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Fun & games

Discussion in 'General Mercedes-Benz Related Discussion' started by Neil H, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. Neil H

    Neil H Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    Current: RRS Autobiography/F-Type R V8 AWD Previous: CLS 400 W218 / CLS 350 CDI W218 / ML350 W164
    Heading home in the CLS on a nice clear motorway (M58) yesterday lunch time and hit standing water. I was doing around 80 I'd say and was moving from outside to middle lanes. Needless to say, the car started veering violently, I steered into the skids but could definitely feel some active help on the cars part in regaining control. Ended up in a 360 spin which was obviously uncontrolled and somehow remained on the carriageway, was able to regain control and carry on- albeit sweating like a cornered prom queen!!
    I had been at the dealers yesterday morning working out a deal to swap my two cars for a CLS63. Im having a big re-think!
    To be fair, I have over the years seen numerous Porsche/TVR/BMW's come a cropper on that stretch, hence my low speed.

    Would 4WD have made any difference at all? It certainly felt like the rear end let go which created the spin.

    I fully understand the answer is drive to the conditions and in the round, it was certainly my fault, but if you see a hazrd late, the performance of you as a driver, in this case at least seemed irrelevent, I was just a passenger in an impending (but luckily avoided) crash!
     
  2. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Its a horrible feeling when that happens, no a 4WD would have made no difference as the car was riding on water, with next to no contact with the road at all, and under those conditions all the traction devices in the world would not have helped.
     
  3. st4

    st4 Banned

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    What a nasty experience, probably as you were moving lanes the front wheels were turning which would make this 100 times worse.

    4wd might have helped if the pool of water was significantly short that the front wheels were on contact with tarmac whilst back ones were hydroplaning.

    If however the pool of water as significantly deep and long that the entire car was hydroplaning it would make a bit of difference. For the car to spin like that 4wd, ESP, nothing can help, you are a passanger.
     
  4. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    The last time that happened to me was in the 60s in a Humber Super Snipe when the back decided that it wanted to catch up with the front going towards Hunton Bridge on the A41 the car was spinning round and round, I can recall even now laying as low as I could waiting for the final bang, but nothing and it all went quiet, I peered out and I was still on the road and had sailed between islands and gone to the other side, so 52 years later and still as clear as a bell.
    I can even remember thinking in those few seconds " what a shame,not had this one long"
     
  5. MarkCL

    MarkCL Senior Member

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    First off, just like to say that I'm gald you're ok after such a scary incident, and secondly that at least the road was clear of other traffic as I hate to think what might have happened if there had been other people around at the time :shock:

    As to your question about 4WD, well I have to hedge a bit and say that Malcolm could be right, could be wrong (sorry TV ;) ), it all depends on whether all 4 wheels lost traction. I've been in a similar situation a couple of times in a 4WD car, once I lost all traction, but because it was 4WD I sort of drifted neutrally across the lanes until grip was restored - at that point it shook itself a bit, squirrelled a little and straightened very quickly, so on that front recovery from the aquaplane was actually quicker and easier with 4 WD. Bear in mind though that I didn't panic and there were no big steering inputs, mainly as I wasn't fishtailing I suppose. Anyway, second time, I only lost traction in two wheels - the others kept up grip and apart from a momentary loose feeling it hardly made any difference.

    The factors that cause most problems in these aquaplaning conditions are having tyres that are too wide and/or with inefficient/worn tread to shift enough water out of the way, coupled to inappropriate speed. When things are as wet as that I never do even 80mph these days (wuss that I am :Oops: ) since I'm always thinking in the back of my mind about possible loss of traction in a 2WD car having 'consequences' (as you discovered). Maybe it was the experience of having aquaplaned before that made me change how I drove? Maybe now you've had that brown-trouser moment you might look at things differently yourself, but I will say this - don't let it put you off getting the CLS63. All you need to do is remember to drive with respect for the road conditions at all times whatever they are, and keep your tyres up to scratch. If you're still worried then book yourself on one of those handling courses that they teach for high performance cars, as at least that way you'll learn how to react under similar conditions and see if there was perhaps anything you could do that you weren't aware of.

    Anyway, as I said before - glad you're ok and still around to enjoy Xmas! Hope you stay that way ;)

    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  6. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Thanks for your input Mark :D:D
     
  7. OP
    Neil H

    Neil H Senior Member

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    Thanks for the input. I'm a stickler for good tyres and the CLS only has 8k on the clock so there is lots of tread all round. Funny thing is, I was actually on my way to the solicitors to re-write my will at long last! Lost my Mrs to Cancer in September so maybe she was doing a bit of the steering! I know I had balls-all to do with avoiding the armco!
     
  8. Mic

    Mic Senior Member

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    You are OK.....good

    You didn't hid the hazard square on to the line of travel (you were changing lanes) the consequence is very powerful moments of rotation.
    Very few drivers could or would have prevented the spin and I believe 4X4 would have done little to prevent the spin......it was far too late once you had hit the water.

    Mic
     
  9. Blobcat

    Blobcat Moderator

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    I was talking about this last week at work, a friend of a colleague wrote his 911 Targa off on the M62 recently, cruise on at ~80 when he hit water, 2 full spins, both ends knocked off and finished up facing the wrong way on lane 3.

    My brother was driving my Land Rover last Saturday and hit over a foot of water at ~50, green water over the bonnet and most of the rust blasted off the underside but it just went straight on. It has huge 235 BF Godrich All Terrain Tyres which I've only just fitted. It also weighs over 2 ton and he wasn't turning. I wasn't happy with him but we made it through.

    In my experience it's more by luck than judgement though.
     

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