Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Mark asks: Eric, I have in the past emailed you to tell you that I had a 2014 GMC pick-up and now a 2018 Chevy pick-up – and both spin out starting out from a stop.
The GMC was worse than the Chevy.
You kind of hammered me as if I don’t know how to drive. I let it go having been a professionally racing internationally for over 20 years and very well know how to drive, having made millions doing so.
But I knew something was wrong, so I ask people at gas stations if their trucks slip and slide when the roads are well soaked. Everyone of them have said, “yes”. Then the guy next door was telling me his hatchback Ford (rear wheel drive) slides out when the roads are wet. He said this out of the blue when we were talking about the new Jeep Cherokee I bought for my daughter. His wife has one like it that’s two years older.
He said that the Jeep never slid out in the wet like his car.
I drove out of state; out of state it rained heavy, wet, wet roads; no sliding whatsoever. I did some digging in the road differences; Texas uses recycled glass in the asphalt. Which makes the road surface very smooth, fills in the little gaps that normal asphalt has without fine glass in it. And the Texas roads float the water better! Yes, I know about the crown of roads and run off, trust me. You may want to do a little looking into this because it really is likely an issue that could be examined, in the name of public safety, which the government can’t be counted on to do. No rush to get back to me, dig into this, ask around.
Hi Mark: Well, let’s start by defining “spin out.”
Do you mean a bit of wheelslip under hard acceleration from a stop … or fishtailing all over the road? A little wheelslip is normal – and to be expected – when accelerating aggressively on dry pavement or on wet/slick pavement.
However, it should be just that – a little wheelslip – assuming you have not turned off the traction control, which both your trucks have.
If it’s a lot of wheelslip – if you’re “spinning out” on dry pavement with the TCS on and your right foot not all the way down – then you may have a problem with your TCS.
I don’t doubt that some road surfaces are slicker than others; even so, I find I have to really try to get any modern vehicle to break traction on dry pavement. Even when I floor it from a standstill; the TCS system sees to this. I find I have to shut if off if I want to spin out. And even then, it takes a powerful car to overcome the powerful grip of modern tires.
That’s been my experience, at any rate.
Trucks, of course, are more vulnerable to wheelslip because they’re rear drive (assuming the 4WD is not engaged) and because they are light in the rear. Compounding this problem – in some trucks – is that the rear axle is “open” – i.e., isn’t limited slip.
My 2002 Nissan Frontier has this problem. But it also hasn’t got TCS.
You didn’t mention whether the Jeep you drove was equipped with all-wheel-drive. I suspect it was, given the absence of any wheelslip. It is very hard to break traction in an AWD-equipped vehicle on dry pavement, even if exceptionally powerful. Last summer, I test drove the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. It has the Hellcat supercharged V8 and 707 horsepower – but paired with AWD.
Even on wet pavement, it was hard to break anything loose.
So I strongly suspect your Jeep has AWD, for just that reason!
. . .
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