Traction control - Renault Z.E. Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-11-2014, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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Traction control

Has anyone tried driving any distance with the traction control off?

I attempted to come home this evening with the system off and barely made it past the first roundabout. Anything above a light touch of the accelerator on a bone dry road would cause a tyre to light up, and when I was merely kissing the pedal on damp surfaces - well, all **** broke loose.

It seems it's plain impractical to drive the car without driver aids, and given how easily and often the front tyres could be wound into a screech without even trying, I ponder how much of the car's day to day performance is being secretly dialled back by the traction system.

One of the first things I noticed about trips in the Fluence was the pronounced wheel hop when going over broken surfaces, or when inadvertently dropping the car into a pothole. It felt as though the tyre was instantly doubling its rotational speed the moment it found itself free of the surface, but until today I never had any idea just how much the car wants to spin its tyres!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-11-2014, 04:33 PM
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RE: Traction control

I've mentioned this elsewhere here. Yes, I think it is a safety defect that Renault allowed for the traction control to be a manually turn-offable thing. The difference with ICE is that if you rev up an engine it will hit a self-limiting torque output as the revs run high, and given you start off in a typically low gear when you get tyre spin then you just never spin the tyre that hard.

With electric drive, as soon as you exceed the torque rating of the grip of the tyre, there is nothing constraining it from instantly accelerating to 90mph. In fact, if one wheel is stationary on the road, the other could actually rev up to 180mph (as it is a differential).

Never drive with it off. You are dead right. It should be physically removed. No EV should have this feature. It is in the nature of electric drive systems that they MUST have traction control enabled for safety reasons.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-11-2014, 05:33 PM
Join Date: Nov 2013
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RE: Traction control

I must admit I haven't tried messing around with the traction control switch, but given the nature of electric drive, as Donald explains, it stands to reason that the car would be very unruly without it switched on.

That leaves me wondering why the option of switching the system off is offered at all. The only thing I can think of is that switching off the traction control can (counter-intuitively) sometimes help if you get stuck in snow or ice because you can occasionally generate enough momentum via wheel-spin to get moving where you might not be able to with TC engaged. I'd have thought the risks associated with allowing people to drive with it off in normal conditions would outweigh that modest benefit, though.

Perhaps an "off" option has to be offered so that the car is still drivable if the TC malfunctions?
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-12-2014, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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RE: Traction control

On the Tesla you supposedly have to pull a fuse to 'enjoy' the benefits of an unfettered EV with an open differential
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