General Question

Nullo's avatar

What's the maximum load for an older 4-cylinder car?

Asked by Nullo (21968points) May 22nd, 2011

A 2002 Toyota Corolla. I’m going camping, and I’m estimating the combined mass of people and cargo to be about 750–800 lbs.
We can pull it off in terms of volume, though it will be a bit clown-car-ish.

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6 Answers

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I would check the owner’s manual or get ahold of a copy which would then tell you what the GVW is or I could make something up and sound very authorative,liiiiike….—that year could only tow Bea Arthur,her weekend makeup kit and a pomeranian,along with one medium-sized Slurpee (diet,no straw)—
Have fun! :)

john65pennington's avatar

Use the internet to receive your answer. Type in make and model of your vehicle and make your calculation from the given information. Most early Corollas had a small engine. If your vehicle has many miles on it, consider the the fact that this vehicle probably has a lot of “tired steele” in it and load accordingly.

I personally would not haul more than 400 pounds,

mrrich724's avatar

My 94 Corolla packed in ALOT for a camping trip a few years ago. Your 2002, being more powerful and updated probably can to. I don’ tknow the actual weight, but if you give me a little more info (how many people, what tools, etc) I can tell you if you’ll make it. . . also, where will you be driving? It will have an easier time going over level terrain than over hilly or mountainous terrain.

You should also check the sticker on the side of the driver-side door to see tire load, and the appropriate tire pressure you should use for the different load sizes.

jerv's avatar

Highly variable.

I know that my ‘85 Corolla could handle it according to the manual, but it would barely be able to move as it has considerably less HP than your far newer Corolla. My 4A-LC has about ⅔ the HP and torque of your 1ZZ-FE. I have not loaded mine down with more than ~650 pounds, and that meant that hills were a hassle and braking took considerably longer, but it did do it. Considering that the 2002 is a considerably bigger, stronger car, I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to do it safely, though be warned that it will handle differently.

@john65pennington True, but I doubt his car is nearly as tired as mine; it’s only one-third the age :D
I did almost that with a 25-year-old carbureted 1.6L, so an 8-year-old 1.8L fuel-injected engine should fare better.

BarnacleBill's avatar

How hilly? How does the cost of potential car repairs compare to the cost of renting something bigger for the camping trip?

jerv's avatar

@BarnacleBill If it’s hillier than Southern NH then maybe a helicopter would be more appropriate!
Seriously though, if the car in any reasonable shape, I wouldn’t worry. If the hills are bad enough to give a loaded Corolla issues, then even a 4WD pickup might be a little dicey. Take it from someone who has driven Corollas with blown head gaskets, blown shocks, glazed front pads and rotors, and other ailments (usually only one at a time though) through mud bogs, up hills steep enough to make the front wheels start to lift, smacked the transmission pan on the pavement more times than I care to remember, ran it two quarts low on oil more than I should’ve (It leaked faster than I thought!), and (once) used it to haul a larger vehicle out of a ditch.

In short, if I could do all that with older, weaker Toyotas in questionable shape then @Nullo has nothing to fear.

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