Should you ever need to turn off the traction control on a car, or should it stay on all the time? I have two family member with two different point of views and I m confused.
traction control can make it difficult to get a car that is already stuck in mud or snow free. since traction control cuts power when it detects wheel spin, if you are already stuck and you definitely intend on moving the tires to get unstuck, traction control can make it impossible.
some people also turn off traction control when they want to drive very fast. if the driver deems their skill at pushing a car to its limits better than the computers in the car, they may wish to turn off traction control when driving fast. this lets the driver use all the engine performance regardless of whether it is experiencing wheel spin or not.
for the most part, you should keep traction control on though. it helps to prevent slides and skids and making driving in adverse conditions like snow and ice much easier. sure it has a couple downsides but these are very situational where you won't often encounter them.
I was stuck in a small patch of ice and the traction control prevented the car moving, it's only by switching it off was I able to get enough power to escape. I switched it back on after.
On the other hand, I saw car with no traction control being driven by a idiot with no finesse, who simply could not move out of a car park due to constantly spinning the wheels in snow.
The only time you would normally disable traction control is if doing competition driving and you know what you are doing. For example when I do parking lot slaloms I disable it to get a better launch, giving it just enough power to spin the tires slightly and heat them up to make them stickier, instead of the traction control decreasing engine power or applying the brakes to prevent wheel spin.
In the snow you would NOT want to disable it, because without it you would have less traction (1 wheel drive instead of 2 wheel drive) to rock the car if stuck or on slippery pavement.
Having, wanting, or needing traction control or not, depends on the drivers competency.
For me; don't like it, don't need it, don't want it… There isn't one situation in my 40+ years of driving a car or tractor-trailer that 'traction control' would have improved a compromising situation. But I've practiced. I know how the vehicle is going to act when the drive wheel(s) break traction, whether it's a front wheel drive Malibu, rear wheel drive pick-up truck, or an 18 wheeler, up-hill, down-hill, curved, flat, or pitched pavement. I leave it off.
For some others; it's wonderful, and has probably prevented countless spin-outs and uncontrolled swerving. For them it should be left on.
Traction control cuts power to specific wheels when no grip is detected by the ECU. With traction off, you're telling the computer that even if a wheel looses traction (ex front left wheel rides over black ice, or going around a corner in the rain) to keep sending power to that wheel anyways. The differential is what splits the power between the left and right wheels so that one can spin at a different rate than the other. Your traction control system is a safety feature in all reality.
Turn off traction control when you're already stuck, otherwise, leave it on all the time. Traction control applies brakes to the spinning wheel to keep the rear of the car from fishtailing (sliding sideways while applying the gas). Here's a more detailed answer in the link below:
Once you take it off the lot. 😉
Or if you have bad tires (all seasons) in the snow and traction control keeps the car from moving.
Sometimes when stuck in snow, being able to spin the tires and rocking the car back and forth is a way to free it. In this case, you have to disable traction control.
Check your owners manual, it lists situations
Call the dealer where you bought the car.