Top 5 Reasons Why You Should not Overload your Car

You are about to engage yourself in an exciting road trip. You’ve packed five huge bags with enough equipment to let you live alone in the jungle for a month. You’ve checked your tires and buckled your seatbelts. You’ve convinced yourself that you’re absolutely ready to go.

Not quite.

Overloaded CarEvery car has a recommended maximum combined weight of cargo and passengers. This is called payload. Exceeding this capacity will cause a damaging amount of stress on your car’s tires, shocks and leaf springs. These three important car parts keep vehicles under control and on the road.

This means that every time you pack too much, or carpool too many people, you are a potential hazard to yourself and to other motorists.

So what happens when you exceed your payload? And why should you be careful about your car’s weight?

1) Built-in safety mechanisms that help you maintain control of your car at highway speeds may not work as well when you exceed your payload.

2) The heavy weight causes wheels to bulge at the bottom, causing the wheels’ sidewalls to stick to the pavement and heat up, resulting to disastrous blowouts.

3) Sudden swerves will cause your car to roll too far outside, causing the springs and shocks to rebound and push the vehicle back inside too quickly. Steering will be difficult and you may lose control of your vehicle.

4) An extra 100 lbs can reduce your mileage by 2%. This means that overloading also makes you less fuel-efficient. Considering the fact that gas prices continue to rise, that 2% will lead to great losses in the long run.

5) Steering becomes difficult because you are hauling more weight. Imagine running with an empty cup versus running with a glassful of water.

Overloaded TruckSo how do you keep your payload within safe range? Here are some safety tips that you should apply:

1) Know your car’s payload capacity. To know how many passengers or how much total weight your car can carry, look for the sticker on the driver-side door panel. If your car has a total payload of 1200 lbs, and if each passenger weighs around 200 lbs, then a maximum of six passengers can ride without luggage. How Stuff Works also lists cars with their payload capacities. You can find your car’s make here: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/auto-parts/towing/towing-capacity/vehicle/payload6.htm.

2) Consider renting a car or commuting if you might exceed your payload capacity.

3) Drive slower because overweight vehicles take more time to brake, steer, and speed up.

4) Do not overload the trunk. Top load should not exceed to 18” high and not more than 100 lbs.

5) Get rid of junk items in your trunk. Maybe you are still carrying old stuffs from your last trip that you don’t need anyway.

Not overloading your trunk (or top) will not only save fuel, but can also be the difference between a great trip and a disastrous one!

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