TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Stuck in snow? Turn off traction control to get traction.

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by artsci, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    4,683
    Location:
    Timonium, Maryland
    My neighborhood north of Baltimore was hit with about 10 inches of snow today. I went out to run some errands and by the time I tried to get home the roads were clogged with stuck cars. I can't reach my home without navigating some tough hills and I had a very hard time not getting stuck. One hill in my immediate neighborhood was so bad I finally backed down to get a head start, but to no avail. I couldn't move. Then I tried turning off traction control and guess what? I got some real traction and was able to climb the hill with no problem. The car fishtailed quite a bit but steering corrections kept it all under control.

    The less I learned: When you need traction in snow on a hill, turn off traction control. I wouldn't go over about 5mph with traction control off, but at speeds lower than that it's the solution for hills in snow. It's counter intuitive, but it works.
     
  2. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,766
    Location:
    Texas
    The trick with this is to be really careful to not overspin the tires. If the speedometer says 5 mph, the tire is spinning at 10 mph. Having a tire disintegrate by overspinning is not even remotely fun.
     
  3. iadbound

    iadbound Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2014
    Messages:
    637
    Location:
    No. VA
    artsci -- were you on snow tires? I noticed the all seasons (I'm on 19-inch wheels and I recall you are 21-inch so they may be different) are pretty good, but this morning they were slipping quite a bit if I wasn't careful. Tesla brought a loaner by for me (unrelated) and it has the Pirelli winter tires. I'm interested to see how they perform tomorrow.
     
  4. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    4,683
    Location:
    Timonium, Maryland
    With traction control on in the deep snow the rear wheels didn't spin at all. I was going very easy on the throttle. When I turned off traction control I got some spin and it was enough to get me moving.

    - - - Updated - - -

    No, I was on all season 19" Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus. I wish I was on snow tires:) In the end it worked out ok -- on one hill I passed a dozen cars that were stuck on the side of the road,
     
  5. AMPUP

    AMPUP Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2014
    Messages:
    467
    Location:
    Dunn Loring, VA
    Yep I turn off traction in snow and ice. Much better control I find.
     
  6. AndreyATC

    AndreyATC Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2013
    Messages:
    381
    Location:
    NY, USA
    TC off is not such a bad idea, i do it all the time
    Even when it's off, the car is still correcting itself when fishtailing goes too far
    TC off is just giving you extra room to play
    You cannot do donuts or go sideways even with TC off, 'cause it's not completely defeated
     
  7. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Messages:
    7,842
    Location:
    Portland, Maine, USA
    Right, there are two layers of control: traction control and stability control. You can defeat the first layer from the control screen. To defeat stability control, you need to pull a fuse. Not recommended, but if you want to do donuts, that's the way.
     
  8. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2012
    Messages:
    1,569
    Location:
    Boston North Shore
    This has been discussed before, I really don't understand why Tesla doesn't implement a snow mode, either manually or automatically engaged that in tough conditions just spins the tires enough to give maximum forward thrust. With computer control this should be easy and likely could greatly lessen or eliminate fishtailing.
     
  9. fryfrye

    fryfrye Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    109
    Location:
    McLean, Virginia, United States
    +1 snow mode. Got stuck in that sudden whiteout last week. Watched a x5 do a 360 in front of me. I was really happy with traction control that night.
     
  10. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    4,683
    Location:
    Timonium, Maryland
    Great idea!
     
  11. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,766
    Location:
    Texas
    Yes, a snow mode would be a good thing.
     
  12. Jim MacInnes

    Jim MacInnes Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    Messages:
    192
    Location:
    Michigan
  13. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Messages:
    2,428
    Location:
    WY
    In the Rockies High Country traction control remains ON and is essentially a non-issue. This is because:

    1. We have snow tires mounted by necessity.
    2. The roads are usually clear or it is below freezing when they are not clear.

    Turning TC to OFF (by going thru the screen menus) is usually a pathetic last resort when we've driven up and into ice fields and the tires have broken thru the ice. [Driver visually confused due to white on white conditions. Solution: stop car and walk with cane to test for depth, but I digress.]

    In temperate zones like the Mason-Dixon line you especially need SNOW tires due to the incredible slipperiness around the freezing point, which you see on a regular basis. Do yourself a big favor and replace the term 'all season' with 'summer', unless you have an 85D and are by nature a fun-seeking individual. :smile:
    --
     
  14. Linux64

    Linux64 Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Messages:
    109
    Location:
    Utah
    Isn't this situation what the "Slip Start" button was made for?

    911c01d71a294ffd7ce2934e84e585b6.jpg
     
  15. William13

    William13 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Messages:
    943
    Location:
    South Bend
    Yes, slip start is what I would like on my old Sig.
     
  16. Jeeps17

    Jeeps17 Cath Jockey in a P85

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2012
    Messages:
    875
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Yes, but unfortunately it only seems to be available to D vehicles. No love for RWD early adopters...

    If you go way back in the winter driving threads, requests for a snow mode were made two years ago (with e-mails to Tesla ownership). The first few batches of cars delivered in Quebec (late 2012 into early 2013) got to owners before a large late season snow storm, and at least one got stuck going up a hill due to the overly aggressive TC.

    It happens to me on occasion, albeit rarely.
     
  17. AoneOne

    AoneOne Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    Messages:
    151
    Location:
    Fox Chapel (Pittsburgh), PA
    Even with my Xice-3's, I won't even try to drive up my 100' long concrete driveway with a 10+% slope in deep snow, but the traction control usually works very well when there's only an inch or two on the ground. Turning off the TC and carefully spinning my wheels has been effective where there's just a bit too much snow (or it's too slippery) to drive the entire length.

    I'd support a computer-controlled limited wheel-spin mode, not just for starting, but also for low-speed driving.
     
  18. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,766
    Location:
    Texas
    Except that there are some all-seaons tires that are severe service all-seasons. Agreed that most are not and you'd be better off with real winter tires, but Nokian WRseries and Yokohama Y370 are two I've used that are as good as all but the very best two or three snow tires.
     
  19. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Messages:
    2,428
    Location:
    WY
    @Linux64: are there more options below the 'slip start' button? If not that name seems to just be a clarification of what 'TC OFF' means in the early cars.
    --
     
  20. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    2,144
    Location:
    NE
    Fun police. You must only drive in straight lines otherwise you go on the naughty list.


    :-/

    - - - Updated - - -

    You will not be able to overspin a properly rated tire on this car.
     

Share This Page