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  1. #1
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    Default New Terios 4x4 auto traction query

    Hi All.

    New to 4x4 and new to forums so please forgive if I'm posting incorrectly.

    I purchased a new Terios 4x4 auto in November and used it on rough roads for the first time last week. Prior to this I have only driven normal sedans.
    My Terios is as supplied -- i.e. no mods.

    My wife and I went to the Cederberg from Cape Town - about a 2hr drive on tar roads before hitting the gravel turn off to the Cederberg. I pumped tyres before leaving Cape Town ( 2 bars as recommended ). It was just the 2 of us in the car with some baggage in the back for a 4 day stay. Not heavily loaded.

    As we turned onto the gravel road ( which is very corrugated and has loose stones ) I was shocked as the back of the Terios seemed quite unstable.
    The sensation was the same as a flat tyre or worn shocks -- I had never had this sensation in my previous cars on the same road.

    What I need to know is : Is a different technique required to drive a vehicle like this ? Is the sensation caused by the high centre of gravity and short wheel base ? and maybe tyres that were too hard. We were doing between 30 - 40 kph on this road which I had always achieved in my other vehicles without any strange sensations.

    I would greatly appreciate any advice. I thought that having a Terios permanent all wheel drive would offer me great stability. I have searched the internet for similar problems, but as yet have not found anything.
    Just hoping there is not a serios fault with the vehicle.

    Thanks for any suggestions - Rob

  2. #2
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    Default

    I guess that tyre pressure is one factor,but even so it should not feel that unstable or loose as a 4wd.

  3. #3
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    You did not maybe have the diff lock engaged.This could also explain it

  4. #4
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    Thanks for replies Mr G.

    No, the difflock was not engaged. It may very well have had something to do with tyre pressure. I had started off at 2 bars all round, but after 2 hours of
    normal road driving to get to the gravel road ( on a very hot day ) the tyre
    pressure would have been much higher. I have heard that vehicles like the Terios are more sensitive to things like that than normal cars. I'm not sure if that is correct, though.

    I wish I could take another Terios to the same place and try it out. That would be a sure fire way of answering my own question, but unfortunately that is impossible !!

  5. #5
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    I agree with Mr G, remember altough its been called 4 wheel drive, it do most driving by the back wheels. Will suggest deflating of tires, 1.5 bar, plus engage difflock button.
    Pajero GLS Exceed 2014 LWB &
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  6. #6
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    Thanks Stevan.

    It already looks as though there is some consensus on tyre pressure.

    As I mentioned in my original post, I am totally new to this and I need the guidance that you guys can give me. It is so great to have a forum like this.

    With your experience, are suv's also more sensitive to road corrugation because of their height ? ( i.e. centre of gravity ).

    Also is it OK to run difflock at speeds of 40 km/hr ?

    I'm getting a better idea, but just need to clear up some facts.

    I used to drive an old Merc 230 E auto along the same road. It never swayed at the back, but I broke plenty of shock absorbers !!

  7. #7
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    I dont think on a corrugated road you should run diff lock,will bounce even more.EspeciaLLY at speed

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.G
    I dont think on a corrugated road you should run diff lock,will bounce even more.EspeciaLLY at speed
    Presume you are referring to the CDL Why would a vehicle bounce more because the difflock is on? And why specifically on this vehicle?

    This is contrary to general advise.
    Last edited by SimonB; 2012/01/18 at 05:03 PM.
    Carpe Diem Scrotum
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  9. #9
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    I was wondering about that Mr G.

    My main thoughts at the moment are : is this behavior normal for an SUV on corrugated roads with loose stones and will it behave differently to normal sedan cars ? I bought it because I thought that an all wheel drive vehicle would handle this type of road serface better than a normal car or am I totally wrong ?

    What type of ride can you expect on a road like this in an SUV like a Terios ?

    I have read such good reports about them and I have never read anything
    about instability on a gravel road. Again, I am not sure what to expect from the vehicle, so I don't know if there is something wrong or not.

  10. #10
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    SimonB thanks for your comments.

    I must just explain that I will probably never do any really heavy 4x4 ing like
    crawling over rocks and climbing mountains, etc. The only reason why I bought the Terios was for my wife and I to go away to a place like the Cederberg that happens to have quite a corrugated, loose stone grave road access. I was quite surprised that the Terios 4x4 auto wavered around so much. I kept on feeling that the back of the vehicle was going to skid sideways and this was not what I was expecting from a car like the Terios.
    I was going between 30 -40 km/hr which is what I used to do in all my old sedan cars.

  11. #11
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    My wife has a Terios 4x4 auto Short Wheel Base and i am actually quite impressed with its dirt road handling!

    No swaying or hopping around at all!

    Any way good luck , hope you can get to the bottom of this.

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    Hi robpar

    I drive a Jimny which is a similar light, short wheel base vehicle. Both those properties have a huge effect on the handling, especially coming from a long car like an E-class.

    I have found that tyres pressures makes a big difference - you need to get that right with trial and error. Hope some of the other Terios drivers can help you with that.
    Dewald

  13. #13
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    Ditto the 1.5 for tyre pressures on dirt roads - worked very well for me.
    '11 Rav4 2.0 GX

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    Thanks Red Hilux, DCR and die Org.

    The tyre pressures do seem to make a huge difference so I will try that.
    Only problem is that it will be a while before I go on dirt roads again.

    Red Hilux, it's interesting to hear about your wife's Terios. I wonder what tyre
    pressures you use on dirt roads.

    Remember the dirt road I was talking about is not just a dirt road. It is extremely corrugated with deep ruts in places and has loose stones like marbles all over the place.

    Thanks for all your comments so far, guys.

  15. #15
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    Default Terios

    Hi Robpar
    I would say that tyre pressure is the main issue here..In Aug last year I did the Westcoast from Springbok to Kleinzee and from there all the way down to Elandsbaai and from there to Clanwilliam to Wupperthal to Calvinia...most of these on dirt roads which varied in quality and condition...never did I experience any issues as described by you....obviously my vehicle was loaded but always performed stable and under control. Locking of the centre difflock was reserved only when required i.e. driving in deep sand, going through twisters etc. I was on 1,6 bar tyre pressure most of the time.

    Hope this helps

    cheers Paul
    8)

  16. #16
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    Hi Paul.

    Thanks so much,very interesting. It seems like tyre pressure is a big issue with short wheel base small SUV's. It's just a pity that they don't mention more about this in the handbooks provided with these vehicles as it is obviously very important. You didn't mention what vehicle you are driving, but I take it that it is a similar vehicle to mine.

    Many thanks for the input.

    Rob.

  17. #17
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by robpar View Post
    Hi All.

    New to 4x4 and new to forums so please forgive if I'm posting incorrectly.

    I purchased a new Terios 4x4 auto in November and used it on rough roads for the first time last week. Prior to this I have only driven normal sedans.
    My Terios is as supplied -- i.e. no mods.

    My wife and I went to the Cederberg from Cape Town - about a 2hr drive on tar roads before hitting the gravel turn off to the Cederberg. I pumped tyres before leaving Cape Town ( 2 bars as recommended ). It was just the 2 of us in the car with some baggage in the back for a 4 day stay. Not heavily loaded.

    As we turned onto the gravel road ( which is very corrugated and has loose stones ) I was shocked as the back of the Terios seemed quite unstable.
    The sensation was the same as a flat tyre or worn shocks -- I had never had this sensation in my previous cars on the same road.

    What I need to know is : Is a different technique required to drive a vehicle like this ? Is the sensation caused by the high centre of gravity and short wheel base ? and maybe tyres that were too hard. We were doing between 30 - 40 kph on this road which I had always achieved in my other vehicles without any strange sensations.

    I would greatly appreciate any advice. I thought that having a Terios permanent all wheel drive would offer me great stability. I have searched the internet for similar problems, but as yet have not found anything.
    Just hoping there is not a serios fault with the vehicle.

    Thanks for any suggestions - Rob
    Hi, Rob,

    You answered yourself. I highlighted it for you in red

    A SWB can seem very nervous on corrogated gravel. It gets axle tramp - the axle bouncing up and down out of sync with the corrogations of the road - which gives the sensation of the rear wheels being made of wax, driving on a hot plate! (It happens to all cars with live axles, but is more pronounced in SWB cars)

    The 2 Bar pressure seems very high. How much does the Terios weigh? My Vitara is 1100kg, and highway pressure is 1.6. At that pressure she wants to swop ends on corrogated gravel, so I deflate by 25% to 1.2. Much better. If corrogation is very bad, I go to 1.0 Bar. If I put in 4WD, the problem is "almost" gone (same as running your Terios with CDL engaged) It is good at any speed you may ever travel on dirt roads. Dont worry. (Keep in mind that by deflating 25-35% from normal, you will have to limit yourself to half the speed rating of your tyres to prevent exessive heat build up)

    Also, sometimes going a bit faster / slower also helps. This means the frequency at which the axle responds relative to the frequency of the road changes. Hopefully for the better! With my SWB Vitara it gets so bad that it actually becomes difficult to accelerate in 2wd on a bad road. If I give more throttle, she just wags the tail like a good puppy

    Opening another can of worms here, but if your previous cars were front wheel drive, you were spoiled. Front wheel drive cars, in my experience, handle dirt road much, much better than rear wheel drive.

    Do this test: Put a cigarette packet on the table. Now PUSH it to the other side of the table. Then PULL it across the table. When did it go all over the place, and when did it go straight??

    Experiment with tyre pressure, and go and enjoy a very, very nice "softroader". (My wife wants one, but I pretend not to hear her...) It will take you to wherever any road is indicated on a map, and a few other places!

  18. #18
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    Hi Gert.

    Thank you so much for a very comprehensive reply to my post. I appreciate all the trouble you took to go into so much detail. I'm feeling far more relaxed about the situation now !!

    I'm not sure how much the Terios weighs, but I'll check it out in the manual and compare it to yours.

    I enjoyed your comment at the end of your post !! All the best to you.

    Again thanks to everyone who has responded - I'm amazed by the response and helpfulness.

    Kind regards,

    Rob.

  19. #19
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    Tyre pressure is the key with SWB's . Experiment and you will find the right pressure.

    ďAfrica changes you forever, like nowhere on earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same." - Ernest Hemingway

  20. #20
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    Uhm, its due to the solid rear axle. You can play with tire pressures, tires and loading but that all will be micro managing the problem. The main reason for the rear being loose on uneven road is the solid rear axle. Its a huge unsprung mass.

    If you want good gravel road handling get a Forester. It has independant suspension all round, AWD, and good ground clearance.
    Hendrik
    2.5HP Triton

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