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Re: Wrecked 323i...please read. (archive)

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Posted by Jeff G on October 08, 1999 at 08:37:05:

In Reply to: Wrecked 323i...please read. posted by phil on October 07, 1999 at 21:33:47:

Phil, it's really hard to say what happened at arm's length like this. I would have to think the most probably cause is driver error. After all, those people that sued Audi for unintended acceleration couldn't all have been lying, some actually believe the hit the brakes as hard as they could as the car 'leapt' forward on them. Not one car was found to have a problem with it's brakes (other than the demonstrator used by 60 Minutes - they used a hacksaw to get total brake failure) and the brakes were more than capable of keeping that car from budging an inch.

You say you noticed it wasn't turning like it should, so you turned harder. If in fact the front wheels had lost traction, then you need to straighten them out slightly to get them rolling again and then start your turn again. Once your front wheels have lost traction they are not changing your direction anymore, they are just 2 contact patches sliding forward. I've fallen into this trap on the autocross track before in my Miata. Sudden yanks on the wheel can also cause you to lose traction through a corner you would otherwise make. I would second the idea of trying a driving school or auto-x. If that's a corner near you, get back on that horse and drive through it again and try to figure out just what went wrong - but don't get so carried away you recreate the original accident!

: Sadly, I wrecked my '00 323i today during lunch. I took
delivery of it on August 17th.

I was driving in a residential street, and I honestly do
not think I was going over 35-40 miles per hour. The road
turns left sharply, and I began to brake, turn the wheel, etc,
like anyone would when turning a corner. I immediately realized
my car was not turning sharply enough to make the corner,
so I turned the wheel more, harder, and braked very very hard.
The car did not seem to slow down or respond to my inputs,
my right wheels hit a curb and ran over a sidewalk before
the car came to a rest shortly after coming off the curb.
It seems that the brakes and steering tighted up immediately
after hitting the curb, perhaps from the reduction in speed,
but the radius of the turn after hitting the curb and distance
traveled were very very short.
: Thanks...
: phil - doesn't know how to drive, I guess...

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