On Friday I was working on securing my canoe to the roof of my 2000 VW Jetta. When I got around to tying down the front, I was surprised to find that there was no “tow hook” on the front at all. I consulted the manual for the Jetta only to find that I’d “archived” the section on towing somewhere. Fortunately some web searching revealed that the Jetta does have a tow hook, you just have to install it. Here’s how.
First, open up the trunk of the car, empty its contents, and lift up the panel that covers the spare tire. Tucked inside the styrofoam that secures the car jack you should find a round bronze-coloured screw-in tow hook:
Now, move around to the front of the car. On the left-hand side (passenger’s side) you’ll see, under the bumper, a vent-like plastic piece like this:
Stick your hands into the vent and you’ll see that you can grasp it enough to gently snap it out of place:
Underneath you’ll find that there’s a place for you to screw in the tow hook. Note that it’s reverse-threaded, so you screw it in the opposite direction to the way you normally screw things in. Here’s what you’ll have when you’re done:
Unfortunately there’s no place the screw-hook on the driver’s side of the car; as the Jetta’s rear tow hook is also on the passenger’s side, this means that any canoe-securing ends up somewhat lop-sided.