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Toyota Prius - Traction Control vs Vehicle Stability Control



  • I live in Colorado and have not experienced that problem with my 2004 Prius.
    I was sliding around a lot this week so yesterday I replaced my 4 season old
    Blizzaks WS-50's with WS-60's. Too soon to tell if that will help.
  • As a native of Western Montana (better known as snow country), current resident of western Washington, and the owner of a 2007 Prius, I must agree with all who desire either an "On-Off" Function or a "Winter Mode" selection. I live in the country, with a 200-foot gravel drive on about a 6% grade, and WITHOUT ANY SNOW, I frequently have to back down and make a faster run at it to get to the top without the power cutting out because one wheel turned a little gravel and caused the Traction Control to cut the power. No, I barely know what UAW means, but I AM accustomed to being able to finitely control the power to the wheels of my vehicle, and find this one can be VERY frustrating. And, Yes, I do have the most aggressive snow tires available on the car. I was "snowed-in" over Christmas, because, with 4-6 inches of snow, and chains on my Prius, I was unable to get out of my driveway due to the above-mentioned problem. Would strongly advocate for either a far less aggressive slow-speed Traction Control, or the ability to turn it off in certain situations. Can't get great mileage if I can't get out of the driveway !
  • I need to get snow tires for my 2008 Prius. Any recommendations? During our last snow storm is was a nightmare. (And I grew up in western NY and know how to drive in the snow.) Thanks!
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    I need to get snow tires for my 2008 Prius. Any recommendations? During our last snow storm is was a nightmare. (And I grew up in western NY and know how to drive in the snow.) Thanks!

    Try the Nokian WRG2 it's a 50,000 mile snowflake rated tire. They work awesome!
    If you need a full blown snow tire Nokian makes those as well. I've bought a lot of snow tires over the years, but nothing beats Nokian tires in the snow and ice.
    Once you go Nokian, you will never go back! :shades:
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    If you haven't already you might try visiting There are a lot of northern drivers there that have had 5-8 yrs of experience with the Prius in all kinds of weather from the Rockies to the recent storms in the NW to the depths of darkest Canada.

    Like everything else with the vehicle it takes some relearning; e.g. putting the pedal to the floor is the last thing you want to do.

    To answer your last question, NO. The TC technology is put into the hybrids due to the huge amount of torque from the e-motor. It has to be present at all times or else you'd just be sitting at a stop sign in dry weather spinning your wheels like at a funny car drag race.
  • So do I put snow tires on just the front wheels or do you need them on all 4?
  • vu2000vu2000 Posts: 58
    I have a 2007 Prius which I have owned for 2 years now. I and my wife have driven this car in the snow here in DE. In over 45K miles now, I have not noticed any difference between this car and my previous Honda Accords or Nissan in snow. The OE Good Year tires were worse in the snow than our current Falken tires used on this car for the last 15K miles. In snow 6" or more, I simply use our minivan which is heavier with higher ground clearance and can plow through the snow better.
  • Snow tires go on all four wheels. You need traction to stop as well as to go and for turns and curves. You will need to mark the tires (front, rear, right, left) so you rotate them on alternate years. I had four Blizzak snow tires that looked OK after four winters (less than 20,000 miles) but they didn't hold the road so I replaced them all few months ago with new Blizzaks which are great. You need not just some tread but deep tread or new tread. I take them off in the spring. I have two sets of tires and wheels to make it easier. I change them myself twice a year although many tire stores will change them for free if you bought the tires there.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Also check the date of manufacturing when buying as you want new tires as they need to be replaced after 6 years due to rotting even though they may look new. I know this as a motorhome owner who never gets enough miles on them but have heard fellow motorhome owners who have had blowouts at speed due to the tire cracking and letting go. So if you have a set of snow tires you have been using for a few years check the date they were made on the sidewall and no matter what they look like to the eye they may be cracked on the inside, do yourself a service and replace as your life is worth more than the $$ they cost.
  • cathie2cathie2 Posts: 2
    I have a 2008 Pruis with the VehIcle Stability Control. I recommend highly you don't get it if you live where there is snow. You cannot turn off the VSC and if you go into a skid, you lose your power and you cannot get out of your skid. You are totally helpless. DON'T GET IT. It is unsafe,,,,,Trust me. I actually had to call the police trying to get up my hill. I went into a skid and lost all power to move the vehicle. It took my husband 45 minutes of moving the car back and fourth to even move a foot. IT IS DANGEROUS.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    It's going to mandatory on all vehicles in the US by MY 2012. No getting around it.

    There's lots of discussion about the subject here with pro's and con's and tips. The first tip is get good snow tires. those that have gotten good winter shoes don't report any issues; Canada, Minn, Colo, Calif mountains, NE, etc.
  • oh my gosh!! I had to reply!! I thought it was my driving!! I tried to leave my home this passed winter(i live in OR) we live on a hill. We have a 2008 and i lost complete control, it was like nothing worked! i ended up down an embankment and had to be towed out very scary!! 12,000 in damage!!!we did not have snow tires, but now im afraid to even to drive it next winter even if we get snow tires. have you bought snow tires did they help.thanks for sharing your story!
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    On the Fords and GM products I have driven with it there is a button to turn it off. Once you restart the vehicle it is back on unless you manually turn it off.
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