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Learned a lesson - driving in rain.

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Learned a lesson - driving in rain.

 
Old 09-24-2016, 03:26 AM
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Default Learned a lesson - driving in rain.

I learned an important lesson yesterday. I made a big mistake and almost lost it on the interstate.

I got caught in the rain. It is the first time my 02 has seen rain during my ownership.

I have newish Bridgestone S 04 PP tires in great shape and ap2 v3 wheels.

I was driving on the interstate with cruise control at about 70mph. It was raining moderately. Fortunately, there were no cars nearby.

I hit a very small bump - I think it was the expansion joint at the transition from the regular highway surface to the surface of a bridge.

The car suddenly got very loose and lost traction in the rear. The rear slid to the right hard. I managed to bring it back without going completely sideways but it was a very close call.

Lessons learned:

1. No cruise control in wet conditions;

2. Slow Down in wet conditions.

Later during the drive - after I learned these two lessons - I learned another lesson - this car (or certainly my set up) - hydroplanes very easily.

Lesson 3 learned:

3. Slow WAY down in rain.

I was very lucky yesterday. I learned a lesson and didn't put my s2k in the guardrail. This light little car does not perform in the rain the same way that my heavier vehicles do. I'll be slowing WAAAAY down if I find myself caught in the rain again.
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Old 09-24-2016, 05:05 AM
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Not using cruise control in the rain is something that should apply to any vehicle, some newer vehicles mask the risk with VSA but I would never run cruise control in rainy conditions. Hitting a deep puddle or a slippery surface with cruise control engaged will result in loss of traction as the power continues to be put down to the wheels and it will rotate.
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Old 09-24-2016, 05:09 AM
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Clearly true. I knew this - I wasn't paying attention to things. That is the other lesson. You have to pay attention to things - in any car. Dumb move on my part for sure.

I will say though - this car definitely gets loose in wet conditions and circumstances that heavier sedans etc. would not. I'm learning for sure and this experience was a good thing for me.

BTW - referencing your signature - I can't walk away without looking back.
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Old 09-24-2016, 06:27 AM
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A family friend owns a very large towing/recovery company. He was once explained to me that diesel truck with autos are one of the worse culprits on wet roads.

Cruise control on, roads wet, hit a slight incline, trans downshifts, sudden burst of torque to rear wheels, sh!t hits the fan......



It always amazes me how people don't slow down on wet roads.
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Old 09-24-2016, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Jdrum1 View Post
It always amazes me how people don't slow down on wet roads.
I did plead guilty as charged! I was not paying attention and I made a mistake. I was very lucky.

But, like many things of this sort - it really shouldn't amaze you. People don't perceive the danger - good and smart people. Its like many folks who drive their SUVs up here to Vermont from the cities further south. They are not dumb people - they just haven't had the experience you acquire after years of living up here and driving on icy roads. One real life experience when their rig gets loose on an icy bridge and most of them learn.

Have you never made a mistake driving? 100% perfection?
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Old 09-24-2016, 06:58 AM
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I hit a deep puddle on a highway driving my SRT-4 with cruise engaged and it was a bit scary, and it was a front wheel drive car. I think the VSA saved me from losing total control but it got my attention for sure. That was a few years ago and I wont' drive with cruise in the rain any more.

I had my S2000's rear end kick out pretty hard driving WOT in 2nd gear on a wet road as soon as VTEC kicked in at 6k rpm. The change in power at that point is enough to cause issues kind of like the diesel truck comparison above. I've since put in a VTEC controller and with it set at 5k rpms it is much more seamless and less upsetting to the chassis. Sometimes driving over manholes in the road can cause a traction difference between the two rear wheels which will also get the rear end to move around a bit.
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Old 09-24-2016, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by rpg51 View Post
Lessons learned:

2. Slow Down in wet conditions.
This...
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Old 09-24-2016, 08:50 AM
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Cruise control and 70 mph and moderate rain don't mix well in the S2000, with any tires. As others pointed out this applies to most any vehicle if not every one out there. Not to say I haven't been faster in the rain on the freeway, but there are spots in the road that are wetter than others based on the layout of the freeway, it's a little hard to explain perhaps, but to average 70 I would have to do 60 (or even less) in sections with lots of water and 80 in others that are drier (and raining lighter). Any time I'd do a lange change, I would go about it extremely cautiously and generally let off the gas a fair amount, with just the right amount of throttle applied. Generally, it's best just to drive a little slower and be much safer the entire time when the roads are wet, the S2000 is no WRX in the rain. Driving 80 in the dry on the freeway--generally no problem, **aside from law enforcement! Driving 70 in the rain, as you found out you have to be extremely attentive and will have to let off the gas at times most definitely to stay safe and keep the car in full control. Just as when you're speeding you're generally more aware of the surroundings so as not to get pulled over, with rain you're attentive just to keep the car on the road!!

Mainly though, I'm just relieved to here you and the car are okay and basically unscathed! Thanks for sharing your near miss, let this be a lesson for others and all of us as well.
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Old 09-24-2016, 04:46 PM
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There are things we know, and there are things we sometimes need to be reminded of. The best lessons are the ones we learn from someone elses mistake.

So thanks.
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Old 09-24-2016, 04:52 PM
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I raced back in the day when we used the same tredded tyres wet or dry. Be it a tin top or an open wheeler Formula 1, lap times were from 15 to 20% slower in the normal wet conditions, & impossible with a lot of standing water. This gives an indication of the reduction in grip in any car.

I have not found the S any worse than many cars in really wet conditions, but it is very badly effected by just damp conditions. I go into tiptoe mode when it first starts to rain lightly. The car becomes easier & more predictable once the roads are really wet.

In Fact it is less affected than most utes/pickups. My old 2.5L Ford Ranger tray back, with light truck tyres was diabolical in those just damp conditions, & still bad with fully wet roads. The new 3.2L crew cab Ranger, with wide mud tyres is a little better, with more weight on the back wheels, but still loses traction more easily than the S. It can be difficult to get away from stopped at uphill traffic lights in the wet, particularly when towing a ton or more.

The real difference is the speed at which the tail gets away. With the Ranger the whole thing starts much more slowly, making the recovery easier. The quick steering of the S, & the speed of the rear breakaway cause many to apply too much opposite lock, a bit too late, leading to the thing snapping back the other way. This is the one they don't get back.
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