Wet Weather Driving - GreenHybrid - Hybrid Cars


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  #1  
Old 01-10-2005, 07:27 PM
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Location: Yucca Valley, CA (Near Palm Springs)
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Default Wet Weather Driving

Here in Southern California we have lately had tons of water. At my
home we have gotten nearly 14 inches over the past five days. I
continue to be impressed with the ability of the FEH to plow through 2
foot deep temporary rivers, some with inches of gooky sucking mud
underneath. With my AWD I can now feel exactly the moment it starts
pushing with all wheels. There is no hesitation except under EV, and
then it kicks in the ICE and I move. Even with the less-than-great
stock tires I have experienced no sign of hydroplaning. The down side
is that my MPG has decreased about 10% (but I guess up to the point I
was higher than most anyway). Also, in the morning, I get lots of
squeeking from my breaks until they warm up. Once the weather clears
I will check for signs of corrosion.

This thing is even better in bad weather than my old 1989 Bronco II
which I came to know intimately after 15 years and 250,000 miles. I
almost wish I had not committed to volunteering to give away my car
for three weeks. Apparently, it will be trucked to a test track in
Yakima, WA from Jan. 31st to Feb. 19th for fuel testing research by
the CRC. I had hoped that Ford might see some good will in donating a
few FEHs but at this point my Escape Hybrid might be the only domestic
hybrid amongst 12-20 Hondas and Toyotas. I am looking forward to
reading the test protocols and the research paper that is produced.
The knowledge I gain is worth the sacrifice.

I have now heard back from all the major car rental companies and none
offer hybrids in the US. I appreciate the advice on locating a TRAC
(Toyota). I will check into it. Today, Ford said they are not
selling the hybrid to rental companies. I think they are missing a
good bet. How many times does a customer (especially a high-spending
business person) rent a car and come back to buy that model for
himself? It is a good showplace.

Unfortunately, since my car would have to be in Washington on Monday,
I may have to go to our planned January 29th LA Area Hybrid Meet in a
Mustang GT. Darn. Well at least maybe I can plan a third rally race
where the fastest 0-60 will win. With or without I am looking forward
to it. See you there!

Mike
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  #2  
Old 01-10-2005, 07:33 PM
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Yeah, I've definitely heard about the flooding in SoCal. Is it really the smartest to be driving your car in 2-foot-deep water?
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Old 01-10-2005, 07:39 PM
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I work for a school district that refuses to call it all off in bad weather. Last month we had three feet of snow and buses were sliding off roads and the attendance was 50% and they docked teachers pay. I have had a sub once in eleven years for two days and that was only because I was in the hospital with a burst appendix and then I disconnected my IVs and tried to catch a bus to school. It is the curse of us A-Types. But, of course, if I did not trust my car and my driving I would stay home.

Mike
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Old 01-11-2005, 01:01 PM
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Default Brakes Squeak 2

Have had the same problem with brakes (rear I think) it seems as you point out to be related to driving through water and or heavy rain.
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Old 01-12-2005, 01:30 PM
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I would not say it is a problem. I have found that the FEH's brakes are far superior to brakes I have used before - very responsive and solid. There is squeeking (like any other disc-brake car) after rain and snow, but once you drive again it washes out the debris and the corrosion and everything is good again.

Mike
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