What Happens if You Tow Over the Maximum Capacity? | Auto Depot Sudbury
What Happens If You Tow More Than the Maximum Towing Capacity?
With the warmer weather coming around the corner, it’s almost that time of year when hitch-mounted toys are ready to come out and play. Whether you’re preparing for boating season, looking to haul your dirt bike or ATV to the trails or simply looking to tow a utility trailer, it’s important to be aware of your vehicle’s maximum towing capacity to avoid any unwanted incidents on the road. Towing more than your vehicle's recommended towing capacity can lead to several negative consequences, both to your vehicle and whatever it is you’re hauling. Continue reading below to learn more about these potential consequences and where to find your specific vehicle’s maximum towing capacity.
Potential Harm to Your Vehicle
Towing a load that’s more than your vehicle's recommended towing capacity can cause damage to your vehicle's transmission, brakes, suspension, and engine. The extra weight can strain these components beyond their designed limits, leading to premature wear and tear, overheating, or even failure. These issues can all lead to potential costly repairs down the road that can easily be avoided by staying well within your vehicle’s maximum towing capacity.
Altered Driving Dynamics & Stability
Another consequence of overloading your vehicle’s towing capacity is that it may affect your vehicle's handling and stability. With a heavy weight straining your vehicle from behind, it may make it more difficult to control the vehicle, especially when braking, accelerating, or turning. This can increase the risk of accidents and make it harder to stop in an emergency.
May Void Your Warranty
Towing more than the recommended limit puts excess strain on your vehicle’s vital components that its engineers did not design the vehicle to handle. As such, towing heavier weights than what is recommended can invalidate your vehicle's warranty and insurance coverage, leaving you liable for any damage or injuries caused by a potential accident.
Where to Find Your Vehicle’s Maximum Towing Capacity
It’s crucial to know your vehicle's towing capacity and not exceed it. Always ensure that the weight of your trailer and its contents, plus any passengers and cargo in the vehicle, does not exceed the manufacturer's recommended towing capacity and gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). These figures can be found in your vehicle’s owners manual and some manufacturers also have these figures listed on a sticker located on your driver door jam. Should you still be unsure of your vehicle’s maximum towing capacity, consult a dealer.
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