How to determine cargo limit for a car?



We need to buy some rocks for a garden project – just one small path’s worth, had hoped we could simply haul them in my car. But wasn’t sure how to determine the weight limit for cargo in the trunk and/or back seat of my 1992 Jetta. Not worth blowing out the shocks or other ills that might result. My owner’s manual tells me the overall weight limit: car, gasoline, passengers, “luggage.” But I just hope to know how many pounds of rocks I can safely transport.


Same limit as passengers and ‘luggage’. If just you in the car, then you and rocks to total the same or less than passengers and luggage.


Just to clarify, if max safe load, passengers and luggage is 1100#, and you weigh 150, you can safely load 950#. Just be sure to load these as far into the trunk, and as close to the back seat as possible.


See if it is in the owner’s manual. It might also be on a tag on the car. These tags are often in the driver’s door channel, under the hood, or on the trunk.


I think pretty near any car can carry 1000lbs of ‘stuff’ or more. That includes passengers and cargo (and fluids, including gasoline.) Hell, my 02 Accent can carry about 1300lbs of stuff. Unless you need to get a crapload of rocks, you’ll be fine.


Are you sure that this is worth beating the tar out of your car compared to renting a truck or paying for delivery?


One thing you have to be careful with is distribution.

The loading as expressed on the placard - 4 passengers and luggage - assumes you are going to load it in a logical way: Passengers in seats, luggage in the trunk.

So care must be taken to avoid overloading one end. The “safest” assumption is that the luggage is the “cargo”.


Thanks – I did check that sticker on the door of the car, it lists the total weight limit, GVWR, (including the car itself) as 3249 lb, but not knowing what the “tare” weight of the car itself is, I haven’t been able to do the math to figure out what added cargo can account for. I’ll keep searching, maybe that info’s elsewhere in the manual.


This is not rocket science. Just start with a small load in the boot; see if the load holds and its not rubbing against the tyres and then you can tell if you can load some more.

As someone who regularly loads their car up and sees other people load their cars as well to the brim; just make sure you distribute the load evenly; nothing is rubbing and drive slow if you are really packed since it will take longer to stop.