Gravel road driving in Colorado

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by LisaHaas, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. LisaHaas

    LisaHaas New Member

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    I would like to know any thoughts on driving on gravel roads. I feel like I'm beating the heck out of my 2016 Prius. I have about 20 miles of my drive each day on gravel roads in the mountains. There's no problem getting up and down, but I want my car to last a long time. Sometimes the roads get "wash boarding effect" I drive about 20-25 mph, sometimes slower. Is this killing my car over time? Am I shaking everything loose under the hood? Thanks for any thoughts.
     
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  2. RCO

    RCO Senior Member

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    Good question and I'm no expert on this, being new to the Prius, but I'd think with the reputation built up over the years and applauded loudly on the pages,a Toyota is probably better than most for surviving. Just you wait, there'll be many more answers coming your way soon enough.

    That said, my welcome to Prius Chat comes from UK, about 7 hours ahead of you. (y)
     
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  3. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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    I live in Colorado and drive mostly on pavement but occasionally on dirt to trailheads. I've got 80,000 miles on my 8 year old gen 3 and it still rides and handles well. In contrast, our 9 year old Nissan Murano (with fewer miles than the Prius) had failure of all 4 shocks and continues to handle poorly after replacement. You might eventually tear up the plastic under-cladding from rocks/pebbles being kicked up. It is not a huge deal to replace it. Some people don't replace it if it comes off, but with your driving on dirt so much, I'd check once in a while to make sure that the cladding is in place and not damaged.
     
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  4. KennyGS

    KennyGS Senior Member

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    Obviously, any mechanical assembly that's exposed to heavy vibration and higher than normal force cycling will likely result in premature failure. I have to believe that the engineers at Toyota did their due diligence in testing their designs for reliability, but in the end only so much can be expected. I would guess that your suspension components may be the first area to watch, although any part of the car may see earlier than normal issues.
     
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  5. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Senior Member

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    Likely that the suspension and under-body will suffer some as opposed to driving on concrete.
    BUT........
    What's your alternative ?

    If there is no alternative, then be careful and don't worry about it.

    Every time you have the tires rotated ask them to inspect all of the under car components too.
     
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  6. jtv

    jtv /* No comment */

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    I would recommend installing mudflaps to protect the rocker panels from flying stones/pebbles.
     
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  7. goldfinger

    goldfinger Active Member

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  8. tucatz

    tucatz Active Member

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    Does your dashboard rattle?
     
  9. tucatz

    tucatz Active Member

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    I abused my 2010 gen 3 driving on gravel roads, and never had any problems. Flashback- shortly after buying the car in 2009 I drove it up a (bad) frontage road on the King River in Sequoia Narional Park with 4 passengers and camping gear. The car kept bottoming out. At times I had everyone out of the car to walk along the road. Prius made it on this trip just fine and I drove it another 100,000 miles no issues at all.
     
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  10. RCO

    RCO Senior Member

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    But OP has a Gen 4 and yours was a Gen 3.
     
  11. Yippeekyaa

    Yippeekyaa Active Member

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    IMG_7039.JPG

    Aftermath of a Colorado gravel road last week. Oddly enough the rain and snow in Rocky Mountain national park cleaned 80% of it off two hours later.
     
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  12. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Do you still have your 2011? It may be time to update your Profile.
     
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  13. Yippeekyaa

    Yippeekyaa Active Member

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    Still have it yes.
     
  14. pilotgrrl

    pilotgrrl Senior Member

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    Now, where's that picture of the Monster Truck Prius when you need it?
     
  15. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  16. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    Gravel roads are no problem. Rock roads no problem. Roads that cross rivers, also doable. You could say we've taken the Prius to places Toyota would have never imagined. And it has performed flawlessly. Nice narrow wheelbase compared to most 4x4's like SUVs means you don't need all the ground clearance because you aren't driving in a rut with a high center. You can drive off-center and escape most obstacles.
     
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  17. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Just for you :D
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Or maybe this,
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    I prefer the Mr. Fusion Upgrade. Gravel roads aren't a problem then

    back-2-future.jpg
     
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  20. Yippeekyaa

    Yippeekyaa Active Member

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    IMG_7356.JPG IMG_7357.JPG

    Well, I did do this today with my Prius. Had to unhook the small trailer in the second photo to pull the stump to the burn pile too.
     
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