K so I was driving kind of fast the other day (90-95) when someone going the speed limit (50) decided to switch lanes. Long story short I had to brake pretty hard and it scared the **** out of me. The car felt so wobbly and just unstable. I was extremely dissapointed by this experience and to be honest don't feel very confident behind the wheel anymore. Is this normal? Has anyone else experienced thks? Hoping there is a quick fix for this (lowering?) Thanks
MY braking has been of a quality high varied due to road conditions. I drive acccordingly, and do not consider the berakes to be any worse than good...but they aren't great either.
Quick fix, change brake pads to a more performance pad...if you are willing to accept more brake dust, reduced pad and rotor life, and the need to properly warm the pads for best performance. Lowering would likely make braking worse, as it reduces suspension travel, and your wobble is probably road condition (crappy roads, uneven, etc) related.
Last edited by DuckDodgers; 09-09-2013 at 10:37 PM.
haven't noticed any issues in autcrossing or at the Abarth Experience, although neither one involves HARD braking from 95.
Top speed on the track at Abarth Experience was about 86 down to maybe 40 for a corner. No issues.
It's a short wheelbase car, the rear will unload under panic braking but the ESC and anti-lock brakes should keep you pointed in the right direction which is what you felt, the car battling physics to keep itself and you in one piece. 45 mph over the speed limit is asking for something bad to happen. Slow down before something life altering occurs and a squirrelly rear end is the least of your worries.
You were doing 95 in a 50, and the "dangerous little car" kept you going in the proper direction without plowing into an innocent person driving like an adult. It worked fine, and you need to cut that **** out.
2013 Abarth Cabrio, Nero w/ Rosso stripes/mirror caps, Nero cloth, Comfort & Convenience, Beats, clear bra, Turbo tails, Platypus front plate holder, Tributo Ferrari key fob
Totally agree with what others have said about minding speed on the highway, and using caution to not put others lives in danger as well as your own.
That said, I think I've actually experienced the feeling OP is talking about, actually at much lower speeds as well. I think it's a issue of weight transfer. For me it's happened right at about the threshold of braking before a turn. Probably just short of engaging ABS. Being front weight biased and having a really short wheelbase definitely exacerbates the feeling. For me it wasn't a uncontrollable violent feeling or anything, just that the car felt like the rear got a little nervous feeling for a second, and still being a bit new to the cars handling characteristics at the time, was also a little nervous myslef for a second lol. The car sorted itself out though before any input on my part was necessary. But I could see how it might unsettle someone if they didn't expect it.
I think what's happening is the rear of the car is getting very unloaded under fast sharp braking. From my experience though, the rear only does it's little wiggle when it happens over uneven or somewhat rippled pavement. Since there's so little weight back there, the wheels are light for the second, and is easier for them to follow all the imperfections in the road.
Under normal driving, you'd just about never notice it. Under hard driving or in a panic situation on sort of grooved or rippled pavement is the only time it rears it's head. I would say the solution is dampers with more low speed rebound damping in e rear, or more low speed compression damping in front. I'd personally probably opt for low the low speed rebound in back, I like bump damping to be compliant. It would slow the weight transfer under extremely hard braking. i imagine any kind of uprated damper would probably sort this.
All that said, it's hardly any kind of deal breaker for me. This car handles excellently! Like I said, the car sorts itself for the most part before it ever really "gets out of shape". The only place I could see it being a issue is if the driver did something erratic, or over reacted when it happened. As is, nothing is really needed to compensate other then just keeping the steering wheel straight, which is what you want under threshold braking anyway.
dude, you where driving too slow. if you would had gone faster. you would had pass the idiot. lesson learn. hah.
The speed issue aside, if you are that aggressive of a driver then some mods are a definite requirement. Better rotors & pads. Braided, stainless steel brake lines. Rear torsion bar. Lowering springs or coil-overs (good ones)
I've never felt the car "wobble" under heavy braking until I went to the Abarth Experience which was my first track experience. Most folks were prolly doing more coasting than braking but I wanted to see what was up so I used my autocross braking (wait till you see God, then brake) or at least as much as I could with the instructor giving orders. The car was definitely moving around under heavy braking which wasn't unnerving to me, just a datapoint that a short, tall wasn't going to be as stable as a car with a different CG. It was also obvious that my huge rear torsion bar would be an issue on the track, since rotation was much easier than at autocross speeds.
Long story short, depending on speed, tires and road conditions (including smoothness and rain grooves) the car may very well move around/wobble under heavy braking.
P.S. Don't do that again.
2013 Fiat 500 Abarth
1970 Fiat 850 Spider
2016 Cadillac ATS-V 6 speed manual