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Steep Driveway

I'm hoping that someone can resolve an argument that my husband and I are having. Our house has an exceptionally steep driveway -- so steep that we couldn't get our Toyota Avalon up it without bottoming out at the bottom. We recently traded in our Avalon for a Honda Fit. Because the Fit is so short, it does't bottom out at the bottom of the driveway and can make it all the way up so it can be parked in the garage. However, it's got a small engine, and it really struggles, even though we only drive it up in 1st gear. If there are more than two people in the car, the car actually stalls partway up. I think this can't possibly be good for the engine, and we should just give up and park in the street. My husband thinks it doesn't hurt the engine, and it's worth it to keep the car garaged. Any ideas / suggestions?


  • edited December 2010
    Stalling indicates to me that it is a situation that is beyond the specification for the car. It's bad for the whole drivetrain, not just the engine.
  • edited December 2010
    I'll bet that with some practice, you will be able to haul multiple people up the driveway without stalling. Of course, stopping once you reach the garage might be a problem...
  • edited December 2010
    So, what could be the impacts to the drivetrain?
  • edited December 2010
    Wow. What is the inclination on that driveway? 70 degrees? I don't think I've ever heard of a car not being able to make it up an engineered driveway before. Got a pic?
  • edited December 2010
    The car makes it up unless there are 3 people or more in the car. In a vehicle as small as the Fit, I guess an extra 100 pounds makes a big difference!

    I'll try to take a picture of the driveway later this week. It truly is the world's worst driveway.
  • edited December 2010
    Is the Fit a manual or an automatic?
    Don't be afraid to give the car more gas to get up the hill.

    If you are just letting the car idle its way up the hill, then yes, you are putting an unneeded amount of strain on the drive train of the car. Use the throttle in order to get up the hill in one shot.

  • edited December 2010
    It's a manual, and we're giving it all the gas it's got. It's literally pedal to the floor to get it up the driveway, which makes me nervous about what might happen when we get to the (flat) garage!
  • edited December 2010
    Unless your driveway is essentially a cliff, something is wrong. Cars can take steep mountain roads at nearly 2 miles up without having to be floored in first gear. Either something is wrong with your car, or your driveway needs to be re-engineered.
  • edited December 2010
    The driveway definitely should be re-engineered, but that's not going to happen while we're living in the house. The car does fine on steep mountain roads, although it doesn't like to go 70 mph up them.
  • edited December 2010
    Oh, Boy.
This discussion has been closed.