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Old 02-23-2006, 07:39 AM   #1
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boxster vs rain = accident!

last night i was driving in the rain and all of a sudden the car spinned and i crashed into a fence!! the ABS and the traction control didnt do me no good!!
i was driving straight and the car spinned by itself! even the traction didnt go ON!!.
ill never trust my car again.

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Old 02-23-2006, 07:56 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear about your accident.

Are you sure your car has PSM (Porsche Stability Management)? It is always "ON", unless you turn it off manually. And, in the event of certain situations, I think it will turn back on automatically.
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Old 02-23-2006, 08:19 AM   #3
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Even with brand new tires, my car doesn't have the stability I need to feel safe. So it stays in the garage unless the weather is sunny and warm. Sorry to hear about your accident. Can you get quality repair work done where you live?
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Old 02-23-2006, 08:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donjuan143
last night i was driving in the rain and all of a sudden the car spinned and i crashed into a fence!! the ABS and the traction control didnt do me no good!!
i was driving straight and the car spinned by itself! even the traction didnt go ON!!.
ill never trust my car again.
Compared to the previous posts this is going to come off harsh - but after seeing so many similar accidents, I think it needs to be said.

Cars don't "suddenly spin" for no good reason. ABS and TC don't make your car "bullet proof" for the weather! Sounds to me like you hydro-planed which is a good indication of driving too fast for the conditions. I also wouldn't be surprised to find that your tires don't have enough tread left to channel the water.

You sound just like the people in Colorado who blame their their 4-Wheel drive vehicle after sliding into a ditch when it snows. Never mind that there's a foot of snow and they're driving like the roads are dry. It's funny, I've been driving my Boxster (no traction control) in rain and snow and have yet to "suddenly spin" off the road.

As my Dad used to say, "It's a poor mechanic who blames his tools".
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Old 02-23-2006, 08:36 AM   #5
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i must say, i have driven conservatively in the snow like conditions and heavy rain..but have yet to notice anything out of the ordinary..

perhaps donjuan143 can elaborate...icy conditions, could it be a mechanical issue..??
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Old 02-23-2006, 09:25 AM   #6
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Bah, rain ... indeed.
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Old 02-23-2006, 09:42 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Ronzi
Bah, rain ... indeed.

LOL - just got that. I would have expected that from Rail26....
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Old 02-23-2006, 09:55 AM   #8
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I agree with Denver - sounds like hydroplaning because of the sudden spin and lack of ability to recover. Once the tires are separated from the pavement by a thin film of water, there is NO traction. It ends when the tire contacts another non-water surface, either on the road or off. I have hydroplaned (in other cars) briefly on puddles but caught it on the other side. Not a good feeling at all.

Defense against hydroplaning:
1. Slow down. The higher the speed, the sooner a tire will hydroplane. In heavy downpours I drop to 45 or so, less if visibility is a factor.
2. Tire choice: some of the Boxster OEM rated tires are known as being notoriously bad on wet roads, like Pirellis. Others are better. My Sumitomos (I know, cheap tire) are great on wet roads.
3. Tire wear: Any tire will hydroplane more quickly if it's worn, since the grooves are shallower and move less water. A car in front of me left the road abruptly during a rain shower in Florida. No one else hydroplaned, and we were all going the same speed. The car was an older car - I suspect the tires were worn. Boxsters go through tires quickly.
4. Road construction: Roads in rainy areas are sloped to get the water off the road. Also, many roads are grooved to allow the water to move off, yet still offer some contact with tires at the top ridges of the grooves. In dry climates this may not be the case, so when it does rain, the water stays on the road longer.


Sorry to hear about the accident, hope it's repairable, and good luck.
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Old 02-23-2006, 11:00 AM   #9
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Traction control is kind of like air bags--it's a secondary restraint system, you still need your seat belts.

If you hit a puddle and are either turning or accelerating you can definitely expect the car to do some unpredictable things, regardless of traction control. But anyhow, you don't need the San Diegan giving advice on how to drive in the rain.

Sorry to hear about your accident, but don't let it kill your joy of the car!
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Old 02-23-2006, 01:13 PM   #10
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The first thing that came to my mind when I read this and realized that it happened in Bahrain is the phenomonen I experienced the first time I drove on a rain slickened road in southern California. When it hasn't rained in quite a time the residue of oil and grit from normal traffic gets packed into the pavement and the first rain mixes with this junk and creates roads that are slicker than snot! However I agree with all the previous posters who advise that caution with regard to hyro-planeing should be foremost in your mind!
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Old 02-23-2006, 01:19 PM   #11
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Hi,

Sorry to hear of your troubles. But, I too must side with DP and Limoncello and say it sounds like a Classic Case of Hydro-Planing. Unforfunately, Hydro-Planing is always Driver Error. You exceeded the conditions you were in, can't blame the Car for that.

So far as the OEM Tires being inadequate, I disagree. These are all some of the Finest Performance Tires available. The issue is much more a matter of Tire Width.

The Boxster is a relatively light Car with pretty Wide Tires. With Wide Tires, you have a larger Contact Patch - Great for Dry Traction. But, you're exerting much less lbs./in.˛ with a Wider Tire than with a Narrower one, and this has adverse effects when driving in the Rain. Also, no matter how good the Water Channeling a Tire may have, there is always a limit to the amount of Water it can expel. Once this limit is reached, the Tire just climbs on top of the Water, loosing all contact with the road - Hydro-Planing. Add to this that your Tires harden with age, if your Tires are more than 2 years old, regardless of the Tread Depth, they will have hardened and have significantly less grip, especially in the Rain.

While the Boxster is all-weather capable, it is primarily a Fair Weather Car - that's what it was designed for and why the Tire Spec is so wide. If operating in other conditions, you need to adapt to those conditions. If you live and drive consistently in Wet Conditions, it may be wise to forego the asthetics and select a little narrower Tire. The upside is they are usually a little cheaper...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99

Last edited by MNBoxster; 02-23-2006 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 02-23-2006, 01:28 PM   #12
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Here is a good, low-tech, article about tires from the recent Chicago Section PCA newsletter:

THE OWNERSHIP EXPERIENCE

from Loeber Porsche and Jack McCall

Pavement - The Surface To
Which Tires Should Stick
Unlike tracks that usually provide a
consistent surface; roads, especially
back-roads, have a tendency to
change surfaces. Warning signs will
not alert you as to when this may
occur. The changes will occur
abruptly and sometimes often.
This can be unnerving to the driver
who has just settled into a groove.

While the driver is providing the
proper amount of lateral acceleration
to plant his Porsche based upon the
amount of adhesion provided by the
current surface, the road suddenly
takes on all new characteristics. The
quickly changing parameters play
havoc with the safety margins.
There must be room for adjustment,
or it’s adios my friend.

Again, the worst case scenario
should be your guide. Rain may
cause hydroplaning, but a light mist
can be far more dangerous. If the
weather has been dry for a while,
the light mist will pull the oils out
of the pavement making the surface
as slippery as ice. A heavy rain
will actually wash the surface.
Hydroplaning is easily recognizable
in a Porsche. Slowing down will
solve the problem. The mist must
be dealt with the same way. Slow
down based upon intuition; the
abrupt warning provided by
hydroplaning just won’t happen.
Another scenario to consider is
that evaporation doesn’t occur as
quickly in the shade. As you go
in and out of sun light the surface
can change.

A couple of years ago I found myself
on AR 23, the “Pig trail”, and ran
into a light mist. Knowing that I
was about to give up traction, I
surrendered my pace. My assault
on this beautiful stretch of road
was spoiled, but both I and my
Porsche would survive to return
and avenge the loss. Sometimes
discretion is the better part of valor.
Remember, “Slick happens”.

Leaves, especially wet leaves, gravel,
oil, water, and different surfaces can
all contribute to the loss of traction.
You cannot wait until it happens and
then attempt to correct the situation.
It is essential to anticipate and make
concessions for inconsistencies that
can interrupt your forward progress
in a most despicable manner. Make
it a rule to expect the unexpected.
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Old 02-23-2006, 01:34 PM   #13
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I too agree!! Porsches or any car do not just take over and "do its own thing". When road conditions change then driving needs to change.

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Old 02-23-2006, 01:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denverpete
Compared to the previous posts this is going to come off harsh - but after seeing so many similar accidents, I think it needs to be said.

Cars don't "suddenly spin" for no good reason. ABS and TC don't make your car "bullet proof" for the weather! Sounds to me like you hydro-planed which is a good indication of driving too fast for the conditions. I also wouldn't be surprised to find that your tires don't have enough tread left to channel the water.

You sound just like the people in Colorado who blame their their 4-Wheel drive vehicle after sliding into a ditch when it snows. Never mind that there's a foot of snow and they're driving like the roads are dry. It's funny, I've been driving my Boxster (no traction control) in rain and snow and have yet to "suddenly spin" off the road.

As my Dad used to say, "It's a poor mechanic who blames his tools".


Well said, DP

Excellent balance and handling is great but you still need to be mindful of the driving conditions.
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Old 02-23-2006, 02:39 PM   #15
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Jim brings up a good point regarding tire width. Any vehicle with wide tires is at a disadvantage when dealing with rain or snow.

Big fat wide tires on SUVs, while cool looking and extremely popular, are actually counter-productive in the snow (not our current topic). Not only is your lb/sq in decreased, but they also have a tendancy to "track" or follow grooves in the snow. If pushing a new path they will also wander as slight variations in direction cause snow to build up on one side of the tire.

I agree that the Porsche is primarily a "fair-weathered" vehicle. But it is most definately capable (and perfectly happy) to take be a nearly all-weather vehicle. As with any vehicle, it should not be driven beyond it's capabilities. With the first snow storm in Denver I took my Boxster into a parking lot to test starting, stopping, and turning abilities. With the stock tires it was horrendous. After switching to snow tires, I again tested it in a snow storm and found it had greatly improved. Note that I said improved - it's still requires careful throttle application, steering, and braking. I also performed the same actions in the rain. With the knowledge gained from that testing I now know what it can and cannot do along with the warning signs and reprecussions of what happens if pushed too far.
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Old 02-23-2006, 02:41 PM   #16
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here are pictures of my accident.
in bahrain it rarely rains, and last night it rained for the first time of this year.
i guess my porsche is not used to such a weather!
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Old 02-23-2006, 02:46 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donjuan143
here are pictures of my accident.
in bahrain it rarely rains, and last night it rained for the first time of this year.
i guess my porsche is not used to such a weather!
WHOA looks like you car went through alot.
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Old 02-23-2006, 02:47 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donjuan143
here are pictures of my accident.
in bahrain it rarely rains, and last night it rained for the first time of this year.
i guess my porsche is not used to such a weather!
Right. The Porsche. BAD PORSCHE!
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Old 02-23-2006, 03:40 PM   #19
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This may sound weird, but I think it is really cool that you have a picture of yourself at the site of your wreck -with the wrecked car. I can't explain it, but I dig it.

And it looks like you hit pretty hard too. Good to see you're ok bro.
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Old 02-23-2006, 04:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donjuan143
here are pictures of my accident.
in bahrain it rarely rains, and last night it rained for the first time of this year.
i guess my porsche is not used to such a weather!
Hey man sorry about the accident. It hurts a little to see those pictures.

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