Thinking about disconnecting traction control

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by syncmaster, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. tpfun

    tpfun New Member

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    A clutch based transmission would help, don't you think ?
     
  2. That_Prius_Car

    That_Prius_Car Austin Kinser

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    Well, I don't know if I'd recommend it. Disabling the traction control can reduce the life of the transmission. Also, yes, when you disable the traction control it also disables the VSC. Again, I wouldn't recommend it.

    If you do disable it, however, there is no way to turn it back on but to pull over and re-start the car, and WHO know what could happen between those times? Even though it can be a pain, I'd leave it on.

    Only in rare circumstances, would I turn it off though. Only if I needed too, such as getting up a gravel driveway, or a snowy hill.
     
  3. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    No. 100% no.
     
  4. rwlang

    rwlang Junior Member

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    I have a 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid MT and a 2005 Prius. This year I purchased identical snow tires for each, General Artics. Same road, same driver, same tires: the Honda goes, the Prius does not. The difference is the transmission. My honda has a manual transmission, no traction control, just simple FWD, if 1 tire spins you are stuck, but at least you have control over the power to the tires. The Prius has an automatic transmission with some fancy traction control system which does NOTHING to improve traction in snow. Does nothing is the perfect description, because when the traction control light comes on, power is cut to the drivetrain, the driver has no control over the power to the wheels, you lose momentum on the hill and when you stop, you are done. I was going forward down my driveway with the transmission in reverse. By the way, the General Artics are the best snow tires I have ever owned. I drove the Honda to a condo at the top of Hunter One at Hunter Mountain in 8" of snow, roads not plowed, snow coming over the front air dam. The Prius couldn't get out of my driveway. This should end the discussion about snow tires. The Prius has a problem with the traction control system which Toyota should address if it wants to keep customers. I love my Prius, but it is NOT a car that I trust when it is snowing.
     
  5. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    The transmission doesn't relate to traction control. Your manual transmission doesnt have it, your PSD transmission does. If you had a Prius with no traction control (which you can do easily) and you did the same test I am sure it would make it.

    There is no arguing that the Prius' traction control is overly aggressive in the GenII models. The only relation between the car's transmission and its snow handling is that in a manual you can control when the car shifts and prevent it loosing traction when right on the edge (i.e. uphill and barely making it, then it shifts, and that momentary lack of power spins the wheels, and kicks off a chain reaction of it not working). However, the Prius does not shift, so it has constant power. Arguably, the Prius is better in the snow since it can do a full range of power over no shifting.

    And I also own a manual transmission '01 Honda Civic coupe (no traction control obviously) and it does perform a bit better in the snow. I relate this to the weight difference. Once moving, they are the same. But braking and accelerating rely heavily on mass and the Prius sure does have a lot of it. But I routinely take my Prius up in the mountains, even in blizzards.
     
  6. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    This is one of the better posts about traction control. This poster has the ability to do a side by side direct comparison between two similar cars with identical tires.

    Traction control for the Prius, especially the earlier Gen II Prius, is all about protecting the HSD, not improving traction. The name is a misnomer. That said, the poster's comment about ending the discussion about snow tires is disingenuous. We know that the Prius has a traction problem; why would you want to make it worse by not using good tires? Good tires are even more important, given the TC issue.

    It should also be pointed out that this poster is comparing a 2005 Prius with the Honda. Traction control was improved for the 2006 model year, and then improved again in 2010. While his comparison is relevant, it is also dated.

    Tom
     
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    my daughter just drove 15 miles to work at the local ski area this morning in 4" of powdery snow in her '04 and had no problems other than "it's slippery out, you have to drive carefully." she left a half hour early so she wouldn't be in a rush. then she drove home tonight and it had changed to sleet/freezing rain. still no problem. i have to wonder if some cars are better or it's how some people drive. all weather tires by the way.:)
     
  8. rwlang

    rwlang Junior Member

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    Sorry....I did not mean to suggest not to use snow tires; snow tires absolutely improves traction in snow and ice. I was just trying to clarify that is not the the problem on the Prius. We had an ice storm in NY yesterday so I got to see the 'traction control system' in action again on my driveway which has a slight hill to climb ....put Prius in reverse, gave a little bit of gas, car starts moving, then wheel starts to spin, power is cut to both wheels; car starts to roll down back down the driveway (roll not slide), car is rolling forward with car in reverse, then after a second or two, power returns to wheels, wheel starts to spin, power is cut to both wheels again; all the while I just have a slight touch on the gas. The only way to get the Prius out of my driveway was to put on chains. Next I got in the Honda, same driveway, same ice, same tires; backed right out. The problem is the 'traction control system' is cutting power to both wheels for seconds causing you to lose all momentum and there is nothing the driver can do to conserve momentum.
     
  9. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    Instead of putting on chains, why not spend 30 seconds and take TC off... All within the comfort of the car.
     
  10. tom1l21

    tom1l21 Member

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    How so?
     
  11. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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  12. tom1l21

    tom1l21 Member

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  13. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    Yes. It only works for that power cycle. And it is not scary, but it is potentially dangerous to the electric motors. Much easier than applying chains to get out of your driveway. I have to ask, what the hell kind of driveway do you have? I live in the Rocky Mountains and routinely do steep and treacherous mountain roads/switchbacks where the grades are insane and around a hairpin turn so you can go fast and just hope to make it. All done in the Prius, and it works just fine. With traction control enabled it is doable but scarier. I try to leave it in normal mode as much as possible.
     
  14. Tekdeus

    Tekdeus Shifted to Green

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    I also just recently tried my '04 in snow for the first time. It was much easier than I expected, and I had to drive like a maniac to trigger the TC. It does seem that some Prii's TC behave differently.

    However, if I was faced with the serious complaints others are having, I would consider disabling it and just driving with extra care not to over rev/spin and be alert for transitional patches between ice/pavement to avoid sudden jarring traction of the spinning tires.
     
  15. tom1l21

    tom1l21 Member

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    [​IMG]

    Not the worst, but certainly no fun.
     
  16. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    Ok then... There is definitely something else going on. That's a short little slope, and shoveled. Do you have your tires super inflated?
     
  17. tom1l21

    tom1l21 Member

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    Nah today was no problems, I shoveled and sanded. I guess my issue is that if there is the tiniest patch of compacted snow which melts and turns to ice, it will stop all momentum up the hill. That's my only fault with the traction system, it's not situational.

    I guess the lesson learned is to clear all snow and then sand and not get lazy about 1" snowfalls.
     
  18. Tony Rico

    Tony Rico Junior Member

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    But, how do you turn traction control off in an 08 Gen ll Prius?
     
  19. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    I haven't read through all four pages of this thread from 2011 to see if it is mentioned, but the short answer is, you can't.

    There is a service mode to disable the traction control, but Toyota advises against using this mode to drive the car as it would be easy to damage the power split device.
     
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  20. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    4th Gen has a button in the dash for disabling traction control. That's obviously acceptable.

    But gen 2 (and 3): the only way is a special maintenance mode, and there's a strong caution to not drive the car in that mode.
     
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