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Removal of Heat Shield from 2020 Subaru Forester When Installing Curt Class III Hitch

Question:

I'm looking at the install sheet for the Curt # C13409. It says the heat shield needs to be removed and left off, and then not replaced. Will that cause a problem? Why isn't it replaced?

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Expert Reply:

This is a very common question we get. Part of the heat shield blocks the underside of the vehicle where the Curt # C13409 hitch needs to install. It's extremely important that the hitch sit directly against the underside of the vehicle, and not have anything sandwiched in between it and the underside of the vehicle as that can cause the bolts to loosen over time.

You could also notch the heat shield to fit around the hitch, but that eliminates a couple of the shield's attachment points to the vehicle which means that the shield might not be as tight to the vehicle as it should be. This could cause rattling or eventually work itself loose which could cause a road hazard. The truth is, the hitch itself will act as the heat shield and since it's much more substantial than the flimsy sheet metal it's replacing, the fact that it's been removed won't cause any trouble whatsoever.

To complete your towing set up if you're planning on doing some towing, you'll need a trailer wiring harness like # C56040, a ball mount like # 2753 and for a 1-7/8 inch trailer ball, use # 19260 or # 63845 for a 2 inch.

If you use the provided link, you can see an installation video.

expert reply by:
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Mike L

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