How does the Element handle Snow/Sand w/4WD? - Honda Element Owners Club Forum
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Old 02-19-2003, 10:18 AM   #1
bones
EOC Rank: Hydrogen
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 14
I ordered my Element from my dealer but it will not be in until March. I live in the Northeast and we just got hammered with a blizzard. I currently drive a Subaru and it is great in the snow. Can anybody relay to me how the Element handled the recent snow? I have purchased the EX 4WD version, and I hope that it doesn't disappoint.

Also, I am travelling this summer to a beach location where there are no roads and 4WD is a necessity. Does anybody have experience driving the Element on sandy beaches?

Thanks to all who reply.
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Old 02-19-2003, 12:53 PM   #2
RML
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: NY
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bones,

Well, in the snow it was fine. The Element is not really ment for off road. While the snow was not an issue for us, you might have a problem with driving in sand.
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Old 02-19-2003, 04:24 PM   #3
bones
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RML,

Thanks for the input. I have literature from Honda and I've seen pictures in many reviews on the Element that show it "frolicking" on the beach.

I realize that it is not meant for serious off roading, but I hope that it does OK on the beach because I'll be in deep trouble. Hopefully somebody has direct experience with driving on sand and can help me out with their own review.
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Old 02-19-2003, 06:12 PM   #4
keymonkey
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Any time you encounter loose sand, like a beach, or dune, you will need to deflate your tires. I don't know the exact PSI but if memory serves, it's around 20 PSI. You need enough to keep the tire bead on the rim, but you want the tread to spread out. The PSI will vary by rim size and tire, so you may want to do a little research on an off-road site before you attempt beach/dune driving. If it's any consolation I once deflated the tires on a 78 Plymouth Fury wagon, and went dune driving without much trouble . If properly prepaired, the lighter AWD Element should do much better.
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Old 02-21-2003, 10:44 AM   #5
burnt-O
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Ohio
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Just wanted to share with you how my E came through for me- We had alot of snow here in the NE this past weekend and when I went to work Tues, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to make it up my driveway (over 2ft of snow & ice) because my husband had some trouble in his Dodge Ram in 4WD. Also our neighbors have been parking at the bottom of their driveways. I am proud to report that I made it up! A little slippin & slidin, but I made it! Go E!
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Old 02-24-2003, 07:23 PM   #6
Jake
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I am also a beach person but have not tried it yet. I will be going to Fl soon and will use it there. This is my first non-dedicated 4X4, you can even get those stuck if you try. The tires the EX came with are a little slim but on most beaches I don't think there will be a problem. As stated above, if you start getting stuck you can lower tire pressure, I have gone to 10psi. You will need to hose the bottom carefully as there are a lot of nooks and crannys under there.
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Old 02-28-2003, 12:03 PM   #7
Jake
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Add on. I now have used the AWD in snow. It is certainly not the same as a full time, locking center differential 4X4 but is significantly better than 2WD. Took the snow fairly well with nice control.
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Old 03-02-2003, 09:28 AM   #8
bones
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Jake,

Let me know how it handles in Fla. on the beach. I'm going to the Outer Banks of NC in July, and the house that I'm staying in is on part of the beach where there is no road.

Also, I've heard that if you deflate your tires, you need special tools to re-inflate them or they won't go back on right? Does anybody know about this?
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Old 03-02-2003, 04:36 PM   #9
ALMONDOG
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you dont let all the air out or else the tire will break the bead from the rim. you lower the air pressure. im not sure what pressure to go to probably around 10 ,15lbs. any help out there?
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Old 03-03-2003, 10:40 AM   #10
Jake
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Soon as I hit the beach I will let you all know. As far as letting air out look at the tire as you let it out. You want to increase the footprint. On my old off road tires I would go to 10psi in really bad stuff. Not sure if these tires can handle 10 so just watch it as you blead air off. ONE IMPORTANT NOTE: With low pressure your car will handle very poorly on the road. As soon as you leave the beach put air back in and drive slowly until you do get air in. By slow I mean around 30 or so, less if you can manage it. Also, I don't let any air out unless I am having a hard time, then I let out what is necessary. A low tire will flex a lot more than a full one and can generate more heat. Have fun. Jake
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