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Hydroplaning

I bought my Nissan Altima coupe brand new in 2011. I only have 9,000 miles on the car. Every time I’m on the highway when it’s raining, my car will hydroplane. I continue to lower my speed, even at times going approximately 45 mph on the highway, and it will still hydroplane. I have Bridgestone Turanza El-40 tires on my car. I hate to purchase new tires as I’m not sure if this will solve the problem. Could it be anything other than the tires, and, if not, would the dealer be responsible for putting new tires on my vehicle?

Please describe exactly what happens, this is unusual. It is tire related.

To answer your last question, no, the dealer is not responsible…I suspect the problem is “Driving to fast for conditions”…Check your tire pressure, rotate the tires…

I cannot see how driving 45 miles on the highway when it is raining, could be driving too fast for conditions. I have been driving many years and have only hydroplaned once or twice in my life before owning this Nissan Altima. Now my car hydroplanes at least 2 times in a 5 mile distance when it is raining…even when going at a lot slower speed than I should be going.

Please describe what happens.

I’m driving on the highway, and I hear and feel water gushing up under my car, and then the car starts to slide and I start to lose control of the vehicle. I am originally from the Northeast, and it is just like I am sliding on snow or ice and begin to lose control. It is extremely scary! This happens EVERY time I am on the highway when it is raining…no matter how much I lower my speed.

How much tread do you have on each tire? (use a quarter, see hom much of Washington’s head is covered up)
How old are the tires? (read this to know how to decode the serial numbers:


What pressure do you have in the tires?

The tires came on the car when I bought the car new. I only have 9,000 miles on the car but this has been happening since I bought the car. It is actually raining out right now, so I will have to wait to check the tread and to decode the serial number. I appreciate your help and am wondering if I should invest approximately $800.00 to buy new tires. I’m afraid I would still have this problem.

The two most important things are tire pressure and tread depth. If the pressure is too low or too high that could cause problems. If the tires are worn, that would cause this problem and would indicate an alignment problem.

Not too sure who’s responsible here. It does sound like a tire problem.

First - check the tire pressure. Make sure it’s within a couple of lbs of what is stated in the door jam.

If the pressure is good…then I suspect the tires are either faulty or just a bad design. Dealers usually just wash their hands when it comes to tires. Not sure what the recourse is. You may just have to bite the bullet and buy yourself a set of new tires at your expense.

how often does it rain where you are? Oils and such build up on the roadways and get lifted to the surface of the road when it rains, and can make it very slick. If it rarely rains where you are, this could be a contributing factor.

What you are feeling is not right, and needs to be fixed.
After checking the pressures, tire dates, etc, I’d take it to Nissan dealer and have them do an inspection- being sure to check for broken or worn our suspension parts. If that all checks ok, I’d put a set of tires on it in a heartbeat.

@eddo After checking the pressures, tire dates, etc, I’d take it to Nissan dealer and have them do an inspection- "If that all checks ok, I’d put a set of tires on it in a heartbeat. "

I agree,but not at your expense without first…

I would immediately take it back to the dealer…ASAP. Even though there is no expressed warranty with the tires by way of the dealer, it is under warranty overall and you should be able to have it evaluated. If the tire proves to be at fault and still has sufficient tread left, IMHO, you SHOULD get help replacing them. I would tell the dealer in this case as well that you plan on talking with the manufacture customer relations department. Do not start going somewhere else without seeing the dealer FIRST. Tires should not be sold with a car with this fault !

This is a good lesson. If it did have problems from the beginning, the dealer should know about it THEN and not 9000 miles later. You would have a much better claim.

@dagosa

Yes, on my own dime if need be. I agree that, in this case, it absolutely should not be my dollars, but I would rather pay the cost of new tires now than have to scrape my family off the road cause I was stubborn about waiting for someone else to replace my tires/figure out what the problem is.

and I’ve done it. Never again will I run Walmart Goodyear tires. Too many blowouts, all covered by warranty, but still very dangerous.

walmart tires are not the problem.

are you hydroplaning when you’re hitting puddles / standing water in the road, or does it also happen when the road is wet, but the water isn’t pooling?

what size are the tires ? ( look at the sidewall for a long numer like … p215/60r16 or p235/45r18 altimas have choices )
Something really wide may always …or much more often …hydroplane than the same tire of a narrower size.
It could be that width is not much of a choice so the tread design will be of utmost importance.
Maybe something with directional channels to direct water out.

are they EL400? If so, Tirerack.com rates the tire very poorly overall.
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Bridgestone&tireModel=Turanza+EL400

Use the shop by vehicle section on their website, via the link above, and search for a better set of tires for your car. Michelin Defender looks like a good set. Buy 4 tires for the car and you’ll be set

Goodyear RSA’s are horrible tires by the way, noisy and hydroplane very easily.

Time to buy some different tires, better to spend $800 than live a life of danger. A good tire shop should be able to make a recommendation.

Original equipment tires tend to be rather minimal…Tires are considered to be disposable wear items, so just replace them with a set of known high-quality ones before you wreck your car…The Touranza’s you have are rated 640-A-B which is a fairly high rating and most owners give them good reviews. You seem to be the only one with low-speed hydroplaning problems…If there were a design problem with these tires, thousands of people would be complaining about it…But if you feel uncomfortable driving on them, switch to tires with a more aggressive tread design. Don’t give your Bridgestone’s away, they have considerable value to someone…

Get the wheel alignment checked.