Aquaplaned

Author
Discussion

garyhun

27,360 posts

173 months

Monday 10th December 2018
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Obviously when you don’t see the standing water it’s difficult to prepare yourself, but as long as you don’t brake and don’t steer you should be able to handle an aquaplaining experience without too much fuss.

Once you upset the car’s momentum one way or another, you’re heading for a world of pain!

croyde

15,738 posts

175 months

Monday 10th December 2018
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Hit standing water in the dark once. Just one of the front tyres but the force almost tore the steering wheel out of my hands.

It was like hitting a kerb at speed.

Paynewright

342 posts

22 months

Monday 10th December 2018
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From the crash aftermath I saw in Brackley, it was hitting deep water on the front offside wheel that put the cars in a spin as that side slowed suddenly and subsequently put the car into the nearside scenery.

Anyone who has done a belly flop or water skiing will know water is pretty solid when you hit it at speed.

Ian

garyhun

27,360 posts

173 months

Monday 10th December 2018
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Paynewright said:
Anyone who has done a belly flop or water skiing will know water is pretty solid when you hit it at speed.

Ian
Like hitting concrete.

ooid

1,557 posts

45 months

Monday 10th December 2018
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Ooops indeed, hope there is no big damge ATM glad you escaped safely.

Perhaps, wrong car for the Wrong time of the year! wink

rdjohn

3,631 posts

140 months

Monday 10th December 2018
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ATM said:
This was in my follow on post -

I think the rear of the car clipped a sign post which is what ripped the wheel off. Possibly at a bit of an angle as the front of the car was fine.
Anything that is not behind a barrier is intended to collapse on impact - I imagine that it was not stood upright when you looked back? The end of an Armco could rip your wheel off as well as the whole rear of the car.

The marks on the rear wing look to be about the height of the top of the tyre - but that could also be parallax in your photo. These assemblies are not like F1, they need huge forces to be torn away from the chassis and do that amount of damage.

It will be interesting to know what your insurance assessor and repairer think.

cmoose

44,882 posts

174 months

Monday 10th December 2018
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Pretty high odds of car being written off, I would think. As you say, huge amount of force needed to tear the wheel out like that, leave the drive shaft dangling etc. Chassis damage, gearbox / transaxle damage, it's all probable. A write off would probably be the best outcome.

PS2018

216 posts

18 months

Monday 10th December 2018
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100% agree a write off would be best outcome

Cunno

382 posts

102 months

Monday 10th December 2018
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To the OP glad to see your ok, and the insurance company no doubt will cover th majority of the costs. I've been there and it's not a nice experience, some 9 years on I'm still quite a nervous driver in the wet. No doubt your wondering what you could of done to prevent this and to be honest I have asked quite a few different people pros and very competent drivers and you never get a clear answer everyone one has there view, but they never match up.
The one thing I would say speed is key, and by that I don't mean speeding just that the tyre couldn't clear the water from the foot print of the tyre at the speed you hit the standing water. The thing with our cars is they are relatively light have wide tyres which aren't always in direct line with the fronts and this is the main cause for aqua planing. Tread does help the more the better but as soon as the standing water is deeper than your tread pattern then the width of the tyre comes into play as the tyre just can't clear the water from underneath it and starts to float. The heavier the car the better as this will help expell the water from underneath the tyre, but as you own a sports car the main elements to quau planing are against you i.e light weight car, wide tyres. Therefore the only adjustable we have to counter aqua planing is speed.

I've spent may a happy hour following HGV,s in heavy rain traveling back from Spa at 50mph trying stay in the foot print of the lorry as I have FA tread left.

Cunno

382 posts

102 months

Monday 10th December 2018
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garyhun said:
Obviously when you don’t see the standing water it’s difficult to prepare yourself, but as long as you don’t brake and don’t steer you should be able to handle an aquaplaining experience without too much fuss.

Once you upset the car’s momentum one way or another, you’re heading for a world of pain!
Agree the less input the better but if the car starts rotating while it's still aqua planing, your in the hands of the gods and need a big chunk of luck to catch it.

jackliebling

445 posts

118 months

Monday 10th December 2018
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Firstly, happy you got out in one piece. Sorry about the damage...

My first Porsche was a 2009 Cayman that lost grip going 10mph on ice, smashed the rear suspension on the kerb, but not totally ripping the wheel off. No body work damage, just ended up with a new alloy and suspension pieces and cost c. 4k to fix under insurance. So I reckon you might be into 7 or 8k damage there. Surely not a write off given the overall value of the car.

I have always suspected, following that experience, that the Cayman and Boxter with their 50/50 weight distribution and general light-weight made it prone to scating over the road surface rather than quickly getting grip back. I have never felt any of my (3) modern 911s behaving in the same way, as the back end seems so much heavier. Might be rubbish, but I lost a bit of faith in my Caymans bad weather stability following that.

cmoose

44,882 posts

174 months

Monday 10th December 2018
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jackliebling said:
Surely not a write off given the overall value of the car.
It could have quite a bit of fairly nasty damage with the wheel ripped out like that. Suspension mounting points, chassis itself, transmission. Plus the body work damage. Maybe not, but it could very easily be written off, I'd think!

If all they have to do is repair the rear quarter panel and bolt on some new bits, OK. But even then the bill could write the car off. Bill doesn't have to be the value of the car to get written off.

jakesmith

4,723 posts

116 months

Monday 10th December 2018
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jackliebling said:
Firstly, happy you got out in one piece. Sorry about the damage...

My first Porsche was a 2009 Cayman that lost grip going 10mph on ice, smashed the rear suspension on the kerb, but not totally ripping the wheel off. No body work damage, just ended up with a new alloy and suspension pieces and cost c. 4k to fix under insurance. So I reckon you might be into 7 or 8k damage there. Surely not a write off given the overall value of the car.

I have always suspected, following that experience, that the Cayman and Boxter with their 50/50 weight distribution and general light-weight made it prone to scating over the road surface rather than quickly getting grip back. I have never felt any of my (3) modern 911s behaving in the same way, as the back end seems so much heavier. Might be rubbish, but I lost a bit of faith in my Caymans bad weather stability following that.
Agree with this, my 997 C4S was very planted on wet roads. I thought it was due to the AWD but actually it was the weight of the engine over the back axle. My Boxsters & R8 simply don't have the same grip in the wet. Think the 911 is pretty phenomenal in this area

Think tyres play a big part too and when I switched my recent cars (Granturismo & a 987S Boxster) which came with Pirellis, to Pilot Sport 4S's, the wet grip was very noticeably improved


African Grey

62 posts

18 months

Tuesday 11th December 2018
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Thanks for sharing.
I am used to drive heavy cars (Jags, Mercs, BMW.) so have never suffered. I could be the next one as it is my first winter with the Box.

PaulD86

859 posts

71 months

Wednesday 12th December 2018
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Glad you're OK. I've experienced some unpleasent moments in the wet in a couple of 911s and my Cayman but only where there has been a decent depth of standing water. Pirellis seem much worse at dealing with the wet than the Michelins.

NDA

16,220 posts

170 months

Wednesday 12th December 2018
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African Grey said:
Thanks for sharing.
I am used to drive heavy cars (Jags, Mercs, BMW.) so have never suffered. I could be the next one as it is my first winter with the Box.
I've had a few cars where all the weight is in the front, nothing in the back and fat drug dealer tyres. It's not a great combination in wet weather.

Aquaplaning happens so suddenly, no warning... and you're off the road. All very quick.

The trouble is that if you're on a motorway or dual carriageway, you let the speed build up - nobody is going to drive at 45mph.... and that's when it could happen.

Nasty. I feel for anyone who goes through it. frown


Maxym

928 posts

181 months

Wednesday 12th December 2018
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Still no word on speed at the time of the episode. There's a lot of over-confident driving around. Was this an example?

rabbitstew

121 posts

103 months

Wednesday 12th December 2018
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A friend of mine went off-roading in his car once, and the grass verge had drainage channels cut into it, that caused similar damage, so may be similar in this case?

SkinnyPete

1,085 posts

94 months

Wednesday 12th December 2018
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OP hope you get sorted easily enough.

But yes aquaplaning is a major concern in the Cayman when it's wet, on a bad day I'm not even sure I'd want to go full speed down a main straight on a track day.

rdjohn

3,631 posts

140 months

Monday 17th December 2018
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ATM said:
Hit a big puddle and car went light. Rotated slightly and then exited puddle pointing towards central reservation. I was initially in lane 2 before puddle but then when car gripped again I crossed lane 3 quickly. Managed to prevent impact with central barrier but had right wheels on the grass or whatever it is. Went back towards centre of motorway but too much momentum in the back of the car / angle for me or my skill set. I think I did a bit of a swing one way then the next and then started heading towards the verge and the grass. That's when I decided I was out of time and slammed on the brakes. When car stopped after a bit of cross country I honestly thought I'd saved it and was thinking I was lucky. I was thinking I could drive or limp the car to somewhere a bit safer until I got out and saw this

So, one-week on. Have your repairers, or insurance come up with an explanation for why the wheel is not still attached to the chassis?

I am sure it is not a typical failure. Or caused by hitting a marker.