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Carriage Bolts Not Seating All the Way When Installing Trailer Hitch in a 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe SE


I own a 2016 Santa Fe SE and recently purchased the Curt Class lll, Part# C13153. The mounting hardware includes 4 carriage bolts that are to be ed thru the 4 upper mounting holes 2 on each side of the hitch then thru the pre-drilled holes on the vehicle frame and torqued to 110# using the included nuts. The problem question is that the carriage bolts do not completely into the pre-drilled hitch holes which are more round than square. Its like trying to put a larger square peg into a smaller round hole. Without the carriage bolt heads being locked into the hitch holes its extremely difficult to tighten the carriage bolts as they just keep turning as I am trying to tighten. If I use vise grips to hold the heads of the carriage bolts I am then able to tighten the nuts to the required 110# of torque. Is this OK? Shouldnt the carriage bolts fit completely into the hitch mounting holes slots? I am concerned that it is unsafe. Please advise....Thank you.


Expert Reply:

Since your 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe SE is so new it is possible that the holes for the hitch bolts (that go in horizontally) have some under coating in them that needs to be scraped away in order for the bolts to seat in all the way.

But if you are torqueing the hardware down as indicated in the instructions it should still pull the bolts in all the way. What I recommend is to see if clearing away any under coating helps. Also be sure to re-check the torque on the bolts after a week or so and tighten as needed.

The square part just under the head of a carriage bolt should fit into the slot on the hitch. But like the vehicle, the powder coat on the hitch could be thick making it a little difficult to fully insert the bolts. But again torqueing them down should pull everything together nice and tight.

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