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Driving in winter... (mild 56K warning)

... is not the greatest idea. Especially with stock tires. Well, winter wouldn't really be a part of the problem too much. I always told myself I would be the

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Old 01-09-2011, 01:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Driving in winter... (mild 56K warning)

... is not the greatest idea. Especially with stock tires.

Well, winter wouldn't really be a part of the problem too much.

I always told myself I would be the very last person to post a crash thread. Unfortunately, I'm not, so here's the story.

About 10 days ago, I was driving down to my house from the girlfriend's. It was snowing outside, and I was on a large road where any of the snow would be endlessly run over by cars and turned to water and slush. As I reach the top of the crest, I've lost some speed. Limit's 40, so I give a little gas since I was at 30. In retrospect, I should have stayed at 30.

While I was on the gas, I hit a bump on top of the road and just start to hydroplane all over the place. Well, actually, I barely even slid that much, but I hit the curb and bounce off into oncoming traffic lanes. If I had to describe
how I hit it, imagine this:

You're facing straight along the road. Hydroplane happens, and you begin to turn left. The wheel hits the curb, and you spin right and stop in the opposite lanes. Address the following, a dramatic, beautiful reconstruction of the event.

front
____
\___\----|
_\car-\---| curb
__\___\---|

When I finally come to a stop, I look in front and in back. There was no traffic for at least a quarter mile more in either direction. In all my life I have never felt a feeling of relief at my insanely good luck. A guy in a minivan comes to check up on me. I manage to limp home on the snowy subdivision roads (mind you I had basically crashed 15 seconds from home).

I think to myself, maybe if I had just pushed in the clutch and not hit the brakes so hard, I'd be fine, but it was too late for that. I'm already thinking of the worst case scenario, I've smashed up the passenger side panels and it's going to be a + $10K repair. VDC was off, and the "VDC is working" light (or the slip light, I don't know) was on.



I looked around at the car and everything was fine, no body damage. I'm lucky there. But I saw this (sorry about the terrible lighting and huge images):








As you can (or can't) see, the wheel itself is damaged, but not too badly. Regardless, it still has to be scrapped, since it's heavily distorted (but it still seems to hold air). The obvious part is that it's toeing out significantly; at least five degrees. At this rate, I'd be afraid to drive it over 20 mph for fear of the tire peeling right off while I'm moving.

I am trying to get a hold of a couple buddies for their jacks so I can get a clear look at the suspension components, as taking off the wheel itself also accomplishes little.

I'm estimating a repair (in parts) at 500-1000 dollars... and the labor to skyrocket the price into the 4000-5000 range. I've already contacted RCZ about a set of stock wheels (would you believe the dealer charged me 1100 for a single wheel?).

So how about it, guys? Did I **** up bad? Also, suggestions as for how to fix it? Maybe it's a DIY project. Probably not.
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yikes. That sucks.

You need to get it up on a lift to assess suspension damage. Sometimes when you hit the wheel like that you can really do a lot more damage than you'd think.
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That's what I was thinking. Even hitting the curb at 30-35 has managed to screw it up like this, the best I can hope for is that the chassis isn't damaged.
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sorry to hear buddy, get your Z checked into the Doctor soon
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You just lost control on a slippery road... Our cars will not hydroplane at ~30mph unless your thread on the tires was close to slicks... Wth was VDC off for anyways....

But you surely damaged more then just the wheel. I would say no DIY as you need proper tools to make sure everything is aligned.
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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VDC was off after the crash. I was in the far right lane, so I didn't even have to "hydroplane" or slide any significant distance to hit the curb.

I would definitely have to get under the thing to see.
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Prompts a quick note on my experience yesterday in Philly. Only about 1 inch snow on my driveway.

My 370Z was in the garage but i needed to move it onto my driveway to get a signal for my GPS. I backed out so that I was no more than 8 feet onto my driveway.......Trying to go the 8Ft to get back into my garage was a real challenge.

I ended up completely off my drive way (all 4 wheels) onto my front lawn as the car virtually went sideways in the snow. Went down a 1-2ft slope in my lawn and ended up on my neighbor's front lawn.

Top speed was no more than 3-5 mph but the more i tried to advance forward the more I went sideways.

1.5 hours later I made it back into my garage.....unbelievable!!
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joentown View Post
Prompts a quick note on my experience yesterday in Philly. Only about 1 inch snow on my driveway.

My 370Z was in the garage but i needed to move it onto my driveway to get a signal for my GPS. I backed out so that I was no more than 8 feet onto my driveway.......Trying to go the 8Ft to get back into my garage was a real challenge.

I ended up completely off my drive way (all 4 wheels) onto my front lawn as the car virtually went sideways in the snow. Went down a 1-2ft slope in my lawn and ended up on my neighbor's front lawn.

Top speed was no more than 3-5 mph but the more i tried to advance forward the more I went sideways.

1.5 hours later I made it back into my garage.....unbelievable!!
I was outside for an hour and a half shoveling the 2 inches on my driveway to get in after the crash. The incline is barely 10 degrees. The tires really are terrible on snow. I drive barely once or twice during the winter with the Z, and it just so happened to snow an hour before I left.
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Stories like this make me cringe especially since we are supposed to get up to 5 inches across the Atlanta area tomorrow. Hope everything turns out alright and there isn't any major damage
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by c41006 View Post
Stories like this make me cringe especially since we are supposed to get up to 5 inches across the Atlanta area tomorrow. Hope everything turns out alright and there isn't any major damage
Be careful in the snow. I heard Blizzaks do a lot if you have them.

Thanks for the concern, though. I hope it isn't major either.
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:54 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Def get the suspension and such checked out.
Sorry about what happened.
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Summer tires + Winter (North) = FAIL

However this Winter has not been friendly to any area even in the South.

Sorry about that but it is not wise at all to drive with Summer tires in those conditions, hopefully no more damage happen to your car.
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:22 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Usually I never have problems. First time for everything, I guess.
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:21 PM   #14 (permalink)
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You'll be lucky if you didn't damage your frame!
Glad you're okay!
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:57 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by c41006 View Post
Stories like this make me cringe especially since we are supposed to get up to 5 inches across the Atlanta area tomorrow. Hope everything turns out alright and there isn't any major damage
You got that right. At least I have another DD. Probably wont drive the Z for several days.
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