Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

How to park on steep drive way?

Hi I recently moved into a new house and the driveway is somewhat steep every time I park my toyota tundra backwards up the driveway the tires always spin but when I park my 2006 nissan pathfidner it goes up perfectly so what are some tips and how should I prevent the tiresfrom slipping?

2WD pickups have the worst traction of any type of vehicle when they are unladen, due to their very uneven (heavy front/light rear) weight distribution. If this Tundra pickup is 2WD, the only ways to get better traction in that situation are to either:

Pull in “frontwards”, rather than backing it in.
Place a few hundred lbs of ballast over the rear axle.

In the interest of fuel economy, I would suggest that you simply drive it in “frontwards”.

So how come the pathfinder goes up real easy? And the thing that I have norticed is that most of the time only one tire spins it’ll rather be the left or the right why does it do that?

If the Pathfinder is 4WD or AWD, that is one answer to your question. And, even if it is not 4WD/AWD, the Pathfinder does have better weight distribution than an unladen 2WD pickup truck.

What kind of surface does the driveway have?

It’s a new cement driveway because the house is new constiction

When your Tundra’s tires spin, does this happen in particular weather conditions or does it happen all the time?

All the time but when it rains I don’t even try.

In that case, I think the problem is that you are backing it in.

With a pick-up truck, most of the weight is in the front. With RWD, backing it in means there is no weight on the drive wheels. You should see if pulling it into the driveway with the nose in puts more weight on the drive wheels. It may help.

The center of gravity shifts with the incline as everyone noted. RWD vehicles w/o weight are poor backer uppers on inclines. We live in very hilly area and even the 4 Runner works the traction control in 2wd. I agree with VDCdriver that 2wd trucks are really poor, not only backing up but handling in general. I feel it’s always worth the loss of a little fuel economy to carry extra weight in the back year round. I know it’s inconvenient, but it makes for a safer vehicle overall.

4wd trucks in 2wd are the absolute worse offenders.

How badly is the house constricted?
Are the hallways really narrow?


You did not mention tire pressure or traction rating of the tires or even the brand. Check the tire pressure. With no load, the bigger tires like 245/75 16 can surely be ran with 28 PSI if there is no load. Compare the tire pressure of the two trucks. I would like to know the tire sizes on the different vehicles. Oops, never mind, the Pathfinder is an SUV. Mystery solved. Of course the pickup will have less traction.

The reasons for this have been pretty well covered. You asked why only one tire spins- it is because you likely have an open differential. With this type of differential, if one tire loses traction, it can spin freely. The next step up would be a Limited Slip Differential which would minimize this effect but not eliminate it.

When tires are put on the truck by the manufacturer, they are a balance between traction and longevity with the balance slightly favoring longevity. This means the tire compound is harder than a tire that is primarily used for extra traction. You could buy tires with a softer compound but it will be at the expense of longevity. That being said, tires can make a world of difference on pickups. I had a truck once that could barely get around in rain without spinning the rear tires. I swapped them out for a more compliant set and the difference was amazing. I could plow in 2 wheel drive after that. If your only trouble is backing into the driveway, it may not make much sense to change tires but if the problem affects other aspects of the truck’s usage, then it is an option.