Traction Control Myth?

Okay, this is going to be a good one ! I was not only told but I also researched it online, and that is if you disengage your traction control before you start driving, it actually will give more take off power, along with power in general, and, it will actually make your brakes last longer, like pads, etc. IS THIS A MYTH OR IS IT A FACT? I would love to get some feedback on this. I have done the above with my Enclave and notice a HUGE difference in power…

My 4wd, awd or whatever you want to call it only kicks in as needed, so my car no difference under normal driving conditions. Do not know your car.

Traction control will apply the brakes to the slipping wheel supposedly, so yeah it is using the brakes. Like I said though, in snow I disengage it and it helps keep the car going straight. Maybe it’s the car or an abs fault, but it will drive the car to the side of the road. I wish I would have realized it a few years ago. Friday the 13th, stayed too late and a huge storm. 7 miles to the plowed interstate and every time I’d hit the gas a little too much, it would drive me to the side of the road. I’ve got no time for it but I’ve been driving for 60 years without all these modern features.

It is a myth. It is only a perception on the part of the driver, not a fact.

Generally traction control reduces engine power so that the tires don’t spin. Some traction controls apply one brake or the other so that open differentials so that one wheel on a slipppery surface does not spin up when the other tire has traction.

Now some of these systems are tunec very conservatively and engage traction control early. Likely the case in a Buick. A Mustang will be far less conservative and allows lots of wheelspin.

Tires and traction are the point. If you don’t overpower the tires, there is no need for traction control to even engage… so power is maintained and brakes are saved. If you constantly engage traction control… either apply less throttle or get better tires.


I seriously doubt this. Please give us your 0-60 times with and without traction control.

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Me thinks Skip is confusing track performance with everyday driving .
Huge difference - doubtful - placebo effect ?


Your engine only produces X amount of power, turning trac off does not magically make the engine more powerful, what it does is allows you to use the power that was already there, but if you overpower the tires it doesn’t help your 60’ times…

So what you are probably feeling is the difference between reduced power (feels like it is bogging, lower rpm less power with trac on) and the tires spinning just enough to get the engine in the upper rpm range which is were the engine is giving you the feeling of more power…

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We had 10” snow and kid could not get uphill. The TC basically kept motor at idle since it was icy and deep snow. Car has a TC button and I never told her to push it and smoke the tires. Took her 10 min to go 200’. She was annoyed.
Oh yea, that was the Camry with absolute worse crap Oem tires.

The OP is talking about everyday driving, not a low-traction situation, so I’m afraid this really isn’t relevant to the discussion.

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