Preparing your car for Ladakh

Yogesh Sarkar

Administrator
An arduous journey like Ladakh can take its toll, on not only the driver and passengers, but also on the car. In places like Manali - Leh highway or Zanskar Valley, a mechanical failure can spell disaster. With nearest town miles away and a mechanic even further down the road, it is a good idea to get your car serviced properly and get the worn out parts replaced, before embarking upon a journey of this magnitude.

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rkbharat

Guru
Some more must essential spares for car :

Two Tyre Tubes
M-Seal, Quick Fix/Elfee, Sealant Adhesive
Two thick Rubber sheets, which can be placed below tyres in case of slipping. Make sure its rubber, anything else will slip. Once I used the rubber foot mat in thick mud jam.
A thick iron rod...Helps many ways...:).
Some 1-2 mtr copper wire, will be useful many ways
1 spare Fan belt
 

Yogesh Sarkar

Administrator
Rajiv do you think rubber sheets are good or wooden planks? I mean which one would be good for traction and getting out of deep mud?
 

rkbharat

Guru
Yogesh, last time I got stuck in deep mud, while going from Kausani to baijnath. We tried all, stones, wooden planks etc, but car kept slipping on all of them because of the wet mud all over. Then I took out the rubber mats, and placed them below both the front tyres and Vola....Car was out with one attempt...

But still keeping a wooden plank is good, in stiuations where tyre jammed in a deep pothole....
 

hellotoprem

New Member
Please give more information whether CAR like HONDA city can be driven on these roads. If No, any suggested modifications ?
 

Yogesh Sarkar

Administrator
Personally I feel you should be able to take your Honda City to Ladakh without any major problem, provided you drive sensibly and the roads aren’t in too bad a condition.

To be on the safer side, my recommendation would be to only go in August or at the max in early September, since roads at that time are in almost their best condition and chances of encountering deep water crossing is a bit less.

Also you might want to hire a MUV from Leh for the excursion to Pangong Tso, as the road at Pagal Nallaha last year was in bad condition and unless the government has finally decided to fix it, it would be pretty rough this time around as well.
 

anupmathur

Super Moderator
Staff member
Please give more information whether CAR like HONDA city can be driven on these roads. If No, any suggested modifications ?
The NHC should not have any problems. Quite a few do Leh every year. July-Aug would be the best months.
The old Honda Citys had a problem with ground clearance being too little.
If you can, maybe the most useful modification would be to buy new tyres for the trip: go for a higher profile to give increased GC.
 
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rkbharat

Guru
In my opinion any sedan will have problems. You have to be very lucky to get the clear route. Expect lots of under body scraps and stone hitting underbelly's.

Also you have to very careful while crossing even a minor land slide, and if its a major landslide, pray hard before you cross it.

I am not de-motivating as I have seen M800 and Fiat Padmini covering this stretch, just you have to be very careful and lucky.

Else this what you will have to do, if your car stalls in the middle of landslide. Though you will get ready help from trucks. I had to tow it back with help of a trucker.

 

anupmathur

Super Moderator
Staff member
Well, there are always two ways of looking at a half filled glass: it's either half EMPTY or it is half FULL!
Very frankly I think an equally valid way of looking at your situation could be that you were rather unlucky, instead of saying you have to be very lucky go get through in a sedan.
Seeing the number of sedans that do the trip successfully each year AND seeing how many get towed back, there really is no case for such pessimism.
The way I would put it is: To try that journey in a sedan in early June or early Oct would be foolhardy, but July and August are usually safe. I say usually because in the mountains things can change pretty fast on a day to day basis due to local weather systems and you might have to shift your transit by a day or two, but the chances of safe passage are highest in the said months.
During June and October, snow and frost on the passes can be highly hazardous for a sedan. The occasional water crossing in July-Aug is never such a hazard, particularly if you make sure you do not simply 'dive' into it!
And if adventure or anxiety have no place in your tour, simply avoid taking your own car.

wrt the posted photo, may I suggest that a sedan is ALWAYS advised to ride such areas with one wheel on the central 'hump' of the road. This minimizes the chances of a hit to the underbelly!
 
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