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Scion won't climb!

I live in fl and most of the time my Scion is just fine, however, I have a cabin in the North Ga. mountains and boy did I get a shock this summer. That little baby would not go up that mountain road. So, now what do I do? IF money were no object I would just trade it for a heavier, bigger car, but that is not financially possible. SO, would it work for me to pack the mid sction and the front seat with very heavy things? I go up there by myself often, and after a 600 mile drive I don’t feel like getting scared half to death as it just won’t climb!!

What kind of mountain road are you talking about? Is it a paved road or a dirt road? Is the road maintained? You haven’t even told us which model Scion you have.

The Scion is a small, FWD automobile. It is not meant for off-road use. What makes you think loading the vehicle down with extra weight will make it “climb” better?

What type vehicle did you use for this trip before you bought the Scion?

What kind of problems are you having that it won’t climb the mountain. My son and I climbed Mt Washington this year and there were a couple of Scion’s there that took the motor road to the top.

It’s a 2006 Scion XB. I have been going up this road for 30 years and NEVER had any trouble; with a Toyota Corolla, a Honda Civic, a Honda Accord, and a Subaru. It’s a dirt road that is rocked regularly. I was not off-road. Several people have told me since it’s front wheel drive, and since my wheels were spinning that I needed more weight in the front. I had the rear of the car heavily packed. Will it help?

so when you say “won’t go up the hill” you mean the front wheels spin? Does it do this every time you go up the hill? You seem to imply it only happened once.

I’ve had to take my company xB up some pretty hairy mountain roads out here in Montana. Okay, one time I got it stuck and had to walk 13 miles out, but that was because of snow. Steepness alone shouldn’t be an issue-- you should be able to climb anything in low gear. The issue is probably traction-- the tires that came with the thing were awful on anything but dry pavement. We swapped them out for slightly taller ones with a more agressive tread pattern, which work great for grip and also give us a little extra ground clearance. When you attempt to climb with it, does the traction control come on? The TC cuts out the throttle if the wheels slip, but sometimes you need to let them slip to power out of things-- I’ve been in situations where I was stuck with the TC on, but was able to rock out with it off.

Well, your Civic and Corolla were FWD also. More weight toward the front might help, but you may also want to get different tires.

Every time I try to go up, it happens!!! It is very scarry! I literally could not get up the hill, and believe me, it’s quite a walk!!!

Will the bigger tires affect my gas mileage?

Having the car heavily packed is actually taking weight OFF the front tires. Not sure what to tell you. The only thing I can think of is different tires…Maybe skinnier tires which will add more weight per square inche.

Well, we didn’t go hugely bigger or anything-- I think it’s just because the tires the boss wanted didn’t come in the OE size for the Scion. The speedo reads about 5% high now, and I haven’t noticed a major difference in mileage. The better tread design is what’s important though. The Goodyears that came with the thing are pretty low-end economy tires that worked okay on pavement, but defintely were not what you would call an “all season” tire.

Have someone else try driving the hill. You could be in the wrong gear, or applying too much gas. Or the tires could be bad.

The Scion is probably that square one that looks like a hearse. It wasn’t designed for that type of road unless it is level. There is just not enough weight on the front axle. It’s too low too. The other one has too big a rear end too. You need AWD.

What brand and type tires do you have on there now?

Does this car have standard transmission? Are you downshifting?

Is the bottom of the car scraping the roadway?

Does this car have traction control?
I’ve heard stories about how traction control does such a good at limiting wheelspin that the car won’t move on slippery surfaces, such as mud, snow, ice, or wet grass.

Rather than thinking in terms of bigger tires, I believe that you just need different tires than came with the car. Greasy Jack mentioned that the standard tires on the Scion have poor traction and these would not be the only factory standard tires like that. I suggest that you go to the Tire Rack website and look at the qualities of the various tires that they stock for your make and model.

One tire that you should definitely avoid is the Bridgestone Potenza RE-92. These came on my car when it was new, and even with AWD and traction control, I had virtually no traction on anything other than a dry road.

Agreed. Tires can make a huge difference. My tC came with RE-92s, and while I made it through the winter fine I would not have wanted to try a steep incline. The Cooper Zeons I have now are far, far better in poor traction, and we’ve had plenty of that this winter here in NH>

we’ve had plenty of that this winter here in NH

And we’re expecting to break the snow fall record before March 1st TONIGHT. And on track to break the ALL-TIME snow fall record for NH. Still far less then the snow amounts I grew up with in Upstate NY.

I have 2005 xb you can get more zip with a different type air in can a super chip for computer. You might try and put higher octane gas in just before the hills. if it automatic I can see this. my scion is a real screamer . for 1.5 . if you put a aim air tube on you must install a air by pass also incas you suck water into filter.if not good by engine. go for whole deal change exhaust to racing type.there is a duel exhaust pipes that looks and sounds great. and with two crome ext out the back people ask do you have a v6. NO A BIG BLOCK 454 CHEVY.
THINKING OF BIG BLOCKS GO TO UTUBE search for v8 mini cooper there a yellow mini with a 505 big block in it . in the front engine compartment.

What a great suggestion!

The OP mentioned a problem with wheel-spin, and you suggest that the solution is more power, rather than gaining traction through better tires. Does this make any sense?