts that hold the jack in place and remove the jack from the trailer.
Install the new jack - attach the new jack to the trailer using the same bolts that held the old jack in place. Tighten the bolts securely.
Test the new jack - raise and lower the new jack to make sure it's working properly before hitching the trailer to your vehicle.
Tips for Maintaining Your Tongue Jack
To keep your tongue jack in good working condition, follow these tips:
Clean the jack regularly - use a soft cloth to wipe down the jack and remove any dirt or debris.
Lubricate the gears - apply grease or lubricant to the gears periodically to keep them moving smoothly.
Check the wiring - inspect the wiring for any signs of wear or damage, and repair or replace it as needed.
Check the bearings - inspect the bearings annually and replace them if they're worn or damaged.
A non-functioning tongue jack can be a major inconvenience and safety hazard, but with the right knowledge and tools, you can troubleshoot and fix most common problems. By following these tips for maintenance and safety, you can ensure that your tongue jack stays in sufficient working condition for years to come.