Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

5 Essential Things to Know About the Towing Capacity of Your Car

Car Towing Capacity
Grandpa / Shutterstock.com

If you look around when you’re on the road, you’ll see many people towing things with their vehicles. While it may not be true for all of them, you can bet most of the drivers have figured their towing capacity to ensure a safe trip. If you plan to haul something, there are five essential things to know about the towing capacity of your car.

What It Is

The towing capacity of your car is the maximum weight it can haul without causing unsafe conditions or harming the vehicle. Going beyond the manufacturer’s listed capacity can damage the engine, transmission, wheel bearings and axle, and void any warranty you may have.

Where to Look

Your car’s manual is the first place you should look to determine the towing capacity. You can also check the label that is visible on the driver’s door when you open it. If neither of those options are available, there are many websites that provide information about towing capacity.

Gross Vehicle Weight

You will also need to determine the gross vehicle weight rating of your car, which includes the weight of the vehicle plus the passengers and luggage. In the case of towing, you will also need to factor in the tongue weight of the trailer that you will be using. The total weight the car, tongue, passengers and luggage cannot exceed the gross vehicle weight rating, which is also found on the driver’s door sticker.

Trailer Weight

The weight of the trailer you plan to tow is another important part of determining the towing capacity of your car. Keep in mind that the weight of the trailer and the contents of it will all need to be considered to make sure you stay within the capacity for your vehicle. You will also need to make sure that the hitch on your vehicle is rated for the weight of the loaded trailer. If not, you will need to purchase one that is suitable.

Use Caution

Generally, most people who choose to tow something try to keep the total weight at around 80 percent of their vehicle’s maximum towing capacity. This is the best way to make sure you don’t cause damage to your vehicle, or increase the potential for accidents or difficulty hauling the trailer.

Once you know the towing capacity of your car, you’re almost ready to hit the road. Before you do, contact YourMechanic to check your brakes and make sure the other components of your vehicle are in good working order to increase your safety.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires that all drivers in Kentucky carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...


Related questions

Q: What does the Slip indicator light on the dash mean?

Your Altima has a traction control system that’s responsible for providing assistance during certain types of driving. The Slip indicator light should blink at certain times. If the vehicle stability control system is operating (actively assisting with handling), you’ll see...

Q: How do I safely park while towing a trailer?

Parking your car with a trailer attached can be tricky. It’s not as simple as finding a spot and putting the car in park. You need to follow a few important steps: Find a parking spot long enough to...

Q: Smoke; opening hood reveals flames - 2010 BMW 335d

Sounds like either diesel fuel or oil leaked on a hot exhaust manifold or turbocharger. I would press the dealer for a more thorough explanation. "Emission valve" is a rather vague term (Exhaust Gas Recirculation valve maybe?) Still not likely...