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Car Manufacturers Cheating On Car Setup?  
User currently offlineUTA_flyinghigh From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 6495 posts, RR: 50
Posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 8079 times:

Hey all,

I recently tried out a few recent vehicles (Audi A3, Renault Laguna, Mercedes C230 K Coupe) and I was under the impression that the chassis setup of thses vehicles was poorly engineered (rushed through?) and that they solved the problem by fitting ridiculously huge wheels (18 inchers on a family car? come on!).

Is it just me or do owners of the aforementioned vehicles go through 3 sets of tires a year ?

UTA  checkeredflag 


Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCornish From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 8187 posts, RR: 54
Reply 1, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 8064 times:

Quoting UTA_flyinghigh (Thread starter):
I recently tried out a few recent vehicles (Audi A3,



Quoting UTA_flyinghigh (Thread starter):
Is it just me or do owners of the aforementioned vehicles go through 3 sets of tires a year ?

It may just be you.

I'm now thinking it may soon be time to change the tyres (225s) on my A3 after 20,000 miles - in 18 months. and I drive pretty enthusiastically with a good route to work down country roads that gives the car and tyres a good work out rather than just a crawl through town or a simple straight blast down the motorway. I've had fantastic grip from the tyres the whole life of the car so far (sport spec) but the ride is the one weakness - which apparently Audi is going to solve with UK specific settings at long last.

However I have driven a friend's M-B C-sportcoupe and i have to say I didn't think it handled at all well. Drove a Laguna last year as a rental, but not tried the facelifted one yet, so can't comment if it handles any different. The model i drove handled well enough, but it was the ride and the far too comforrtable seats (not safe - you want to nod off in them!) I noticed.



Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
User currently offlineUTA_flyinghigh From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 6495 posts, RR: 50
Reply 2, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 8061 times:

Quoting Cornish (Reply 1):
I'm now thinking it may soon be time to change the tyres (225s) on my A3 after 20,000 miles - in 18 months

I think that just proves my point. Unless you go on the occasional track day, 225-width tires on a diesel A3 is overkill (assuming these are the stock tires).

20.000 miles on one set ? wtf ? I had 195's on a previous Safrane (Michelin) and they did 50.000km without problems.

What I meant in my original post is that it feels like car manufactures put oversized tires on their most recent models to hide chassis weaknesses.

UTA  checkeredflag 



Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
User currently offlineHAJFlyer From Switzerland, joined Sep 2005, 1473 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 8057 times:

Quoting UTA_flyinghigh (Thread starter):
Mercedes C230 K Coupe

The Mercedes Sportscoupe has a suspension setup that is primarily geared toward a comfortable ride whereas the the competing A3 and BMW 1- or 3 Series Compact are optimised for good handling.

Quoting UTA_flyinghigh (Thread starter):
Renault Laguna

Trying to make a sports car out of a Laguna by fitting 18in wheels seems pretty silly to me. It is a decent family car for a driver who seeks maximum comfort when driving long distances, but is is definitely not a car that you would want drive aggressively on winding mountain roads (probably the reason why they are rather unpopular here in Switzerland).


User currently offlineCornish From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 8187 posts, RR: 54
Reply 4, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 8056 times:

Quoting UTA_flyinghigh (Reply 2):
I think that just proves my point. Unless you go on the occasional track day, 225-width tires on a diesel A3 is overkill (assuming these are the stock tires).

I've got a petrol one - but i know what you mean.

Quoting UTA_flyinghigh (Reply 2):
20.000 miles on one set ? wtf ?

Well I do drive VERY enthusiastically, and have done laps on our high speed test track here  Smile (the banked corner is LOTS of fun !!) so perhaps there could have been an extra 5000 out of them but for that and equally fortunately Audi are paying for the replacement tyres even though its my car.



But I have to say in crappy wet weather the car feels lovely and secure - having said that however, not knowing how it would feel on skinnier tyres I couldn't say whether it would be the same or much worse.

however ride is the A3's big bugbear over here - it really isn't set up for UK roads. I'd be interested to know what the situation would be like in somewhere like Germany. BMW sets up their cars with specific ride and handling settings for the UK - I watch them do it on the track here at work. Audi apparently may start doing that soon.

Quoting UTA_flyinghigh (Reply 2):
20.000 miles on one set ? wtf ? I had 195's on a previous Safrane (Michelin) and they did 50.000km without problems.

Yes but then you would have been wafting along Boulevards in the Safrane not hustling it down country roads  Wink

Anyway my fat 225s with nice alloys look great, and just as long as i loook cool .....  Wink



Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
User currently offlineKay From France, joined Mar 2002, 1884 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 8054 times:

Good point UTA.

Not sure what to say, as I haven't tried all of these. But the problem could be the 18 inchers themselves. Huge rims like these make the car too uncomfortable, commending one to make for an unusual setup trying to get the comfort back.

I also don't understand those huge rims. They look great, but there must be a price!

I installed bigger rims on my 325i once (15 instead of 14... times changed!  Smile). The car would grip much more, but it felt heavier, and would bounce around on bad roads much more. I regretted installing them.

Kay


User currently offlineUTA_flyinghigh From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 6495 posts, RR: 50
Reply 6, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 8050 times:

Quoting Cornish (Reply 4):
Yes but then you would have been wafting along Boulevards in the Safrane not hustling it down country roads

UTAette wishes  Wink

In fact the aforementioned Safrane saw daily duty commuting between CMF and GVA as well as WE mountain road driving to 1500m+ ski resorts.

UTA  checkeredflag 



Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
User currently offline777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 12169 posts, RR: 17
Reply 7, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 8050 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

I work in the car industry at a local Ford dealer (I prefer Holdens thou) and no way do car manufactures cheat on car setups, just look at the European built Ford Mondeo and Toyota Avensus, these two Euro cars have the highest safety rating (5 stars) possible for safety, engineering and design. The Australian built Holden Commordore range has the best safety rating in the large car range in New Zealand.

User currently offlineUTA_flyinghigh From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 6495 posts, RR: 50
Reply 8, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 8049 times:

Quoting 777ER (Reply 7):
I work in the car industry at a local Ford dealer (I prefer Holdens thou) and no way do car manufactures cheat on car setups

Clarification : What I mean is that the STANDARD 17 or 18-inchers on recent family cars look to me like ways of hiding possible handling defects cause by a chassis engineering that has been rushed through.

But that is just an opinion, hence the creation of this thread in order to discuss the matter.

UTA   

[Edited 2005-09-29 12:20:32]


Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
User currently offlineCornish From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 8187 posts, RR: 54
Reply 9, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 8040 times:

Quoting UTA_flyinghigh (Reply 8):
Clarification : What I mean is that the STANDARD 17 or 18-inchers on recent family cars look to me like ways of hiding possible handling defects cause by a chassis engineering that has been rushed through

But that's the way ALL cars seem to be going- perhaps as new cars become fatter and heavier with all the extra safety features and technology they lug around. My A3 has 17" - the standard has 16". My partner's bog standard Mazda 3 has 16" alloys on 205s. I think pretty much everything now has far bigger tyres than they used to - they are just increasing in line with the size of cars increasing.



Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21463 posts, RR: 53
Reply 10, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 8040 times:

Quoting UTA_flyinghigh (Reply 8):
Clarification : What I mean is that the STANDARD 17 or 18-inchers on recent family cars look to me like ways of hiding possible handling defects cause by a chassis engineering that has been rushed through.

Isn't it actually the other way around?

The "flatter" the tyres get, the more any weaknesses of the entire suspension system become apparent, since the tyres can't buffer as much as "higher" ones could...

I've never been too keen on "sporty" suspensions, since they are not "better" than normal ones but they trade all-around safety for a somewhat increased margin at the outer fringes of the envelope. You need to be a better driver with such a setup...


User currently offlineSudden From Sweden, joined Jul 2001, 4130 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 8019 times:

Quoting UTA_flyinghigh (Reply 2):
What I meant in my original post is that it feels like car manufactures put oversized tires on their most recent models to hide chassis weaknesses.

I do not agree here and I will use my 7 years of experience from the Volvo plant in Sweden, to explain why.

The first point I would like make is that family cars are not built to be sporty. To get 17 or 18 inch wheels are mostly an option, not standard.
When adding these inches, you gain in looks, but you loose in handling. If you also would lower the chassie, then you get handling added to it.
But that is more a matter of taste as the car gets stiffer and naturally more bumpy.
When it comes to the Laguna, I would say that you can make this car handle very good, but it does ofcourse cost you comfort. Again, a matter of taste.

I had earlier a Volvo V70R. A rather fun car I must say. But due to the fact that I have kids, I did not lower the chassie as must as possible, but did apply Volvos own kit. I still had the comfort and also got better handling on top it.

And lets face it, every manufacturer today have a huge storeage of options you can buy. Ofcourse not standard as they would not be able to sell these options and make money it.

Volvo is doing all there advertisement with cars that are fitted with this and that, and when customers come to buy a car, they say that they want the car to look as the one in the advertisement.

Aim for the sky!
Sudden



When in doubt, flat out!
User currently offlineJamie757 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 8003 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 10):
Isn't it actually the other way around?

The "flatter" the tyres get, the more any weaknesses of the entire suspension system become apparent, since the tyres can't buffer as much as "higher" ones could...

I was thinking this myself...  scratchchin 

Rgds.


User currently offlineUTA_flyinghigh From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 6495 posts, RR: 50
Reply 13, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 7997 times:

Quoting Sudden (Reply 11):
To get 17 or 18 inch wheels are mostly an option, not standard.

Try telling that to Renault  Silly

UTA  checkeredflag 



Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
User currently offlineAer Lingus From Ireland, joined Mar 2001, 529 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 7959 times:

I think my Dunlop SP300E 195/65 R15 tyres are too small as a standard feature on my cay.. As there is about 6 inches space between the the tyre and the arch of the panel.
How long does everyone here change a whole set of tyres?
My Dunlop tyres which I had since 2003 still has about 4mm on them.
Also where could find the cheapest tyres in Dublin (new ones) ?



Split Scimitar or Sharklets?
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20640 posts, RR: 62
Reply 15, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 7949 times:

Tire rims are in inches in Europe? I guess you learn something new every day.


International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7780 posts, RR: 16
Reply 16, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 7944 times:

The use of larger wheel sizes is related to the newer designs that cars have. You know those high beltlines, lots of sheetmetal, etc... you need to have bigger wheels to fill out the wheel wells so the wheel/tire combo looks in reasonable proportion to the cars size. 14s or 15s would just look super teeny tiny in a lot of those new cars.

As for tirewear, tires of those sizes are generally not those ultra-long mileage, hard compound tires that you see on more pedestrian cars. With performance oriented tires, tread compounds are softer and more aggressive wearing. Plus in general OEM tires tend to make many compromises in abilities, and some can be downright awful (witness all the bad reviews for Bridgestone's Potenza RE92).

As for your other point, larger wheel/tire combo weigh a lot more. So a cars suspension setup would need to be beefier, for lack of a better word, to handle the extra unsprung weight.



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineTUNisia From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1844 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 7942 times:

Why not test drive a (new or used) Volvo S60 2.4T, T5 or R. Vastly superior car to those mentioned with about the same cost.


Someday the sun will shine down on me in some faraway place - Mahalia Jackson
User currently offlineFlight152 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 3397 posts, RR: 6
Reply 18, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 7936 times:

Vastly superior car to those mentioned with about the same cost.

Vastly superior? Car and Driver ranked the S60R second to last in their last sport sedan comparison..behind even the Cadillac CTS.. how embarssing..


User currently offlineAerobalance From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 4682 posts, RR: 46
Reply 19, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 7929 times:

Roll 'weakness' in a vehicles suspension will be amplified by a tire with more grip, not a true function of wheel diameter. A tire with less grip will lose adhesion 'before' a cars suspension transfers all it's weight to one side, usually exhibited as roll only if the suspension is compliant enough to allow the roll -thus no roll, but lower cornering speeds before the tire loses grip. A tire with a great amount of adhesive ability will induce higher lateral limits that will allow a compliant suspension to 'compress-extend' thus allowing the body to roll. If the suspension is stiff then lesser amounts of roll occur. Impact harshness can be affected by tire sidewall height and construction, more of a true function of wheel dia. and aspect ratio of the tire.

Different combinations of these parameters will give you different results. Use your imagination.

The ideal car is having a suspension that keeps the tire square to the road during suspension movement, be complaint enough to absorb minor/major bumps without upsetting the body, possess a tire that has minimal deflection in the sidewall, have excellent grip and never wears out!

[Edited 2005-09-29 20:34:02]


"Sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy..."
User currently offlineTUNisia From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1844 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 7908 times:

Quoting Flight152 (Reply 18):
Vastly superior? Car and Driver ranked the S60R second to last in their last sport sedan comparison..behind even the Cadillac CTS.. how embarssing..

Have you ever driven an S60R? It's not a cheap plastic fantastic caddy. It may not be the fastest (only 300HP), but it's sporty, quilty, and most of all safe. Also, the OP wasn't looking at top of the line cars. That's why I suggested Volvo S60's 2.4T, T5, or R, even used.



Someday the sun will shine down on me in some faraway place - Mahalia Jackson
User currently offlineUTA_flyinghigh From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 6495 posts, RR: 50
Reply 21, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 7873 times:

Quoting Aer Lingus (Reply 14):
Also where could find the cheapest tyres in Dublin (new ones) ?

I'm still loking myself as my Astrhaa needs new tires before it starts spinning more my washing machine. Halfords in Coolock near the Clarehall Tesco claims to have the lowest prices but they don't fit them; and i found out with brhaake pads, garages are reluctant to fit parts not bought with them.

Quoting TUNisia (Reply 17):
Why not test drive a (new or used) Volvo S60 2.4T, T5 or R

Apart from that C&D article I also read :
http://www.caranddriver.com/article.asp?section_id=15&article_id=9993
I do not wish to be seen in an old man's car manufactured by Ford Motor Co.  Wink

UTA  checkeredflag 



Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
User currently offline777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 12169 posts, RR: 17
Reply 22, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 7860 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

Quoting UTA_flyinghigh (Reply 8):
Quoting 777ER (Reply 7):
I work in the car industry at a local Ford dealer (I prefer Holdens thou) and no way do car manufactures cheat on car setups

Clarification : What I mean is that the STANDARD 17 or 18-inchers on recent family cars look to me like ways of hiding possible handling defects cause by a chassis engineering that has been rushed through.

Thats not true. As what has been said its happening more and more, mostly with other cars like used car dealers. At my work place the used car manager is keen on bosting sales and is making the cars more 'attractive' by putting on. Thats all the mags do. If the mags were only there to cover up defects then wouldn't the defects become more obvious then?


User currently offlineKay From France, joined Mar 2002, 1884 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 7849 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 10):
The "flatter" the tyres get, the more any weaknesses of the entire suspension system become apparent, since the tyres can't buffer as much as "higher" ones could...

I think this will shock the owner of this car: scratchchin 


"Big rims mo ice
V-twelves or better
No itch strictly leather
Leavin stickers on the Bentley
To show the price
Arm out the windows
Just to floss my ice..."


:D

Kay


User currently offlineFlight152 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 3397 posts, RR: 6
Reply 24, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 7809 times:

Have you ever driven an S60R? It's not a cheap plastic fantastic caddy. It may not be the fastest (only 300HP), but it's sporty, quilty, and most of all safe. Also, the OP wasn't looking at top of the line cars. That's why I suggested Volvo S60's 2.4T, T5, or R, even used.

I have driven one, and was disappointed. Suggesting the cheaper S60's is fine, but the S60R has a base retail price of $38,615, and for that money much better cars are available.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21463 posts, RR: 53
Reply 25, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 7780 times:

Quoting Kay (Reply 23):
I think this will shock the owner of this car:

I'd say that the owner of this car is beyond salvation anyway...!  crazy 


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