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Old 10-19-2015, 01:05 PM   #1
1.9 sohc
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Question Does your Saturn feel more prone to side wind than other cars?

I have owned many cars and trucks, the Saturn SL, both of the ones I have owned, a 98 and a 2000, feel the most affected by wind out of any car i have ever had.

I drive up the interstate daily to work, and except for mid summer there is usually a side wind. In the winter its a little trecherous with icy roads. I was wondering if anyone else noticed this about the SL body?

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Old 10-19-2015, 01:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Does your Saturn feel more prone to side wind than other cars?

Takes quite a bit of wind before I really notice it in the SC2. Then again there's almost always a sidewind here so I may just be used to it.

...
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Old 10-19-2015, 02:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: Does your Saturn feel more prone to side wind than other cars?

Most of my vehicles in the last 20 years have been high CoG so, no.

Suburban, G20 van etc.

Back in the late 80s I had a Tercel and drove the 10 to SanDiego from Tucson and that was a terror in the mountain passes. Got a bit scared a few times.

...
Bill from Extreme Southern North Carolina
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Old 10-19-2015, 03:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: Does your Saturn feel more prone to side wind than other cars?

Yeah.. especially noticeable last winter.. I would alternate between my 95 SW2 and my BMW sedan.. there's about a 10 mile section of open freeway that I get blasted on at times..

...
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Old 10-19-2015, 03:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: Does your Saturn feel more prone to side wind than other cars?

BMW>Saturn

Subjectively

...
Bill from Extreme Southern North Carolina
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Old 10-19-2015, 04:27 PM   #6
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Default Re: Does your Saturn feel more prone to side wind than other cars?

Saturn probably makes more power

...
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Old 10-19-2015, 05:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: Does your Saturn feel more prone to side wind than other cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1.9 sohc View Post
I have owned many cars and trucks, the Saturn SL, both of the ones I have owned, a 98 and a 2000, feel the most affected by wind out of any car i have ever had.
Agreed.

...
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Old 10-19-2015, 06:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: Does your Saturn feel more prone to side wind than other cars?

Everybody's seen that drawing in the FSM showing the vacuum along the sides of the car at highway speeds. Do other cars have that much vacuum?
I wonder about the current body styles with the sharp "brake" where the top of the doors are. I figured that was for cross-winds (vortex shedding)....

...
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Last edited by bumpdraft; 10-19-2015 at 06:57 PM.. Reason: overthinking: brake vs. break

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Old 10-19-2015, 06:56 PM   #9
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Default Re: Does your Saturn feel more prone to side wind than other cars?

I think it is because they are so light in weight. They only weigh about 2400 pounds or a little less.

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Old 10-19-2015, 07:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: Does your Saturn feel more prone to side wind than other cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpdraft View Post
Everybody's seen that drawing in the FSM showing the vacuum along the sides of the car at highway speeds. Do other cars have that much vacuum?
which drawing in the FSM? I have no FSM or drawing, can it (the drawing) be posted?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpdraft View Post
I wonder about the current body styles with the sharp "brake" where the top of the doors are. I figured that was for cross-winds (vortex shedding)....
I think break is the right choice, a brake would imply something physically holding something else...

...
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Old 10-19-2015, 08:19 PM   #11
J N Winkler
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Default Re: Does your Saturn feel more prone to side wind than other cars?

I have a first-generation SL2. I have also taken a 2005 Toyota Camry, a 2009 Honda Fit, and a 1986 Nissan Maxima on extended highway drives, including some with quite heavy crosswinds. The 2009 Fit was by far the most miserable to drive, because it weighs only 400 lb more than a S-Series but has a much bigger side profile. (It also has electric instead of hydraulic steering assist, and I have a nagging suspicion that doesn't help either.) The others are pretty much of a piece.

I have had my own experiences with wind whipping through mountain passes and I have never driven a car that handles them particularly well. That said, my experience does not include low-to-the-ground vehicles like sports cars, or even ordinary cars equipped with spoilers and other aerodynamic enhancements.

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Old 10-19-2015, 08:34 PM   #12
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Default Re: Does your Saturn feel more prone to side wind than other cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by robb_sc2 View Post
which drawing in the FSM? I have no FSM or drawing, can it (the drawing) be posted?
...
'98 FSM Section BDGI Pg. 53


^ That seems to explain the buffeting in crosswinds. Do other cars exhibit that much vacuum....?

Quote:
Originally Posted by robb_sc2 View Post
...I think break is the right choice, a brake would imply something physically holding something else...
I was trying to describe a change in slope on the sheetmetal body. As in, sheet metal bending brake.
(This is what I found on "break" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyRgW7NNSXI )
So, you use a sheet metal "brake" to make a "break" in the surface of the sheet metal?

In school, every period ends with a bell. Every sentence ends with a period. Every crime ends with a sentence. -- Steven Wright --

...
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Old 10-19-2015, 09:36 PM   #13
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Default Re: Does your Saturn feel more prone to side wind than other cars?

I always found my 98 SW2 was far more stable to wind (or when passing a semi) than my 96 4wd Suburban which weighed almost 3 x my Satty.
The huge side profile of the suburban vs the slender satty proved less stable.

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Old 10-20-2015, 05:17 PM   #14
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Default Re: Does your Saturn feel more prone to side wind than other cars?

My minivan (Mazda MPV 2005) feels more susceptible to wind than my Saturn (96 SL2) honestly...

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Old 10-20-2015, 10:55 PM   #15
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Default Re: Does your Saturn feel more prone to side wind than other cars?

1.9 sohc -

I used to have a 1971 VW Karmann Ghia, and then a Datsun Honeybee. Those were leafs in the wind, so I don't notice it nearly as much in my SW2.

CarloSW2

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Old 10-21-2015, 09:47 AM   #16
1.9 sohc
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Default Re: Does your Saturn feel more prone to side wind than other cars?

I wonder if there is anything I can alter to make it better?
My alignment is good.

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Old 10-21-2015, 10:43 AM   #17
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Default Re: Does your Saturn feel more prone to side wind than other cars?

I think much of it just has to do with which direction the wind is going, your speed, the type of road (divided interstate or one lane each way highway), and type of big vehicle that your are driving next to. I don't always notice an issue. But every once in a while, I do notice the car get slapped around and be sure that both hands are on the steering wheel. I tend to always do this as I'm approaching a big rig.

...
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Old 10-21-2015, 11:09 AM   #18
J N Winkler
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Default Re: Does your Saturn feel more prone to side wind than other cars?

Cars also tend to react differently to turbulent flow than to streamline flow. I think turbulence is the real cause of the issues people have noted driving through mountain passes.

Since there is not much that can be done to control either direction or speed of wind, it also helps to consider mitigation. If I have to drive in a heavy crosswind, I would rather do so on an Interstate highway since the unit lane width is 12 ft with minimum paved shoulder widths of 4 ft left and 10 ft right, which leaves plenty of room for course correction. The standards for sideslope treatment are also rather strict, which makes for less wind shear when transitioning from cut to embankment. Some states still have primary state highways on their systems with unit lane widths as low as 10 ft in combination with knife-sharp ditch profiles, including in areas subject to heavy crosswind (Colorado SH 10 between La Junta and Walsenburg comes to mind).

Occasionally the deleterious effects of wind on tracking and fuel economy can be reduced by choosing routings that involve travel at a ~45 angle to wind direction ("tacking against the wind") rather than against a 90 crosswind.

Some other physical considerations that become relevant: aerodynamic drag (felt as a force on the car with the same direction as the wind) is proportional to the square of relative speed up to about 100 MPH, and then to relative speed above 100 MPH. It is also proportional to density, which is influenced by temperature and barometric pressure (ideal gas law and all that). Crosswinds are usually more trouble in winter at low altitude than in summer at high altitude.

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Old 10-21-2015, 11:36 AM   #19
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Default Re: Does your Saturn feel more prone to side wind than other cars?

Mine did before replacing lower control arms and anti sway bar bushings. (Actually the bushings were the only thing wrong with the LCA's). And then fiddling with the alignment until it's as close to factory spec as possible. I have rubber bushings but poly might be even better.

...
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Old 10-21-2015, 12:08 PM   #20
1.9 sohc
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Default Re: Does your Saturn feel more prone to side wind than other cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by J N Winkler View Post
aerodynamic drag (felt as a force on the car with the same direction as the wind) ..... Crosswinds are usually more trouble in winter at low altitude...
Yep thats me.

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