The Ultimate Guide to Attaching a Hitch on Your Subaru Car

Subaru cars are known for their versatility and capability to perform well in various driving conditions. It’s no wonder that many Subaru car owners want to utilize their vehicles as tow vehicles for outdoor activities such as biking, camping, or hauling equipment. However, to do so, it’s important to attach a hitch to the vehicle. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of attaching a hitch on your Subaru car, covering everything from hitch types, towing capacity, tools required, step by step guide to attaching a hitch to safety precautions and maintenance tips.

Different Types of Subaru Hitches Available in the Market

When it comes to choosing the right hitch for your Subaru car, several factors need to be taken into account, such as the type of towing you plan to do, the vehicle’s towing capacity, and the type of trailer hitch you require. Here are some of the most common types of Subaru hitches available in the market:

  • Rear Receiver Hitch: The most common type of hitch, these bolt to the frame of the vehicle and are rated for varying degrees of weight capacity.
  • Front Receiver Hitch: Designed for those who use their Subaru for activities that would benefit from having a front receiver hitch, such as snow plowing, winching and bike racks.
  • Fifth Wheel Hitch: Typically used for larger trailers and loads. This type of hitch uses a kingpin located on the trailer to secure the hitch.
  • Goose Neck Hitch: Similar to the fifth wheel hitch but uses a ball and socket instead of the kingpin for added stability and control.
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The Towing Capacity of the Subaru Vehicle

Determining your vehicle’s towing capacity is critical before you start towing. Towing capacity can vary depending on the model year of your Subaru, so always refer to your owner’s manual. It is essential that you do not exceed these limits to ensure the safety of yourself and others on the road. The weight capacity is not only based on the hitch itself, but vehicle weight, engine size, transmission, etc. can all impact your towing capacity. Knowing the tow capacity of your Subaru can help prevent engine and vehicle damage.

Tools Required for Attaching a Hitch

Before beginning installation, you will need a few specialized tools to complete the task efficiently. Here is a list of some of the tools you will require to attach a hitch on your Subaru car:

  • Ratchet and Socket Set
  • Torque Wrench
  • Hex Wrench
  • Floor Jack
  • Jack Stands
  • Measuring Tape
  • Safety Glasses
  • Rubber Mallet

Step by Step Guide to Attaching a Hitch

  1. Start by positioning your vehicle on a flat, stable surface and engage the parking brake.
  2. Remove the rear bumper cover or any existing hardware from the rear underside.
  3. Install the hitch’s frame onto the Subaru vehicle with bolts tight enough to keep the hitch from rotating.
  4. Verify that the hitch is horizontally level relative to the bumper fascia.
  5. Tighten the hitch bolts to the torque specifications listed in your vehicle’s manual using a torque wrench.
  6. Reinstall any hardware or bumper cover that was removed in the first step.

Safety Precautions to be Taken While Towing

While towing, safety is paramount. Here are some safety tips you should keep in mind while towing:

  • Always ensure that the hitch is securely attached before loading the trailer.
  • Ensure that the weight distribution is balanced from the trailer’s left to right and front to back.
  • Always double-check that the lights are working correctly before setting out.
  • Give yourself and other drivers plenty of space, especially while braking.
  • Keep your vehicle and the trailer up to date on maintenance.
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Maintenance Tips for the Hitch

Maintaining your hitch is essential in extending its lifespan. Here are some tips to follow for maintaining your hitch:

  • Wash the hitch and trailer after every trip to prevent rust and debris build-up.
  • Regularly inspect the hitch and all necessary hardware for potential damage and wear & tear.
  • Grease the hitch’s surface to keep it lubricated and free of rust for smooth operation.
  • Ensure proper wiring for brake and turn signals to avoid any electrical issues.


  1. How much weight can I tow with my Subaru car?

    Always consult the owner’s manual to find the tow capacity that is best for your specific model.

  2. Can I install a hitch on my own, or do I need professional help?

    It is possible to install a hitch on your own, but it is recommended to be done by professionals experienced in hitch-installation.

  3. How often should I maintain my Hitch?

    Checking your hitch at least once in three months could help identify any potential damage to the hitch.

In conclusion, attaching a hitch to your Subaru car can open up new possibilities for outdoor activities and adventures. Use this guide as a reference to help you select the best hitch for your Subaru and safely install it. Additionally, following the tips for maintenance discussed above should help prolong the hitch’s lifespan. Lastly, always prioritize safety while towing and ensure your vehicle can safely tow the weight you plan to transport.

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Peter Banks

With years of experience as a professional mechanic and Subaru specialist, Peter is one of the most respected members of our team. He's written several articles on Subaru maintenance and repair, and his advice and tips are always practical and helpful. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys cooking and trying out new recipes.

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