New Z3 owner off to a shaky start!

James Little

Regular Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
4
Hi guys, my name is James and I just bought a lovely looking Z3 last Sunday.

To my eyes it is the same spec as the one from Goldeneye (though I'm sure there are a million technical differences, I don't really mind that - it's close enough), its Atlanta Blue and tan leather interior. 1895cc engine, 1998 with 106,000 miles on the clock, and a full service history etc etc, so it looked like an absolute bargain to me and I'm happy with it.

The trouble comes 9am this morning, when on a mildly damp road in moderate traffic I went to turn right on a roundabout (at what I thought was a sensible speed) and totally lost the back end. I spun the car a sharp 120 degrees and ended up mounting the roundabout with my front wheels, with my back wheels still on the road! Luckily there wasn't anyone near me at that moment and everyone stopped to let me gingerly reverse off the island and limp to a nearby cul-de-sac to check the car. Somehow I've come away alive and with absolutely no visible damage to the car except and little bit of scuffing on the underside of the front lip (that you can only see if you are really looking for it).

I was wondering if you guys could lend me some advice on how to proceed and make sure nothing like that ever happens again?

My first thought is that I want new tyres that are made out of glue, and that I shall always take roundabouts at 10mph. What has worried me slightly is that I've read that the ASC should kick in if you go into a skid and that it makes a noise and you can feel it working... Well I didn't feel anything, I didn't see any flashing dashboard lights either. Just for a moment the back end of my car was a hovercraft. There was no visible puddle or slick on the road either, just damp tarmac from the rain earlier this morning. I've never touched the ASC, and at the time the ASC light was not on on the dashboard (which I believe means the traction control is on), and when I test the ASC button the light clearly comes on to say that it has been turned off.


Now I know the reason for the spin is 95% likely that I was driving the car poorly, but for the last 6 years I've been driving a Mk2 Mazda MX5 as my main car (in the rain and light snow) and I've never had any trouble with the heavy front-end and rear-wheel drive. Are there any tips for driving the Z3 to help me in the future?

Sorry for the long introductory message guys! I envisage that I'll be on here a lot!

Cheers,
James
 

Slam

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Hi and welcome from London, I have a 2.8 and drive it normal and have not had any problems I too still have an mx5 mk1 and net really a great deal of difference except the5 feels lighter.
 

t-tony

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Obvious things to check James are tyre treads and pressures. Also steering alignment and suspension/steering joints. It does sound as though the traction control system let you down depending on the speed you were going into the roundabout at.
Worth checking/ having the codes read to see if everything is working as it should regarding warning lights etc.
Good th hear you and your car escaped unscathed.

Tony.
 

James Little

Regular Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
4
Cheers Tony and Slam,
Did the tyres yesterday and put 32 psi front and 34 psi rear - this was just what the previous owner had scrawled on the manual. Is that reasonable/similar to yours?

As I was in normal morning traffic I was probably only doing 25mph approaching the roundabout. I shall take it to a garage and see if there's any gremlins I should know about.

James
 

Slam

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Possible diesel spill ?
 

t-tony

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Where are you located James?

Tony.
 

Shelly

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:welcome: Hi and welcome to ZroadSter :coolsteer)
 

Stevo7682

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Hi and welcome from me in Scotland. :welcome:
What make of tyres are fitted to rear when I bought mine it had cheap budgets on it and had a big scary moment mid corner on a wet road.
Put better tyres on and no problem since.

You have to bear in mind our zed 3 are fitted with 2 different models suspension the front is the E36 but the rear is the older E30 suspension from early 80's 3 series which were notoriously twitchy at the rear in the wet.
Stephen.
 

James Little

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Jun 9, 2019
Messages
4
I'm located in Halesowen / Birmingham, Tony.

And I think all the tyres are currently Avon apart from the nearside rear tyre which was something else beginning with 'V' - probably a budget one now that I think of it... Thanks for setting my mind at rest that it might just be the tyres, Stephen.
I will go for some decent tyres all round if needed.
 

Keet

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Hello and welcome to the forum :thumbsup:
 

billz

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I had this but not in a Zed and just put it down that there must of been a bit of Diesel on the road. Makes the roads very slippy once it gets wet
 

James Little

Regular Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
4
Well thanks for all that guys!

I took it to a garage and they said ASC was all fine and the nearside rear tyre had only minor wear on the inside. I've bought a new tyre anyway for peace of mind.

I think we can put it down to a combination of my bad driving and some hypothetical diesel.
 

Redline

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Diesel on the road sounds the most likely. You should really have to provoke the car to spin under normal even wet conditions.
Mixed tyres won’t help at the extremes but shouldn’t be a problem under normal driving at that speed. The odd tyre is probably a Vredestien. Like the Avon it’s a mid-range tyre.
I’d drive it in the dry and find somewhere with space you can see if it’s ok. Then again when it’s wet. Build up your confidence in it.
 

Mint

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Hi @James Little, :welcome: to the forum from me too in Staffordshire. Bad luck with changing ends on the island. My only thought apart from the ones above, would be that if you're used to driving a front wheel drive car, a rear wheel drive like the Zed needs a little more care on entering a corner or island. Get it pointing in the right direction before giving it the beans.
 

Jack Ratt

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Hello James and welcome to the forum
 

FRANKIE

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Sep 2, 2013
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Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, USA
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Z3
Hi guys, my name is James and I just bought a lovely looking Z3 last Sunday.

To my eyes it is the same spec as the one from Goldeneye (though I'm sure there are a million technical differences, I don't really mind that - it's close enough), its Atlanta Blue and tan leather interior. 1895cc engine, 1998 with 106,000 miles on the clock, and a full service history etc etc, so it looked like an absolute bargain to me and I'm happy with it.

The trouble comes 9am this morning, when on a mildly damp road in moderate traffic I went to turn right on a roundabout (at what I thought was a sensible speed) and totally lost the back end. I spun the car a sharp 120 degrees and ended up mounting the roundabout with my front wheels, with my back wheels still on the road! Luckily there wasn't anyone near me at that moment and everyone stopped to let me gingerly reverse off the island and limp to a nearby cul-de-sac to check the car. Somehow I've come away alive and with absolutely no visible damage to the car except and little bit of scuffing on the underside of the front lip (that you can only see if you are really looking for it).

I was wondering if you guys could lend me some advice on how to proceed and make sure nothing like that ever happens again?

My first thought is that I want new tyres that are made out of glue, and that I shall always take roundabouts at 10mph. What has worried me slightly is that I've read that the ASC should kick in if you go into a skid and that it makes a noise and you can feel it working... Well I didn't feel anything, I didn't see any flashing dashboard lights either. Just for a moment the back end of my car was a hovercraft. There was no visible puddle or slick on the road either, just damp tarmac from the rain earlier this morning. I've never touched the ASC, and at the time the ASC light was not on on the dashboard (which I believe means the traction control is on), and when I test the ASC button the light clearly comes on to say that it has been turned off.


Now I know the reason for the spin is 95% likely that I was driving the car poorly, but for the last 6 years I've been driving a Mk2 Mazda MX5 as my main car (in the rain and light snow) and I've never had any trouble with the heavy front-end and rear-wheel drive. Are there any tips for driving the Z3 to help me in the future?

Sorry for the long introductory message guys! I envisage that I'll be on here a lot!

Cheers,
James
Welcome to the forum from Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey........................Frankie
Sometimes there are places on the road where there is more of a build up of fuel on the road that other places. Cars that leak fuel or oil have these substances covering and dripping from their car frame. When cars have to slow down such as at an intersection, these few drops hanging from their frames are forced to drop off as the driver applies the brakes leaving more of a build up on the road than at other points. This also occurs where there are bumps in the road and you can see this visibly as dark patches in the center of the road just at or past the bump. I once slid into an intersection that I go past quite frequently. Only on this occasion, it had just started to rain and it was just past the entrance to a gas station. Minor fuel spills that had been on the concrete next to the fuel pumps had been tracked out of the gas station onto the roadway. As soon as the first few drops of rain began to hit them, it was like driving on ice. Five minutes later, on my way back, there were 4 or 5 cars all piled up in an accident as no one could stop and avoid hitting the car in front of them. I had been lucky that no one had been in front of me and no cars going through the intersection..........Frankie
 

Chrisr1949

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Nov 18, 2017
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423
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Southport UK
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2.0
Hi and a big welcome to the forum from Southport. Sounds like you had a very similar experience to me. At 6:00 am on a Sunday morning (thank goodness it wasn't any other day) I was exiting a roundabout and had just entered the road when I totally lost the back end and was heading for the trees, I pulled it out but still no grip so was heading now for the line of wooden posts on the other side. I now got a bit of grip and managed to straighten up. I was only 7 miles out from home with over 200 more to go! Moral of the story, I was still on the rears that I had bought with the car, 4.5mm of grip free Chinese cheapies, I replaced them as soon as I got back. Lucky I got away with it and I didn't involve anyone else. No probs since fitting the new ones.
 
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