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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 10-27-2012, 07:59 AM   #81
dknightd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E46Cherry View Post
So in that case, DSC never actually did anything... The dash light never even turned on in my car. Obviously I mean before I turned it off.
That would be my guess. Maybe you were on a bad stretch of road, when you turned off dsc you happened to be on a good stretch of road. On the other hand it is possible the light blinked and you did not notice because you were watching the road (which would be the right thing to do if you think the dsc might be needed)

As others have said. Normally a good idea to leave DSC on. If it is working properly it should always make the car feel more stable and safer.
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Old 10-27-2012, 12:14 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by E46Cherry View Post
DSC never actually did anything... The dash light never even turned on in my car.
It was far from clear in the first or initial subsequent posts. Now we fully understand what happened. Hydroplaning, pure and simple.

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Originally Posted by E46Mango View Post
Hydroplaning can theoretically happen at any speed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by E46Cherry View Post
hydroplaning is not defined by driving too fast.
Those statements are technically correct. But read on....

Quote:
Originally Posted by E46Cherry View Post
It's the lack of traction and tires not being able to grip the road due to a layer building between the tires and the road or surface.
For any given depth of this "layer" (read, "water"), the faster you go, the less able tires are to evacuate the water, and the more likely they can't grip the road. Therefore, as avincent says:

Quote:
Originally Posted by avincent52 View Post
By defnition, if you're hydroplaning, you're going too fast.
If you truly understand the above, nothing could be more obvious. The only fix at hand:

Quote:
Originally Posted by avincent52 View Post
...if you're hydroplaning, [...] the only reasonable, immediate solution is to slow down.
-----------
Quote:
Originally Posted by WDE46 View Post
you guys should address the problem.
Again, many folk have. Avincent did it pretty concisely:
Quote:
Originally Posted by avincent52 View Post
...didn't call him stupid, [...]We said, "It's not your DSC, or your tires, it's that you're driving too fast."
What causes hydroplaning is driving too fast for the combination of road conditions and vehicle condition (including tires) when the road is wet. Having super, duper rain tires may raise the point at which hydroplaning occurs, but they won't prevent it entirely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by avincent52 View Post
It's not the car, it's not his tires, it's the way he's driving.

If our alternative responses are:
a) Slow down. Now.
b) Too bad, bro. Maybe you should get some coil overs.

And b) leads to the OP's next thread being entitled "I Totaled My M3...And My Right Leg Too"
Maybe a) is what he needs to hear.
^ The message couldn't be any clearer.

What I'm posting is not calling him stupid. (Although I can imagine many might call continuing to drive so fast as to cause repeated hydroplaning "stupid".) What I--and I'm going out on a limb here--and the others are posting is not intended just for the OP.

The basic lesson is valid for other less experienced drivers in similar situations. In additon, there have been posts that contian indications of the obvious signs of "hydroplaning ahead" (besides water on the road) to help prevent this from happening in the future.

One of the biggest fallacies is that, because the car is an M3 (substitute any sports car), it can always be driven faster than other cars on the road. As many have noted though, the wide, uber-ultimate-max dry traction tires that are often fitted to those cars are precisely NOT what is needed for driving in the rain. As a result, to be safe, they need to be driven more slowly in the rain. Yes, that means a 25 yr old econobox from the late 80s on tiny 165/80-13 all-season tires can be driven at higher speeds in the rain than a brand new Corvette with meats that are a foot wide.
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Old 10-27-2012, 02:23 PM   #83
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Hello BMW Experts!
DSC, DSC, DSC.... DSC is a last resort kind of tool.
Suggestions:
-Fix all the rubber & ball joints in the car. The e46 is adjustable front & rear. After fixing your bushings & balls, set camber towards the minimum values with a good 4-wheel alignment. Do NOT over-camber your wheels as if you are an oval track racer. Too much camber means you are driving on the inner edge of your tires & can cause your car to dart & not go straight. If you haven't had a good 4-wheel alignment in a while, you tires are probably compromised & are doing you no favors, rather contributing to your lack of straight line ability.
-Buy a 2002 or e21 & take a hi-po driving lesson or go to a track. These rear semi-trailing arm cars can be very tricky, & are only controlled by the driver, so it is much easier to figure out what driver actions are good & which are bad. These old cars tell you so much more of what is happening between you and the road; there's just less crap in the way. You can feel what the car is doing & thus figure out what you should do.
It is much better to learn to be a good driver than to rely on DSC to bail you out.

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Last edited by LittleBear; 10-27-2012 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 10-27-2012, 02:26 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by LittleBear View Post
Hello BMW Experts!
DSC, DSC, DSC.... DSC is a last resort kind of tool.
Suggestions:
-Fix all the rubber & ball joints in the car. The e46 is adjustable front & rear. After fixing your bushings & balls, set camber towards the minimum values with a good 4-wheel alignment. Do NOT over-camber your wheels as if you are an oval track racer. Too much camber means you are driving on the inner edge of your tires & can cause your car to dart & not go straight.
-Buy a 2002 or e21 & take a hi-po driving lesson or go to a track. These rear semi-trailing arm cars can be very tricky, & are only controlled by the driver, so it is much easier to figure out what driver actions are good & which are bad. These old cars tell you so much more of what is happening between you and the road; there's just less crap in the way. You can feel what the car is doing & thus figure out what you should do.
It is much better to learn to be a good driver than to rely on DSC to bail you out.

Murf
Seems like a lot of effort when you could just push the DSC button and be on your merry way
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Old 10-27-2012, 02:29 PM   #85
LittleBear
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Seems like a lot of effort when you could just push the DSC button and be on your merry way
DSC has it's place and should be used, but it is better to know how to drive so as not to need it. It is a band-aid for bad driving.

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Old 10-27-2012, 02:30 PM   #86
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There's a reason why ESP is mandatory on all modern cars now. It's considered the best invention since the seatbelt. It doesn't replace being a shitty driver, but there are times when you will naturally and automatically swerve to avoid something that popped up out of nowhere. Not all of us are racecar drivers. That's where these systems take place and what they're made for.
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Old 10-27-2012, 02:38 PM   #87
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There's a reason why ESP is mandatory on all modern cars now. It's considered the best invention since the seatbelt. It doesn't replace being a shitty driver, but there are times when you will naturally and automatically swerve to avoid something that popped up out of nowhere. Not all of us are racecar drivers. That's where these systems take place and what they're made for.
Agreed. But we are not driving SUVs.
And there is a reason for driving schools, and for developing driving skills. DSC is not a substitute for driving skill, for being able to feel when you over correct or whatever. It is a patch.
But it should be used, as should seat belts. But seat belts don't absolve you from bad driving, they just save your arse after you mess up.

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Old 10-27-2012, 02:47 PM   #88
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We're getting way, way off topic here.

Last edited by sunsetcoast; 10-27-2012 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 10-27-2012, 03:03 PM   #89
LittleBear
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We're getting way, way off topic here.
Yes, but my first suggestion was to fix the bushings, ball joints, tires, and get a good 4-wheel alignment. While your car, with modern very grippy tires, may feel OK scrubbing around in the dry, your car won't go straight without it in the rain.
A car grossly out of alignment will light up the DSC more often.

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Old 10-27-2012, 03:46 PM   #90
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A car grossly out of alignment will light up the DSC more often.
Perhaps, but we've already determined that the DSC light didn't come on during his drive in the rain....
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Old 10-27-2012, 03:56 PM   #91
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I made a quick U-turn one time in the rain but applied too much throttle and spun my car more than 360 degrees. I didn't hit anything or crash into a tree or pole so I guess it's safe to say I was in complete control!
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Old 10-27-2012, 04:55 PM   #92
LittleBear
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Originally Posted by E46Cherry View Post
... I realized the car was always jerking and trying to maintain a straight path no matter what, jerking left and right especially at the most unpredictable times....
"Perhaps, but we've already determined that the DSC light didn't come on during his drive in the rain...."

OK, my bad, but given the above quote by the OP my comments about bushes & balls and an alignment with minimal camber still seems relevant.

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Last edited by LittleBear; 10-27-2012 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:24 AM   #93
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well the reason i say to keep the DSC on in the rain is because Rear Wheel Drive cars with high horsepower (333hp in this case) and Limited Slip differentials are very tail happy. much more so than a non-M with a peg leg diff. so i stand by my post that one is more likely to have a spin-out (hitting a pole or tree were examples) of things that can be hit in a RWD spin-out. so be careful.

also if you haven't had experience with a wet skid pad it's very eye opening. i recall my first time and it's the most controlled "uncontrolled fun" you can be subjected to.

now to answer other question. you say now you didn't trigger the DSC for the issues you were having. which were having the car feel like swerving or maintain a straight path in curves. this sounds like you were hydroplanning and plowing forward, or perhaps just the front tires were losing grip. which is opposite of tail spin in this case.
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