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Disappointing traction control - is it me?

Daniel in SD

Well-Known Member
Jan 25, 2018
6,905
9,794
San Diego
Daniel, please refrain from guessing when you have no idea what you're talking about or any experience with the topic at hand. I find it telling that one of the primary proponents of the wacky theory that the Model 3 AWD doesn't work well in the snow lives in San Diego, CA!
I guess people should listen to someone who has no idea how the car works?:p
The engineers who designed/programmed the Model 3 traction and stability controls would be smirking at you if they were reading that right now. Because in an AWD Model 3, all torque is not applied to the rear wheels until they slip. That much is obvious to me simply from driving it on bare pavement, let alone slippery surfaces. While it is rear biased by design, the front motor/wheels kick-in from the beginning, even at very low throttle settings when the rear wheels are not slipping. This should be obvious to you and it's not clear to me why you believe otherwise.
I have an AWD Model 3 and I was speculating that the RWD version would "feel" better since it wouldn't snake around corners cycling torque between the front and rear. I never said the RWD would be more capable. I think part of the difference in our experiences is that I use the stock MXM4 tire when I go up to the snow. Maybe the system feels more refined with snow tires.
 

Fredneck

Member
Nov 8, 2019
478
-32
Pennsylvania
To those of us who would like an AWD “snow” mode for our Model 3’s that keeps the front motor engaged to avoid rear slips, please submit another request to Tesla and send a tweet to Elon. It didn’t work last year, but let’s keep trying.

I don't understand. What does the car do now? Doesn't the traction control handle the problem? I haven't tried out my X in snow so much.
 

jackbowers

Jack Bowers
Aug 23, 2009
275
447
Last couple days I've been having fun with Track Mode on slippery roads. It improves traction considerably under light acceleration, reducing the mild fish-tailing that frequently occurs with the rear-end, giving more of a Model X feel. When you accelerate harder or turn sharper (not recommended when other cars are around) the rear will swing out a full 25-30 degrees or so but in a controllable way that makes counter-steering easy and predictable (you can "drift" around corners much faster than other AWD vehicles - including the Model X).

I think a Winter Track Mode, where the rear-end swing is limited to say 10-15 degrees, would be ideal. It might be something that Tesla could roll out to both performance and non-performance AWD Model 3s.
 
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holmgang

Active Member
Sep 9, 2019
1,320
1,326
eu
So what's the deal? Is it me? Does our Model 3 have something wrong and it's behaving different to others? Do you experience the same with your AWD Model 3? Please, let me know!

If it's consolation, norwegian AWD owners report the same "strange" behaviors in snow and ice: strong rwd bias, and delay with thunking noise when engaging the fronts (belatedly)
 

StealthP3D

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2018
9,763
78,018
Maple Falls, WA
If it's consolation, norwegian AWD owners report the same "strange" behaviors in snow and ice: strong rwd bias, and delay with thunking noise when engaging the fronts (belatedly)

I would take mine into service if either of ours had those symptoms. While every other car I've owned that had electronic stability control would make a "thunking" noise when modulating individual brakes to adjust the yaw of the vehicle, I've never heard such a noise from either of our Model 3's. And I have a lot of cumulative experience with them in the snow and ice. I assume this silence is due to a less crude implementation (in that it responds more quickly and with finer gradations of response) that doesn't "thunk".

Even odder is the claim that the "thunking" is associated with applying torque to the front wheels. EV powertrains aren't supposed to "thunk" when applying power. If you hear your Model 3 do this, definitely take it to service! Not normal at all.

But I suspect this is just more FUD.
 

jackbowers

Jack Bowers
Aug 23, 2009
275
447
I would take mine into service if either of ours had those symptoms. While every other car I've owned that had electronic stability control would make a "thunking" noise when modulating individual brakes to adjust the yaw of the vehicle, I've never heard such a noise from either of our Model 3's. And I have a lot of cumulative experience with them in the snow and ice. I assume this silence is due to a less crude implementation (in that it responds more quickly and with finer gradations of response) that doesn't "thunk".

Even odder is the claim that the "thunking" is associated with applying torque to the front wheels. EV powertrains aren't supposed to "thunk" when applying power. If you hear your Model 3 do this, definitely take it to service! Not normal at all.

But I suspect this is just more FUD.

Second that. I've driven a total of about 150,000 Tesla miles in four different dual-motor Tesla vehicles and never heard a transmission-like clunk. Perhaps because there is no transmission.
 

coleAK

Member
Oct 23, 2018
892
611
Alaska
Correction again.

The rear wheels do not need to slip get power to the front wheels. But you might, unavoidably/unintentionally, encourage them to slip in order to get power to the front wheels by unnecessary acceleration. That can very easily happen on slippery roads. If what you said was true you'd have to burn rubber to get the 0-60 AWD numbers cars get from both motors. And you know that's not the case.

This is partly @StealthP3D argument. That he feels you can instantly engage front wheels (as needed) with the prefect feathering of the throttle enough to get power to the front wheels without the rear wheels slipping. That simply is not true all the time, and not easy to do, nor should you even have to think about it. It's a no brainer to get front wheels going on dry. It's even a no brainer on wet. But it's not so easy on snow/ice and behavior does not work.

We want preemptive power going to all wheels, not wait for acceleration of any kind.
Hahaha. Here we go again. I’m in Alaska any yes the AWD is rear bias and there is a lag before the front motors kick in. It gives a bit of an uneasy feeling and sort of “wobbles” along at times. Completely capable in the winter running Hakka 9’s just not quite as predictable, smooth and stable as our other cars (Subaru legacy, MB e 4Matic, and Lexus LX570).

I Also hear the “thunk” every time I make a right out of my driveway and head uphill all winter. The mobile Tesla tech took a ride with me last spring when he replaced my rear tail lights and said the sound is part of the stability control and completely normal.

so I hear “Stealth” is still defending Tesla’s honor as he rally drifts along. I ignored him on here long ago :)
 

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