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Wheels / Tires This section contains discussion about wheels and tires for your Jeep Commander.

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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 08:46 AM Thread Starter
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Scary Moment

As I was coming around a right curve yesterday, I had a very scary moment and I'm still not sure what to think of it. It felt like the steering stopped responding for just a moment. I ended up in the left lane (thankfully nobody else was there at the moment) and my immediate reply was to yank the wheel to the right to get back in my lane. As I did, I had an odd sensation that I can only compare to rolling on your ankle. The front end dipped and I felt some slight lateral movement. Immediately I thought that I had a loose front left wheel (either the lugs on the wheel or the spacer) and I proceeded to drive under 10mph until I could safely pull over an check.

I checked everything and found no loose bolts or lugs. Suspension components and steering joints/boots appear fine to my untrained eye. No warnings on the dash. I did smell something like burning as I was making my way home, but don't know if this was related or coincidence (the smell only lasted a few seconds). I am now wondering if this was just my imagination and if I'm overanalyzing this.

I posted this experience so I could tap into all the expertise on this forum - if anyone has had a similar experience, or is familiar enough with suspension and steering to have some thoughts, please share! I've added a few pics below.

Tire edge with marks from lateral movement (other tires did not have similar marks):



Suspension:



Steering arm:

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 08:51 AM
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I wonder if you hit some black ice and then hit dry pavement again to cause the scraping on the tire from the lateral movement. ??

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 08:51 AM
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Were the roads slick or icy?

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
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It was 60 degrees and the roads were slightly wet. I didn't think it was enough to cause any sliding, but it's possible. I also wonder if I hit a stone and rolled across it, or possibly just a rut.

I am going to drive around this afternoon just to test it out and make sure everything feels right. If I have any doubts I am going to take it in for a professional to check everything out - safe than sorry.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 09:23 AM
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I am not sure that it was that warm yesterday. Perhaps where you are it was slightly warmer but I am not that far from you and it was only about 35-40 around here yesterday at the warmest. It could have been ice or even loose gravel especially with the amount of cinders and other items they use to treat the roads. I have noticed several times on icy spots that the ABS or TCS will not kick in unless there is a drastic difference in wheel speeds. It is possible to slide quite a bit without the TCS even kicking in. There is an area near me that goes through a deep valley that never gets any sun to reach the road. The temperature is always quite a few degrees colder there than anywhere else and there is often ice on the road in that spot when you think there should be none. Maybe you were in a similar area?

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 09:30 AM
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I'm so sorry this happened to you, hopefully it will never happen again! Happy you're okay!

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamag25 View Post
I am not sure that it was that warm yesterday.
Sorry it was actually Wednesday, not yesterday. It was definitely warmer and I did consider whether there could be any ice on the road but it's very unlikely.

By the way, I like the new avatar!
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 09:43 AM
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I've been testing Commander once or twice a week .. experimenting with ice roads (where it's safe to do) ... the Walmart moved and their empty parking lot is a great place to practice.

Anyway I'm fairly certian what happned ... your Commander started slipping (most likley some ice) then slid on the wet road.

Once that hapend the ESD and roll over mitigation systems kicked in ... yanking the steering wheel in an over correction after a slide is EXACTLY the type of action that will start up these systems.

Loss of steering is how it feels when they are working, I've experianced it many times practicing ... the Commander steers by applying brakes and acceleration to the individual wheels.

It's possible your Commander steered you out of a rollover that day, the smell could have been rubber from the tires, but it was more likley from the break pads, the computer slows one wheel and applys throttle to the other on the same axle .. an it really smokes the break pads.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 09:45 AM
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You could of also hit a patch of water causing a you to briefly hydroplane. Your tires have a pretty big foot print so it is a possibility. Also ruts is a good one too, if your ruts are like the ones here in Alaska that would definitely cause you this issue if your not used to driving on them.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all for the feedback. Yeggster, it sounds like your explanation is likely what happened. Since I've never had the ESD kick in, the sensation caught me off-guard. Since I installed my lift myself, I've been paranoid about whether I did everything correctly (I check bolts regularly!) so that insecurity probably influenced my initial reaction.
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