Overtowing?

I towed a 69’ camaro behind my 14’ nissan Pathfinder Hybrid on a flat uhaul trailer. All together, it weighed over 6500 pounds. It towed well and I only noticed a small decrease in power. The Pathfinder has a 3500 pound towing capacity. I have towed this several times and I notice nothing out of the ordinary. I frequently tow trailers with a total load of up to 5000 pounds. How is this affecting my car? It has 97,000 miles on it and it drives like new.

Thats a very bad idea!

The brakes begin to fade, the added weight contributes to tire failure, and the extra work required of your engine causes it to overheat, which, in turn, overloads the drivetrain and shortens the life of your transmission.

Although you may not see the effects of exceeding towing capacity at first, the gradual wear and tear will lead to eventual failure. The best case scenario is repeated trips to the repair shop; the worst is a major wreck.

Of course, if you insist on pulling an overweight load, you may not even live to see the effects of this wear and tear. That’s because the extra weight pulling on the back of your vehicle significantly hampers your braking ability and steering control. When the back of your truck is loaded down, the front tires come up, causing them to lose some traction with the road. Without those front tires firmly on the ground, you’ll definitely see a negative impact on your stability and handling. Your truck’s brakes, which were designed to stop a limited amount of weight, will either take much longer to slow the vehicle down in an emergency or they simply won’t work at all.

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It’s rough on your transmission, and your brakes may not do well if you have to stop quickly. Do you go over many hills?

A couple other things to think about,

Towing a load over the vehicles limit, if you have an accident your insurance will deny any claims.

If the police suspect you are over loaded they’ll weigh you, bring in portable scales if needed, give you a ticket, and impound your truck, trailer and Camaro until you can make it legal.

Just because the Pathfinder will PULL it, doesn’t mean it can STOP it as others have pointed out.

You are causing greater wear to the transmission and the rear axle as well as the engine but that pales in comparison to what can happen if you can’t stop it.

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You are making a very common assumption that many driver’s make. You are pulling…not towing. Pulling causes damage to the vehicle’s drive train and puts you in danger of losing control of your load. Towing means you can control the load without damage to the vehicle components or jeopardizing you or the people around you. Big difference.

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If you end up in an accident, don’t be surprised if you’re sued for negligence.

There’s a reason for that. The CVT used in these crossovers aren’t known for their durability. It’s also a unibody vehicle.

You can smoke 200 Marlboro Lights over the course a few years and probably not develop lung cancer, but that doesn’t mean you should do it. As others have mentioned you’re opening up yourself to a lot of liability. If you want to tow things that heavy you should get a proper tow vehicle.

You’re placing a lot of strain on the transmissions, brakes, and suspension. When you’re towing at nearly twice the rated limited, the likelihood of a mechanical failure is greatly increased. In a worse case scenario, this would cause an accident, and you’d be charged with negligence and your insurance won’t cover anything, and you’ll get sued for tens/hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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Long story short, it will tow it.

The rest of the story, there’s a weak link that the manufacturer has decided that you should not tow it.

Anyone else remember the ad of the Tundra towing the space shuttle? Toyota: “Yeah, it’ll do it. But we’re not sure how long or if we can stop.”

If you’re really curious, compare the tow rating of this vehicle to the tow rating of the same model with higher capacity. It could be something as simple as a different tow hitch, to something as complex as the transmission standard on the hybrid is a weaker unit than other models are equipped with.

So I needed a skidsteer, 5k, my towing limit, was 6500 lbs, brakes on a downhill incline were insufficient, 65 mph was a push, made it through, a trailblazer, now a month earlier we were looking at a lake property, the road to the launch tore up by logging vehicles. Stopped a half mile short in a small turnaround with a 3.5’ drop on a sandy road. Waked down and said no way! Saw there were logging vehicles around so I could beg for help if needed, all four wheels spitting up sand as the trailor for the boat was grinding dirt, made it but what the hell were you asking? Now Uhaul rents pickup trucks, but not north of the twin cities, so got to ask my 03 trailblazer to run 10 more hours to get the boat in, wish me luck!

here is the thing though, I had this hitch installed by the dealer after the sale and they said that I could actually tow more that 5000 pound with the car. I have never replaced the brakes and the dealer says I have another few thousand miles with them. Transmission is in perfect shape. never a problem. I am wondering why.

It depends. The first time thtat I towed the camaro, I pulled it from volo auto museum near chicago to the suburbs of grand rapids michigan. Not too many hills.

Have them put that in writing.

That has nothing to do with how well your brakes will stop your overloaded vehicle when, say, a kid runs out in front of you.

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I think what they actually said is that the hitch was designed to tow that much, not the car. I have no doubt the hitch can handle that much weight, particularly on a vehicle that is also designed to tow that much weight.

Gentlemen, we’re being trolled by some who wants to argue, not someone who came here for advice.

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The hitch is likely rated for greater than 5000 lbs, I doubt that they took the time to look up the towing capacity for your vehicle.

BTW the owners manual shows a towing capacity of 5000 lbs for this vehicle.

The 5000 pound figure is for the standard V6 model. The OP has the Hybrid with the 2.5L supercharged I4. It’s rated for 3500 pounds.

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Page 9-20 of the Pathfinder Hybrid owners manual shows the same towing chart as the V-6 Pathfinder, 5000#, perhaps it was later revised.

I was looking at the the owner’s manual supplement.
https://www.nissan-techinfo.com/View.ashx?d=1&z=1&sku=2014-Nissan-Pathfinder-HEV-SU

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If you run into the wrong family because you are over loaded, they will own everything you have and a portion of everything you will make in the future.

Those factory weight ratings are there for a reason. It is all that the manufacture said that the vehicle was safe to tow. If they thought that it could safely tow 10,000 pounds they would. That would be a great selling point. Sure there is a margin of error in their rating but there is no margin of error in the the eyes of the law.

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