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Stability Control, are you ready for it?

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Comments

  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    Thanks all for the commentary. Interesting thing about stability control is how few really know that it is even available. Here in the land of auto commentary many are beginning to understand but at lunch the other day, great burrito's on 2nd st. in SF, the two guy next to me were talking about when to go diesel and other automotive topics so I asked about ESC and they never heard of it, both software types. Asked me to explain it compared to traction control which they both lament.
       The car makers haven't figured out how to sell the option but now all the SUV makers have been backed into making it standard on SUVs. With it standard how many will even know what it is a week after they file away the sticker?
       Well Shifty, I didn't live up to your name at least once over the weekend, late braking and a blown shift comming into turn one at Thunderhill just below 130 got me sideways and I'll admit to thanking the system again. I did stay on track all weekend. Other than that little escapade I got the times down over 8 sec. from last spring, but also running bigger rubber, makes a huge difference, still street tires. The track doesn't heat up too much in the mid 50's for temp and 30mph winds, but sure was a fun two days.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Oh c'mon, spinning out is a rite of passsage on the race track:)
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    Spinning out on the street at 35 mph is one thing, doing it at 125 when the exits are deep in mud from the overnight rain is entirely different. Before the Sat. AM session everyone was noting that it was just like this, rain all night and clear morning, before the last time when an S2000 went off in turn 9 and front end bit so hard it went end over end. Thank you, No!
       Got my average speed up to just about 80mph with 15 turns in 3 miles, which is just a tad twistier than Sears point with 12 turns in 2.5 miles. Let me know if you ever are going out to run something local. ;) Don't mind waving people by, did it several time over the weekend but most often I was thankful that they saw me comming and made room at then next straight, which I tried to set up so I had extra speed out of the corner. Passing Porsches is really a lot of fun! The Z06 and ZX300 left me in the dust on Sunday, oh well.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I need to get you a better Porsche driver out there:)

    Anyone, racing is no fun if it isn't just a bit dangerous. That's why people watch it and that's why vintage racers do it, to get just a little scared and to push themselves.

    But SC on the street is a whole other matter. Just keep it out of my sports cars is all I ask.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    Wasn't it Mario Andretti who said about track racing "if you're in complete control of your car, you're not going fast enough."

    ;-)
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 130,514
    pretty sure that was Dan Gurney... or Stirling Moss? haha.. no, I'm pretty sure it was Dan.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    There's a great story about him (Gurney) doing a LeMans start (when they still did it that way) and running up to his car and roaring off without buckling his harness...this way he gained a few seconds. Then he'd steer with his knees at 150+ mph while he buckled up.
  • highenderhighender Posts: 1,365
    thanks for the info, starrow...

    I also am a proponent of these ESC systems...

    I hope to upgrade to a newer suburban in the future, hopefully one with ESC.

    Meanwhile, I want to point out that Volvo has traditionally marketed its cars with an emphasis on safety, and has attracted a following with its ads touting the xc90 as the first and only SUV to have an antirollover system . I think this is not true, though I think it is great for all xc90 s to have ESC to prevent rollovers.

    Like I said before, there are other SUVs with anti rollover systems (which is basically the ESC). I think the Porsche system is even better, because the ESC works together with the traction control and the autoleveling suspension. The suspension reacts in milliseconds to adjust the perceived rolling of the vehicle, thus help balancing it and resisting tip over...

    have fun, starrow....be careful, its kinda wet out there.... :-)
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    Highender, on Roll Stability Control TM by Ford. The XC90 is the first with that system which is basically two gyros, one for yaw like all other ESC systems but a second gyro measuring roll. Other ESC systems that talk about roll control are really just talking about side air bags for roll protection if it occurs. They presume that the ESC system should keep the car from going out of control, therefore stay on the road and so not roll over, hence roll protection. Does that make sense?
       There is one other stability system that has two gyros but they are both to measure yaw for redundant check of input to the system, most rely on single gyro.
       I think all ESC systems work in conjunction with the traction control system but some like the corvette can turn TC off while leaving ESC active. What is unique about the systems is the software and what the braking system does with the gyro output. Some give you a lot more leeway to start into a slide and then correct, some like the early Toyota SUV system would engage the brakes when turning right onto a freeway onramp above a crawl, they fixed it, some.
       As to being careful in the wet, thanks, always a good thought. But you can turn off TC, just goose it a little to start the rear tires spinning and then modulate the throttle and at the same time keep it lined up without causing the ESC to activate. Good car control practice if you have open space. ;)
  • highenderhighender Posts: 1,365
    I agree that volvo has the system...

    but I specifically recall the cayenne has gyros also....to detect the 2D movements.....let me check it up and get back to you.... :-)

    good to hear from you

    we are over at ""why are you buying gas guzzling cars and SUVs ?""

    same old thing.... :-)
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Volvo XC90 has had it since its intro in 2003. In 2005, the Ford Explorer, Mercury Mountaineer, and Lincoln Aviator and Navigator have it as standard equipment. The Ford Expedition has it as an option.

    I don't believe the Porsche Cayenne has this type of system.

    Many more vehicles have side curtain airbags that deploy when the vehicle starts to roll, for example, the 2005 Ford Escape and its twins (included with the optional side airbags), and the Honda CR-V (standard side airbags in 2005).
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    but, I'm betting that the yaw sensor is complimented by accelerometers, which give linear input for side air bag activation. Note that both sides could activate at the same time while only one side is the first to contact the ground. With a roll gyro you know which side is going to contact first and can time the bags. Not saying that is how it's done just that it's possible, some of that data is proprietary. I'd be interested in the feedback if you find different.
  • highenderhighender Posts: 1,365
    sorry, but will try to do some research on the cayenne, but will have to be tonight...

    in other news...Motor trends' newest issue talks about how Bosch has been researching anti roll and auto leveling suspension for the past 25 years , with not a dime made....but has now perfected it....it will it supposed to be better than the magnetic suspension of Caddy, and better than air susp on Porsche...they use voltage/electricity to control the shocks...and it even regenerates some voltage...

    all this causes the car to not roll and travel level, but also handle corners flatly....

    its it the news in towards the back of the mag.

    cheers.. :-)
  • highenderhighender Posts: 1,365
    hi: I checked out the cayenne book....

     

    and it says it has:

     

    1- PSM- Porsche Stability Management: uses a series of sensors as well as information from the traction control management system , to monitor direction, speed , yaw velocity, and lateral acceleration. PSM then uses the sensor readings to calculate the actual direction of vehicle travel, and make corrections if needed.

     

    2- Porsche self leveling system: only on air suspension system. This self leveling feature automatically maintains a ride height and optimum clearance. regardless of number of passengers and cargo load one is carrying or the terrain one is navigating. It also adds to the vehicle's balance and stability, by helping keep the cayenne parallel to the road and completely poised.

     

    3- PASM - Porsche Active Suspension Management: the system uses 5 G force sensors that continually monitor the movement of the vehicle. It automatically suppresses the pitch and roll that would occur under acceleration, braking, and cornering.

     

    The systems are integrated and 'talk' to each other ...to work together to bring the vehicle under control.

     

    Just some info from the book and sales booklet., but of course, the vette doesn't need all this, as it is naturally stable.... :-)

     

    take care.....and see you at the other thread...

     

    :-)
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    Another article with good list of what's available offering Stability Control for 2005:

    http://www.aiada.org/article.asp?id=29941

     

       One interesting thing about the Porsche description and several others is the reference to the actual direction and making adjustments. Several talk about correcting to where the driver intends to go. Both of these make me wonder how the software knows if the driver inputs are from a live driver or someone slumped with a heart attack. As long as I've stressed the system it seems to come up with good help but not sure how they reconcile those inputs.
  • highenderhighender Posts: 1,365
    thanks for the link....

     

    I think ESC is the most undervalued add on to cars.....

     

    people would rather go for the sunroof or stereo or leather options....

     

    I think it is ethical to try to inform others of the value of such a system.....
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 6,870
    I love to drive, love learning to be a better driver, but want ESC on my next car. Understeer is easily managed, but if you don't catch oversteer when it starts to happen, you end up in a snap-spin like Shifty described. If I hit a patch of black ice on an otherwise clear road, I'd rather be in a car with ESC than without. If I had the choice of ESC or side airbags, I would probably take the ESC (although my last two cars have had side bags, and my next car will likely have both).

     

    I am also reminded of the Explorer debacle. I imagine that a rear-tire blowout would be less catastrophic in a car with ESC even if the driver panics and slams on the brakes.

     

    In the cars I've driven, even if there is not a light indicating that ESC has been activated, I can hear the ABS pump working and feel that something other than my own direct input is controlling the car (which would otherwise be in the ditch). Of course, these experiments were conducted under controlled conditions on a track.

     

    It's a shame that Volvo, once known for their safety, offers ESC standard only on their XC models--it's optional on all others--while it's standard on all BMW, Mercedes, Infiniti, and most Acura cars...

     

    The benefits are there on any car, not just an SUV, but the major carmakers (Honda, Toyota, GM, Ford, Chrysler, etc.) are only making it standard on SUVs. I don't want an SUV. I might like a Honda Accord or Civic with ESC, but that doesn't appear to be in the cards. Furthermore, Ford, GM, and Chrysler are not even offering it on pickups, where it would arguably be as useful as it would on an SUV. It's purely a PR move on their part.
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    Best list of vehicles with stability control:

    http://www.esceducation.org/about_esc/esc_equipped_vehicles.shtml

     

    You're right about the US makers lagging behind but there are some reasons that might be the case. Bosch and MB had the first system and GM/Caddy came in just after 94/97 (I may be off a little). Then Continental came in with system to compete with Bosch and by 2000 those two companies had the vast majority of ESC brake systems in the market with GM in house being a small piece of the market. TRW is getting market share today with GM trucks but they are using a sensor that Continental used and dropped. Bosch and Continental split about 80% of the market for ESC brake systems today, better than a guess.

       Last year there were about 8m gyros shipped into the US/EU markets of about 33m new cars & LTVs, or just over 30% penetration. The EU has much higher take rate since as noted it's mostly standard vs. optional on many high volume vehicles here in the North American market.

       Ford announced that ESC would be on the 2001 Explorer and then didn't get it on as an option until 2003. They did go standard with the 2005 as announced. Working from memory so might be a little off.

       Adding the first several million unit capacity took many years, the current growth rate is adding several million units per year in additional growth, not trivial. Also note the the XC90 and all Fords have roll stability control with two gyros and some EU models have dual yaw gryos so gyro production has to be a few million units greater than ESC shipments. Going to take a bit to get it on all new vehicles even if all wanted it tomorrow.
  • pkapka Posts: 56
    When I took delivery of my 05 ody EX-L my sales consultant advised me to keep the VSA off in fair weather conditions as it tends to strain the engine and other mechanical components ---thus to prolong the life of the vehicle and to ensure it remains trouble free for a long time to come and only turn it on during bad weather conditions. Is this accurate advice? Is there merit in this? Why does the factory default to always on when ever you start the van? please advise...did anyone else's dealer give the same advice? any mechanices out there? Isellhondas...have you heard or know about this? if so please advise....thank you.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 6,870
    >>>my sales consultant<<<

     

    What a bonehead! There is *zero* difference in the way the mechanical components or engine operates until and unless the VSA kicks in. It's electronic only unless it acts to prevent over/understeer. It defaults to on because Honda intends for it to be on all the time. If it's off, you're not protected if you hit a patch of black ice, oil slick, or pothole that disrupts the vehicle's handling, or if you have a tire blowout. Enjoy your new van, those are nice!
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    I'd agree that the sales consultant is just a little short of good info. The whole objective of ESC is to be there when you need it, even in good weather, when for example the piece wood bounces out of the truck bed in front of you and a swerve might just over correct and result in a rollover. In the Corvette I don't think I could get the system to kick in on the street without major effort, you've really got to be at the edge. On the Honda Ody I'll bet it will kick in sooner but with a top heavy vehicle and something like kids on board, sounds like a good idea. All it does is add some braking, not something that is going to stress the mechanicals.

       Really I'd pass that along to Honda outside the dealer and see if you get a response just for piece of mind.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 130,514
    pka...

     

    Read the manual...

     

    Never believe another word your salesman says... People like that are dangerous...

     

    Your car is designed to have the VSA on at all times in normal driving.. Anyone that tells you different is an idiot..

     

    regards,

    kyfdx

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  • highenderhighender Posts: 1,365
    pka:

     

    I agree with corvette, starrow and kydx....

     

    the stability control is there for emergency situations....and keeping it on all the time is good advice and prudent, IMO. Only time you would want to turn it off is if you are on a race track or racing event, and wish to utilize the understeer of the vehicle to make quicker turns. I know quite a few people who do it for performace driving...but not on regular roads, where emergencies can spring out at any time.

     

    Remember, there is a high turn over rate of car salesmen....and many are put on the sales floor after brief training on how to fill out forms and how to read/milk the buyers...but little technical info is absorbed by many. I have visited quite a few car dealerships where I knew more about the vehicle than the salesman.... :-0

     

    have fun with the Odyssey....my good friend just bought one too....

     

    happy New Year all.... !!
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 6,870
    Only time you would want to turn it off is if you are on a race track or racing event, and wish to utilize the understeer of the vehicle to make quicker turns.

     

    ================================================================

     

    Yeah, now let's get that Odyssey on the track! ;-)
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    There was an instructor in a Suburban up at Thunderhill one weekend and he was passing a lot of people, amazing. Then again:

     

    http://msnbc.msn.com/id/6760241/

     

    I would have posted this to the SUV board if it still existed!
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 33,690
    Seems that ESC has been statistaclly proven to work. One of the columns in the latest issue of Car & Driver was about a couple of recent studies that found significant decreases in the accident rate on cars with ESC, something that never happened when looking at ABS.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    After ABS proved to be a no-show it terms of real-world safety improvement, along comes ESC which shows dramatic improvements! Car & Driver's explanation seems plausible enough.

      

    I'm still skeptical though (while lamenting that I could have had stablity control if I'd only waited for a 2005 Camry, which has ESC as an option on 4-cyl. models. This wasn't the case with my '04, where only V6 models offered it).
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 130,514
    And my wife taking my AWD while I got her stability controlled RWD..... I'm a believer..

     

    Sometimes it takes the extreme conditions, to show you how it could help in everyday driving.. It is amazing the level of control (or non-control, if you take into account the work it does for you) that the stability control gives you...

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  • stickguystickguy Posts: 33,690
    I think ESC is effective becasue it works with you, but ABS sort of works counter-intuitvely. That is, you drive normally, and the ESC pretty much works behind the scenes (so you don't even know it is there).

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    That was the jist of what Car and Driver said also.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 6,870
    The only problem I see with it is that some drivers are too clueless to realize when ESC kicks in, and even those who do realize it don't understand it means they have pushed the car closer to its limits than would be advisable.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 130,514
    That is true.. but, for most of those clueless people, leaving it on all the time, will likely save them from that one big accident... Most of them don't catch onto the clues that let you know you are on the edge, anyway..

     

    Especially in mommy mobiles like Highlanders, etc.... A very good enhancement..

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  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    Without ABS you don't have stability control. The gyro does great things measuring the lead up to a possible skid, but the 4 channel ABS system is what actually allows braking of independent wheels. As noted earlier, I've been in a Corvette saved at close to 100mph from a very slight driver error.

       Although it will help in all the SUVs that get it the next few years, it is a shame that the cheap econoboxes with short wheel base driven by inexperienced drivers won't get it because there isn't yet consumer demand. That demographic could use it the most, IMO.
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    Another take on the 'clueless' driver is that I personally want as many to have ESC as possible, so when it happens that they exceeded a limit they didn't know existed, I'm not the one to pay the price.

       Take Corvettes to the track!
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 130,514
    Yes.. very true.. ABS is what made stability control possible...

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  • highenderhighender Posts: 1,365
    good point, starrow...

     

    we really need the small econoboxes (those favored by teens) and souped up racers to have the ESC....since that group has the greatest need.....and least experience...
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    to all those who don't like the thought about having the system take control, because they 'know' how to drive:

    http://www.montereyherald.com/mld/montereyherald/business/1058923- 7.htm

     

    Note the comment about the poor coop.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Honda just announced that they are bringing over their CMS system with E-Pretensioners to the NA market with the 2006 Acura RL. This could be described as the mother of all electronic nannies. If you don't like stability control, how do you feel about a system that applies the brakes if it determines that an accident is coming?
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 6,870
    Is this something that brakes if you're about to rear-end somebody? Sounds like it may reduce the severity, but not necessarily the frequency, of wrecks. And it's probably not as big an improvement as stability control.
  • ecotrklvrecotrklvr Posts: 519
    Hi - new to this forum. Great stuff here. I too have read that ABS never really measured up, statistically, as an accident prevention measure. But there are 2 plausible explanations for this statistical shortfall. Tell me if agree:

     

    First, "All ABS ain't the same." GM made ABS widely available for many years now - to their credit. But is wasn't 4-channel, top-shelf stuff - it was 400,000 unit per year, cost-reduced ABS. 2-channel, I think - front circuit and rear circuit, period. Many truck only have it on the back wheels, and they're likely drums. Most of the sample was nothing like the really good stuff - like on the Audi A4 I drove in 1997 that nearly popped my contacts out in a panic stop. Or the good high-volume stuff that's now becoming available today. And so, if that mediocre ABS became a large part of the roadgoing sample, the results would be skewed in a "not much help" direction.

     

    I've got a 1999 Honda CR-V with ABS right now. See, I can hit the brakes hard enough to activate ABS - but I'm a 6'4" 250 lb. guy. Point is, it's pretty hard to press the pedal hard enough in many cars, for many people. So, my second point is "in the cases in question, how do we know the ABS actually got activated by the driver?". I know my Mom never hit the brakes very hard. It scared her to. So she drove slow. But she and anyone like her could easily need to really jam on the brakes (to the ABS activation point) when, say, going across an intersection with a "yellow-light buster" cutting across in front, and never hit the brakes hard enough to really stop fast. And so, now we have Brake Assist. It recognizes the force of the brake application, and the speed of the pedal activation (and possibly even the time from lifting off the accelerator to the hitting of the brake). When it senses a panic stop situation, it really hits the brakes. This is so new, I haven't had any direct experience with it. But it sounds promising. And so I'm planning on getting my next vehicle with ABS, this Brake Assist (BA), and VSC (Skid Control) - unless someone can convince me otherwise.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    ... was always at least 3-channel for vehicles with 4-wheel antilock brakes. I am not aware of any system by any manufacturer that did NOT activate the ABS independently in each front wheel.

     

    I'm not so sure about this one, but I think GM trucks for the most part had 4-wheel ABS. Ford and Chrysler used rear-wheel ABS for many more years.

     

    Some Dodge trucks still have only rear-wheel ABS as standard in 2005!
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    The way the studies in the EU were done on ESC, most recent, was to compare models with it for a couple years to the same model for the prior period without it. That way you don't get into how good or bad a particular system might be. Over there, the ESC systems on the high end vehicles is mainly Bosch and on the rest is mostly Continental Teves. Here GM has a separate system, Ford uses CT and a third party and DC uses Bosch and CT, I think.

       The ABS studies were, I think, similar, compare a cheap system to the same vehicle without the system or a high end system to the same vehicle pre-ABS. Problem with ABS that I heard is that while it sometimes stopped short of having an accident, on other occasions it stopped so short the non-ABS behind rearended it, hence no net improvement. Also, people didn't know how to engage it, as noted and use it to steer around things, instead of staring at the problem and running into it anyway. It takes training, which very few have.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 6,870
    Some Dodge trucks still have only rear-wheel ABS as standard in 2005!

     

    Absolutely pathetic move on Dodge's part. And a lawsuit waiting to happen, when every other pickup I'm aware of includes it.

     

    Note that a lawsuit for not including safety equipment not mandated by the government is not founded on sound legal ground, but many of these suits will probably be settled nonetheless, or at the very least Dodge will incur legal costs in fighting them. Repeat after me: They were just asking for it!
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Yes, on all counts.

     

    It brakes if the system detects an impending accident. But, of course, that will only reduce severity, not prevent the accident. And I assume it would not be as significant as stability control.

     

    I believe the system also beeps at the driver if they follow someone too closely.

     

    It will also take the slack out of the seat belt (waking the driver?) if an accident is unavoidable.

     

    It's been a while since I read up on it, but I think that's the idea.
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