Page 20 - PCA Metro NY Region June POST
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happened to cause them. So I decided to go out onto the track. [This was a VERY dumb decision.] The car ran fine on the warm up lap so I felt confirmed in the wisdom(?) of ignoring all those silly warning lights. I put pedal to the metal as we crossed start/finish under green but when I did hard braking for Turn 1, the car was completely envel- oped in a giant cloud of smoke and it didn’t slow down much at all. Fortu- nately, Lime Rock has a long escape road there, which I went down and got the car stopped. The engine was run- ning fine so I concluded, correctly as
codes from the computer. The reason for all the error lights was that the com- puter detected that the diameters of the tires were all wrong (with the large rears on the right and the smaller fronts on the left) and it just couldn’t reconcile those differences, so it couldn’t operate properly, it disabled various features and it flashed all those error messages
on the dash.
There are at least two takeaways from my story: (1) Be Careful. Always be careful when working on your car and when you are on track. Check your work! The stakes can be very high. (2) When you get error lights on the dash- board, don’t ignore them. Modern cars are very sophisticated and when they are telling you something, you really should listen.
I felt so stupid and embarrassed that I had messed up mounting the tires, but as the day progressed when people asked me what had happened to cause all that smoke and drama, and I ex- plained about the rears on the right and the fronts on the left, in every group at least one person said, “Oh. I did that once also.” That made me feel much better – that at least I wasn’t the only one to make such a bone-headed move. And I felt a lot of compassion from all those Metro track friends.
I’ll see you at the track. You can always contact me at [email protected]
it turned out, that I had flat-spotted my tires and they had caused all the smoke.
Back in the pits, I got help from one
of Bill Rudtner’s staff – Bill, our Chief instructor, brings mechanics and lots of equipment to Metro track events and they are available to help us
when needed. I explained my predica- ment to one of the mechanics and he brought over his diagnostic tool to
look at the error codes, of which there were many. While he was doing that I walked around the car and examined the tires. I quickly discovered the root of all my problems. I had mounted 2 rear tires on the right side of the car, and 2 front tires on the left side earlier that morning. OOPS!! I explained that to the mechanic and we quickly got the tire situation fixed. (2 of the tires were so flat-spotted as to be ruined but I had extras.) He then cleared the error

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