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Old 08-16-2010, 11:01 AM   #1
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Wranglers and Hydroplaning of Death

So I'm driving home last week, it starts to rain, traffic slows, I apply the brakes. Next thing I know I'm hydro-planing side-ways in to the next lane and into some trees. I've been driving for many years and have recovered from hundreds of skids. This just went haywire really quickly.

My question is, do jeeps tend to have a problem with this? Are they prone to hydroplaning out of control? I had only had mine for 6 or 7 months and would love to replace it with another Wrangler but not if they are prone to that. I have teenage daughters and I'm glad they weren't driving then.



BTW, the jeep is totaled.

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Old 08-16-2010, 11:05 AM   #2
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well i dont know about other people but when i go over like 30 mph and there is a coat of rain on the ground my jeep will start to feel like its moving sideways at the rear wheels. but its all part of having the jeep. now if it rains i tend to slow down.

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Old 08-16-2010, 11:09 AM   #3
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damn that sucks! sorry to hear man, glad to see you're ok though..
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:13 AM   #4
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Yea...glad you're ok. Man, its scary when losing control..ya feel helpless..

what kinda damage was done? is it repairable?
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:14 AM   #5
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I can't say Wranglers are more prone to it. But running big or extra-wide tires that aren't fully aired up will make it easier to hydroplane at lower speeds.

The bigger the tire's footprint and the lower the air pressure in the tire, the more easily it will hydroplane. Make sure your tires are fully aired up when driving on wet roads.

I'm glad you came through that ok!
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:21 AM   #6
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Yea...glad you're ok. Man, its scary when losing control..ya feel helpless..

what kinda damage was done? is it repairable?
He said it was totaled under the picture
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:23 AM   #7
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short wheelbase = when sh*t hits the fan....it hits the fan in a hurry.

I'd blame tires.

Glad you're okay. good luck on the next one.
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:28 AM   #8
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He said it was totaled under the picture
i missed that last little sentence after the photos...thx!
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:31 AM   #9
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If its totaled buy it back from your insurance. It looks very repairable. You will be able to add a buch of mods. Don't be afraid of a salvage title either. Nearly all states have strict inspections for vehicle that have been salvaged. That's how I built my TJ.
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:33 AM   #10
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If its totaled buy it back from your insurance. It looks very repairable. You will be able to add a buch of mods. Don't be afraid of a salvage title either. Nearly all states have strict inspections for vehicle that have been salvaged. That's how I built my TJ.
The '04 Rubicon I bought a few months ago has a salvage title.
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:39 AM   #11
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The only thing that would scare me about a salvage title is the resale value. But If you plan on keeping for a long time then it doesn't really matter.
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:40 AM   #12
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vehicles with Rear wheel drive are worse with hydroplaning IMO. Jeeps seem to be the worse of all rear wheel vehicles with hydroplaning. I won't let my son drive my Jeep when raining. It has a tendency to pull when it hits a puddle, and if you hit a large puddle, it's a fight to keep it on the road. It has to do with tires, steering alignment, and center of gravity.
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Old 08-16-2010, 12:00 PM   #13
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Personally, I don't see the difference in the tendency to hydroplane with a RWD vs. a FWD vehicle. To me it's more about vehicle speed, the tire's footprint size, the vehicle's weight, and the air pressure inside the tires.

On aircraft, we use a simple formula for determining the speed a tire is likely to start hydroplaning on the runway at. While it's simplistic, it does indicate the direct effect air pressure has on the speed at which a tire is likely to hydroplane at. The easy formula is 9X the square root of the air pressure gives an indication of the speed in mph it might begin to hydroplane. So if the tire pressure is 25 psi, the square root of that is 5. So 9X5 means a tire with 25 psi might be prone to hydroplane at 45 mph or faster.

The higher the tire pressure, the higher the speed you can drive before your tires are likely to hydroplane.
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Old 08-16-2010, 12:10 PM   #14
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Could you have put it in 4x4? Just a thought

I am moving to south Dakota and will be driving in the rain and snow a lot so I need to learn the safest way to drive my new rubi!
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Old 08-16-2010, 12:18 PM   #15
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Dang I'm sorry shes all banged up

Definantly buy that baby back. But I havent personally noticed any problems in my Jeep compared to when I had my Jaguar. I run fairly high air pressure in my tires when it rains so thats maybe why..

Btw, I love hitting hugh puddles. The water goes a flyin
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Old 08-16-2010, 12:37 PM   #16
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Sorry about your Jeep and glad that you are okay. I have to agree with Jerry (one would be crazy not to). I think tires make all the difference. I had problems with standing water when I was running my stock wranglers, but since putting on new rubber, puddles are something to aim for rather than avoid.
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Old 08-16-2010, 12:59 PM   #17
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vehicles with Rear wheel drive are worse with hydroplaning IMO. Jeeps seem to be the worse of all rear wheel vehicles with hydroplaning. I won't let my son drive my Jeep when raining. It has a tendency to pull when it hits a puddle, and if you hit a large puddle, it's a fight to keep it on the road. It has to do with tires, steering alignment, and center of gravity.
RWD vs FWD has little to nothing to do with it. I'll explain below.

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Personally, I don't see the difference in the tendency to hydroplane with a RWD vs. a FWD vehicle. To me it's more about vehicle speed, the tire's footprint size, the vehicle's weight, and the air pressure inside the tires.

On aircraft, we use a simple formula for determining the speed a tire is likely to start hydroplaning on the runway at. While it's simplistic, it does indicate the direct effect air pressure has on the speed at which a tire is likely to hydroplane at. The easy formula is 9X the square root of the air pressure gives an indication of the speed in mph it might begin to hydroplane. So if the tire pressure is 25 psi, the square root of that is 5. So 9X5 means a tire with 25 psi might be prone to hydroplane at 45 mph or faster.

The higher the tire pressure, the higher the speed you can drive before your tires are likely to hydroplane.
Tire pressure has less to do with it as well. It really comes down to a coupel things. Weight and the tire's ability to move standing water away from the path of the tire. Hydroplaning happens when you are moving fast enough over standing water to overcome the tires ability to displace said water and keep traction on solid ground. Once control is lost, its pretty much over. Putting more air in your tires isn't gonna keep standing water from filling the tread and floating all the tires.

I agree with wider tires and tires with low air pressure having a higher tendancy to hydroplane, but its not necessarily the pressure that is the root. Its the wider foot print caused by low air pressure. Skinnier tires cut through the water and get to dry pavement better as there is less water to move over the tire.

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Could you have put it in 4x4? Just a thought
Thats a horrible idea. Never engage 4WD unless you are sure all 4 tires are moving at the same speed. You'll shock the drivetrain and possibly kill your tcase or front axle/driveshaft/lots of other things.
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Old 08-16-2010, 01:02 PM   #18
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Sorry about the Jeep dude! Glad you are okay though! My jeep has 32" BFG's and they do not like standing water. I will scare the hell out of you the first time it happens. But if you take it slower when it rains then it will be easier to navigate. Just let off the gas and do NOT hit the brakes and hold the wheel steady and you will be fine. It' a Jeep thing!
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Old 08-16-2010, 01:20 PM   #19
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thanks

Thanks for the well wishes, certainly the best part is my safety and the safety of the other driver who was forced off the road. :-(

My tires weren't brand new, I was going to replace them in a couple months, but they were in no way bald.

Rats, sounds as if it is symptomatic of the truck. shoot.

I appreciate all your help.

RB
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Old 08-16-2010, 01:22 PM   #20
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Glad to hear you're ok man! I, myself, learned a lot about driving in rain
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Old 08-16-2010, 01:41 PM   #21
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I agree with wider tires and tires with low air pressure having a higher tendancy to hydroplane, but its not necessarily the pressure that is the root.
I never said or implied air pressure, by itself, is the root cause of hydroplaning.
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Old 08-16-2010, 01:46 PM   #22
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I would say that the root cause would be the water on the road.

Just my 2 pennies worth.
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Old 08-16-2010, 02:02 PM   #23
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I never said or implied air pressure, by itself, is the root cause of hydroplaning.
Your formula didn't take into account weight, just air pressure. If you don't take weight and several other factors into account, your estimation will be severly off.

And, wait, water is the root cause of HYDROplaning? Oh snap! *Thats* what I've been doing wrong!
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Old 08-16-2010, 02:10 PM   #24
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Your formula didn't take into account weight, just air pressure. If you don't take weight and several other factors into account, your estimation will be severly off.
Sheesh you are tough at times. It's not MY formula, that formula I mentioned is just one that pilots are taught during flight training to use. Its purpose was only to show the direct relationship between air pressure in the tire and how it directly affects the speed at which a tire will tend to hydoplane at. The higher the tire pressure, the smaller its footprint size will be which will reduce a tire's tendency to hydroplane. I was taught it many years ago and at least for MOST people, it is a simple concept that just shows the very direct yet simple relationship between air pressure and hydroplaning.

And that simple concept is independent of everything else... the higher the tire pressure, the faster a tire can be driven before it will tend to hydroplane, and visa-versa.

Did you also fail to read in that same post where I also said "To me it's more about vehicle speed, the tire's footprint size, the vehicle's weight, and the air pressure inside the tires."??

How this turned into an all-encompassing discussion as to all possible known data and theories on tire hydroplaning is beyond me.
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Old 08-16-2010, 02:16 PM   #25
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I would say that the root cause would be the water on the road.
AGREED!


curious. what all was damaged for it to be totaled out?
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Old 08-16-2010, 02:26 PM   #26
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Sheesh you are tough at times. It's not MY formula, that formula I mentioned is just one that pilots are taught during flight training to use. Its purpose was only to show the direct relationship between air pressure in the tire and how it directly affects the speed at which a tire will tend to hydoplane at. The higher the tire pressure, the smaller its footprint size will be which will reduce a tire's tendency to hydroplane. I was taught it many years ago and at least for MOST people, it is a simple concept that just shows the very direct yet simple relationship between air pressure and hydroplaning.

And that simple concept is independent of everything else... the higher the tire pressure, the faster a tire can be driven before it will tend to hydroplane, and visa-versa.

Did you also fail to read in that same post where I also said "To me it's more about vehicle speed, the tire's footprint size, the vehicle's weight, and the air pressure inside the tires."??

How this turned into an all-encompassing discussion as to all possible known data and theories on tire hydroplaning is beyond me.
Sorry bro, I honestly wasn't trying to get into a pissing contest with you. I was actually just elaborating on a subject I'm well versed in, mostly cuz work is slow and I'm kinda bored. I gotta kill time somehow, and daydreaming about the Jeep isn't helping my desire to stay at work...
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:25 PM   #27
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Thats a horrible idea. Never engage 4WD unless you are sure all 4 tires are moving at the same speed. You'll shock the drivetrain and possibly kill your tcase or front axle/driveshaft/lots of other things.
So when would you want to engage the 4x4?

I just got my first jeep which is also my first truck. I am used to rwd BMW's and have had tons of experiences hydroplaning. That is something i call fun also I know an evo which is all wheel drive does 10x better than a BMW rwd.

But I don't know how well I'll be able to correct a jeeps hydroplane. So if I know it's going to be raining hard should I put it in 4x4 or leave it in 2wd?
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:29 PM   #28
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If it's raining, you should SLOW DOWN!!!












Mom rant over.
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:35 PM   #29
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So when would you want to engage the 4x4?

I just got my first jeep which is also my first truck. I am used to rwd BMW's and have had tons of experiences hydroplaning. That is something i call fun also I know an evo which is all wheel drive does 10x better than a BMW rwd.

But I don't know how well I'll be able to correct a jeeps hydroplane. So if I know it's going to be raining hard should I put it in 4x4 or leave it in 2wd?
The answer has nothing to do with being in 2wd or 4x4, the correct answer was given immediately above, simply slow down. Slowing down is the way to prevent your Jeep from hydroplaning, in addition to having your tires at the correct air pressure and not being under-inflated.
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:44 PM   #30
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If you're going to engage 4wd, do so when the roads are covered in moving water from the run off while driving straight with the tires moving at the same speed....I have noticed that when the water is trying to pull me off the road, 4wd helps me keep my Jeep traveling in a straight line from the front tires pulling my front end straight when my rear wants to go sideways. This is when the water is trying to pull me off the road, NOT necessarily when I'm hydroplaning which I don't think the 4wd would really help with (kinda like driving on solid ice...2wd or 4wd, either way, you're going to slide all over the place). The others above are right though...the first thing you should do is reduce your speed. I use the 4wd when its raining so hard the roads have become streams but I also reduce my speed considerably.

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