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I was coming out of work early in the morning on the weekend when I got in real trouble. The road was dry – no one around – just a dry smooth road on a beautiful clear day in August. As I was accelerating out of a right hand sweeping turn, I heard that beautiful sound of the V coming alive. So I mashed the pedal to the floor and shifted hard into second. Although the road was straightening out just ahead, the V was still in the curve at just about the limit of traction. After shifting into second (traction control was on) the rear end broke loose and slid out to the left. I turned into the skid lifted my foot off the gas and seemed to regain control when all of the sudden the car switched directions and did a wicked fast 270 degree spin in the opposite direction. This time the skid was completely out of control. I hit the curb going sideways with the right rear wheel first then the right front. Bang! What an awful noise… I landed in the grass after jumping the curb with the whole car.

The right rear wheel was angled in at a 45 degree angle at the bottom. Both wheels on the right side were broken from the impact. The impact broke the differential mounting tabs off, bent the drive shaft, bent the rear support cross member, broke the steering gear assembly, and bent all the control and stabilizer arms on the right side. The only body damage was from the upper shock mount getting pulled out of position. Very sad…especially since I only had the car for three weeks prior to the accident. My first accident after driving over 30 years – of course this was the first car I ever had with that much power! Total damage was just over $13K – luckily I have good insurance and a clean record – no tickets.

After five weeks of waiting and another week back and forth to get everything perfect the car is great. The good news (if there is an upside to a story like that) I got the new differential – the serial numbers match anyway. I also upgraded to the Cadillac accessory wheels for the V. The original wheels had some streaking in the finish most likely from harsh chemicals used by the previous owner in cleaning. I also salvaged one on the broken wheels with a partially damaged tire to use as a spare. (The car had new Dunlop Direzza DZ101 – non run flat - tires all around when I bought it) I still have the two wheels from the left side – I’m thinking of using them for drag radials if I that works out next summer.

So now the V is safely wrapped up in the garage until next spring. Any ideas how things could have gotten so out of control with the TC on??
Thanks for the great forum!

CC

 
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A little thing called driver error. Be careful out there.


So now the V is safely wrapped up in the garage until next spring. Any ideas how things could have gotten so out of control with the TC on??
Thanks for the great forum!

]
 

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It sounds like the stabilitrak system kicked in. Sometimes all of the electronic aids in the world can't prevent an accident. Although the system is on, they do have their limits before they kick in.

Welcome to the site by the way!
 

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CrashCadillac said:
. Any ideas how things could have gotten so out of control with the TC on??
Well, think of the TC more like training wheels.... you can still wreck the bike.

" I mashed the pedal to the floor and shifted hard into second. Although the road was straightening out just ahead, the V was still in the curve at just about the limit of traction."

This is bad. Banging gears mid curve is not good. Throws off the balance of the car.

"After shifting into second (traction control was on) the rear end broke loose and slid out to the left. I turned into the skid lifted my foot off the gas and seemed to regain control when all of the sudden the car switched directions and did a wicked fast 270 degree spin in the opposite direction. This time the skid was completely out of control."

The lifting is what caused the problem... you may have been able to save it IF you didn't lift. When you lifted it took ALL the traction off the rear wheels and around it went. The only thing worse would have been to hit the brakes. When sideways, typically don't lift. Nothing will send you spiraling into the wall quicker.

You racers that have been through the kink at Road America know what I mean....

 

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now that it has been below 50 degrees for a while and the F1's become slippery when dry, I can confirm that traction control may help you but it does not make the car invincible. Laws of Physics still apply and once you let it get giddy in a turn, which stabilitrak will allow you to do, stabilitrak will not bring you back.

Glad to hear that you didn't get hurt, and that the V is back to normal.
 

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'05 CTS-VM 51 track days in Maggied V & 82 in Atom 2 in Volt
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OUCH! :grouphug: points for fessing up. She can be an evil mistress. :kitty:

TC keeps the wheels from generally spinning, Stabiltrac keeps the wheels going in the same direction... well for the most part..

Stabilitrac is your friend. I run with it on while on the track, I know that's not the "manly" thing to do but it's the smart thing to do. Because, well, I have to drive it home, drive it to work and make another payment next month.

:welcome:
 

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I got into a minor accident a few months ago and had about 3k worth of damage.....I bent two wheels, the steering arm control and some other stuff.
 

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CrashCadillac said:
Any ideas how things could have gotten so out of control with the TC on??
Thanks for the great forum!
The traction control works best in prolonged load situations. I'd guess the shock of the shift was too unexpected for the system to react in time, and that's what I found to be true with my experiences in the V.

- Hydroplanning (1 year ago this weekend). Stabilitrack didn't engage until well after I turned into the slide. The car was in a small drift for a couple of seconds then the system kicked in and helped out.
- I saw a CTS with all systems on completely spin out after going over a rise in the middle of a turn. I think the computer was like "damn you screwed good this time :helpless: " and the car did the same stuff a non active handling vehicle would.
 

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Dennisscars said:
OUCH! :grouphug: points for fessing up. She can be an evil mistress. :kitty:

TC keeps the wheels from generally spinning, Stabiltrac keeps the wheels going in the same direction... well for the most part..

Stabilitrac is your friend. I run with it on while on the track, I know that's not the "manly" thing to do but it's the smart thing to do. Because, well, I have to drive it home, drive it to work and make another payment next month.

:welcome:
Yep, I run at the track with Competitive Driving Mode a lot. Our systems are a great tool for learning the V's limits as long as you don't use it simply as a babysitter. Comp mode is great especially at the autocross as I really learn what the V can and can't do.

However, there's only so much Stabilitrak can do before the laws of physics set in. Sometimes you just get too hot and you're past the point of no return. My last autocross, at lunch they added a cone to the slalom but kept the total distance the same. They thought they told everybody. Well, after entering too hot, I tried holding on without lifting too much or mashing the brakes and just couldn't hold it. I did make 2 cones swinging wildly before she finally spun.

One thing, thoguh. Unless in a front driver, lifting is never good. In a corner, that is.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the great advice! I'll remember to keep my foot in it next time she slides and play around in a larger area with no curbs or obsticles - just in case. Obviously, I have a greater respect for the whole V driving process - driver error was the big problem.

I took no photos of the damage - It was too difficult to look at let alone record.

Thanks again for the feedback!

CC
 

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:eek: Glad to hear your OK. I learned my lesson a few years back when I lost control of my Corvette. Luckily I had no time to think. I say that because I would have done what you did "steer into the skid". But everyone I spoke with about it told me that with the stabilty control on where you steer is where your going. I steered in the direction which I should have been going and the car corrected itself.

Joe
New Orleans
 

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I di something very similar one year ago this weekend. Wednesday will be one year since I took delivery, two days later I was out romping around on a twisty road I hadn't been on in a long time, took an off camber turn slightly too fast and slid. There was no curb, just a soft shoulder. I really came close to hitting a tree. The only damage was couple scratches on the rims, and mud. I definately have respect for a car like this now I'm glad you do too. I want to go to a racing/driving school so I can fully enjoy the potential of the car. Welcome to the group.
 
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