Toyota Tacoma Tow Hooks (Aftermarket & OEM Guide)

Tow hooks, also known as "recovery hooks," are a useful, built-in tool to be used for quick towing maneuvers.

Key Points:

  • Tow hooks (aka "recovery points") can be used to get your Tacoma unstuck.
  • The Tacoma's tow hooks are located underneath the front bumper.
  • Tow hooks are not designed for long distances. They're used for quick towing maneuvers.
  • Aftermarket tow hooks can improve accessibility and appearance.
  • Follow proper safety precautions when using tow hooks.

Tow hooks are a standard feature in Toyota Tacomas that can help you escape a sticky situation, but they may not be useful for everyone. There’s a lot to cover regarding aftermarket vs. factory hooks, use cases, and aesthetics. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Tacoma tow hooks. 

You may be here to read about using the stock tow hooks on your Tacoma, however many people are also looking to customize their Tacoma with aftermarket hooks as well.

Changing the look of your Toyota Tacoma can be fun and a topic we cover a lot. We’ve already talked about predator steps, lowering your Tacoma, and blackout packages. In this article, we’ll discuss tow hooks!

What Are Tow Hooks?

Tow hooks, also called “recovery points,” are basic hooks that are attached to your vehicle, typically in the front but sometimes in the rear as well. They can be used to secure any vehicle to another to get it out of a sticky situation.

Automakers install them on vehicles since they can help in situations where you are stuck and need assistance. 


Where They’re Located

Toyota Tacomas have tow hooks in the front of the truck. Specifically, they’re located underneath the left and right sides of the bumper, as seen below.

toyota tacoma front tow hook

What They’re Used For

Tow hooks are primarily used for vehicle recovery. You typically won’t use this to tow the vehicle for long distances. They’re often used for quick towing maneuvers, such as getting the vehicle unstuck from a ditch or moving a disabled vehicle from the middle of the road.

Most tow hooks advertise that they can handle 10,000 lbs, but this depends on the tow hook manufacturer and vehicle weight. 


Adding Aftermarket Tow Hooks

The process of installing aftermarket tow hooks depends on the type of tow hook you purchase. Some common tools used to install them include a ratchet, socket, electric drill and bits, bolts, or a jigsaw. You’ll want to follow the instructions that came with the tow hooks for the best results. 

Many people want aftermarket tow hooks for aesthetic purposes since they can give your Tacoma a more unique look.

Others want aftermarket hooks instead of stock ones because sometimes the default equipment is not as easily accessible. In these cases, aftermarket hooks can provide quick and easy recoveries. 


Style vs. Utility

There is debate about whether tow hooks are actually useful for most people or rather just installed for appearance.

Aftermarket accessories like tow hooks are not often actually used. In reality, many people get tow hooks because they like the off-roader look, but they do become useful in emergencies. 

If you have a truck that spends a lot of time on difficult terrain like off-road trails, icy roads, loose sand, or mud, you may find some real-life use cases for them. However, if you use your truck for daily driving, you may never use the hooks. 

Another question is about the utility of tow hooks. Sure, most tow hooks can be used for light recovery efforts, but they aren’t always strong enough for all recovery situations. Even aftermarket hooks that are more hefty might not be capable enough for serious recovery without getting a new bumper. 


Safety Tips

Safety should always come first when using tow hooks. Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind: 

  • When using the tow hooks for emergency towing, drive only on hard-surfaced roads for at most 50 miles under 18 mph. 
  • The condition of the hook is important. Visually inspect it for rust, grime, or any defects since hooks can degrade over time. You can also have it assessed by the dealership to gauge functionality.
  • Be sure to use the right kind of recovery straps and make sure the straps are in good condition.  Straps can snap off and hurt someone. 
  • The person pulling the vehicle should drive slowly and apply light pressure to the gas.  Quick and jerky movements can damage the straps or tow hooks.
  • There should be a person in the driver’s seat of the vehicle being pulled to control it once it’s out of the stuck position.


Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, tow hooks are standard equipment on all Tacomas. 

Yes, there are mounting points underneath the rear bumper to add rear tow hooks, but no rear tow hooks are included from the factory.

No, you’ll need a bracket fitted for your vehicle to attach the tow hooks to.

Related Content

Making the Best Decision For Your Tacoma 

Tow hooks can be helpful tools for Toyota Tacoma owners. Whether you stick with the factory equipment or opt for aftermarket options, it’s important to consider if you will be using them for functionality or just a look to make the best decision for your vehicle. 

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