Anti-Slip Technology

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by SailRacerX, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. SailRacerX

    SailRacerX Junior Member

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    Greetings from snowy (and today FREEZING) Michigan. I'm on my third winter with my 2007 Prius, and I finally can not take the anti slip stuff any more. I'm looking for a way to disable this. Anyone who can help will have my eternal gratitude!

    Here's the deal... Experienced snow drivers know that there are times you want/need your wheels to spin. I can't get my Prius to do this. If I'm on ice and I hit the gas, the wheels spin for a fraction of a second, then power to them is cut and I get nothing. This happens both under ICE and batter power. Also, if the car decides it's sliding, that little light shows up and I'm left without power. There are times when I NEED to be able to spin the wheels a bit to make things happen. I understand why Toyota has the car configured this way, and for a lot of people it makes sense. BUT, for experienced snowy road drivers, having the ability to spin the wheels a bit can be the difference between being stuck and being home.
     
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  2. zhenya

    zhenya Active Member

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    While I agree with you, I suspect if you feel strongly about this, the Prius is not the car for you. AFAIK, while you can temporarily disable this system (at least on the Gen III's), it resets each time you start the car and it is really only for emergency, get unstuck use, not for regular driving as it protects the drivetrain.

    What sort of tires are you using?
     
  3. SailRacerX

    SailRacerX Junior Member

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    I've got new (as of October) all weather tires on it. Same type I had on the Pontiac I used to drive.

    I'm fine with it being a temporary change. I don't necessarily need to disable the entire system permanently. I do want to be able to turn it off when I need to. The Prius is not ideal on the snow and ice, but I've learned how to mostly get her to do what I need, and it's the car I have. Being able to disable this "feature" would give me one more tool in my winter driving toolkit.
     
  4. Tony D

    Tony D Active Member

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    A decent set of dedicated Winter tyres (with the snow symbol) will solve alot of your problems with the traction control kicking in
     
  5. SailRacerX

    SailRacerX Junior Member

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    While some dedicated winter tires would help, it doesn't fix the problem. Sometimes you've got to be able to spin the wheels. Also, dedicated winter tires are cost prohibitive.
     
  6. alekska

    alekska Active Member

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    Would you prefer having an accident with possibility of body harm ? Or pay for proper tires? If proper tires are cost-prohibitive maybe you should not drive in winter.
    - Alex
     
  7. SailRacerX

    SailRacerX Junior Member

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    My tires are fine. Different tires are not the answer. While I'm under way things are fine. It's the stop and go stuff that is the problem. Even if I had snow tires on, sometimes you need to spin the wheels. I'm just looking for a way to get my car to let me do that.
     
  8. zhenya

    zhenya Active Member

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    Since it means that you are only using each set of tires approximately 1/2 the year, the overall cost is quite similar, but you get a greatly increased margin for error by running dedicated tires. The standard tires that the Prius comes equipped with (or similar replacements) are dreadful winter tires.
     
  9. zhenya

    zhenya Active Member

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    That's exactly where winter tires help the most!
     
  10. SailRacerX

    SailRacerX Junior Member

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    Guys, the tires are not the problem. They're fine. I could have soft rubber, aggressive tread tires on this thing and it would not fix the problem. Short of studding my tires (illegal in this state) there is nothing that changing the tires will fix. I NEED to be able to spin the wheels on occasion.
     
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  11. pjc

    pjc Member

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    SailRacer, I feel you pain. These last few weeks in MN have been hell -- very cold and lots of snow. The traction of the Prius is terrible and I think this winter might prompt me to invest in some snow tires for the first time in my life.

    BTW Alex, snow tires are NOT a necessity for snow driving, although I'm sure they help. Good driving skills are much more important. I've never owned snow tires, lived in snowy climes my whole life, have never gotten into an accident and have only been stuck once or twice. However, I can't count the number of times I've had to use evasive maneuvers to avoid people who drive like idiots, thinking their big tires and 4WD makes them invincible. It's incredible how many people don't understand that 4WD is useless when it comes to stopping -- all cars have 4-wheel-braking. ;)

    I also agree that the traction control system is way oversensitive for snow driving. Everyone I know who owns a Prius around here complains about it. I seem to remember reading somewhere about a method of disabling the TCS but can't remember where. It is something you have to do when you start up I think. If anyone else can help out with the method (and answer the OP's original question -- instead of sniping) that'd be great.

    For people with snow tires -- do you buy a second set of rims? That seems like it'd be pretty expensive...
     
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  12. SailRacerX

    SailRacerX Junior Member

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    PJC - THANK YOU!
     
  13. pjc

    pjc Member

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    SailRacer, I found this thread. Note the warnings about damaging the electric motors, though. In a later post it also mentions that if you floor the gas pedal it supposedly does spin the wheels a little bit. Never tried that myself. Instinct is to feather the pedal to find the friction point on the road, but maybe with the Prius you just have to floor it and let the computer figure it out....
     
  14. vskid3

    vskid3 Active Member

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    Some people just use one set of wheels and have the tires mounted every time. Those who have separate wheels usually get cheap steel wheels to mount the snow tires on, so not too expensive.

    Unless you really hammer on it with traction control disabled, you shouldn't hurt anything. My Escape Hybrid, which uses a similar design to the Prius' drivetrain, had no traction control and could light up one or both of the tires on low traction surfaces. I haven't seen many (any?) transaxle failures in them.
     
  15. SailRacerX

    SailRacerX Junior Member

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    PJC - Thanks! I'll give that thread a read. I didn't come across it in my initial search. While fighting some slush in a parking lot a year or so back I tried flooring it, but got nothing. I'll give it a go again soon to see if it was a fluke. I am concerned about damaging something, but I don't foresee using this a whole lot. Just in those special occasions when it's necessary.

    I used to have a set of snow tires for my truck. As vskid3 suggested, I had a really cheap set of steel rims that I found at a salvage yard that I kept them on. I knew people who kept a full set of snow tires and had them swapped out every fall and spring by their mechanic though. Too expensive for my blood.
     
  16. SailRacerX

    SailRacerX Junior Member

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    Just in case anyone stumbles on this thread later, here is the dance to disable Traction Control as per user V8CobraKid...

    Ign On... not Ready. press Gas 3x. Shift to N. Gas 3x. Park, Gas 3x. You should know have a hazard prius in your top left corner. This is because this is driveline maintenance mode. The lexus 400h calls it 4x4 service mode. I have not tested any other new toyota as of yet.

    It should be noted that there was some discussion in the initial thread about the potential to burn out electric motors. This mode is apparently to allow for emissions testing in locations that require it. Spinning the tires at length will damage the electric motors. The Prius's TC is as much to protect those motors as assist with traction. This likely explains why they don't really help with traction.

    I'm going to try this out in my neighborhood (hasn't been plowed in a while) and will report back. It's not the switch style hack I was hoping for, but might be my only option.
     
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  17. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    The design is to protect the electric motors. And good intentions aside, I think disabling the traction control is like a trapeze artist removing the safety net because there are times when you want to land on the ground. - Just not a good idea.

    I think simply know the strengths and weaknesses of your vehicle.

    I'd buy the best snow tires I could and then wait for Spring.- (Which is almost here).

    But you seem determined. Good Luck and let us know how the spinning goes....
     
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  18. HaroldW

    HaroldW Active Member

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    I use Nokian WR g3 all year around. Great tires. Great in all seasons! H
     
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  19. zhenya

    zhenya Active Member

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    A necessity? I guess not, but having lived in places where it snows heavily my entire life I just can't imagine why I'd not spend the nominal amount of money it takes to get tires that give me a huge extra safety margin, and allow winter driving to be fun (I winter rally whenever I have the time) as opposed to a white knuckle experience where I am relying on luck that I won't need the extra 50-100 feet of reaction time that winter tires often give me to avoid someone else who has no idea what they are doing.

    Yes, I put them on dedicated wheels - usually steel so the wheel cost is about $200 for a set of 4 new ones. I buy the snow tires the first year I own the car so I get at least 4-5 years out of them. That means that both of my sets of tires last that entire time - so there is only the $200 extra cost of the wheels to account for because I'm not wearing out and replacing a set of all-season tires during that time period. So less than $50/year cost to turn winter driving into something tremendously safer and actually enjoyable? Yes please. Not to mention that I usually sell the set on craigslist at the time I sell the car, recouping at least $200...
     
  20. SailRacerX

    SailRacerX Junior Member

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    Zhenya - No argument that snow tires are a good thing. BUT, sometimes they're not the answer.
     
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