Date registered: Apr 2009
Vehicle: 1999 E320 4matic (owned previously); 1996 SL500
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Tires lose traction and drivers panic.
I used to lose traction like this all the time in my Jeep (when I was in 2wd). I would approach what looked like wet pavement but was really black ice! If the back end went out, I would gently lift off the throttle , gently turn the wheels (into the skid, if the back end goes left, turn wheels left, back goes right, turn right) until the vehicle is straight. I have found this technique works best if there is little to no braking but if there are obstacles in the road to avoid, I would hammer down the brakes and let the ABS figure out what to do.
The way people mess this up is pretty simple. When they start sliding sideways, they jerk the wheel in the opposite direction of the skid. This puts a torque on the car, and in a few seconds they are facing the wrong way down the road, have gone off the road, or hit a freeway divider. It happens like crazy here in Colorado.
Driving my 4matic on roads with questionable traction is a pleasure because I never have to engage 4x4. (the Jeep is not designed to be in 4x4 all the time on dry or high traction surfaces, as it has a locked center differential and will wear out in a couple thousand miles if not disengaged).
The best part of the 4matic is the traction control warning light illuminates when a wheel loses traction, this is a very good reminder to drivers to slow down and be more cautious.
"Elitist snobs talking about elitist snobs on an elitist circlejerk forum... " -Fergie
"And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile" -Once In a Lifetime, Talking Heads
"...and now you know...the rest of the story." -Paul Harvey
Last edited by j99xj; 02-08-2010 at 11:02 PM.