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S3 - Understeering in wet

Discussion in 'New A3/S3 (8V Chassis)' started by 0B1001001, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. 0B1001001

    0B1001001 Well-Known Member
    Team Monsoon Audi S3

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    So my S3 is definitely understeering in the wet too much - is this down to the rubbish Conti tyres or could it be something else? Tyre pressures are all fine (37PSI).

    I've noticed that the front is prone to slide out very easily (more so than my old nose heavy Golf V6) at moderate speeds when the road's damp, in the dry it grips great.

    I haven't had much of an opportunity to test this (been too dry!) but any thoughts?
     
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  3. veeeight

    veeeight I am a very pretty girl
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    Yup. Trait of the car I'm afraid.

    It can be improved by

    Decreasing the fronts by 2 psi
    Changing the Conti's for something better
    Increasing front camber
    The ARBs are not too bad I think as lifting off brings the rears round quite nicely !
    Adjust driving style for slower wider entry and late apex
     
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  4. thedooker

    thedooker Active Member

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    A lot of it is the contis tbh. I had them on a focus ST and a focus RS, both cars were rubbish in the wet. Switched to goodyear eagle F1 A/S and about 90% of it had gone. Contis just dont seem to work on our roads that well (or as i suspect they are comprimised to help give better mileage and so are part performance and part eco tyre)
     
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  5. Vertigo1

    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    Pretty much all Audis understeer when pushed hard I'm afraid and the S3, although capable, is no exception.
     
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  6. The Challinor

    The Challinor Well-Known Member
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    +1 for switching to goodyear eagle F1 A/S, used them for years and love them. I'll reserve judgement on the Conti's until I get mine but if we don't get on there coming off and getting sold !
     
  7. CraigI

    CraigI Well-Known Member

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    You can quite easily get understeer in the dry.
    It's not a particularly well set up car IMO.
     
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  8. thedooker

    thedooker Active Member

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    It's not the best but putting bad tyres on it makes it worse by miles.

    Driving style has a lot to do with it too. I find that you can't throw the car about, you have to be very smooth and turn in just a tad earlier. That seems to minimise it
     
  9. thedooker

    thedooker Active Member

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    It's not the best but putting bad tyres on it makes it worse by miles.

    Driving style has a lot to do with it too. I find that you can't throw the car about, you have to be very smooth and turn in just a tad earlier. That seems to minimise it
     
  10. Pulp84

    Pulp84 Well-Known Member
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    Interestingly the Golf R I test drove earlier this year was on Goodyears. Pretty sure the F1 types.
     
  11. 0B1001001

    0B1001001 Well-Known Member
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    Thanks for the responses - my Golf had Eagle F1 AS2 on and they were good tyres (prior to that was Dunlop SP9000), these Contis are just bad. I'm actually going to ask the dealer to swap them over for Eagle F1 AS2 and see what they say - I don't expect a positive outcome but I'm happy to pay a reasonable price for them to do it.

    I also don't expect the S3 to corner like an Elise (insert car of your choosing!) but what I had today was understeer on a damp road at normal speeds, it really shouldn't do that.

    I've never looked but anyone got a clue what a set of Conti tyres with 5,000 miles on is worth if I sold them second hand...? Anyone want to buy them :p
     
  12. 0B1001001

    0B1001001 Well-Known Member
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    I really wasn't pushing at all, though - just going round a roundabout. It have had my doubts in the dry but in the wet these tyres are not good.
     
  13. thedooker

    thedooker Active Member

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    Most have Bridgestone Potenzas as far as I'm aware. Thats what my mate's came with and he says most he has talked to on the forum have. Still a better tyre than the conti (well they worked well on my Cayman S)
     
  14. Pulp84

    Pulp84 Well-Known Member
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    This was one of the first ones in the UK apparently. Not sure if that made a difference but it didn't have Bridgestone's.

    i had Bridgestone Potenza's on my A1 and they were OK. Lots of road noise though.
     
  15. Soulboy

    Soulboy Well-Known Member

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    I also think the Continentals are designed for long life.

    May also be worth remembering, if its the first damp spell after a long dry spell, the roads are always very slippy.
     
  16. cuke2u

    cuke2u Well-Known Member

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    It's inherently a front wheel drive setup thus it will behave like one.
     
  17. S3Alex

    S3Alex Rarely neutral
    Team Ibis Audi S3

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    The car has an inherent understeer and the weight distribution plus soft suspension tend to emphasize that.

    As above,much of it can be dialled out with improved suspension incl uprated ARBs and altering the front camber.

    I found on the 8P that doing the above and also the bushes and an ALK did get rid of most of it.
     
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  18. dbm

    dbm Active Member

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    Pretty much all us RS3 drivers have ditched the standard Conti's for Eagle F1s or Michelin Pilot Sports. It transforms the RS3.

    Interestingly, all the early BMW 1M reviews had the cars on Pilot Sports as I understand it, and were universally positive. More recent cars for review seem to come with lesser tyres and the car suffers badly for it.
     
  19. MrLapou

    MrLapou Well-Known Member

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    Potenza S1 work exceptionally well.
     
  20. jimmydougle

    jimmydougle Active Member
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    Yeah you get understeer in the wet, but so do most cars. Managed to get mine sideways in the wet the other way which was fun :)
     
  21. 0B1001001

    0B1001001 Well-Known Member
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    My Golf was good with the Eagle F1's, so I will definitely swap these Contis out and then report back.
     
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  23. nervus

    nervus Well-Known Member

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    I've still got the conti's but as Veeight says decreasing front tyre pressure to 35psi and uppong the rear to 38psi helps.

    Ive put H&R springs on and running slightly more camber and its just about eliminated the understeer completely :thumbsup:
     
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  24. veeeight

    veeeight I am a very pretty girl
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    Obviously, the usual caveat applies here, At Your Own Risk.

    The -2psi on the fronts are fine for a single driver, no passengers, no luggage, short hoon etc. but for full load capacity (as the S3 is running XL tyres which need higher pressures) - inflate the tyres back to manufacturers recommendation.
     
  25. 45bvtc

    45bvtc Well-Known Member
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    Did an Audi Experience Day at Silverstone recently (this is my 70th 4th of August!), and man was it WET!

    One of the FIRST statements from the #1 instructor, a Mr. Frank Schmickler (current leading Gentleman Driver in the Blancpain GT Series - Ferrari 458 Italia GT3), was "you guy's do not, nor will not, brake HARD enough." :think:

    Yea, yea, yea: and I've been driving long enough (since 1962) to know, thought I...

    So, we're out with the Audi R8 V10 Plus, and then the RS4 followed soon after with the TTRS Plus; in the WET, and it's still raining, trying to follow any one of this group of 3-professionals flown in from Germany especially to entertain/humiliate us British know-it-alls.

    How wrong can you/we get it? I thought I knew how to drive - 40-years with a Lotus Elan Sprint, with Audi S3s, Carlton GSI3000's, MG Montego Turbo's, and other Lotus cars along the way - BUT I now know that I knew/know SH#t! I still can't get over what these guys were able to do, and advise us followers, too. Believe me, I was giving that R8 V10 Plus, and TTRS Plus, some serious elbow...

    However, I digress, having run Continentals on my RS3 for near on 3-years, having listened to the moans and groans and recommendations of others, I recently changed to Michelin Pilot Super Sports - and with 255/30s on the front, the Audi option for the RS3 - and have found little or no difference between the Michelins and the Continentals originally supplied by Audi - FOR ROAD WORK!!!

    But, post Silverstone, I think I NOW understand, thanks to those German demi-Gods, what under steer is all about: GET the braking done BEFORE the corner and DRIVE/power through it.

    I'd recommend you save (£££s) and take a day at the Audi Experience Day at Silverstone and experience what a professional can do...

    It might hurt your wallet but you could learn some, too...

    Brake HARD, and get that speed DOWN first.

    SLOW in, FAST out - Mien herr! :jump:
     
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  26. Joetidman

    Joetidman Well-Known Member

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    I think this is a great point. Recent advances in car tech, tyres, quattro etc has created a situation where folk (myself included) fully expect to almost take any corner, at any speed and expect just to be wrenched around it. The more advanced the car you get the better the grip and so your expectation increases. For the record, I haven't experience any understeer yet wet or dry (and I'm no where near a driving god), but whether that is lack of commitment I don't know. I have noticed the quattro 'pulling' me in though a couple of times, so I don't know whether it depends at which point around the corner you lose grip which makes the difference? Which then comes back to entry/exit speeds as well as mid-corner compressions etc, which I must admit, have definately caught me out in the S3, it get weirdly unsettled by them...
     
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  27. veeeight

    veeeight I am a very pretty girl
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    This make me very annoyed. It doesn't even have to be mid corner, but the S3 suspension setup is "pitchy", "fidgety", and yes, can pitch the car unpredictably in compression (or lack of it).
     
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  28. Joetidman

    Joetidman Well-Known Member

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    And I have become used to getting scared of even minor road humps (the little ones are the worst), as if you take it over 1 mph the back end bounces up like a victorian carriage! I think people expect me (being an S3 driving hooligan) to take it at speed, so get very annoyed when I go over them like a blue rinser in a Honda Jazz lol
     
  29. 45bvtc

    45bvtc Well-Known Member
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    I posted this on the RS3 Forum the day after the Silverstone Audi Experience day - and I still get a BUZZ just thinking about it...

    "ANYONE thinking of doing this for the first time needs to think about these few points of advice from Steve Deeks at the Audi Experience; Steve tells you this at the very beginning but it's only 2-days later that you begin to fully understand:

    Have you got the right line?

    Are you in the right gear?

    Have you looked through the corner?

    Have you worked out where the apex is?

    Do you know where your braking zone is?

    AND ALL of this has to be sorted out BEFORE you even STAMP!!! on the brakes...

    10-minutes later your in a car you've never even sat in before, and Audi R8 V10 PLUS, and the track is flooded with more wet coming down, and your right foot is buried in the carpet, and the corner is arriving very, very, quickly; and there's a manic German (Jochi Kleint, a professional World Rally driver - but we didn't know that then) in the lead Audi R8 V10 PLUS saying calmly "please try to keep up..." :jump:

    Several weeks later and I'm STILL trying!

    I now know my place... :sadlike:

     
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  30. 0B1001001

    0B1001001 Well-Known Member
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    I'm comparing an old Golf V6 4Motion (with worn out suspension, despite an endless stream of new bits :)) on GY Eagle F1's with a new S3 on Conti's and the Golf went round the same corners with less understeer than the S3 has (in the wet, in the dry the S3's grip is better). This is not what I'd expect - it's not about me driving like I'm on a track but the real-world difference between my last car and this one (both Haldex 4WD albeit generations apart) or me being used to a FWD or RWD car previously.

    Anyway, will switch the tyres over soon and see what the outcome is.
     
  31. 0B1001001

    0B1001001 Well-Known Member
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    I've noticed this too - can be quite unpredictable on uneven corners when you're giving it some.
     
  32. HansW

    HansW New Member

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    Anyone who has done more than 5 heats of in a Kart knows this :)
     
  33. Ignition1

    Ignition1 I like Audi

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    Also known as physics.

    The car is travelling at speed in one direction so the amount of force placed on those tyres is immense. The car's inertia is taking it forward, but the tyres are trying to travel in a different direction. So all of that speed/inertia/weight is placed on a smaller part of the tyre, it exceeds grip...understeer.

    So the principle of "slow in, fast out" applies to almost any car - after you've turned into the corner (i.e. you no longer need to turn the steering wheel), and are heading to the apex - put your foot down! What varies is the amount of "slow in" - I guess many S3 drivers are disappointed that to stop it losing grip you need to slow down more than expected. On a track it makes sense - the S3 is fast off the mark so you won't lose time as you'll make it back up accelerating away, but on public roads or if you go for a vigorous drive in the country...be careful.

    Stuff I've learned from old karting days. I'd love to do a track day though and see any of this applies on those kind of cars lol.
     
  34. 0B1001001

    0B1001001 Well-Known Member
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    What I'm (alas still) disappointed by is the lack of mechanical grip (vs an older Haldex-equiped VW on same roads, same conditions) and how easily unsettled the S3 is on any type of uneven surface (broken tarmac). It seems to scrabble for grip given any tiny excuse.

    However, this is all relative to the person driving - their experience and personal definition of what is "fast" for a corner.


    I did think about the RS3 but the S3 is plenty quick enough (in a straight line...) and what I think I should've gone for, in hindsight, is mag ride. However, I've not driven an S3 with mag ride so it's nowt but a guess! Guess I could test drive one...
     
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  35. Ignition1

    Ignition1 I like Audi

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    :D Let me know how you get on with Audi on that.

    "Hi - can I test drive an S3 with mag ride? I wanted to throw it round corners at speed to see if it understeers?"
     
  36. dbm

    dbm Active Member

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    I had a TTS previously and they have mag ride as standard.

    I did exactly that, driving roads and roundabouts I know well with the mag ride in 'normal' and 'sport' modes as a comparison. The car would definitely carry more cornering speed in 'sport' mode.
     
  37. 0B1001001

    0B1001001 Well-Known Member
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    I'm sure they'd be fine (if they have one) - they let me test another S3 hurling around to see if it behaved the same as mine without any bother. Obviously the main requirement is to keep it on the black stuff...
     
  38. steeve

    steeve Well-Known Member
    TeamMisano Team Ibis Audi S3

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    Understeer is worse if off the power, 45bvct is right power out not lift off. Too fast in will always initiate understeer on an A3 especially if you're braking as well. Use the power to pull the car through the bend.
     
  39. Flatoot

    Flatoot Active Member

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    Therein lies your problem. Roundabouts are notoriously slippy in the wet, due to lorries having laid down diesel from swishing from side to side. A bit of water on there and it's like a duck pond. I ride a motorbike too and I can tell you, when it's wet, I take extra special care when approaching and navigating a roundabout.

    However, I think many have hit the nail on the head here.... the simple laws of physics apply. No matter what tyres you have on or how much you tweek the setup.... a car will always understeer in the wet. The answer is obvious - slow your speed as you enter the corner.

    Even F1 cars understeer, such is the degree of attack. The trick for those guys is the balance.

    Used to race karts in my younger days and I loved understeer.... could get 4-wheel drifts in the wet when the balance was correct. Understeer on the road though - not so good.

    Best place to learn about understeer and how to master it's effect - in a car park full of snow. You'll soon find out what the limits of adhesion are.
     
  40. veeeight

    veeeight I am a very pretty girl
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    The lessons in understeer are all very well. :)

    However, what the OP (and myself plus others) is referring to:

    The S3 - compared to cars that we have both previously owned - and compared to some other cars on the market today - understeers more readily given the same tyres, roads, roundabouts, corners, conditions.

    Couple this with the poor damping on the S3 - a bumpy or irregular surfaced corner will see the tyres lose contact with the tarmac and all the grip is immediately reduced - sooner than compared to another car on the same corner with identical conditions and factors.


    It's a relative comparison, not absolute comparison.
     
    #38 veeeight, Aug 22, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2015
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  41. 0B1001001

    0B1001001 Well-Known Member
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    And for my next trick, I've learnt how to suck eggs... just kidding :D

    I have an excellent understanding of understeer (what with all the practice I get now...); it's not a difficult concept.

    And as @veeeight says, I'm talking relative, not absolute, grip.
     
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  42. simonali

    simonali Active Member
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    I used to have an R32 which understeered terribly because of the big engine up front. A stiffer ARB at the rear and grippier tyres on the front compared to the rear (e.g. Michelin PSS on the front and PS3 on the rear) had it sorted. It would even oversteer a little if you powered through a corner in damp conditions because the rear tyres let go quicker than the fronts. I had a Renaultsport car before the Golf and found the VW a major disappointment in the handling stakes afterwards, but these easy mods made it much more fun to drive.
     

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