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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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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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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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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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 :-D. If properly prepaired, the lighter AWD Element should do much better.
 

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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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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. 8)
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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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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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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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After being hit with another snow storm, and getting a chance to test out the new "unit", I was extremely pleased. She handled great!
 

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My element had no trouble going onto the beach. I live on nantucket Island were you can buy a beach permit to drive onto the beach. The sand is pretty deep in places and the E did well. The only things that it lacks is ground clearance. It is going to be a funv summer. I will post a picture as soon as the weather turns. All though this is a small Island of the coast of Cape Cod there are already 5 elements.
 

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I've visited Nantucket several years ago on vacation in the area - great place to visit! Sounds like you have the highest concentration of Elements per square mile than any other place! I have only seen 4 on the road around here since January!
 

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[quote:3adf329478="ACK-E"]My element had no trouble going onto the beach. I live on nantucket Island were you can buy a beach permit to drive onto the beach. The sand is pretty deep in places and the E did well. The only things that it lacks is ground clearance. It is going to be a funv summer. I will post a picture as soon as the weather turns. All though this is a small Island of the coast of Cape Cod there are already 5 elements.[/quote:3adf329478]

I hope you can make it to the new englant meet next weekend ACK-E!
 

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Has anyone taken their element on the beach yet?
One of my favorite destinations is the Outer Banks, NC where you can drive for miles on the beach. Can't wait to see how my Element does. Anyone?
 

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Outer Banks is like Daytona, if I'm not mistaken. Hard packed sand where all types of vehicles travel. If this is the case, the E will do fine. However, if the sand is loose you will need to deflate your tires by about 15-20psi. I have seen owner's pictures of the E on the beach, so it must do fairly well.

How do you like Baltimore? My wife and I are moving there this summer, but have never been to the city. Can you recommend a hip section of the city to look for a house? We're looking for an area without chain stores, but with a healthy nightlife, and a good variety of food/wine/art...etc.
 

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I drove my 4wd on the sand with no problem what-so-ever! It wasn't really deep or anything however. Very fun!! 8)
 

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We live on an island and one of the hoped for uses is to drive on the beach. Our sand is on the soft side. Will the Element work in such conditions? Foley
 

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I just came back from the Outer Banks. My Element did not come in until after I got back from vacation but while I was there I made some mental notes on areas that the Element could safely go offroad without the embarrassment of asking some local fisherman to pull me out of the sand.
I have done extensive offroading there in the past with my Isuzu Trooper because I enjoy surf fishing. On this last trip as I was walking the beach I checked out ramps that led to the beach as well as areas that the sand didn't appear very deep at all. The point of course is the place one can get into real trouble. I used to have my chassis dragging even in the Trooper in some places. You have to use common sense where you go because as we all know the Element is not really meant for serious off-roading. But you definitely can get your wheels in the sand if you know where to go and stay out of trouble. I have found some decent spots and can't wait to give it a try maybe in the fall.

LittleDogBox
Arlington, Va.
 

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Over Memorial Day Weekend I took our new Element out onto the beach at Marthas Vineyard. The sand is pretty deep and the undercarriage did drag quite a bit. In the end we had to have the park range drag us out of a really soft area. A few comments/suggestions:

1. You really do need to get the air pressure down in the tires. I started out at 15 psi but in the end took the air pressure down to 12 psi to get better "floatation" on the sand.

2. The ground clearance on the Element is a problem. Any advice or kits available that would raise the Element one or two inches?

3. Any experience with larger tires on the Element? Is there room in the wheel wells for larger tires?

The engine seemed plenty strong to power the Element through the sand. I just don't think it is good practice to have the undercarriage in the sand all of the time you are on the beach.

Thanks for any help, SHFuller.
 
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