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Thread: 500e safety in the rain

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    Question 500e safety in the rain

    Hi Everyone,
    t
    It is pouring today in "sunny" California. I am nervous about driving my 500e in the rain. Is it because the tires are small? But I don't feel like I have any traction when turning corners.

    Any advice?

    Sincerely,

    lauriejeanne

  2. #2
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    I don't have a 500e yet, but based on what I know I would say thin tires plays a role. Wider tires and all-season tires with rain channels reduce the chances of hydroplaning. The other issue is that EVs, hybrids, and diesel powered vehicles produce a lot of low-end torque…instant torque in the case of an EV. Gobs of torque with an open differential can definitely give you a less confident feel, but the electronic traction control and stability control should be more than enough to keep your Fiat driving in the direction you want.

    I guess I'd have to drive a 500e or specifically yours to determine the issue. Just take it slow and don't be a hero. We get rightfully criticized by out of staters because southern Californian, in general, really don't drive well in the rain at all.
    Last edited by maximizese; 01-11-2017 at 08:10 PM.

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    The original tires that come with the car (Firestone Firehawk GT) have terrible wet traction. I've experienced a lot of slipping in the rain myself and seen complaints about these tires on forums. The remedy is to replace them with better tires. You can go to tirerack.com and look at tests and reviews of different tires. I replaced mine with Kumho ECSTA 4X II, and both wet and dry performance improved. There are other good choices at different prices and levels of performance.

    If you're leasing, you might wear the tires down enough that you have to replace them anyway before returning the car. You can save the original tires and swap them back in before the lease ends.

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    Original tires are bad in the cold and wet. Stickier tires improve things a fair amount, but you still have to drive with a lighter foot since the EV torque will spin the tires accelerating too quickly around corners. Other than that, I feel completing safe during the deluge.
    HYBRID GARAGE
    2016 500e (Electric)
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    Senior Member msjulie33's Avatar
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    Other than the stout torque easily spinning from wheels (mentioned above) never had an issue driving ours in the rain. On that topic, I think we could use a little reprieve from the harsh winds coming with our rain!
    Wicked Dot - Rosso+black Abarth 500c
    MoJo - Electric Orange 500e stealth performer - lease over, replaced with a faster! E

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    Member cdeforrest's Avatar
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    Give the throttle a light touch when turning the wheels. As you know, even in the dry, it isn't hard to spin the tires when turning.
    And the stock tires are terrible.

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    Senior Member msjulie33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdeforrest View Post
    Give the throttle a light touch when turning the wheels. As you know, even in the dry, it isn't hard to spin the tires when turning.
    And the stock tires are terrible.
    Sure enough
    Wicked Dot - Rosso+black Abarth 500c
    MoJo - Electric Orange 500e stealth performer - lease over, replaced with a faster! E

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    My wife and I laughed at the Firehawks on our '17. I reminded her that they'd only last a year and then we'd swap on some Kumho and be happy. At least these are brand-new and not yet insanely bad in the rain, like they become later.

    Related: the last set of Kumho tires we put on weren't the Ecsta's we loved, because there were only 8 months to go on the lease. I went with a Kumho from Discount Tire that had a 40,000 warranty (ha ha) and they were great, particularly in the rain. $47.50 a tire, before mounting and such. Seriously.

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