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What can you expect from DSTC?

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Old Dec 22nd, 2006, 10:45   #1
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Default What can you expect from DSTC?

Hi everyone, with recent cold snap and usual resulting greasy roads, I have my doubts that DSTC is working properly.

First of all, there have been several occasions when the you can get quite wild wheel spin without any sign of traction control coming into play. The spin control lamp on the dash has not come on under these conditions and the car power has not been cut/wheels braked to reduce the spin.

With previously owned cars with TC systems, the car will almost stall when spin is detected until traction is regained and then car will continue to accelerate.
This is certainly not always happening now.

Second point is that I was able to induce a front slide/drift under heavy acceleration around a bend this week. From my understanding of what should happen (owners manual and sales brochure), I wouldn't have thought this would happen.

Has any one else any thoughts or experiences on this subject?

I should add that I don't go around driving on the limit, as I like to consider myself an economically minded defensive driver but if these systems are supposed to be in place, then I do want them to work.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2006, 11:15   #2
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I've had wheelspin out of mine, especially on the snow, with no cutting of power. I've also had the odd understeery moment. The DTSC has saved my bacon a couple of times when hitting flood water around blind bends at speed etc, the light blinks, the car shimmies but you keep going in the intened direction.

I think that it set at quite a high threshold so that you can manipulate the way you want a car to get through the bend. TBH I prefer it this way rather than having a car that nannies to the extent that it is smothering the driving experience.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2006, 11:27   #3
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I always see DSTC as a system that looks after you when you make a mistake or come accross adverse conditions suddenly. It's not a system that provides better performance.

If you get wheel spin - and you will, the other sensors note that your pointing straight ahead, there is no yaw, the car isn't spinning, so it doesn't just cut in. If it cut in immediately - then you'd go nowhere, you'd be having to turn it off all the time in snowy/icy conditions.

if you really want to see the little light flash, then boot it coming out of a roundabout and you'll son feel it kick in. (Your own private roundabout of course!)

I always recommend that you take your car onto a private road/ carpark - and get a feel for ABS in ermergency stop situations, fling her around to get a feel to see if she's an understeerer or oversteer, how well does she correct etc etc. Then when things do get out of hand you already know how she'll respond.


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Old Dec 22nd, 2006, 20:10   #4
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Thanks for the responses guys. My experiences mirror yours.
Marmoset, I've never thought of the cut in threshold being different amongst manufactures, but it does make sense. The first car I had with TC (not stability) was a 2ltr Vectra. That would cut in very easily. My last car a Saab 3.0Tid was a bit nearer the Volvo (but it didn't have stability).
Thinking about it, I also prefer that it is set at a higher level to just give you that little bit more "being in charge".
Vipes I've done the "own roundabout thing too". I suppose being an ex motorcyclist and being aware of road surfaces makes me always want to know how the car feels under different conditions, I've never been caught out yet as a result.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2006, 20:26   #5
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DSTC I think saved my bacon last December when the powers that be decided NOT to grit cos it was raining, and they the sky cleared at midnight and it froze hard, black ice all round. First thing I knew was driving past Norwich Airport at about 4.30am, and feeling the car was very, very light on the steering and I though I saw a warning light flash a couple of times on the dash, but not for long enough for me to identify it positively.(The car was only a few days old in my possession then, 2005 S40 2.0D btw). Its it me I thought, and touched the brakes VERY gently! All sorts of bells and whistles went off (i.e the ikon on the dash started flashing big time).

With the help of DSTC I just managed to stop at the roundabout (well over 500 yards from the initial scare, and I was only doing 40mph). I would never have stopped without DSTC, and might well not have realised the state of the roads without the warning lights etc.

Took me then over 1.5 hours to do the next 18 miles.... NOT fun. Cars everywhere, hedges, ditches etc. Every time I thought it was clear enough to speed up a bit, the warning light came up again as I tried to accelerate, so it really did keep me in check. I know that no system will actually keep you on the raod if you do something totally daft, but I was very, very glad of the early warnings, which made me keep my speed down to as safe a level as possible. And yes, if you really boot it in a straight line, then very little happens with the DTSC, but it does work on bends, especially situations like exiting a side road to a main road with wet, greasy conditions. Its a boon then as well
(My other car is a WD 2-10-0)
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Old Dec 28th, 2006, 18:17   #6
Philip Fisher
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Default Dtsc

Mine definately works. I can feel it braking individual front and rear wheels, particularly when coming off slippy roundabouts. In the snow last year the TC was definately cutting the revs, I was trying to back on to the drive and eventually had my foot flat to the floor, but the revs were about 1500 and the car was not moving. In the end I turned the DTSC off and just booted it, the car slithered and slided up on to the drive.

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