Towing capacity question - Chevy HHR Network

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Old 03-05-2008, 08:33 AM   #1
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Towing capacity question

Read this editorial and respond:

Do any owners other then those in the US know what the towing capacity restrictions are from your owners manuals? (to be sure, I am not certain where the HHR is sold).
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Old 03-05-2008, 08:37 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by jdmcomp View Post
Read this editorial and respond:

Do any owners other then those in the US know what the towing capacity restrictions are from your owners manuals? (to be sure, I am not certain where the HHR is sold).
For the auto, it's 1000 lbs. Manual is not recommended for towing.
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:59 AM   #3
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Solman, you missed the point of the posting. We know what HHRs sold in the US are rated for, the question is the rating for HHRs sold outside the US borders. It may be that only Canada can reply as I do not know where GM sells the HHR. Chrysler quickly sold PTs in Europe and they did well there. Anyone?
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:20 PM   #4
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Why we differ from other contries as far as wuoted towing capacities? My guess is because we live in a society that is more apt to sue someone than to use common sense to regulate what they do, hence the conservative or no tow rating.
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:04 PM   #5
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HHRs have the same tow rating in Canada & the US.

I read how the rating gets established the other day. Let me find the link and I'll post it later. It's all about torque, and the automatic has more (through the torque converter) at startup than the standard, so it gets the 1000 lbs tow rating and the standard gets 0.

There ya go:

Now I'm sure that there's a hefty safety margin in those numbers, and a good deal of CYA from the actions of stupid people.


Last edited by DreamHHR; 03-05-2008 at 01:08 PM. Reason: Added link
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:07 PM   #6
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The Vectra in the UK is rated to tow 3300lbs (slightly more than its own kerb weight) with the 2.2 engine. Another Delta platform car, the Opel/Vauxhall/Holden Astra Wagon with a 1.8L, and the same transmission as the HHR, has a tow rating of 1,400lbs. (630kg.) for trailers without brakes and 2,700lbs. (1250kg.) for trailers with brakes.
Given the very short first gear in the HHR, I doubt that off-the line torque would be an issue.
Odder still is that the towing limit on my Camaro is also 1000lbs, but it has 350hp, a very stout transmission, and large vented discs all round. A similarly equipped Holden will pull 3500lbs.

Last edited by pg318; 03-05-2008 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 04-27-2008, 12:37 AM   #7
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We were just on vacation and had towed our Can-Am Spyder down with us. The Spyder weighs 700 pounds, the trailer is probably 300 tops plus us and our stuff which was probably 400 tops. So that's 1200-1400 pounds on the high end and the car performed famously and that included climbing mountains. We averaged 16-20 MPG too!

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Old 04-28-2008, 12:10 AM   #8
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My question would be, could my HHR pull a teardrop trailer?
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:30 AM   #9
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Towing Capacity HHR

I have a 2008 HHR and after reading the factory manual I felt I knew no more than when I started. They state the towing capacity is 1000 lbs, but then it goes on to how to calculate the gross vehicle weight. The problem is they did not bother to provide what that number might be. The pages in the manual are generic.

So I decided to call the dealer and all they could tell me was read my owners manual. Gee, thanks. At this point I decided to call GM directly and find out if 1000 lbs was truly accurate. I thought that that seemed too low because even the lightest pop-up camping trailer (which many manufacturers claim can be towed by small car) weigh typically 1250 lbs or more.

Here is what GM told me. My 2008 HHR with the standard non-turbo engine and automatic transmission can tow up to 3030 lbs. In addition, the HHR has a payload weight capacity of 1002 lbs. They were unable to provide me with tongue weight, but the payload capacity gives you a good idea what might be possible.

I think that if your loaded trailer weighs around 2000 lbs there should be plenty of HP to pull the load. My concern is the transmission. I think there are other factors to also consider, such as "Is the trailer height; low or high?" A pop-up trailer does not have much wind resistance, therefore stress and strain is much less.

Bottomline in my mind is cooling. If the cooling system can keep up and maintain the motor temperature where needs to be there is no issue. The transmission is the big concern, heat is a killer. I think that an additional trans cooler and probably a temp gauge is a must for any towing. They de-tuned the turbo version because the transmission is a weak link.

Other considerations to reduce stress and strain on the vehicle I would suggest are: 1. load leveling/torsion bars. This shifts the weight off of your vehicle and distributes more it to the trailer. 2. Possibly, anti-sway bars 3. electric brakes on the trailer. One issue is that you will have to install a class 2 hitch with a 2" receiver. It seems they only make loading leveling devices that fit a 2" receiver. I found a couple of companies on-line make such a hitch. I need to find out if I can get one to fit the HHR. My research continues.
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:55 PM   #10
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From what I was able to gather, when I researching the hitch for my HHR, the limiting issue was not the Power/Torque of the engine as much as it was the physical mounting of the hitch. The typical HHR hitch is only bolted to the rear unibody channel. In other words you are talking about just a couple of bolts per side, bolted through sheet metal.

To tow more weight safely you might need to reinforce the mounting points or come up with a mount that used more/better mounting points.

Last edited by HHorange; 01-11-2009 at 08:56 PM. Reason: poor proof reading......OOPS
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