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#1 of 588 Stability Control, are you ready for it?
Oct 28, 2004 (9:51 am)
The last time I tried this discussion it got 13 comments and died. It's in the news a lot more now and with studies to back it up:
Having it on a car I drive for the past 3 years has made me a believer but then again that was a main reason I got the car in the first place. Why is it taking so long to catch on? There were never studies to show that ABS really saved lives and it's on everything today.
#2 of 588 If we all drove...
Oct 28, 2004 (11:04 am)
M1 Abram Tanks (talk about stable) it could save up to 100,000 lives per year, it just way too much overkill and way too expensive..... We want more affordable cars with less things that go bump in the night and fall off or break........:0(
Oct 28, 2004 (11:10 am)
I have it. It has activated a few times, on icy streets, mostly because I wanted to see if I could activate it. Now, it may have been active at other times but I didn't notice.
Oct 28, 2004 (11:27 am)
just because you activated it doesn't mean that you were going to lose control. IOW, who knows how often you really need it, as opposed to being able to control your car without it.
One problem I have with it is too many manufacturers (Toyota comes to mind) make it too obtrusive, to the extent it becomes a hinderance, especially with anything passing for "sporty" driving. I believe BMW does a better job keeping it to more of a "last resort" option than a front line defense.
Might be a CYA issue, given the litigous nature of our society. If you are going to advertise the wonders of stability control, imagine the lawsuit if someone swerves and loses control anyway because it didn't activate? Or maybe some people have so little control over their car that they need an electronic nanny!
#5 of 588 Re: [stickguy]
Oct 28, 2004 (12:25 pm)
Indeed it operates transparently on my 528i, you get a light when the traction control is engaged but otherwise you are unaware when the DSC is engaged. One of these days I'll fool around on
an empty, snowy parking lot and find out what it really does.
#6 of 588 Re: [andys120]
Oct 28, 2004 (1:10 pm)
Another link to the actual IIHS site and release:
As to turning it on, I have heard from others that Toyota makes it obtrusive. On a Corvette post 2001 it can be a real help, I'm not talking about on the street. Actually it is hard to turn on in normal driving on dry pavement. I think many will react that it's too much electronics help and people should learn to drive. Only problem is that most people think they are above average drivers, sort of oxymoron. The people beyond the upper end that have it now that are going to get it soon are SUVs due to top heavy handling. The ones that could use it most are inexperienced drivers in cleap short wheelbase cars that do something that makes them panic.
It really is too bad when mistakes become fatal.
Oct 28, 2004 (1:28 pm)
While it's not quite the same, it is eletronic sensing and correction of problem conditions, albeit to a lesser extent...my Mustang has traction control. In almost 3 years with it, though, I'm still undecided as to how I feel about it.
There's no doubt in really bad weather it improves driveability, and in a high-torque rwd car with a light rear end, that means a lot.
But there have been numerous instances when it activates when not really needed...the problem is when it does, the car bogs like crazy and loses lots of power for what seems a long time. This can be quite scary when trying to merge onto a busy road and the TCS "overactivates".
I guess I'm lucky though, as I have a "trac off" switch that will deactivate it. But maybe it all comes down to the fact that the technology is new, and when it improves, it'll get better at seperating real problems from the "fake" ones. Or maybe the stuff Ford uses isn't quite the best out there (imagine that)...
Oct 28, 2004 (2:33 pm)
I'll second or third the opinion that Toyota's is intrusive. Overly so.
Unless I'm in inclement weather, the systems are de-selected in my car. In the soup, the defaults get restored!
#9 of 588 Re: Stability Control, are you ready for it? [starrow68]
Oct 28, 2004 (5:09 pm)
It's interesting that the thread topic, stability control, was confused with traction control by several posters.
Maybe that's comment enough about its perceived value.
I actually have it on my low-end, short-wheel base Scion xB. I don't think it's overly intrusive since it has only activated once when I was really pushing a corner to make it come on. I have no experience with stability control on other Toyota products, so can't say whether it's nannyish.
Since the car is cheap to begin with and comes standard with traction and stability control, I've never really thought about its relative value. Think I'd pass if it were an expensive option, but am glad to have it because it doesn't seem I paid much for it so why not.
#10 of 588 The common idea is that traction control is some how the same ...
Oct 28, 2004 (6:07 pm)
as stability control. But I think the Mustang driver was trying to make a point about electronic systems and not confusing the two. I think.
Traction Control is what keeps most kids today from exhibition and speed tickets that my generation just expected when you did a burn out. Smokey is better. Stability control is based on a gyroscope that measures yaw, or rotation around a pole going through the center of the roof into the ground, think rear end trying to overtake front end, all wheels on the ground. Pilots know yaw, the rest of us have to think about it. Each ABS system that has a yaw sensor takes the input and does whatever the engineers then tell the brake and throttle system (in some cases) to do at that point. Oversteer gets different treatment than understeer, but both try to straighten out the vehicle so it doesn't continue to yaw, or spin out. Today it's only on less than 10% of new cars in the US while it's on over 35% in Europe. Consumer demand, just as noted above, if it's standard they get it but if they have to decide to pay for it and the salesman only knows "it's some safety thing" they don't pay extra. Take my word for it the real extra cost is very little, the option on the other hand may be priced fairly high, if the maker thinks they can get it.