Reader help: What precautions do I need to take when driving my Discovery Sport on a beach?
Last time it was a BMW on a beach, now it’s a Land Rover Discovery Sport…
QUESTION: I have a new Land Rover Discovery Sport and I live in Noosa. I would love to drive along Noosa North Shore to Rainbow Beach or even Fraser Island but I am very anxious about the potential for rust damage. Are there any effective measures I could take to reduce the risk of rust, or should I just take the Bruce Highway via Gympie?
ANSWER: Hi there. Yes, two measures:
- Never, ever drive in salt water. Yes, the knobs on Top Gear Australia (the TV show – Ed) did just that in the first episode, and various 4X4 manufacturers have shown similar utter stupidity since. Saltwater is massively corrosive and also effectively shorts electrics.
- Once you’ve finished your beach drive, thoroughly wash your car including, and especially, underneath. I like to leave a sprinkler under mine.
That’s it! Just remember to take a spade or two, plus operator, maybe four Maxtrax or Tred, let the tyre pressures down to around 20psi, set your Discovery Sport to sand mode, turn DSC off, and away you go. Keep your headlights on and keep left, as you would on a road. Also take a quality air compressor to reinflate the tyres once you finish, easily found at any dedicated 4X4 accessory shop.
UPDATE: a helpful comment from a reader:
“If you are doing the Noosa North Shore beach to Double Island Point also remember to plan your journey for 2-3 hours either side of low tide. It can be impassible in places at high tide. This also applies for the beaches on Fraser Island [ and generally for many beaches ]. There is an underbody car wash at Rainbow Beach and another on Beach Rd at Noosa North Shore when your time in the sand and salt spray is over.“