If someone were to ask you right now how much your car weighs, could you give them a quick and accurate answer? For a lot of people, the answer is no. But, you may be surprised to learn that it’s actually quite important to know how much your vehicle weighs.
For one thing, crossing certain roads and bridges safely involves knowing the weight of your car. Plus, in some states, you’ll need to report your vehicle’s weight to the state DMV when determining how much you’ll have to pay to register and title your car. And, if you do a lot of heavy hauling, it’s important to know the curb weight and gross vehicle weight rating in order to ensure that you don’t exceed your vehicle’s maximum carrying capacity.
Plus, there’s one situation where knowing the weight of your vehicle is especially important. That is, if you’re looking to sell your junk car. After all, the weight of your vehicle is how most scrap yards will determine the amount that they can offer you for your car.
Confused about what terms like “curb weight” and “gross vehicle weight rating?” Don’t worry. Understanding the weight of your car is easier than you might think. We’ve put together this simple and straightforward guide to help.
If you try to look up the weight of your vehicle, you generally won’t find a single number. Instead, you’ll find a handful of different numbers, each with its own accompanying term. Those terms might seem a little confusing, but they’re actually pretty simple once you understand what they mean. They include:
Curb weight: the weight of your vehicle without anyone or anything inside of it.
Payload: the weight of your vehicle, its contents, and anything that you might be towing behind your vehicle.
Gross vehicle weight: your vehicle’s curb weight, plus the weight of passengers and any other contents.
Gross vehicle weight rating: the amount of gross vehicle weight that your car is “rated” for. In other words, this is the most combined weight (curb weight, passengers, contents, and so on) that you vehicle can safely carry.
Gross combined weight: this is the weight of both your vehicle and anything you’re towing combined.
Gross axle weight: this is similar to gross vehicle weight, but divided between your vehicle’s axles.
Gross axle weight rating: this is similar to gross vehicle weight rating, except that it refers to the amount that each axle can safely carry.
So, how much does your actual vehicle weigh? It depends on the size and type of vehicle you drive. A small economy car may weigh as little as 2 or 3 tons, while a larger car could weigh more than 4 tons. A big SUV or large truck can weigh in at 5 tons or more.
If you’re looking for the weight of your vehicle, there are a few ways to find it. Inside the frame of your driver’s side door, there will usually be a sticker with your curb weight and GVWR. If you can’t find this sticker, your owner’s manual will sometimes have this information as well. Or, you can run an internet search with your vehicle’s year, make, and model.
The heavier your car is, the more it’s generally worth if you’re looking to sell it as a junk car. Rusty’s Auto Salvage pays major cash for junk cars based on their weight, and we update our prices daily according to changes in the scrap metal market. Visit our website to learn more.
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Matty - Casper, WY
I called several different places to get quotes on getting my recently broken-down car scrapped. Also, I was pressed for time because the car was sitting at the mechanic's shop (repairs were too expensive to be worth it) and they…
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