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Beware The Perils Of Driving Land Rovers On Sand

Land Rover engines can take many things, but getting sand or other debris in moving parts can do some serious damage and leave you needing repairs. It is one of the reasons that you need to be careful when taking your 4×4 out on stretches of sand.

This can happen in two ways; you can take it onto a beach, or you can go overseas and drive it in a desert. Either kinds of sandy terrain are usually manageable, but come with some dangers.

Land Rover’s advice for driving on sand outlines what to do – and not do – includes making sure you only drive on beaches between four metres from the sea and the high tide mark, as this should be firm enough to take the weight of a 4×4. Wet sand should be avoided as it can include quicksand.

The consequences of driving on soft sand have been seen recently in the widely-reported case of a Land Rover that was parked on a beach in St Ives, Cornwall. The Discovery had been taken down there to ferry equipment to and from a scheduled open-air event that was cancelled due to poor weather. But it went in too deep and got stuck.

Fortunately, the Land Rover was safely extracted after spending an unscheduled night on the beach. Others have been less fortunate; a Land Rover that got stuck in the sand at nearby Hayle ended up sinking and its skeletal remains reappeared in 2021.

Driving in the desert also comes with some things to avoid, such as taking on dunes, again because that risks the Land Rover sinking deep into the sand. The advice given by the maker also notes that when there is a sandstorm, the vehicle should be parked facing away from the wind, which will help stop sand from being blown into the engine.

Sandy conditions alone should not stop a Land Rover. But it is important both to know the limitations of the terrain you drive on and limit the risks of sand getting where it shouldn’t.

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