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Traction Control and Turns.... On or Off... that is the question.

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by wiztecy, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    #1 wiztecy, Aug 9, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013
    So one thing I'm trying to understand pushing the Roadster to its limits and becoming more connected to the road is whether or not to keep TC on or off when pushing the Roadster HARD through the turns. I'm talking really pushing it, where you feel the front becoming light and it really pushes the G's like a insane rollercoaster ride from hell... I've always felt confident in my 1.5 since I think the TC is not as sensitive as the 2.0 I'm driving around now. Although I've felt it kick in when I've pushed my 1.5 before, but not as often, the point is still valid.

    The issue here is that I feel the TC is really going to take me out one day if I don't make sense of it... meaning that today I pushed the 2.0 very hard through the Santa Cruz Mountains... Traffic was HELL on HWY 17 today so I took HWY 9 and then over a few other twisty back road stretches to get back home. StandStill traffic just feels your just ticking time away with Zero worthwhile experiences... So getting back.... I pushed the 2.0 very hard through a few hard fishhooks and many S... double S and triple S tight turns on my round about journey back home. What I felt was that the TC kicked on as I was diving into many turns... I had NO connection or control of my back wheels... I wanted throttle and thrust from the back.. pure acceleration to get me out of the smooth sharpening turn that was getting ready to open back up... all I got was a dud pedal since TC kicked on. It actually overthrew me more than I expected into the turn but I luckily didn't have the turn sharpen up all that more. I lost all my connection with the road.. No power... No control. I just sat back counting the silent milliseconds counting and was hoping for the best that I'd get my power back... and it did. But time without power can be costly.

    So I guess I'll need to do this and retest the route / turns pushing just as hard with TC == OFF. Now this will have to use some caution, its all driver and feel at this point... I understand the feel and connection to the Road driving the Roadster, but I do have to be aware that my backend will and can break loose and also understand it WILL throw me into an unforgiving rear end slide and unforgiving break-away if I lax judgement at any moment. However I've pushed my 1.5 hard with the tires down low whipping the back end out with TC == OFF to understand where exactly that limit is and my body/mind has that limit in a sense programmed in as long as I do my part and keep focused. All I can say is that it feels hopeless and powerless when TC cuts your power off completely and its not a good feeling at all.... It would be better to power-limit the TC, possibly another option to still allow some power to the wheels giving the driver more control. But I don't know how the car would handle that physically with the G's. Although it does have an accelerator, there can be some computing and negotiation to do some smart sensing on the TC which I believe the Roadster's don't have.

    From what I found every Tesla owner who autocrossed turns TC to OFF while racing. So my impression is that it can work against you at times like these.

    Curious from others what their experience is like with TC on or off and turns as well as any tips from the autocross gang.
     
  2. Zextraterrestrial

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    Does the roadster have stability control?
    The S is fun with tc off but stability control will save you
     
  3. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe the Model-S stability control counter-acts against the rolling when you corner hard through a turn. Not sure how it works, have to read up, but their most likely tightening the rolling corner/side of the car which in turn keeps your tires and weight planted down on the wheels instead of lifting the weight off the inside wheels that go no-where but into a negative energy of the roll...

    No the Roadster has nothing scientific like that. Best thing to it is the sport suspension with adjustable shocks and swaybars.
     
  4. Pantera Dude

    Pantera Dude Member

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    For what it's worth, I always drive with the TC off, (unless the road is wet). When I first got the car, I left the TC on until I got comfortable with my new ride. I autocrossed the car one weekend and never used the TC. I LOVE wheelspin, consequently I don't like the feel of the TC. Unfortunately I don't get much opportunity to drive the kind of roads that you do. I do appreciate the safety net that the TC provides me on rainy days. For safety/liability reasons I'm not recommending that anyone else drive without TC, I'm just saying that I prefer not using it when the road is dry. :biggrin:
     
  5. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    Its interesting you mentioned Liability reasons... the loaner Roadsters and sure its the same with the model-S have TC set to always ON. You can't disable it. I tried to and it really confused me. I just found out that they limit the speed to 80mph which I don't think I experienced, just only the TCs stuck on.
     
  6. Zextraterrestrial

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    I think the model S Stability uses sensors so if you start a spin it brakes a front wheel to correct. There may be more to it too like adding TC to rear wheels even though it is off...I haven't tried smoking my tires then spinning in a circle ever. I have only done ~ 90 degree slides from 5 mph or so. It is tricky to get the S to spin the back end out more than a few feet but you can get it squirrely if you try.
     
  7. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    On wet or icy roads, the Roadster TC is excellent. Definitely do NOT turn it off in bad conditions; it could really save your butt. On slippery surfaces it's particularly good at modulating the regen braking, and will prevent both snap oversteer and power oversteer.

    On dry roads, I find it's something of a problem. If you hit a hard bump it triggers, and this can cause not just a loss of power, but also a loss of braking. Regen is providing a good fraction of your total braking power even when your foot is fairly hard on the brake pedal. When you suddenly loose it due to hitting a large bump, the car suddenly feels like it lunges forward. It has the effect of increasing your stopping distance 3-6 feet, which is very unnerving. So if I'm going to be driving on roads known to have bumps in inconvenient places, I tend to turn it off.

    For autocross, which is often done in parking lots that may not be very smooth, it just gets in the way. It adversely affects both power and braking and you definitely want it turned off.
     

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