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Alright, I don't really know a better term than clearance/overhang angle...but I'm thinking of buying a Karma and want to figure out whether I can drive it from the road onto my driveway without scraping the front. From what I can tell the front is pretty low. Has anyone had problems with getting their cars onto a drive (or speed bumps etc)? Could anyone measure the height under the front bumper and the distance back to the wheel/road contact point so that I can figure it out?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Deep Ocean in ATL
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My driveway is pretty steep. No problem. The front is about 5" from the pavement. If the Karma is in Drive (not Stealth) the front sensors are active, unless the driver turns off. This is good for parking blocks. You do have to be careful. But not a problem in normal driving.
 

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The initial part of my driveway is steep and I have angle my Karma in at that point.
 

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As far as I'm concerned there are two types of Karma drivers:

1) People who have scraped the nose on sharp inclines or breaks

Actually now that I think about it, I think that's the only type of Karma driver.

The overhang is long and the car sits low so the approach angle is pretty low. At crawl speeds, and/or by angling, you can get up most driveways without the horrible scraping sound but at my house I had to fill in the gutter at the foot of my drive to clear it.

Note that if you're moving with any speed at all, or if there's a compression force on the suspension (for example driving through a dip) then the problem is even worse. You'll need to get used to the horrible scraping noise, it's all but unavoidable sometimes.

Fortunately, the part that makes first contact most of the time is not part of the painted bumper assembly but an underbody fairing so the scraping and scratching are not visible or cosmetic.

Brent
 

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As far as I'm concerned there are two types of Karma drivers:

1) People who have scraped the nose on sharp inclines or breaks

Actually now that I think about it, I think that's the only type of Karma driver.
That was hilarious. And so true, too.

In that thread on the other Forum, the one that asks for ideas for the next Karma, that should be top of the list: having some kind of different bottom on the fascia to absorb the scrapes.

Is there any aftermarket product solution to this? Even if it were just some film that could be periodically replaced, it would still be better than hearing the gut wrenching scraping noises that tell you you've just ruined your beautiful paint.
 

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It's all about the speed. I never have a problem with my driveway (which has the "sloping curb to get over). The problem with bottoming out comes in turning left into a parking lot quickly trying to get out of the way of oncoming traffic. Those are the 2 times I bottomed out. The slope of the parking lot entrance didn't look all that steep. But, I was trying to "scoot in there quick". Don't!!!

Also, if ever I meet the inventor of parking blocks, I am going to kick him in the nuts. They don't need to be over 2" tall!!!

All of the 10-12 Karmas I've seen with more than 5000 miles on it, have scrapes at the bottom of the front bumper.
 

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I have this issue with my driveway and I went out and bought steel plates to place between the street and my driveway to reduce the slope. The size of the plates depends on the slope. For me, I had to by 4 ft wide plates to make the transition easy. My plates are 4 by 8 and weight over 150 pounds each. Two plates costs about $500 with delivery. A bit expensive, but well worth limiting the scraping to the front end and the fun angles I have been working with in getting the car onto the driveway due to the less than sharp turning radius of the car.
 

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I have a problem on mine when I drive straight , but if I angle the car to the driver side, It clears nicely --it is low...
 

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My driveway slants upwards and there's a drainage dip in the roadway along the curb. This combination makes getting in and out problematic, as evident by multiple scraping lines on the driveway entrance and the associated damage to the underside of the Fiberglas fascia. I've had the fascia repaired several times and was told by my local body shop that it's beginning to become structurally weakened. (I live in an historic neighborhood and a ramp would not be tolerated.)

Eventually, a 1-inch vertical crack appeared on the driver's side. So back to the body shop who once again repaired everything and reinforced the underside of the fascia.

Because of the visible damage and structural weakness, I first contacted my insurance company (Farmer's) and they agreed to pay for the repairs under my collision policy. Since their share after the deductible was under the $1000 claim threshold, there will be no affect on future premiums.

The point here is that anyone with serious scraping issues may want to submit a collision claim if your body shop feels that the structural integrity of the fascia, which is primary point of force absorption in an frontal accident, has been compromised. (If you live in the San Jose Area, visit L&M Auto Body, 408.225.5053, where Ray Haderi, a Karma owner, can help you evaluate this and work with your insurance company.)

The fascia is perfect now and to keep it that way I am using the adjacent neighbor's driveway to slowly "crab" sideways, inching back and forth, to avoid bottoming out. It's a bit of a pain, but it's working.
 
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