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Discussion Starter #1
All,
I get that a deep puddle/slush pile is a drag source on one side and will tend to pull the car in its direction but I think the pull is too much at 50+mph. Should I check for suspension wear? Tires are fresh as of 1.5 years old Nokian (https://www.nokiantires.com/tires/passenger-car/all-weather-tires/) and around 5k miles on them.
The pull is on the somewhat scary side for me as an auto crosser who is very happy to skid around. Other than slow down, is there a lurking suspension issue? Good time to fix since I try to not drive in the winter--convertible.
thanks
Breck

1999 9-3 convertable
VIN YS3DD75N9X7022821
B204L/T5 engine
190k miles
 

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Sounds normal, honestly. If you had suspension issues, you would have symptoms under other driving conditions, and not just when you run through a puddle or slush IMO.
 

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Aquaplaning speed is IIRC 9 x the sq root of the tyre pressure in psi. So at 35 (I can't remember what 9-3 pressures are) it would theoretically unstick at 53 mph. So your pressure would seem ok.

Ideally, find a puddle you can drive the right side through, and can then safely drive the left side through at the same speed!
 

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If the stanchion arm bushings (fore or aft) are weak, you can get some deflection in puddles that makes for a jarring pull. 9-3 front geometry isn't particularly... robust. :D

But, it could also be tires. Not all tires are created equally, and just because they're new doesn't mean they're good in the wet.

I'm looking for new tires for my '02 right this second and was entertaining the Nokian enTyre 2.0. …. is that what you're running? The old NRZs I had were awesome in the rain, but I'm not trying to spend a fortune on a car I won't have for much longer. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If the stanchion arm bushings (fore or aft) are weak, you can get some deflection in puddles that makes for a jarring pull. 9-3 front geometry isn't particularly... robust. :D

But, it could also be tires. Not all tires are created equally, and just because they're new doesn't mean they're good in the wet.

I'm looking for new tires for my '02 right this second and was entertaining the Nokian enTyre 2.0. …. is that what you're running? The old NRZs I had were awesome in the rain, but I'm not trying to spend a fortune on a car I won't have for much longer. ;)
I wont see the SAAB until next week but they were definitely all weather which means a snow tire that tolerates other seasons as opposed to all seasons which are 3 season tires that tolerate snow. Current ones are on the Nokian site are https://www.nokiantires.com/tires/by-tire-size/all-weather-tires/?s=195-60-15. I'll update when I see the car next.

Friends had the same tire on a Honda Element and they didn't complain. I am guessing it is the suspension, I'll see how the Subaru does in similar conditions--it has proper Nokian snows.
 

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Hmmm… that's not really accurate. "All season tires" get to be all season tires because they make compromises in all areas. That's why they're often referred to as "no season tires" … because they aren't particularly good at anything. By and large you will get superior rain performance from a summer tire versus an all season tire.


"Summer tires are the ultimate wet weather performers. They have sticky compounds to grip wet pavement and tread patterns designed to let water flow through and away from the contact patch. The current class leaders in wet and overall traction are the Michelin Pilot Super Sport and Bridgestone Potenza S-04."

Note Tirerack's two best rain tires are ultra high performance summer tires.

Snow tires are similarly undesirable for rain, unless you happen to be in very cold climate. Summer tires will tend to get hard in cold weather and lose capability, whereas snow tires will remain compliant.


Note the quote:

"On such roads, top-quality winter tires are almost as good in emergency stopping and cornering as original-equipment all-season tires, says Rogers, who also does testing for Tire Rack."

That guy - also from Tirerack - is saying snow tires are almost as good as OE all-seasons, which themselves aren't very good! Not a ringing endorsement.
 

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Doing some research on the WR G4 (what I think you have) I think I better understand the tire. It's basically a snow tire with some additional properties to make it suitable as an all-season. Essentially the opposite of what one would typically ascribe to an all season tire. Based on some tech specs, some reviews and consumer reports, what you experience seems expected. It's not what I would describe as a candidate for a good rain tire.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just a follow up on my with the SAAB pulling towards on wheel in puddles so others may benefit--yes there was worn stuff in my front end. I ended up going to a SAAB mechanic, Pete's Auto Expressions in Beacon NY and they fixed it.
Drives without issue now so there was something wrong. Sorry, I don't have details since I didn't do the work.

thanks all who helped out.

Breck
 

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Awesome that you followed up!
My pleasure, I have gotten so much support from you fine folks that it is the least I can do to post that I at least had a real problem.

Sorry I couldn't articulate what the fix was or better diagnostics.

Definitely not the tires.

B
 

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Since we are now driving 20 year old cars, all of the rubber components of our suspension are going to be on their way out if they are factory stock. I just did all of my suspension and both control arm bushings completely ripped in half just by pressing them together, 1 out of 2 of my sway bar links was completely loose and boot torn off and 1 out of 2 of my tie rod ends also had a torn up boot. The motor mount and stanchion arms still looked good though.

You might also want to get the engine's rubber timing chain cover guide too since it can make all kinds of noise and a combo loose chain + no guide could be catastrophic.

On my running saab two weeks ago I had a really awkward rough startup, sounded like my car lost timing, that cleared up perfectly after 2 seconds or so. And when I pulled the valve cover to investigate my timing chain rubber guide was so brittle it got chewed up by the chain and the resulting mayhem must have sent my timing out of whack for a few seconds. Put the other rubber guide in and still works though lol.
 

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Breck - Good that you got it sorted.
I can tell you that when you have decent tyres, and you've updated the suspension & steering via a refresh.. the feeling on the road is great!
 
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