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Old 06-08-2011, 02:35 PM   #11
DPE
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I have never heard of any kind of stability control system turning itself back on, but things I've read over the past couple years make me wonder a bit.

The law says, I believe, that all cars starting in 2012 MUST have stability control as a standard feature (like front airbags, seatbelts, etc.). In more than one car review, none of which I can find to link to right now, I had read that by a certain year all cars sold in the USA had to have stability control on them AND that this stability control cannot be fully-defeatable. You can turn it 'off' to help get out of a snowdrift or what have you, but even when 'off' it's not totally disabled.

If true, this would lead me to believe that in certain extreme situations, even if you'd held the button for 8 seconds to turn it all the way off, it's going to interfere. Why it would reactivate TCS I don't know, but I'm just throwing out ideas. Having said that, I am surprised I haven't seen a magazine review complaining of this, as issues like that usually show up in performance testing.

And I tend to agree with Norm; some of these systems intervene way early and create unpredictable control responses that made me feel more out of control that I would have been with no 'assistance'. In my 2010 I have found that to be the case in cloverleafs if I'm pushing the limits; the throttle will go numb and the car will flash some lights for a couple seconds before handing the reigns back to the driver. Feels strange. I drive in Sport Mode most of the time, which I very rarely invoke on the street. On track, however, it's all got to be off. . .
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Old 06-08-2011, 03:24 PM   #12
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Where is the Ford Customer Service Rep??
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Old 06-09-2011, 02:15 AM   #13
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Well, I found out where I read about it before. On corner-carvers there's a guy autocrossing a 2011 competitively and has a build thread going on. He experienced the same thing but never really said anything more about about it. There was also some discussion of the braking system going into some kind of "ice mode" and significantly reducing the braking power. Found an online owners manual for the 2011 and this is what it said about it the light:

AdvanceTrac/traction control
active: Flashes when the traction
control is active. If the light remains
on a malfunction has been detected;
contact your authorized dealer as
soon as possible. Refer to the Driving chapter for more information.

I refered to the driving section and all it did was explain the TC/AT functioning and it repeated that if the light remains on that there is a malfunction. So apparently, with everything off, harsh driving will still somehow confuse the system into thinking there's a malfunction. Turning the car off then back on clears it. Weird.
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:27 PM   #14
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Sigh.... with all the electronics on these cars, I wonder how long they'll hold up before they fry.
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:33 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleeper_08 View Post
I'm glad my 08 only has plain and simple Traction Control that can be tirned off with ne button push

Unless I forget
Almost killed myself like that twice during winter

I have gotten in the habit of turning off TC every time I step into the car unless the weather is absolutely horrible.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:47 PM   #16
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Even when the weather is horrible, I'd rather find out through my own "seat of the pants feel" just how crappy the available tire grip really is by how hard it is to get the thing rolling. Worst case here (unless you live where the roads are all significantly crowned for drainage) is that you just sit there and spin the rear tires. Not likely to hit anything that way, and you can always get out of wheelspin even if it means that you're still stuck there.


That's much preferable to finding out that there isn't much 'bite' by not being able to get stopped or turned, because in those situations that's pretty much what you'd better be able to do.


Never mind how I know what it's like to be able to accelerate pretty well - and a hundred yards later not be able to either stop or steer. Just consider that if the TC is very effective at all that is exactly the situation that it'll put you in. Even ABS and ESC cannot "overrule" physics.


I'm not particularly sorry for continuing the slight hijack, as I feel that it's just too important a point to make.


Norm
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norm Peterson View Post
I'm not particularly sorry for continuing the slight hijack, as I feel that it's just too important a point to make.
That's ok, I guess I kinda asked for it when I made that comment.

Yes, I've had TC cut it when I don't want it to, i.e. right turn into a gap in traffic, but at worst the guy behind just gets annoyed and has to slow down. That said, the TC wontí even kick in if you just accelerates smoothly and not dump the clutch. Not every car has 300/400 hp...how do they get by without massive acceleration? And in snow/ice I donít usually test the traction by spinning the tires, I usually tap the brakes to test the braking action at low speed.

What I'm trying to say is that its impossible to predict every situation and be mentally on your A-game at all times when driving public roads. Something will happen when you least expect it and you will make a mistake, factor in rain/standing water and its worse. Now there may be some drivers out there with such focus, situational awareness, and driving finesse that they can handle anything anytime, but for everybody else I see no reason to turn off the "nannies" for daily driving.
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Old 06-10-2011, 02:48 PM   #18
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You have to get going before you can tap the brakes for any useful purpose . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by parchisi View Post
What I'm trying to say is that its impossible to predict every situation and be mentally on your A-game at all times when driving public roads.
Technically, that's exactly where you should be, at least the mental A-game part of it. Not saying I always am (obviously I wasn't at least once by my own admission right here in this thread). But I try pretty hard to be, and to not have a sense of how low the tire grip is via how easy it is to get a little wheelspin is a move in the wrong direction.

Take that sense away with TC and the tendency is going to be to drive just a little faster and with a little less awareness and respect for the conditions. Easy enough to do if the car is almost as easy to drive as usual, and people are still going to be in their usual semi-distracted hurry (but going a little faster now). Reads like a recipe for trouble, eventually.

Could be that my little incident of 40+ years ago with its somewhat unique circumstances has saved my a$$ more times in the meantime than more nannies playing cover-up for TC's downside ever would have or will. I've certainly been more aware as a driver since then because of it.

<sigh> Guess you had to be there.


Norm

Last edited by Norm Peterson; 06-10-2011 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 06-10-2011, 03:20 PM   #19
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At Mosport last month a club that has had many years organizing driving events had 5 cars hit stationary objects. The day was wet and Mosport in the wet can be a treacherous place but this was more "offs" than they had had in the previous three years.

The comment was made that the cause is possibly all of the high tech nannies. People rely on them and once the nanny can't keep the car on the track there is no way in heck that the driver that has been relying on them ever will.
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Old 06-10-2011, 05:30 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleeper_08 View Post
The comment was made that the cause is possibly all of the high tech nannies. People rely on them and once the nanny can't keep the car on the track there is no way in heck that the driver that has been relying on them ever will.
I'm not sure if regular street driving, commuting, will ever prepare you to drive aggressively on a track in the wet, with or without ESC. Seems like two completely different types of driving to me. At least when I'm driving on public roads, I don't think I've ever has ESC kick on on me, just maybe TC a few times and that's it. People don't usually drive to the point that they're riding on the edge of ESC and relying on it on a regular basis.

I've personally never read about or heard about an accident being caused by ESC, i.e. "Person A was traveling on Y road, reacted to a situation, ESC kicked on and caused the person to crash and die" On the other hand, I've seen plenty of stories where "Person B was traveling on X road, reacted to a situation, lost control of the vehicle and died"

Ever wonder why my sig says "1993 Cobra R.I.P"? Was driving an empty country road at high speed, armadillo walked out, instictively I tapped the brakes enough for the rears to lock up. Back end started to swing around, I let off but I couldn't recover. Went into a ditch and rolled 3 times into a wheat field. I'm lucky I didn't get severely injured...or dead. Since then I've been a much more careful driver and I know now to just hit a small animal than to try to avoid it. I had always thought I was a decent enough driver, and I thought I was being relatively safe. They say for pilots, the most dangerous ones are those with less than 1,000 hrs, and those with over 4,000 hrs. Complacency can be just as dangerous and inexperience. It can happen to anybody.
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