Taking my car off road?

Hey guys, just a quick question about SUVs with struts instead of suspension. I have an '04 Honda Element 4WD. I love my little toaster, but I have a question. Mountain biking is my passion and I do it just about every day. One problem: to get to the majority of the trails I ride requires off road driving, which means I take it off road every day. More specifically, these are forest roads, so they aren't maintained. I usually take it about 20 mph on the smoother, slightly bumpy, but pavement-like stuff. But some sections get some pretty big bumps and rocks and washboard. I drive about 10-15 over this stuff. I have been taking my car off road for about a year and a half regularly under these conditions, and the only problems I've come across are various rattles in the cabin. So here's my question: If I keep this up, is it terribly awful for my car? It's a sports utility vehicle, so it's made for little bits of off road use, but is this taking it too far? I don't want to ruin my car. Hope this question wasn't too confusing, but thanks for the help in advance.

Update:

For the two of you that actually answered my question, really appreciate it! Lots of help, thank you.

5 Answers

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  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    You'll end up replacing the struts sooner than usual, but other than that, no problem. You DON'T need a 4X4 for what YOU do.

    (off roader since the 60's) been there, DONE that.

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  • Evil C
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    For offroading, it is best to use a vehicle that is 4X4. Jeeps are extremely popular for this. Second, struts are a type of suspension. The term suspension means how the body and frame are supported on the axles. Doing a lot of offroading in a vehicle with Macphearson strut suspension will take its toll. Rattling and clunking can occur due to bushings wearing, mounts collapsing, sway bars breaking, basically a bunch of stuff. The right vehicle for the right activity is how its done.

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  • Dan
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    It's been doing that for a year, if it hasn't died yet ,you're OK. Take a week off and it wonders what it did wrong to deserve the punishment.

    BTW Struts are suspension.

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  • riesgo
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    So long as the car is saved in a garage or power way it should be adequate, recollect when you need to use it it will take several days to get it taxed and insured before that you could pressure it.

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  • 7 years ago

    How about this "petal-pusher", the struts ARE part of the suspension system. Without the struts the little tin can goes no-where.

    You need a four wheel drive, half ton truck with low and high range full time four wheel drive. Chevrolet trucks are the only one which come standard with FULL TIME four wheel drive. You need some ground clearance.

    Source(s): Alignment, suspension and brake shop.
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