Prime in rain

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by HypersonicPrime, May 15, 2019.

  1. HypersonicPrime

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    Recently I was on a trip and it began to rain pretty hard. It lightened to a moderately heavy rain--one where most people slow down to about 60 mph from the usual 70+ interstate speeds. I was going up a moderate hill (nothing mountainous) and I was not on a curve. I noticed the Prime's front tires starting to "skip". I was on a hill--so no standing water. It felt sort of like ABS, but I was not braking. No lights came on and after this continued for 5-10 seconds, I let up to slow down, worrying that I could lose steering. Nothing bad happened, but I was fairly surprised at this occurrence. My tires are stock (probably not the greatest quality--I know) and have 20k miles, but still have half their tread left. I have to say that I was fairly surprised this happened. I realize that fresh rain reduces traction the most and going uphill in a front-wheel-drive car at high speeds requires more traction, but I didn't expect to reach the traction limit of the Prime in this circumstance. I found another thread on this and most of the discussion was about snow. I didn't want to revive it, but I did want to mention this for others' sake. Where I felt fairly comfortable in this situation in my old AWD vehicle with large tires, I'm now going to take it a little slower in the Prime.

    Hows the prime in winter and heavy rain? | PriusChat
     
    #1 HypersonicPrime, May 15, 2019
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  2. heiwa

    heiwa Active Member

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    We have driven our first Prime nearly 40k miles without experiencing what you described in heavy rain or otherwise. Is it possible that there was a patch of oil on the road?

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  3. Rob43

    Rob43 Active Member

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    Tires make ALL the difference.

    When the time comes, spend some time & decide what's best for you. I personally went with a Non LRR tire because of its capability's in the wet & dry, the downside is a little less mpg's. Trade Offs....


    Rob43
     
    #3 Rob43, May 16, 2019
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
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  4. Old Bear

    Old Bear Senior Member

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    See your owner's manual (pp. 476-481) about the function of the VSC (vehicle stability control) and the TRAC (traction control) which are designed to maintain control of your Prime on slippery surfaces.

    Your description of the event sounds like one of the wheels started to slip on the pavement and your Prime automatically adjusted how much power was being delivered to the non-slipping wheel so that your vehicle would remain in control.

    TRAC+VSC-systems.jpg
     
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  5. schja01

    schja01 One of just a few in Chicagoland

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    The OP was experiencing hydroplaning it was the car trying to reestablish traction.
     
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  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    what tires pressure are you running?
     
  7. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Sounds more of tire issue than PRIME specific event, but I like the explanation @Old Bear provides. What OEM tire do you have on your car? My Dunlop Enasaver is loosing traction at 25K with 5/32 tread left. I would not want to drive on snow any more with it, and wet pavement is getting tricky already. I plan to replace them after this summer.
     
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  8. bcrtops

    bcrtops New Member

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    Out here in PNW, red-neck, logging country, there are at least a dozen Prii owned by commuters. Everyone I have talked to say the original low rolling resistance tires are crap on wet roads. After having a blowout @ 5,000 miles that they would not cover, I ended up putting Michelin Defenders on all 4 corners. The difference is astounding in every respect -- handling, ride, cornering & especially on the wet roads we constantly have around here. I will gladly trade a mile or two per gallon for this vast improvement.
     
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  9. PT Guy

    PT Guy Active Member

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    I agree about the tires as the problem and the possibility of an oily spot.

    I also live in the Pacific Northwet, and the Michelin Defenders would not be my first choice. They're great for very long tread life. To get this they give up some traction. My Michelin choice would be the new CrossClimate. Also a top wet traction choice is the Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady. Both of these give up some tread life to gain wet traction. All tire designs are compromises. The choice is yours. For us, I bought Bridgestone DriveGuard run flat tires. The reliability of them is more important to me than other attributes. They're poor in snow, but we use winter tires. Wet traction has been OK. Noise and comfort are OK.

    The tirerack.com Tire Decision Guide is very helpful. Try listing just one or two attributes that are very important to you and list the other attributes very low on the guide. Vary your input and check the recommendations.
     
  10. Tha_Ape

    Tha_Ape Member

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    I 2nd hydroplaning...

    As for tires, I always run all seasons unless I have a second set. I went with Continental DWS (dry, wry, and snow)on my last car and BF Goodrich g-Force T/A KDW on the car before that.

    Now admittedly I took those cars to the track and had to be prepared for rain. I don't plan on bringing my Prime to the track, but both those tires perform very well in the rain.
     
  11. EyePrime

    EyePrime Active Member

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    That's sounds about right. It must have been raining hard cause people slowing down on the highway for road conditions is rare

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  12. noonm

    noonm Member

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    I second this.

    I've had some wheel slip under fast acceleration in dry/flat conditions with my OEM tires. If its concerning you, swapping for tires with better traction would likely solve the issue. Otherwise, you just have to take more care while driving in rain/snow/slippery conditions.
     
  13. Usle

    Usle Member

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    My gen2 with michelin all season tires had this problem on the flat on freeways, much less the oem tires, true the 4th gen is more sensitive to wheel slippage but high high speeds and water....
     
  14. bruceha_2000

    bruceha_2000 Senior Member

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    How about water running downhill? One of the worst places for hydroplaning around here is on a specific uphill on the interstate. The vehicles wear a groove in the pavement over time and in a heavy rain, that is where the water ends up. Ride the ridges.

    I'm not discounting the possibility of the tires not being grippy enough though.
     
  15. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Supposedly, one tenth of an inch of water is enough for hydroplaning to occur.
     
  16. Rob43

    Rob43 Active Member

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    Hydroplaning does not happen at 35 MPH or less.

    So if anyone ever experiences what they believe is wet weather wheel/tire slippage & it's occurring below ~35 MPH, you are experiencing tire slippage, not hydroplaning.


    Rob43
     
  17. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    The Prius is no different than many other cars in this respect - the OEM tires are generally optimized for one thing and that's not performance. Low cost to the manufacturer, low rolling resistance, etc. Of the five most recent cars I have owned, three came with OEM tires that were pretty crappy. Both a Honda Civic and VW Jetta TDI came with Turanza 400, bad in all respects. My Prime has nearly as bad OEM tires - Toyo NanoEnergy A29 (great for rolling resistance, but little else). With the NanoEnergy's, you get the dual benefits of crappy handling and rain performance AND short tread life. That may be a plus, they'll be off my car sooner.

    Our Subaru Outback and my MX-5 both came with good OEM tires.
     
  18. docboy

    docboy Junior Member

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    Pacific Northwet here as well. Is your Prime your daily driver, or do you have an AWD or 4WD vehicle as a second vehicle?

    I would be eager to hear your experiences in the Prime with regards to the near constant rain and occasional snow we have.

    How does the Prime fare in the heavy rain?

    Also have you tried driving in the Prime uphill (and down hill) in the snow? If so how does it fair?
     
  19. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    This message deleted by me.
     
    #19 jb in NE, May 24, 2019
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
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