Suzanne Keane advises that when it comes to your car less is most definitely more
We’ve all seen those photos of overloaded cars online – and of course that famous Mr. Bean scene….. But is there a limit to what you can put in your car and what could actually go wrong?
It’s tempting to start loading up the back seat once the boot is full but make sure you can still see out all the windows clearly and that nothing can fly forward if you had to brake suddenly. You may also need to pump up your tyres a bit for the extra load.
It’s not just bulky loads that can be an issue – a few boxes of tiles in the boot can be just as heavy!
Of course there’s the obvious damage to your suspension – springs, shocks and tyres are designed to carry a certain load and exceeding this can do permanent damage – but keep in mind that a heavy load will increase your stopping distance and if all the load is in the back your steering won’t be as accurate! Also, if the front of your car is angled up because of a heavy load in the back you’ll blind other drivers with your headlights.
Every car has a maximum load capacity – sometimes called maximum authorised mass (MAM) or Design Gross Vehicle Weight (DGVW). You’ll find this in your owners manual or on the car’s identification plate. This load maximum includes all passenger’s weights!
However, the easiest way to tell if you’ve overloaded a car is to look at it! The suspension (and wheel arch distances) should be the exact same as before you started loading up. If there’s an obvious change you’ve put too much in.
If you really need to move a large or heavy load it may be worthwhile looking into hiring a van, finding a friend with a trailer or paying for a courier!
18 June 2020