A low car and a steep driveway or curb are a combination that can make you cringe! If you are scraping the bottom of your car every time you enter the driveway, there are solutions to save your vehicle. What’s the best solution to a driveway scraping problem?
The least expensive solution for a low car with a steep driveway is a driveway ramp or bridge. Rubber driveway ramps that can be attached to the street with concrete bolts are a good way to protect the bottom of the vehicle from scraping. Grinding the curb down is another option. For more expensive solutions, install an airlift system on the front of the vehicle, or repave the driveway.
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Driveway Scraping Solutions
Not only does scraping the bottom of the car repeatedly cause body damage, but it can also cause mechanical issues, as well. Scraping the bottom of your car on a driveway could damage the oil pan, the transmission house, and the differential housing.
Steep Driveway Ramp or Curb Bridge
There are a variety of ramp solutions for your curb. Rubber curb ramps are a popular choice. They are durable, strong, waterproof, and can be attached to the cement. On the other hand, they are expensive. Also, the rubber will degrade over time, especially if they are in the sun.
Fix several rubber curb ramps in a row to span the entire driveway. Measure your driveway rise ahead of time to make sure the curb ramp you choose isn’t too high or low.
Polyethylene curb ramps are another option. They are heavy-duty, but lightweight, making them easily portable. However, it might be a pain to place and replace the ramps every time you use the driveway. This is a less expensive option than the rubber curb ramps.
Lift the Front of the Car
Some luxury vehicles, such as Porsche, come with an air suspension lift kit that allows you to lift the front of the vehicle with a button. If your vehicle did not come equipped with this feature, you can install a front lift. These systems are expensive.
Repave the Driveway
If your driveway is really a problem, you may want to tear it out and reinstall it. This is an extensive project, but it is also a permanent solution to a steep driveway. Repaving the driveway will cost thousands of dollars, and require a construction permit.
Grind the Curb
Contact a concrete company to grind the curb down to create a smooth transition from the street to the driveway. This is less expensive and invasive than replacing the entire driveway.
How to Make your Own Curb Ramp
Constructing your own curb ramp or bridge is not difficult, and can help you save some money on those expensive rubber ramps. Additionally, you will be able to customize the size and slope of the ramp to your driveway.
Choose a Material
There are many materials available for your ramp construction. What are your goals for the ramp? Do you want it to be sturdy and low-maintenance? Or, do you need a portable ramp?
For a permanent ramp, go with a poured concrete ramp. Concrete is inexpensive, tough, and long-lasting. This is not the way to go if you need to move the ramp.
Steel is also a durable choice for a curb ramp. However, it is heavy, and you will not be able to trim it or customize it easily.
A wood ramp is also an option. Be careful, however! Wood is not as durable as steel or concrete. If you are planning to drive on it, make sure to reinforce the ramp. Wood also gets slippery when it is wet. Place non-slip tape strips on the wood to help with traction. A wood ramp is portable.
Calculate the Ramp Slope
The slope is the most important calculation when constructing your ramp. Ideally, the slope should be 1:8. This means that there is one inch of rise for every eight inches of ramp. Make sure you have enough room in the street to build out the ramp without impeding traffic.
Construct the Ramp
Once you have your materials and calculations, you can proceed with ramp construction. For concrete, fill your constructed mold with concrete, and smooth it up towards the bottom of the driveway.
Steel ramps often come preconstructed. Check the instructions for proper installation. For a wood ramp, build up the area underneath the ramp with gravel and sand for extra stability. Make sure to reinforce the ramp. A wood ramp does not need to be attached to the driveway, in order to make it portable.
Protect the bottom of your low car from scraping on your driveway with a ramp or bridge. These can be purchased or constructed. If your driveway is really a problem, consider tearing out the driveway and repaving it. Happy driving!