HANGING on for dear life, I’m sat waiting to topple over into the murky water below.
Our Land Rover Defender is part-submerged in a pool of muddy water as we drive around the inside of ‘the bowl’ – one of the challenging obstacles on the Land Rover Experience in Luton.
I’ve been given free reign of the course, which includes a 45 degree hump and deep pools of water.
My heart’s pumping as I slowly crawl the heavy vehicle around the inner bowl. I’m in the Discovery with a member of the Land Rover team who assures me we’re completely safe – despite the fact I need to complete the challenge without my seat belt on –so if we do topple over I can get out easily.
As we approach the steep hump I’m instructed to take my feet away off the pedals and drop it to first gear in low range – which is ideal for off-roading (or towing).
It means the Defender creeps up the hill without me doing anything, other than steering. It’s a frightening experience, I don’t feel in control and the hill is so steep I can’t see anything through the windscreen except clouds in the sky.
The point of today’s exercise is to show the off-roading capabilities of the Land Rover fleet, but also the power of Karcher’s car cleaning pressure washers.
With that in mind, the objective is to get the vehicle as filthy as possible – which is a lot of fun. When you drive your own car, getting it dirty is the last thing on your mind. So it’s exciting to be given the keys and asked to drive through thick mud.
My off-roading adventure takes me through fields and woodland, down roads so bumpy it feels like I’m on a ride at Alton Towers.
But to its credit the Defender shirks no challenge and deals with the deep, muddy tracks remarkably well.
So much so that I begin to trust it – I briefly forget to use the wipers when the windscreen gets caked in mud, thinking that not being able to see where I’m going won’t be a problem for the Defender.
A near miss with a tree soon reminds me I am actually driving a car, and not on a theme park ride.
Having covered the Discovery in plenty of mud, it’s time to wash it off.
Just looking at the state of the vehicle was enough to my make toes curl – but they soon straightened out when I got my hands on the pressure washer!
Cleaning the car was fun, largely because it doesn’t feel like cleaning. There’s not a sponge in sight. Instead I’m shooting water through a powerful nozzle which blasts the mud and dirt off in no time.
I’m using the top-of-the-range Karcher K7, but even the less powerful washers still blast the car clean in seconds.
The various add-ons, like car soap and different shape brushes, mean you can clean every nook and cranny without so much as bending over.
In the past, I’ve always avoided cleaning my motor with a pressure washer in fear of taking the paint off. While Karacher admit that can be the case, they assure me it only happens if the wrong type of nozzle is used.
Having used this bit of kit to clean a Land Rover Defender completely in around 15 minutes it’s fair to say I’ll be ditching the ol’ bucket and sponge and pressure washing my motor from now on.