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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My first moment of oversteer!

Torrential rains in the bay area tonight. Was taking an onramp cloverleaf a little too fast as it tightened up mid-turn, let up on the throttle a little, and before I knew it, the weight transfer to the front caused the rear to break loose, and I was drifting!

After a half second of bafflement (my Passat never oversteered before) I countersteered, applied a little more throttle, and was out of it.

My passenger was a bit scared, but all's well that ends well :)

I should probably add a little air in the tires in this cold weather; help with wet grip...
 

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That is called a Decreasing Radius turn. Good catch with the countersteer action (yes it can be scary)! Glad it all turned out ok ..
 

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You must have a non-ESP car. I have encountered this several times, and you can actually induce it by hitting and lifting the throttle. whilst tossing the car in a corner. With ESP activated, you can feel the car braking to correct the situation. When ESP is off, your reaction is correct - apply a little counter to the wheel and (in a front wheel drive car) throttle and drive out of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, no ESP, but no rear sway. I do have stiffer shocks though and the front is slightly lowered. Rear tire pressures are much lower to help rotation - I guess it definitely rotated!

I think it was a combination of these factors:
- extremely cold weather (<40 F) reducing tire grip (Bridgestone Turanza)
- lots of rain
- much lower tire pressure in back (28 psi rear, 35 psi front which may be lower now due to the cold weather)
- tires with less than half tread depth
- driver error (lifting throttle)
- full gas tank
 

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You must have a non-ESP car. I have encountered this several times, and you can actually induce it by hitting and lifting the throttle. whilst tossing the car in a corner. With ESP activated, you can feel the car braking to correct the situation. When ESP is off, your reaction is correct - apply a little counter to the wheel and (in a front wheel drive car) throttle and drive out of it.
Heh...ESP...heheheh. :thumbdown: ABS is good because you only have one pedal to control four brakes with, but ESP is a waste of time. It would be good if it didn't kick in every time I hit the gas or go around a sharp corner, but it does.
 

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I wouldn't call lifting the throttle 'driver error'. You needed to scrub off some speed to keep things controllable. Driver error would have been staying off the throttle or getting on the brake, and having the car go sideways and possibly roll if the rears went off the pavement and bit into something.

Good call! I've found the Passat to be very controllable in slides and such, almost as much so as my old AWD Talon. Impressive for such a big, heavy FWD car...
 

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I think you can face the same oversteer behaviour with almost every car, with almost every FWD car, at least. I've been in similar situations with my 9-3.

Particularly, I remember one highway ramp under black-ice conditions. The ramp was down hill and I think it enforced the behaviour because the car had even more weight on its front wheels.

Then, you easily get scared and reduce gas even more whereas you should increase it.
 

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. Driver error would have been staying off the throttle or getting on the brake, and having the car go sideways and possibly roll if the rears went off the pavement and bit into something.
...
That's how my 1st Passat died. A little dirt on the edge of the road (no curbs or shoulder) and a nice drainage ditch. I had front and rear sways. Did a slow motion rollover at about 5mph.
 

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That's how my 1st Passat died. A little dirt on the edge of the road (no curbs or shoulder) and a nice drainage ditch. I had front and rear sways. Did a slow motion rollover at about 5mph.

wow that sucks.... glad to hear ur ok. 5mph is reallly slow. that must have been interesting. :banghead:
 
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