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  1. Default Below sea level driving to the Mountains

    I live in New Orleans, which as the entire world knows by now, is below sea level. My wife and I are venturing on a trip this summer that will take us to Yellowstone, Glacier, Banff, Vancouver, then down the Pacific coast, to SanFransisco, Yosemite, to Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, and then find I10 back home. I've seen the altitude of some of the roads we will be travelling and I began to wonder...Is a vehicle (2006 Chevrolet HHR 2LT) sold in Louisiana prepared for driving in the mountains?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Set to 3500 feet

    Quote Originally Posted by Badduke
    I live in New Orleans, which as the entire world knows by now, is below sea level. My wife and I are venturing on a trip this summer that will take us to Yellowstone, Glacier, Banff, Vancouver, then down the Pacific coast, to SanFransisco, Yosemite, to Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, and then find I10 back home. I've seen the altitude of some of the roads we will be travelling and I began to wonder...Is a vehicle (2006 Chevrolet HHR 2LT) sold in Louisiana prepared for driving in the mountains?
    I am not positive about the current specs, but I think all new cars are set for sea level to 3500 feet. Above that you will find that most cars are affected by elevation, but they are "smart enough" to adjust and I don't think you will have that much problem.

    Mark

  3. #3
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default from below to far above, and everything inbetween

    Quote Originally Posted by Badduke
    Is a vehicle (2006 Chevrolet HHR 2LT) sold in Louisiana prepared for driving in the mountains?
    Passenger vehicles sold in the US are equipped for high and low altitude driving. The on-board computers are programmed to make adjustments to air-intake and fuel consumption. Your vehicle should have no problem with the altitude, even though you might... if you aren't used to being in the upper portions of the atmosphere, don't be alarmed if you need to catch your breath every so often.

    I've driven a couple of the higher roads in the west then went immediately to "Sea-Level" with not so much as a hiccup from the engine. And that was in a car much older than yours.

    -Brad

  4. Default

    Thanks Mark and Brad. This forum and the wonderful people monitoring it have been extremely helpful in the time leading up to this trip. I'm sure I'll have more questions before we leave. Thanks for everything.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Ears & Engines

    Just like when in a plane, you may need to pop your ears occasionally as you're changing altitude. I usually just hold my nose and blow out my ears every once in awhile even if I don't feel like there's pressure building. Sometimes there is and you just don't know it. Better to remedy it before it builds too much and you get an ear-ache, I say.

    As for your engine, I have done caravans with other cars up into the mountains where some cars do lose power. By this, I mean that it takes longer for their cars to get up to speed and, even if they really give it gas, there is no oomph at all. It can be dangerous if you expect your car to react as quickly in high altitudes as it does at lower elevations. Until you know how your car is going to react up there, just assume that it will be sluggish so you don't need a quick response that isn't there to avoid a problem, OK?

    Have a great trip and come back here when you're done and let us know how it went!

  6. Default

    Thanks for the tips Judy. My wife and I will be bursting at the seams to tell anyone and everyone about this trip. We'll definitely keep a journal and share anything pertinent to the forums here.

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