Exceeding a Vehicle’s Towing Capacity Could be Disastrous

There are dozens of reasons why you might have to tow something behind your car. From trailers to moving compartments, to boats and other toys, there are plenty of things to tow behind your car, and you’d be surprised with what you might see towing out on the road. Even some passenger cars have the ability to tow in small capacities, but we all know larger trucks and SUVs to be the safer go-to for frequent towers. While those who are more familiar with towing know how important it is to abide by the vehicle’s towing capacity, newbie to the world of towing might not take heed.

Your vehicle’s towing capacity

If your vehicle has the ability to tow something, it will be rated for a specific towing capacity. This is the maximum amount of weight that your car can tow behind it safely without risking bodily harm or damage. While it seems obvious that you shouldn’t push the limits of your vehicle’s towing capacity, that doesn’t mean people don’t try, and it can lead to potentially disastrous results.

2021 Peugeot Landtrek pickup towing a boat
2021 Peugeot Landtrek pickup | Stellantis

Don’t exceed your vehicle’s towing capacity

Exceeding your vehicle’s towing capacity could cause a significant amount of damage to your vehicle. Towing by itself puts a degree of strain on your truck, car, or SUV’s mechanical systems, and these systems are only rated to handle a certain amount of weight before they could potentially fail. If you’re under the assumption that manufacturers underrate their towing capacity, you should think again, as higher towing capacities are often a selling point for more capable vehicles.

A truck tows a camper down an open road
A truck towing a camper | Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

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It’s not worth the risk

The weight that your vehicle is rated to tow determines how much it can handle safely. This applies to every critical system within the car, especially brakes, which can fail and lead to absolutely horrendous results, both to you and other drivers. It’s better to play it safe rather than be sorry later, and always make sure you stay within your vehicle’s towing limits — or find a vehicle that can accommodate you safely.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee towing an airstream trailer
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Jeep

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