ADVICE NEEDED: Could heavy friend hurt my car?

Hi. I have a sensitive question, and really hope I don’t offend anyone – I just want to put my concerns to rest. I have a church friend to whom I often give a ride. (I have a 2007 Volvo S40.) I weigh about 130 lbs, and she weighs about 300 lbs, I would guess. (Yes, she is very heavy.) Could these rides ultimately hurt my car?


Thanks for your response, texases. My dad told me it wasn’t a good idea, since it would put the car out of balance, but I wasn’t sure if he was being overly-cautious. If you had any additional comments, they would be welcome.

Uh-oh, dad talk…Well, just let him know that it’s no more out of balance with the two of you than it would be with one 170 pound driver, right? Assuming he weighs at least 170 lbs, he’s driving (when he’s by himself) just as ‘out of balance’ as the two of you! That’s the last thing I’d worry about. Might it wear out the passenger seat slightly sooner? Possibly, you didn’t say how often, but still the effect would not be worth worrying about.

Haha. Makes sense… The rides are relatively short, and usually only once a week, so I’ll stop worrying. Thanks again!

Mechanically, no. However, the damage to your passenger seat depends a lot upon how this individual enters the car. If she just throws herself in you will no doubt have some damage to the seat back and probably the springs in the part you sit in. Will probably take a while to show up. I had a very heavy co-worker once who actually broke the seat back off a two-door Accord by flopping into the car.

Goodness! I hope your co-worker paid for the repair – talk about being punished for a good deed! Fortunately, my friend is very gentle and considerate, so I have minimal concerns for such damage. (The springs may be a different story, but oh well… ) Thanks very much for the input!

I have a friend who’s very heavy (over 350), and he’s replaced 2-3 seats on different cars and minivans in the past 20 years. Nothing else broke that was caused by his weight.

As noted it is possible to damage the seat, but remember that car likely can handle at least four 175 lb. people so one 300 is not going to phase it. In fact your car likely has a trunk capacity of at least 300 lbs.

That is very helpful, Mike – Thanks!

Thanks, Joseph. I know the car can handle a lot of weight, but I just wasn’t sure if it mattered how the weight was distributed. Sounds like I don’t have to worry, though. I appreciate the reply!

As long as they did not fall into the car no problem. I knew someone who was very heavy and that persons Mercury Bobcat leaned when no one was in the car, but it was a daily driver. Once in a while is no big deal