Kerbweights ?

Mar 14, 2005
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Having responded to two topics where the all to frequently 'is my Fiat Cinquecento OK to tow a Swift Conqueror?' type question has arisen couldn't PC come up with a data base of contributor's actual know kerbweights? The popular website ( I can't remember it's name at present ) that many poster's refer to has been way adrift on cars that I have had personal experience with and the figures that are quoted in the back of the magazine are too general. For instance my 2002 VW Passat estate 130tdi SE is 1425kg according to the hand book. It was actually 1545kg when taken to a public weighbridge.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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The website you're referring to is probably www.cuddles.abelgratis.net/kerbweights.htm As it gets it's information out of material published by the manufacturers, it's about as good as any other database. The fact that your car is 120kg heavier than the handbook is nothing unusual, as I've pointed out in another post. The manufacturers' figures usually apply to the base model excluding any accessories and options. The towbar alone can account for up to about 40kg and this weight will not be included in the handbook.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Yes that is the site and as I said it hasn't been particularly good in respect of the cars that I have had personal experience with. 'The fact that your car is 120kg heavier than the handbook is nothing unusual' is exactly my point. That website and the manufacturer's base figures tend to mislead and put off the uninformed, obsessed with the 85% guidance. An owner contributed database could be more accurate and therefore of more use. By the way my approved towbar replaced a section of bumper reinforcement and therefore probably made very little difference, to the kerbweight, if any.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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An owner-contributed database will, I feel, be even more confusing. Unless everyone lists exactly what options and accessories they have fitted, there will be no end of discussion why their particular car is 50kg heavier or lighter than somebody else's of a similar type. As likely as not, they will forget to mention whether they have a relatively heavy demountable forged swan-neck towbar or a lighter fixed one or they haven't checked that the fuel tank was 90% full (per legal definition of kerbweight). Furthermore, probably no 2 cars will have the same specification. Also, the larger the car, the bigger the weight range. For the Galaxy, for example, Ford quote a kerbweight range of over 300kg between the lightest and the heaviest version (even when comparing vehicles with the same engine specification). To add to the complication, production build tolerances alone can account for up to 15kg difference between 2 vehicles of identical specification. If anyone is really that particular, there is no way round a trip to a public weighbridge. For most purposes though, 100kg either way is not going make or break towing characteristics or performance, especially as towing with the car at kerbweight is, in most cases, not a very representative condition. Because of their legal significance, the only figures that are really important are GVW, max. permissible front and rear axle loads, gross train weight and noseweight.
 

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