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Model S Traction Control

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by vfx, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. KenEE

    KenEE P1937 Reward Excellence!

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    But FIRST you must turn TC OFF, do a burnout to heat tires and increase traction. THEN turn TC back on for timed run. :)
     
  2. gray

    gray Member

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    I had my first test drive today of a Model S Performance. It was raining, so perfect time to see how the traction control works. The scene: highway on-ramp, completely straight, no cars for several hundred feet ahead or behind me, nobody in the nearest two lanes of the highway (55mph limit). The road is wet, and there is a light rain falling - wipers are set to mid-intermittent. We clear the concrete barriers at about 30mph (still driving straight) and I (nearly) floor the accelerator. The car accelerates, starts to shudder from side to side (I would best describe it as a rocking motion). The (very cute) female Tesla rep is concerned. I let off the gas (at this point we are going approximately 50mph, and traffic going over 60 has caught up to us) as I apologize for not warning her about testing to to see how the TRAC does in the rain. We stabilize speed at 55mph, and I get off the nearest offramp and return to the showroom. She explains how the I'm a little concerned about the aggressive way that the car attempted to control itself in the rain - maybe my sense of the car isn't particularly well developed, but the (understandable) shuddering and "rocking" feels like the car is becoming more unsettled (I assume because the car is braking individual corners to control slip). I guess I'm primarily concerned since the car is something my (elderly) parents will be driving in the rain as well (and they have not driven a RWD car in more than 20 years), and I can conceive how this unsettling of the car might cause them to panic (as opposed to a more conservative power-cut type of traction control). I'd really be interested in hearing about other people's experience compares with the traction control in the rain and snow.
     
  3. Brian H

    Brian H Banned

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    They're unlikely to "challenge" the TC and SC by flooring it, I'd think. You pushed it, and didn't get "sideways".
     
  4. darthy001

    darthy001 Love my car, hope Tesla can get as great!

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    I did a test drive here in norway this week in temps below freezing and very slippery conditions.

    TC worked perfectly for me. Could floor the pedal and onky hint if "trouble" was the light showing that TC was working really hard.

    I have though seen clips on youtube showing similar situation as you described here. A guy floored it on an onramp and the car got quite tailhappy, but the TC fixed it ver quickly for him.

    From my limited testdrive the traction and stability control worked flawlessly, and I tried my best to challenge it!

    I had a couple of full on 0-80kph runs and 2-3 80-120kph runs without issues at all.

    This was on the winter tires though....
     
  5. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I think it is probably due to flooring the performance model with its 400+ lb-feet torque on a wet surface. You didn't spin out so the system worked. If your parents are not aggressive drivers then the performance version will drive like the standard versions as well.
     
  6. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    Are you/your parents getting a Model S Performance, or non-Performance? I ask because the Performance version has "Sport-Tuned Traction Control" which I read as allowing for a little more aggressive slip than the standard model. For them it sounds like the non-Performance version is the right way to go. Less torque and safer traction control.
     
  7. strider

    strider Active Member

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    +1 to this. The Performance T/C allows more slip than the standard T/C. Combine that w/ enough torque to easily overwhelm the tires means that "unsettled" feeling. Drive a non-perf but I'm confident it will be fine for your folks.
     
  8. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Also, I can only speak for my family but my parents would never fully depress the accelerator for maximum acceleration, especially in wet or icy situations but I realize everyone is different. That's good to know about the performance model, that explains a lot.
     
  9. jhs_7645

    jhs_7645 VIN: #3305

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    I second this notion, traction control is in place to keep tires from spinning when the driver is applying too much force. Noticing that the traction control is kicking in, and then *not* lifting is pretty much asking for the behavior you noticed. Under normal driving conditions with a normal driver, the instant they notice the TC they will lift, and the car will settle.
     
  10. Zextraterrestrial

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    haha, 'normal' driver.

    My TC is kicking in very often. My reaction is usually push it a little harder and try and get it to stick :cool:
     
  11. jhs_7645

    jhs_7645 VIN: #3305

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    heh... perhaps I should have put normal in quotes.. :)
     
  12. gray

    gray Member

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    This comes off to me as being the "Apple" response where so many problems are blamed on the user "not doing it right." While I readily admit that being reckless in a vehicle can and will cause the car to lose stability, driving in a straight line should be a relatively undramatic experience. My hope is that the car will not go from a "settled" to "unsettled" condition. I should have mentioned that the car did not go into TRAC only with the pedal fully depressed - most of the time was maybe 80-90%. Now, depending on the conditions, the amount of power applied which will result in TRAC activation is variable. In the case where this number may be 60-70%, perhaps in ice/snow, what constitutes the "normal" envelope of driver power requests begins to intersect with the envelope in which the TRAC reacts (in a way that may cause panic). Again, I am hoping that further software updates will sort this all out.
     
  13. Zextraterrestrial

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    they could easily add a snow setting for tc.
     
  14. Oyvind.H

    Oyvind.H Member

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    I hope they do, or at least a reduced power mode for winter usage. No need for 360bhp from november-march in Norway :)
     
  15. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    My current ICE will let you turn TC on and off. Can you do this in Model S? My car also has a "competitive mode" for the stability control. I don't even know what that is, but it probably just lets the car hang out there a bit more before it reigns you back in. The Model S spec page says it has stability control, but is it driver configurable in any way?

    (The "competitive mode" thing is an undocumented feature on my car. I read about it on a forum somewhere. You do a quick double-tap of the Traction Control button, and the display comes up and says "StabiliTrak Competitive Mode". Another double tap turns it back to "normal").
     
  16. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    @mknox: yes, you can disable TC from the Controls screen. You cannot disable Stability Control or ABS, though.
     
  17. strider

    strider Active Member

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    Uhhh, 80-90% of a Model S Performance is a TON of power to throw down in a reduced traction scenario. I would consider stomping on the accelerator of a car you don't know and effectively relying on TC and SC to keep you from crashing to be "reckless". Driving without exceeding the grip of the tires due to user input is a FUNDAMENTAL aspect of learning how to drive. TC and SC are fairly new technologies and people have been driving in rain and snow for decades. TC and SC are safety technologies to bail you out when YOU make an error. They are not to be relied on to drive the car for you. Comparing overzealous throttle application to holding a cell phone is quite spurious.
     
  18. Zextraterrestrial

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    Even with power limiting the S will spin the tires easily in a reduced traction environment , but - it is very easy to control the power and traction is fine with the proper intentions! To get the car to shimmy in a straight line means you are hauling ass! (or having fun )
     
  19. Francis Lau

    Francis Lau P-1456

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    I think traction control saved a nasty outcome for me today. I was demo'ing my model s today and I stomped it too hard at an on-ramp, there was a lot of water on the road and the car fish-tailed but tc kept me straight. I definitely felt the TC kick in. I am glad it helped me.
     
  20. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    My impression of the Model S TC is that it mothers you less than the Roadster's does - lets you have a little fun but still keeps you safe. It's damned hard to get the Roadster to wiggle with the TC on.
     

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