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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone. Today I have a very interesting story of what I had to deal with last night on the OH Turnpike.

It was about 6:30 PM and I was on my way home to Cleveland from Detroit. I was about 90 miles west of Cleveland on the turnpike when something insane happened. I was traveling at about 82 MPH in the left hand lane keeping up with traffic and I hit something that I hadn't seen in the road. This object had to have been at least 2-3 inches high and very hard. I remember the steering wheel being jerked out of my hands to the right, the entire front of the car lifting up going over something, and then flashes and bangs like nothing I've seen. I couldn't hear or see for what seemed like 5-10 seconds. This noise and flashes were all of the side airbags deploying including the door airbags and the curtain airbags. The entire car filled with smoke and dust in this time. My friend who was asleep at the time of the incident woke up and told me to pull over just as I was getting my senses back. I pulled off of the road onto the wide shoulder and turned on my hazards. The car had either stalled when I hit the object, when the airbags deployed, or when I forgot to depress the clutch when pulling over. I couldn't tell you when exactly it did stall. We were in shock but were conscious enough to assess the situation. We got out and checked the front of the car and discovered no physical damage to the body, the bumper, or the belly pan. My car is running on Bilsteins and H&Rs so it sits fairly low and rides fairly firm. We were walking around to the back of the car and I noticed the driver rear sitting slightly higher than it was previously. We looked down the road from where we came and noticed 5-6 other cars stopped on the side of the road. We walked the 50 yards back up to the other cars and were shocked at what we found. Every single other car's tires were popped. One of the cars had a busted radiator. Another one had rear ended one of the cars that stopped because of the popped tires. We asked them what happened and they all had the exact same story. They hit something in the road and nobody knew what it was. My friend and I decided to get out of there because at this point there was traffic flying past us at 80-90 MPH with something still possibly in the road. We got back into my car after checking all of the tires and turned the key. She fired right up. The second I got moving I could tell it wasn't driving correctly but we had little to no choice. I got up to speed on the shoulder and joined the road. I moved over to the slow lanes and babied my car the entire 90 mile drive back to Cleveland.

For the entire drive back I went between 60-70 MPH but it felt more unstable with speed.

There are some odd noises at certain RPM/speeds that seem to decrease with speed. The car feels very unstable going over bumps or being passed. It is currently sitting in front of my friend's house and I am going to try to get under it to better assess the front suspension tomorrow.

Here is what I know. I need all new interior airbags/airbag sensors, new Alcantara A pillars, my Alcantara headliner has a small rip in it about 1.5 inches long but I may be able to hide it, I need new door panels on both of my front doors, I need a near rear strut mount, I need a new rear driver side speaker for the rear deck, and I need something done to the front suspension/steering components. I don't know what else is broken as I haven't been able to get a look yet.

Any ideas or help would be appreciated. If nothing else, here is yet another story to add to the board.

Thanks,

Colton Frey
E39Source Owner
 

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Hey everyone. Today I have a very interesting story of what I had to deal with last night on the OH Turnpike.

It was about 6:30 PM and I was on my way home to Cleveland from Detroit. I was about 90 miles west of Cleveland on the turnpike when something insane happened. I was traveling at about 82 MPH in the left hand lane keeping up with traffic and I hit something that I hadn't seen in the road. This object had to have been at least 2-3 inches high and very hard. I remember the steering wheel being jerked out of my hands to the right, the entire front of the car lifting up going over something, and then flashes and bangs like nothing I've seen. I couldn't hear or see for what seemed like 5-10 seconds. This noise and flashes were all of the side airbags deploying including the door airbags and the curtain airbags. The entire car filled with smoke and dust in this time. My friend who was asleep at the time of the incident woke up and told me to pull over just as I was getting my senses back. I pulled off of the road onto the wide shoulder and turned on my hazards. The car had either stalled when I hit the object, when the airbags deployed, or when I forgot to depress the clutch when pulling over. I couldn't tell you when exactly it did stall. We were in shock but were conscious enough to assess the situation. We got out and checked the front of the car and discovered no physical damage to the body, the bumper, or the belly pan. My car is running on Bilsteins and H&Rs so it sits fairly low and rides fairly firm. We were walking around to the back of the car and I noticed the driver rear sitting slightly higher than it was previously. We looked down the road from where we came and noticed 5-6 other cars stopped on the side of the road. We walked the 50 yards back up to the other cars and were shocked at what we found. Every single other car's tires were popped. One of the cars had a busted radiator. Another one had rear ended one of the cars that stopped because of the popped tires. We asked them what happened and they all had the exact same story. They hit something in the road and nobody knew what it was. My friend and I decided to get out of there because at this point there was traffic flying past us at 80-90 MPH with something still possibly in the road. We got back into my car after checking all of the tires and turned the key. She fired right up. The second I got moving I could tell it wasn't driving correctly but we had little to no choice. I got up to speed on the shoulder and joined the road. I moved over to the slow lanes and babied my car the entire 90 mile drive back to Cleveland.

For the entire drive back I went between 60-70 MPH but it felt more unstable with speed.

There are some odd noises at certain RPM/speeds that seem to decrease with speed. The car feels very unstable going over bumps or being passed. It is currently sitting in front of my friend's house and I am going to try to get under it to better assess the front suspension tomorrow.

Here is what I know. I need all new interior airbags/airbag sensors, new Alcantara A pillars, my Alcantara headliner has a small rip in it about 1.5 inches long but I may be able to hide it, I need new door panels on both of my front doors, I need a near rear strut mount, I need a new rear driver side speaker for the rear deck, and I need something done to the front suspension/steering components. I don't know what else is broken as I haven't been able to get a look yet.

Any ideas or help would be appreciated. If nothing else, here is yet another story to add to the board.

Thanks,

Colton Frey
E39Source Owner
Sorry to hear, was Ryan with you? Anyways you should contact your insurance company because what your describing to be sounds like it would be covered as a collision. Also you might be able to get some of these things from Clemster on the board. Anyways hope you get this all sorted at least the jerk of the wheel didn't make you hit another car.
 
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Glad you are OK! I am starting to see more and more of these stories of side airbags deploying more often. It even happened to Jeremy on Top Gear!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sorry to hear, was Ryan with you? Anyways you should contact your insurance company because what your describing to be sounds like it would be covered as a collision. Also you might be able to get some of these things from Clemster on the board. Anyways hope you get this all sorted at least the jerk of the wheel didn't make you hit another car.
Yes Ryan was with me at the time. I'll figure out what I need and then start the search for parts. We are both very lucky that it turned out the way that it did and that both of us, as well as my car will live to see another day. If one of my control arms in the front had broken one of the front wheels could have turned sideways and at that point it would have been a completely different ball game. Luck was in our favor even if it doesn't seem like it at first.

Thanks for the reply.

Colton
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Glad you are OK! I am starting to see more and more of these stories of side airbags deploying more often. It even happened to Jeremy on Top Gear!
Thank you! We got very lucky! I wonder if it has something to do with the sensors wearing over time? I really couldn't tell you.
 

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Hey everyone. Today I have a very interesting story of what I had to deal with last night on the OH Turnpike.

It was about 6:30 PM and I was on my way home to Cleveland from Detroit. I was about 90 miles west of Cleveland on the turnpike when something insane happened. I was traveling at about 82 MPH in the left hand lane keeping up with traffic and I hit something that I hadn't seen in the road. This object had to have been at least 2-3 inches high and very hard. I remember the steering wheel being jerked out of my hands to the right, the entire front of the car lifting up going over something, and then flashes and bangs like nothing I've seen. I couldn't hear or see for what seemed like 5-10 seconds. This noise and flashes were all of the side airbags deploying including the door airbags and the curtain airbags. The entire car filled with smoke and dust in this time. My friend who was asleep at the time of the incident woke up and told me to pull over just as I was getting my senses back. I pulled off of the road onto the wide shoulder and turned on my hazards. The car had either stalled when I hit the object, when the airbags deployed, or when I forgot to depress the clutch when pulling over. I couldn't tell you when exactly it did stall. We were in shock but were conscious enough to assess the situation. We got out and checked the front of the car and discovered no physical damage to the body, the bumper, or the belly pan. My car is running on Bilsteins and H&Rs so it sits fairly low and rides fairly firm. We were walking around to the back of the car and I noticed the driver rear sitting slightly higher than it was previously. We looked down the road from where we came and noticed 5-6 other cars stopped on the side of the road. We walked the 50 yards back up to the other cars and were shocked at what we found. Every single other car's tires were popped. One of the cars had a busted radiator. Another one had rear ended one of the cars that stopped because of the popped tires. We asked them what happened and they all had the exact same story. They hit something in the road and nobody knew what it was. My friend and I decided to get out of there because at this point there was traffic flying past us at 80-90 MPH with something still possibly in the road. We got back into my car after checking all of the tires and turned the key. She fired right up. The second I got moving I could tell it wasn't driving correctly but we had little to no choice. I got up to speed on the shoulder and joined the road. I moved over to the slow lanes and babied my car the entire 90 mile drive back to Cleveland.
- Tow Truck?

For the entire drive back I went between 60-70 MPH but it felt more unstable with speed.
:dunno:eek:uich

There are some odd noises at certain RPM/speeds that seem to decrease with speed. The car feels very unstable going over bumps or being passed. It is currently sitting in front of my friend's house and I am going to try to get under it to better assess the front suspension tomorrow.

Here is what I know. I need all new interior airbags/airbag sensors, new Alcantara A pillars, my Alcantara headliner has a small rip in it about 1.5 inches long but I may be able to hide it, I need new door panels on both of my front doors, I need a near rear strut mount, I need a new rear driver side speaker for the rear deck, and I need something done to the front suspension/steering components. I don't know what else is broken as I haven't been able to get a look yet.

Any ideas or help would be appreciated. If nothing else, here is yet another story to add to the board.

Thanks,

Colton Frey
E39Source Owner
How did this break the left rear speaker? Also, what was it that you and the other motorists hit?
 

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Sorry to hear about the mishap, never fun to be in those situations. I have a collection of airbags from previous M5s I've dismantled in the past, will let them go cheap to help you out. I was saving all the airbags for a rainy day when I can set them all off for fun. Also have other parts like suspension. If you have sand beige interior, I have door panels as well.
 
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Yes Ryan was with me at the time. I'll figure out what I need and then start the search for parts. We are both very lucky that it turned out the way that it did and that both of us, as well as my car will live to see another day. If one of my control arms in the front had broken one of the front wheels could have turned sideways and at that point it would have been a completely different ball game. Luck was in our favor even if it doesn't seem like it at first.

Thanks for the reply.

Colton
An broken control arm will not turn the wheel sideways. The wheel will, however, not be happy to remain under the car or in line with its opposite wheels.

There was a recall for the Airbag control module (under the center console), but if you hit something hard and fast enough to break your strut mount, it would most likely trip the accelerometer the controls airbag deployment.
 

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Glad that you are safe, Colton. Sounds like you guys hit a spike strip or something. Bizarre.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
- Tow Truck?

:dunno:eek:uich


How did this break the left rear speaker? Also, what was it that you and the other motorists hit?
We couldn't afford to have the car towed 90 miles plain and simple although that would have been the better solution.

We have no idea what it was that we hit but whatever it was, was something along the lines of a 2x4 or something.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
An broken control arm will not turn the wheel sideways. The wheel will, however, not be happy to remain under the car or in line with its opposite wheels.

There was a recall for the Airbag control module (under the center console), but if you hit something hard and fast enough to break your strut mount, it would most likely trip the accelerometer the controls airbag deployment.
My mistake. I thought that would cause it to lose it's structural rigidity and move to the side.

It was probably the shock from hitting it but it is still a bit too sensitive if it sets off that easily. At least in my opinion. Thanks for the info! I really do appreciate it.
 

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My mistake. I thought that would cause it to lose it's structural rigidity and move to the side.

It was probably the shock from hitting it but it is still a bit too sensitive if it sets off that easily. At least in my opinion. Thanks for the info! I really do appreciate it.
The triggering mechanism is shock (acceleration) based. At a minimum two discreet sensors have to trip to cause a frontal SIR deployment. The center controlling sensor (afore mentioned under the center console) is a inertia switch. For the lateral SIR it may only require tripping of this inertia switch. This is the switch that was the focus of a NTSA inquiry.

Sent from my DROID4
 

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I'm suprised that your car started up again. When my side airbag and curtain airbag deployed it trigger the battery safety terminal connected to the battery to explode so I didn't have any power to start the car up. Had to tow and replaced the BST. Glad nothing too serious happened though.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The triggering mechanism is shock (acceleration) based. At a minimum two discreet sensors have to trip to cause a frontal SIR deployment. The center controlling sensor (afore mentioned under the center console) is a inertia switch. For the lateral SIR it may only require tripping of this inertia switch. This is the switch that was the focus of a NTSA inquiry.

Sent from my DROID4
Seeing as only the side "lateral SIR" deployed, it looks as if it was this central control sensor that's an inertia switch. Thank you for the information.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm suprised that your car started up again. When my side airbag and curtain airbag deployed it trigger the battery safety terminal connected to the battery to explode so I didn't have any power to start the car up. Had to tow and replaced the BST. Glad nothing too serious happened though.
I'm actually surprised too! I don't know if that was a malfunction on my car's end or not, but it saved me from towing the car 90 miles home!
 

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That really sucks man. In my old car, I hit a large piece of cinder block that had fallen off of a truck in front of me and ended up blowing out my tire. I was super pissed but it was quite minor compared to what you experienced.

This all should be covered by your insurance. Did you get any names/contact info from the other drivers that were also affected?
 
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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Last night after work I got a chance to get underneath my car and I found some interesting stuff. Here are a few pictures of damage.







Both front the rear driver's side wheels are bent but holding air well enough to move it around. Upon further inspection, the belly pan does have a gouge in it but it's not bad at all. My front sway bar was scraped but not hit hard, and upon visual inspection my front suspension seemed to not have been directly hit except for the jar of the wheel being hit. It took a nice scrape out of my driver's side frame just missing all of my fuel lines. It also hit the exhaust where the cat section bolts up to the headers and made a huge dent in the rear exhaust bracket. The strut mount is also definitely broken on my passenger rear side, although my front mount looks to be okay.

I may be able to salvage my Alcantara A pillars and the headliner with a little ingenuity but I will still need to buy new door panels and all new airbags.

I will keep this thread updated throughout this entire process.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
That really sucks man. In my old car, I hit a large piece of cinder block that had fallen off of a truck in front of me and ended up blowing out my tire. I was super pissed but it was quite minor compared to what you experienced.

This all should be covered by your insurance. Did you get any names/contact info from the other drivers that were also affected?
I wish It would be covered by my insurance, but if I'm honest I only have liability on my car. It's an old car, and being a younger male, full coverage on this car is far too expensive. It's times like this that I wish I did have it though. It looks like unless I can contact the OH DOT, I'm out of luck and will have the entire thing fall in my lap.

I'm glad your story turned out better! This happened for a reason, and I'm just glad the car will drive again, and Ryan and myself are alright.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Upon further inspection of the images I took last night, my theory of a piece of steel is possibly looking more and more plausible. Look at both tires at the point of impact. There is a reddish brown residue. I'm assuming this could be rust from a piece of steel.
 
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