Hyundai Santa Fe ESC 'On/Off' switch?

bambewbambew Member Posts: 43
Why would Hyundai install an 'off' switch for the ESC? Disabling a safety device in my mind is a big No-No.... Take ABS for instance... None of the cars that I have driven/been in, have a switch to turn the ABS 'off'. So why would you want to do it to the ESC?

If you think about it.... why would the driver want to disable the ESC anyways? There is no performance improvement. There is nothing to be gained, IMO, by disabling the ESC.

Can anyone shed some light on this for me?

Also.... I recently read on an Australian website that Hyundai has dropped the ESC and side air bags on the entry level Santa Fe. Is there any truth to this? And if so, is this only isolated to Australia? And if so, why?




  • wamba2000wamba2000 Member Posts: 146
    Bambew, I guess there are unusual circumstances when one would not want the ESC engaged.....maybe at the race track??? In a Santa Fe???

    Regarding the airbags and ESC, they are standard on the 2008 Santa Fe GLS model, I looked at one before buying the 2008 SE. Maybe they are re-configuring a model for AU only?
  • drwoodrdrwoodr Member Posts: 88
    I was curious about your question, but I'm too lazy to go out to the garage to get the manual, so I did a quick Google search. If yo are stuck in mud or snow, you get better traction if you turn off the ESC, which makes sense since the ESC will apply the brakes to a spinning wheel.
  • kdahlquistkdahlquist Member Posts: 130
    Yup. I live in Minnesota. After a heavy snow and before the roads are plowed, I get the best traction by engaging AWD lock and turning ESC off. ESC does nothing for you at very low speeds, and it can actually decrease your traction.

    The other reason to turn ESC off is that expert drivers can actually get more performance out of a car with it disengaged. It's typical for sports cars, for example, to turn in faster lap times and post higher skidpad numbers if the stability control is disengaged, because expert drivers can use some wheel slip and techniques like countersteering to their advantage. I can't imagine needing to drive a Santa Fe in that manner, however.
  • bambewbambew Member Posts: 43
    Thanks for all the quick replies...

    I'll take your advice and try ESC 'off' with AWD lock 'on' in the snow... At slow speeds of course. ;)

  • davidwc56davidwc56 Member Posts: 3
    I can confirm that, in Australia, Hyundai has dropped the ESC, TCS, side and curtain airbags on certain models of the Santa Fe.

    Models effected:
    Only base model (SX in Oz) in 2.7 V6 and 2.2 CRTDi.
    SX 3.3 V6 configurations are unaffected.
    All midspec (SLX) and high spec (Elite) of 2.7V6, 3.6V6 and 2.2 CRTDi are unaffected.

    To further confuse things, the 3.3 V6 is only available in front wheel drive auto. No option.

    Daft move on their part I think.
    Anyway, it made it that much easier for me to choose the turbo diesel SLX.
    Oh, what a lovely machine.
  • bambewbambew Member Posts: 43
    My dealer says that the ESC and TCS are turned off/on by the same switch and under certian circumstances the driver may want to have both systems turned off.

  • bambewbambew Member Posts: 43
    "If yo are stuck in mud or snow, you get better traction if you turn off the ESC, which makes sense since the ESC will apply the brakes to a spinning wheel."

    But if the wheel is 'spinning', what traction are you getting?

  • tenpin288tenpin288 Member Posts: 804
    If you have ever had to do the old "rock back and forth" maneuver to get out of a snowdrift or snowed-in parking space, you would understand. The ESC/TCS systems are designed to eliminate the wheelspin, etc you need to generate to rock yourself out of the snow. That is actually one of the few times you would want to disable those systems.
  • musicman53musicman53 Member Posts: 2
    I thought the same thing until I was in Colorado in a snow storm creeping up a road at feet per hour while other FWDs passed me. I tried turning off the ESC and viola', my Santa Fe began climbing rather than sliding side to side as the ESC tried to compensate for lack of traction.
  • tjg00tjg00 Member Posts: 5
    I have a 2003 Santa Fe and everytime I turn my car on I turn the ESC switch off. FYI if it is on it sucks up all of the gas. I only turn mine on when it i is snowing out.
  • roger79roger79 Member Posts: 1
    I am way late to this stream, but I just had to make a comment. Here in Minneapolis, it just snowed about 11 inches and travel was very difficult.

    Lets say that you get hung up in the snow and need to utilize a "rock back and forth" maneuver to get yourself out of the snow. (If you live in Minnesota, you know EXACTLY what I am talking about!). Well, with the ESC turned "on", you will NOT be able to execute this technique. The ESC thinks that you are on the verge of flying off into the rhubarb patch and will apply brakes where it thinks that it will help you the most. When you are stuck in the snow, applying the brakes is NOT what you need!

    When you get stuck, with the ESC on, the system will not allow the tires to spin enough to fight yourself out of the snow. My bride (it is her car) got stuck 20 times and was so mad that I thought she was going to blow the car up! It is mandatory that you disable the ESC t get out of the snow.

    I will assume that the ESC is a good thing, but if there were no way to disable the benefits of this system, I would STILL be stuck in the snow! It is a very big indicator that the car even HAS an "on-off" switch! If it was the answer to all of our driving troubles, it would be full time and that would be that! Here in Minnesota in the Winter, that would be a bad thing!
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