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Curt Trailer Hitch Installation - 2018 Chevrolet Volt

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How to Install a Curt Trailer Hitch on a 2018 Chevrolet Volt


Rob: Rob here at etrailer.com, and today you're going to be taking a look at the Curt Class I Custom Fit Trailer Hitch Receiver on our 2018 Chevrolet Volt.Now, here's what our hitch is going to look like once we have it installed. You can see it's got a really nice clean, almost factory look to it because the crosstube is going to be completely hidden behind the bumper, and the only thing we're going to see is that receiver tube sticking out. Now, people commonly associate hitches with towing a trailer. Now, we can with this, but it's also going to alleviate a lot of the problems we have with a smaller car. We can free up some space on the inside by moving a lot of gear to the outside by mounting a cargo carrier, or if we want to hit the trails, we could put a bike rack in there and take our bikes with us. But however we're going to be using the hitch, all of our accessories are going to mount to the side using the hitch pinhole.The hitch is going to accept a standard 1/2" pin and clip.

Now these do not come with the hitch, but you can pick them up here at etrailer.com along with some locking devices to make sure your accessories are secure. Now, if you do you plan on towing a trailer, a few things to keep in mind is there are specific ball mounts made for our hitch, and you can find those here at etrailer.com, but also you're going to have to have a spot to hook up your safety chains. On our hitch we're going to have a loop style welded to the bottom of the receiver tube, and as you can see we even with most size hooks, we'll have plenty of room to get them hooked on or take them off.Obviously, you want to make sure that the hitch is going to be up to the task that we put it too. So, as far as the weight rating goes, our hitch is going to have a 100 pound tongue weight; that's going to be the maximum downward force at the end of the receiver tube. It's also going to have a 1,000 pound gross trailer weight rating; that's how much our hitch can pull including the trailer and everything we have loaded on it.

But you do want to double check your vehicle's owner's manual because you don't want to exceed your manufacturer's recommended weights. To put those numbers into perspective, 100 pounds of tongue weight, you should be good carrying about two bikes, or if you have a cargo carrier in there, we are going to be limited on how much we can load up to it because most of them are going to be rated to anywhere from 300 to 500 pounds. But, again, we need to go with the lowest rating between the car as well as the hitch and the accessories that we put in it.I'd like to give you a few measurements, and these are going to help you out whenever you're looking at accessories for your new hitch like a bike rack or a cargo carrier. From the center of the hitch pin hole to the outermost edge of the bumper is going to be right about 4-1/2". That measurement is going to help you out when you're looking at folding accessories to make sure you can put them in the upright position and store them without making contact to the rear bumper.

From the ground to the inside top edge of the receiver tube opening is right about 11". With that height, I would definitely recommend a bike rack or a cargo carrier with a raised shank; that way you can get a little bit more ground clearance out of them. But now that we've seen what our hitch looks like and gone over some of the features, we'll show you a few tips and tricks and walk you through how to get it installed.To begin our installation, we want to come to the back of our Volt, and at the very bottom of the bumper we're going to have several screws that are holding it in place. We want to grab a 7mm socket, and we're going to pull all the bolts out that are going along the edge here. Now, we move to the outer edge right behind our tire.

We're going to have three more screws. This time we want to grab a T15 Torx bit and we'll pull all three of those out. We're going to have three of these on each side, so you want to pull all three out on both sides.Now we're to move right behind the rear tire inside our wheel well. Right on the edge here we're going to have four screws that are holding it in place. So we'll grab that T15 Torx bit, we're going to pull all four of those out. Then we'll grab our wheel well liner. We're going to peel it back, and if we look right where the fender meets the fascia, we're going to have a bolt going upward. We need to remove that. So we want to grab a 7mm socket, and we'll pull it out. With all the fasteners removed over here, we're going to move over to the other side and pull those out as well.At this point we want to open up the rear hatch and that'll give us access to the two bolts holding our tail light in place as well as a third one that's down by the trunk opening. Want to use that same T15 Torx bit and we're going to pull all three of those out. Once all the fasteners are removed, want to pull our tail light out. Now, I will let you know there are some alignment pins that are along here, so you don't want to flex it out too much. You want to grab and pull straight back as much as you can. On the back of the light, we're going to have our plug. That little red tab, that needs to go away from the light. So we'll flip it open. We're going to press down on the black tab right in front of it, disconnect our tail light, and we can set it aside where it won't get damaged. We're going to do the same thing on the other side.Now, it's a good idea to get an extra set of hands because we're going to be removing our fascia. We'll start where the fender meets the fascia. You're just going to want to pull away releasing the clips and start working your way towards the center. But keep in mind we do have some lights and some backup sensors, and over on the driver's side we are going to have a plug that we have to disconnect, so you don't want to pull it away too far. Right against the body, here's the plug. Just like the tail lights, pull that red tab, press in on the black button, and we can separate the connector. We'll set our fascia aside where it's not going to get damaged.With our fascia removed, it's going to expose our bumper beam, and we can look and see that our exhaust hanger is actually attached to it. So we're going to have to lower our exhaust down temporarily, but before we do, you want to make sure to put up a support strap. That way it doesn't cause any damage by coming down too far. I'm just going to follow the muffler and the exhaust pipe to right about the rear axle. We'll have this support bar. I'm just going to take my strap, wrap it around it, and then tighten it up so it has some tension and the exhaust won't down too far.With the exhaust supported, we're going to come to the end where the hanger is, and we'll have two bolts holding it in place. Grab a 13mm socket. We're going to pull both of those out. Now to get the hanger loose, we want to lift up slightly and then you kind of pull on the hanger and actually slide on the two rods. You don't need to fully remove it, but if it makes it easier, you can just pull it off. But we want to make sure we can get access to that bumper beam bolt and that the hanger is not on these posts.Now we're going to be removing the three nuts on each side that's holding the bumper beam in place. Grab a 15mm socket and pull three out on each side. Now, it's a good idea to hold onto the bumper beam when you take the last bolt out. It will hang itself on the studs, but we don't want to risk it falling. Once you have all of them removed, we'll grab our bumper beam. We'll take it off and set it aside for right now.Then we can grab our hitch and we'll slide it over the studs. I do want to mention you need to push down on that section here so the receiver tube can fit, and we are going to have to trim a little bit so we can get it to go back up in the proper position. You want to make sure that it's not going to fall. So if you need to, you can temporarily put one of the nuts holding the hitch in place just so you know that it's not going to fall. At this point, we can raise our bumper beam back in place, but if you did use a nut to hold the hitch in, obviously you're going to have to remove that first.We want to sandwich our hitch between the bumper beam and the body of the car, and then we're going to reuse the nuts that we took off from the factory. You want to get at least one in hand tight on each side, so everything will hold itself up. Then we can work on replacing all the other hardware. We'll come back with that same 15mm socket and snug up all our hardware. I'm going to come back with a torque wrench. I'm going to torque all my hardware down to the specified amount in the instructions. You want to make sure you go back and repeat that for all your remaining hardware.So we can take our exhaust hanger, just going to slide it just barely onto those posts. Going to lift my exhaust up and then slide it on the rest of the way, making sure the holes line back up. Then we're going to replace the hardware we removed, and we'll use that same 13mm socket to tighten them up. We'll torque down the bolts to the specified amount in the instructions.Now, before I put the fascia back on, we are going to have to do some trimming. Now, since I left the panel on and we got it around our hitch, what we can actually do is just use the hitch as a guide to cut around that section so they can meet up to the fasteners. I'm just going to take a pair of aviation snips. You can use a knife, a rotary tool. This material is not that thick, but you do want to take your time, try and make as clean a cut as you can. So I just get really close to the hitch. I'm just going to cut along the edge, do the same thing on the other side, then we'll meet up in the back. Just cut the piece off. Now we don't have to worry about the hitch interfering, can get all the fasteners back, and it has a nice clean cut to it.Now we'll go ahead and put our fascia back in place. Just want to make sure you plug that connector at the back, back end and lock it down. We'll just make sure everything lines up and that the fascia goes above the hitch. Once we have everything lined up, we'll just push everything back in place, so the clips re-secure themselves. Now, it's just a matter of reversing the steps, putting all the panels and fasteners back in place. Then we can remove the strap that was supporting our exhaust. That'll finish up your installation and look at the Curt Class I Custom Fit Trailer Hitch Receiver on our 2018 Chevy Volt.


Mo

5/10/2022

Incomplete instructions: didn't mention whether the CURT 18050 61-Inch Bike Rack Support Strap, needed to support a rack to not void warranty per manufacturer, was not mentioned or shown "how" to install on 2018 Chevy Volt hatch system.

Etrailer Expert

David B.

5/10/2022

Curt recommends the use of the cam buckle # 18050 with all hitch accessories and bike racks. If you check out the link provided you will be able to see a few videos talking about the product and how to use it. If you need anything else Mo, let me know, I'll be here to help!

Mo

5/12/2022

@DavidB Hi David, what I'm saying is the plastic buckle/hook will not fit hatch demarcation line when it is closed or in the open position. How can this strap work if the load is not supported by attaching to the car?
Etrailer Expert

David B.

5/12/2022

Gotcha Mo, just wrap the strap around the bike rack and then attach the strap to the safety chain loops on the hitch.
See All (4) Replies to Mo ∨

Info for this part was:

Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Jonathan Y
Video by:
Jonathan Y
Employee Robert C
Test Fit:
Robert C

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