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How to disable the stability/traction control?

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Technical Discussion' started by cossie1600, Aug 16, 2009.

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  1. tumbleweed

    tumbleweed Senior Member

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    Yes you can disable the traction control on the Gen2 Prius: http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-...n/29334-can-you-disable-tration-controll.html

    I tried this procedure on my Gen2 about 3 years ago from an earlier thread. I think the procedure worked fine but I didn't drive the car that way to see if it were really disabled or not, I just moved it around the driveway to see if I could. There is a danger of damage to the PSD with TRAC disabled.

    It is called an inspection procedure and could be used to run the car on a chassis dyno. It's needed because the Gen2 TRAC (and also the Gen3 I imagine) uses an input from all 4 wheel speed sensors. TRAC won't let you apply power unless the front and back wheels are both moving at about the same speed. I think our late friend Brian of BT Tech did try this on his dyno and reported that it worked. The first time he ran his Prius on the chassis dyno he did not know about this procedure and disabled the wheel speed sensors.

    That same procedure (or a different one) might work on the Gen3 but I hadn't intended to try it because it has no practical value other than testing due to possible PSD damage.
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  2. nineinchnail1024

    nineinchnail1024 New Member

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    What aggravates me is when I'm at a stop sign, preparing to cross a busy highway, and I see an opening in traffic long enough for me to get through. I punch it, and the front wheels spin for a split second causing the traction control to kick in and the car to limp slowly across oncoming traffic. To say it's a bit unnerving is an understatement.
  3. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Without traction control, the front wheels would spin for a longer period while you still limped slowly across oncoming traffic. Bad traction, not traction control, is the root cause. If this is a chronic problem, you need better tires.

    Tom
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  4. Jim Calvert

    Jim Calvert New Member

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    You want to drive a Prius on a race track? :rolleyes:
  5. tumbleweed

    tumbleweed Senior Member

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    Your right it's not like the traction control on most other cars and if your not careful with it it can be a pain in the neck. I can't drive this car the way I drove my Accord or my BMW, but that's OK because I have altered my driving style to compensate.

    The Prius traction control is not really designed to help you get better traction the way most are, although under some conditions it will do that too. It's really designed to keep you from damaging the car. There are some components in the PSD that would be over stressed if they allowed wheel spin and then the wheels hit a patch of dry pavement and suddenly got traction, this would create quite a shock to the drive train. Conventional cars are usually designed with this in mind and the componants in the transmission/differential unit(s) are strong enough to handle this shock. The Prius designers had to cram in a lot of stuff that most cars don't have (motor/generators, inverters, an extra coolant system, etc.) space and weight became a major consideration. So we have a drive train that is lighter and needs a bit of extra protection, although they may have over done it a little.

    I guess for me having a traction control that works differently is just part of being a Prius driver. :)
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  6. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    +1
    Yes, this is method #2 ... which WILL help you in some ice conditions. You won't smoke your HSD as long as you're 'carefull' ... that being the operative word.

    .
  7. nineinchnail1024

    nineinchnail1024 New Member

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    I have to respectfully disagree. My other car has well over 500hp. When I leave from a stop with a bit too much throttle, I'm able to let off, adjust and regain control. With the prius, if I step on it a little too hard, the TC kicks in for what feels like longer than a full second (which feels like eternity when traffic is bearing down on you).
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  8. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Try it with the Prius tires and wheels on your 500hp car. After that we can compare the results.

    Tom
  9. ggood

    ggood Blue PIP Aficionado

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    I had that problem with my 2004 Prius a few times, when there was a bit of gravel or I tried to turn out too quickly. Has never happened on my 2010. In fact I was delightfully surprised the other day when I managed to spin the tires on wet pavement during a quick turnout turn. I had to back off on the throttle till the wheels caught some pavement, just like on a prepriustoric car.
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  10. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Oh, a new term. I have to remember this one; it's great. We need to add this one to the PC dictionary sticky.

    Tom
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  11. deltron3030

    deltron3030 New Member

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    This is my first hybrid, and while I dont think it'd win any drag races, I can 100% of the time beat traffic (read: traffic, not other people looking to race) off the line at a light. It's quicker to its initial "go" than other cars I've had. I feel like the prius' weakness isn't in its initial acceleration, but in its ability to quickly speed up from there. On late nights I perform informal 0-60 tests and never once have I spun the front tires. The terrible 0-60 performance has more to do with how slowly it'll get to 60, not how long it takes to get going, which, for me, even while punching it, is pretty instantaneous. The only way I've ever gotten them to lose traction is by flooring it from a stop while making a right turn.
  12. tumbleweed

    tumbleweed Senior Member

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    What kind of 0-60 times are you seeing? Power to weight ratio of the Gen3 is 22.7 lbs/HP and should be quicker than the Gen2 by a quite bit. The Gen2 is 26.7 lbs/HP and has a 0-60 time of about 10.5 seconds.
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  13. svn nrg

    svn nrg New Member

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    I just traded my 07 for a 10. In my 07, I was not able to get up the last hill before my home due to a light snow. And then after getting chains I just barely made it. I found on this forum a series of moves you can do to override the TRAC. When I got my 2010 I asked if the same process would work. The dealer said it can't disabled! I think they can using the computer at the dealer but as soon as you restart the car it goes back to the default. I just hope I can get home when it snows now. FWIW I did have them change the back-up continuous beep to a single beep, keyless unlock; when you touch the drivers door to unlock all of the doors, and they did a couple of other things. And they didn't charge me but they have to do it now!
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  14. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    The traction control on the 2010 is vastly improved. If you can't get up your hill it won't be because of traction control.

    Tom
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  15. nspeer

    nspeer New Member

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    I searched for this topic after last night's snow strom, which was my very first snow driving experience with the '09 Prius we purchased this past May. I live in Colorado and our home is up a winding moderately steep hill. Before even purchasing a Prius, I read this and other forums trying to get a handle on how the car did in snowy conditions. I also talked with any Prius owner I happened to run into locally. The general consensus I got was that the Prius could handle snow just fine with a good set of snow tires. I put a set of Michelin (x2's I believe) on.

    Last night we went out during a snowstorm. When we drove home at around 9 pm, it was snowing and there was about 3-4" of fresh, powdery Colorado snow piling up....the snowplows had not been out yet I guess. Anyway, our hill had not been plowed. Halfway up, with another neighbor on my tail, my Prius got stuck due to the stupid traction control. The indicator light on the dash was flashing continuously as I drove up. Then, we just stopped. I had to back down (after my neighbor backed up) and try it again from a running start. This time, we JUST BARELY made it up.

    I traded a Subaru Outback for the Prius. The Subaru NEVER, EVER got stuck ANYWHERE! So, now we are faced with the possibility of having to trade the Prius for another Subaru as I have NO FAITH that the Prius can safely get us through the winter and spring snows... live and learn.

    Conclusion: DON'T BUY A PRIUS IF YOU LIVE IN HILLY, SNOWY CONDITIONS!! It is most definitely the worst snow car I have driven in 40 years of snow driving.
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  16. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    So what does this have to do with a 2010 Prius, which is the topic of my quoted post? The traction control system on the 2010 is a completely different animal than that on your Gen II.

    Even so, I find my 2006 Gen II Prius to be a good winter car. With VSC it is by far the most stable winter driver I've ever driven, including my Subaru, Jeep C-J5, and 4wd Ford Aerostar. The problem, as you point out, is with hills. Low traction hills are a big problem, whether snow, gravel, or loose sand. If you keep moving you are okay, but once you stop there is no way to burn down to better traction.

    As for your comment about your Subaru never getting stuck, all I can say is that you must not be trying. With our Michigan winters and muddy swamps in the summer, I've never had any trouble getting stuck with a Subaru or even our Jeep C-J5. The extra traction and ground clearance lets you get deeper into the woods before you get stuck, and makes for a bigger problem getting unstuck. Anything with wheels will get stuck in the right conditions.

    I am sorry that it appears that you made a bad purchase for your driving conditions. There are many threads on this site that could have warned you about the traction control problems on slippery hills, although that doesn't help you now. If you are really set on a Prius, consider trading for a 2010 with the improved traction control.

    Tom
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  17. nspeer

    nspeer New Member

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    So sorry, I didn't realize it was a 2010 only thread.
  18. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    It's not that this thread is limited to the 2010, although it is in a 2010 forum. The traction control issue with the Gen II is a real issue, and it's important for people to understand the limitations. It's also important for prospective buyers to understand that the Gen III has vastly improved traction control. I wish we could retrofit it to the Gen IIs.

    If you want real fun, try driving a Gen II Prius uphill on snow using the OEM Goodyear Integrity tires. You don't go very far. :mad:

    Tom
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  19. adrianblack

    adrianblack Member

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    I found this .... On a 2010 you can disable traction control without Techstream even.

    MAINTENANCE MODE
    (2WD for measuring Exhaust Gas)
    - Inspection of ignition timing etc. when performing engine maintenance, idle speed exhaust emissions testing (CO, HC), etc.
    - Tests using a speedometer tester, two-wheel chassis dynamometer, etc.
    - Keeps the engine idling when park (P) is selected
    - Cancels traction control

    CERTIFICATION MODE
    (2WD for cutting TRC)
    - Tests using a speedometer tester, two-wheel chassis dynamometer, etc.
    - Cancels traction control


    The manual does go on to give a bunch of warnings:

    (3) Cancel inspection mode immediately after completion of inspection.
    NOTICE: Driving the vehicle without canceling inspection mode may damage the transaxle.

    NOTICE:
    Do not perform rapid starting or quick acceleration on a speedometer tester. If rapid starting or quick acceleration is performed on a speedometer tester, damage may occur to the transaxle.

    NOTICE:
    Sudden acceleration or deceleration of the vehicle on a chassis dynamometer under minimal load may damage the transaxle.

    I don't see how that's the case ... but perhaps, like other people theorized, the traction control is there to prevent wheel hop and shock to the drivetrain. It does give the warning several times, so use with caution.

    You have been warned:

    Maintenance Mode:
    Perform the following steps from (1) through (4) in 60 seconds.
    (1) Turn the power switch on (IG).
    (2) Fully depress the accelerator pedal twice with park (P) selected.
    (3) Fully depress the accelerator pedal twice with neutral (N) selected.
    (4) Fully depress the accelerator pedal twice with park (P) selected.
    (5) Check that "MAINTENANCE MODE" is displayed on the multi-information display.
    (6) Start the engine by turning the power switch on (READY) while depressing the brake pedal.

    HINT:
    The idle speed in maintenance mode is approximately 1000 rpm with park (P) selected. The engine speed increases to 1500 rpm when the accelerator pedal is depressed midway with park (P) selected. When the accelerator pedal is depressed more than midway, or when the accelerator pedal is fully depressed, the engine speed increases to approximately 2500 rpm.

    Certification Mode:
    Perform the following steps from (1) through (4) in 60 seconds.
    (1) Turn the power switch on (IG).
    (2) Fully depress the accelerator pedal three times with park (P) selected.
    (3) Fully depress the accelerator pedal three times with neutral (N) selected.
    (4) Fully depress the accelerator pedal three times with park (P) selected.
    (5) Check that "CERTIFICATION MODE" is displayed on the multi-
    information display.
    (6) Start the engine by turning the power switch on (READY) while depressing the brake pedal.


    To disable both modes, just turn the car off.
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  20. cossie1600

    cossie1600 Active Member

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    Thanks for the info, but that seems like it will throw the car in limp mode only. It doesn't help in other activities.
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