When Driving On The Beach: 9 Things To Keep In Mind

by Mohammed Burman | 28/05/2019
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Driving on the beach is very fun; however, being stuck in the sand is not. Therefore, you need to know the most useful tips for driving on the beaches. Read this article to find out.

Having holidays on the beach, especially during summertime is surely enjoyable. The fun will be doubled if you can drive a car along the shore, on the sand, under the sun and next to the sea wind. However, you have to be extra alert when controlling your car on the beach as the sand is not a good place to drive on compared to the asphalt road. One careless mistake can lead to a serious accident and there have been lots of reports claiming that many people who like to drive on beaches have committed severe mistakes and experienced such unfortunate incidents.

a group of friends driving on the beach

Driving to the beach and enjoy cool seawater in the summer is a great experience.

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Understand your Vehicle

The first and most important thing to keep in mind while driving on a beach is having a thorough knowledge about your car inside out. Just like when you drive on rough roads, driving on beaches require specific knowledge. As you may know, normal cars are not designed to be used on harsh surfaces; however, a 4X4 car can because most of them have AWD mode. Therefore, if your car has AWD, you can turn it on and give your vehicle a try on the beach. Or you can ask mechanics to do some changes to get your car to the beach at ease.

Park a little far from the shoreline

At a glance, the dry sand should be suitable for a car to park, but in fact, it is soft and the wet sand layer beneath it does not have a firm structure. As a consequence, the layers cannot withstand the weight of a car for too long; in the worst case, when tides are rising and waves are continuously coming to the shore, the layers will be softer and more easily to be broken, which leads to the fact that your car will be stuck for quite a long time if no one helps you pull it out of the muddy sand. Additionally, saltwater is well-known as a corrosive fluid, so parking your car too near the shoreline can make a chance for seawater to corrode it. And if your luck is not so good, water can enter into the car’s exhaust pipe, then you will have a headache for trying to think of ways to make the vehicle start.

A car next to the shoreline

Parking your car too near the water is not a good decision.

Have knowledge about the tides

Parking a little far away from the shoreline is not enough. The next things you must keep in mind are the tidal and wave activities, especially their timings. Tides can make the water near or far away from your car; when the tide is rising, the water will quickly approach your car and cause it to be stuck or corroded. One great tip for you to deal with this issue is that you should frequently keep your eyes on the shoreline to see how the seawater change and move your car if it is too close to the water.

Learn information about the beach

Different types of sand demand different methods to cope with.  Some beaches have solid sand which is an excellent base for even heavy vehicles to move on. In another scene, other beaches have looser sand which potentially can make cars stuck. Therefore, you must pay attention to the types of sand in different beaches before driving your car on them.

a car stuck in sand

Being sunk in the sand is not a comfortable experience.

Try your best to make your car as light as possible

It is a matter of fact that the heavier your car is, the more likely it will sink into the sand. The reason is that when the vehicle carries too much weight, it will add more pressure to the sandy surface; and if the pressure exceeds the surface’s limit, the sand starts to lose its firmness and cause the car to sink. Therefore, it is best to carry a few people in your car and get rid of heavy items to make the vehicle less heavy.

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Be well-prepared

It is always better to be well-prepared than struggling with bad consequences. You may have a good start when setting off on the journey to a beach, but unfortunate things can happen on the way and even when you are at the beach. You should bring a decent emergency tool kits and spare tires in case you get stuck in a secluded area. Additionally, whenever coming to a beach, make sure that you can call for a security agent in urgent cases. And one more tip for you is that group travelling will give you a lot of support.

car emergency tool kit

Bring a car emergency tool kit along in case any unfortunate incidents occur.​

Be smart, calm and patient

If your car gets stuck on the beach, keeping accelerating in rage won’t help but worsen the situation. Therefore, in such cases, having a cool head will grant you a lot of advantages. Breathe deeply and inspect your situation to find out a wise way to get your car out of the sand. In some cases, changing the car’s front wheels slowly can help you move your car away from the sinking hole. Or if you are lucky, you can call for help from other people around. With the support of many people helping pull or push your car, you and the vehicle will be out of trouble soon.

a car is being rescued

If you cannot get your car out of trouble yourself, call for help.

Be careful dealing with seawater

Splashing is fun; however, if your car stays too long with seawater, it won’t be fun at all. Cars' paints and materials can be extremely corroded when being exposed to seawater for a long period of time, which lead to high maintenance cost. Therefore, remember to wash your car with clean water after driving excitedly on the beach. Additionally, try not to get your vehicle into deep water area because the corrosion may be more severe and the exhaust pipes of your car can also be damaged.

4x4 driving on sand

Big wheels increase the contact surface with the ground, which helps you drive on the sand more easily.

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Lower the tires’ air pressure

Lowering the air pressure in tires is on among great tricks to decrease traction for a car to move on the sandy surface because this will increase the contact area of the tire with the ground. The idea amount to lower is 10-15 PSI, which increases the contact area enough for the car not to be stuck easily.

Read more tips and guides from IndianAuto

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