November 16, 2018 at 8:28 am #516119
So here it is again…the dreaded winter!
After three winters of fearing this car every time it snowed and multiple enraging visits to my dealer who ran countless diagnostics and replaced one part after the other I finally decided that I wouldn’t go trough a fourth winter like that and took matters into my own hands so I did some serious research.
The issue is that this car, when driving in the snow, kinda tries to kill its owner! It’s a combination of an hyper-sensitive ABS that forcibly prevents you from braking at the slightest detection of a slipping wheel which makes for frequent close encounters with someone else’s rear bumper. A hyper-sensitive TCS that immediately reduces engine power when trying to climb a snowy hill or when turning a corner and accelerating with snow on the road leading to other people having frequent close encounters with your own rear bumper (and a lot on honking). And of course a hyper-sensitive Stabilitrak that suddenly decides to apply full brakes on only one of the front tires while you’re driving on the highway and you hit a little patch of snow which abruptly makes you head for the gutter or change lane unexpectedly, a very frightening experience to say the least.
Yes, I know that TCS can be turned off by pressing a button but it doesn’t turn off Stabilitrak nor resolve the ABS problem.
Yes, I know that TCS and Stabilitrak can be “turned off” by holding the TCS button a few seconds but that’s only temporarily as it reactivates itself automatically past 50 km/h.
Also, note that even when “deactivated” Stabilitrak is still somewhat active (although it seems to be to a lesser extent) because I tested it and I can still hear the brakes activating repeatedly and I get “break overheating” messages if I go slide a little in the snow for a minute even though I’m not hitting the brakes at all so the ABS isn’t the problem. It’s Stabilitrak still doing something because I can see both the “Stabilitrak off” icon AND the “Stabilitrak in use” icon and I can smell the hot brakes anyway.
The only solution to be able to comfortably (and safely) drive this car on a snowy day is to pull out the engine compartment fuse #5 and completely deactivate ABS, TCS & Stabilitrak on this vehicle. After that it drives like a charm, that is if you know how to drive in the snow. It’s sad that it took turning all of this off to finally enjoy this otherwise great car in winter.
So what’s missing on this 50k car? A simple snow mode button that would really deactivate TCS & Stabilitrak and make the ABS way less sensitive. Even if I had to press that button every time I start the car I wouldn’t mind.
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