Traction Control

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Technical Discussion' started by rlaurent, Jul 22, 2006.

  1. rlaurent

    rlaurent New Member

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    Yesterday I started a thread on the main forum to ask if anyone had difficulty
    driving on sand, loose gravel, or new snow at slow speeds. I mentioned that
    our 2005 Prius handled great except on Daytona Beach at 10 mph.

    Today a friend of mine with a new Ford vehicle told me that he was having the
    same problem. When he consulted his owners manual it said to turn off the trac-
    tion control if your car was stuck before attempting to "rock it". He was able to
    turn the traction control off with a button on his dash and that solved his beach
    driving problem as it allowed him to engage both front wheels simultaneously.

    Is there a way to temporarily turn this function off in the Prius? If there is
    could someone tell me how to do it?

    Thanks.

    Bob L.
     
  2. marjam

    marjam Member

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    From what I have read in the Owner's Manual and on this site there is no way for the driver to shut off the TC. There was a post about someone who was able to go into the main computer and do it for some special tests but I think it is far beyond what the average driver can do. Many of us wish that many of the mods that can be made by the dealer wirh the ScanTool be available to us through the MFD. The list I have for scantool mods does not include TC so I don't know whether even the dealer can do this. Hope someone with more knlowedge than I can help you.
     
  3. kdmorse

    kdmorse Member

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    The traction control in the Prius is quite a bit more sensitive than most, and it's designed that way to protect the electric motors. Unlike a conventional engine where you can't really hurt it by spinning it too fast without resistance, it is possible to damage the electric motors by spinning the wheels. You won't (shouldn't) be able to disable it - as serious damage could result if you do exactly what you're wanting to.

    In most cases, the solution is better tires than the OEM ones (for snow, gravel, ice, wet pavement, etc...), or lower tire pressure. The less the wheels slip, the less the TC kicks in on you.

    -Ken
     
  4. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    You are able to turn it off. Like other tricks witht he prius, it requires a sequence of button pushing and so forth.

    It's rather easy:

    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.

    Like people pointed out, it can cause serious harm to the electric motors and possibly drive line. eg, differential. don't cook your electric motors boys and girls.
     
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  5. kdmorse

    kdmorse Member

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    Ooooohhhh - a new dance (or an old dance I hadn't seen yet).

    Worked on my 2006, though it gave no real indication of what it did. MFD said "Problem", and then displayed a broken prius, and a broken temp guage symbol. Are you saying that while in this state Traction Control is disabled? (Is anything else different?)

    Not that I'll ever move the car in that state - just curious.

    -Ken
     
  6. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    Both trac and vsc are disabled. if it feels like trac is kicking in.. you're frying an electric motor. more commonly known as red lining.

    Or you could say; no rev limiters? in a sense...
     
  7. marjam

    marjam Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(V8Cobrakid @ Jul 23 2006, 12:05 AM) [snapback]290790[/snapback]</div>
    How do you learn these things? :mellow:
     
  8. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    there was an abandoned post a while back. It lasted 4 post. It was late at night, so no one saw it. I'm not sure where he found the info. I've tested all of the methods i mention. They work for both Toyota and Lexus hybrids. :)
     
  9. rlaurent

    rlaurent New Member

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    Say, thanks for all the good info. I'm really impressed with the level of knowledge
    on this board--and the speed with which you respond!

    After all is said and done, I think that hyprids were not meant for beach driving.
    Sure wonder about other conditions with loose surface material, though. My
    mother-in-law live on top of a mountain in NC with pretty steep unpaved road
    the last mile or so. If the wheels start spinning you have to back down the road
    to the first switch-back. . .not something I look forward to. Perhaps we'll have to
    park lower and walk up.

    I don't think different tires would do that much as you really notice the power
    shifting from side to side when you get in a patch of loose material. Car just
    seems to want to stop and once stopped it digs in very easily.

    Anyway, thanks for all the excellent posts.

    Bob L.
     
  10. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    I would've thought tyres would make a difference as it would determine whether the car can grip the loose materials before slipping.
     
  11. Frank Hudon

    Frank Hudon Senior Member

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    this is the smog check mode where the car can be driven on a dyno and have the emission system checked in States and Provinces that require the test other wise a 2 axle dyno is required. I believe that it's documented in the service manual.
     
  12. jeromep

    jeromep Member

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    That traction control trick that is here on this thread is for service purposes only. It isn't there to allow you to drive on surfaces which cause an undue amount of wheel slippage.

    There is no traction control defeat button on the Prius because the traction control's real job is to prevent electric motor overspin. I think the health and condition of the electric motors on the Prius are a lot more important than being able to drive on a beach. Consider that without the electric motors, your Prius goes nowhere. Break an electric motor and the Prius is a very expensive brick.
     
  13. smartsense

    smartsense New Member

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    Traction Control sucks

    I live in Stamford, CT and have a fairly steep driveway. When I get about half way up the car stops. This is when there is a small amount of ice on the driveway. With the Lexus we can shut off the traction controller and drive right up. They should have a disclaimer on the window that the car is not great in any snow. This is a real draw back that must be realized by Toyota and corrected. I can't imagine how dangerous this could be in the mountains. When the car gets to a slippery area it would stop and slide right off.

    I don't see any reason why they can't limit the rpm's on the electric motor is it is necessary.
     
  14. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    The disclaimer should be for the OEM tires. Put some decent tires on that Prius and it will go up your driveway. Regardless of tires, with the Prius traction control, press the pedal to the floor if you want it to go on slippery stuff. It will spin the front tires in a limited way and allow you to drive like you do in the Lexus with traction control turned off.

    Tom
     
  15. wile-e

    wile-e Junior Member

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    The sand is always a fun one when you have a traction control vehicle. Your safest bet for yourself and the vehicle is to lower the front tires by 10 - 15 psi. Don't shut off the traction control. Don't change the air in the back tires, you want them to carry along with the least friction. It got us out of the sand last year at the beach when a friend wanted to see 'how his Prius worked' in wet sand. With an incoming tide no less.:eek:

    We were able to ease out quite smoothly by doing this. (With me driving.) At least we only had to limp a mile to get the tires aired up again..... I gave him an air compressor for his birthday.......... And a 60's pamphlet on the dangers of beach driving! }B*)
     
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  16. priusenvy

    priusenvy Senior Member

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    Only a Prius apologist would claim there is nothing wrong the the Prius traction control system. There is a wide range of speeds that would allow the Prius to climb a slippery incline while still protecting the electric motors. High rpm is not necessary or even desired in conditions where TC needs to kick in. Unfortunately, the Toyota engineers chose zero rpm.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tSy5tHtT1g

    Anyone who has evern been stuck on a slippery incline in their Prius would tell you they prefer slow over zero.
     
  17. donee

    donee New Member

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    Hi Priusenvy,

    There is a belief that the 2006 and later cars have more lax TC tuning. Cannot say for sure. But driving in slow snowy conditions has not be a problem so far for me. This week I hit ice with the right wheel, and the left TC used the left wheel to pull me right along till the right wheel had traction again. Very similar to the SL2 TC.
     
  18. fruzzetti

    fruzzetti Customization-Obsessed

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    I've also had only good experiences with the TC in a 2006. It does not seem to get in the way like some more active TC models -- especially how some earlier cars over-did it: they were set up so the TC could make maneuvers the driver could already perform.

    What I mean is that TC in the Prius seems to help out by making adjustments a driver could not, and only when it's to the clear benefit of unobstructed continuing through the maneuver.

    Once I was on my way to being T-boned by a woman who was looking at the stop sign she was ignoring while I approached from her left. Clever. Anyway, I performed a quick dodge maneuver and noticed some things I was glad to have noticed when the TC kicked in (and I got the quick three beeps pattern, as expected):

    (1) Considering the lateral motion in my dive, the car didn't slide at all. With those bike tires on it that I had at the time, I figured it would skid a bit

    (2) I could swear by the lack of body roll that the suspension somehow stiffened. Maybe it was just the way the TC handled the new force.

    ~ dan ~

    Apologies for the fact that I can't seem to explain anything concisely tonight.
     
  19. priusenvy

    priusenvy Senior Member

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    aaaaarrrgh!!! Would You People Please Stop Confusing Vsc With Traction Control???
     
  20. priusenvy

    priusenvy Senior Member

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    AAAAARRRGH!!! Would you people please stop confusing VSC with traction control???
     
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