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Traction or Control

This time of year we often get a lot of questions about tyres on snow or ice and how to make sure we don’t get stuck. We are looking for the best traction.

Far too often the control issue is ignored. We don’t want to get stuck. I would like to suggest our priorities are in the wrong place.

We need to put Control first. Control keeps you out of the ditch and keeps you on the road. If you can’t get your car out of your driveway, how do you expect to keep your car on the road and how are you going to be able to avoid the car ahead of you that just started spinning out?

With all the different types of cars, I will not try to offer specific suggestions to all drivers, but for most drivers FWD and RWD both need the best tyres on the back for the safest drive. In an emergency condition (skid) with the best tyres on the front, the tendency is for the back to start spinning around and you end up looking where you have been and can’t see where you are going.

Please consider the above and drive safe.

I agree 100%. In practice, most cars don’t come with either ABS, traction control, or stability management. They usually come with all three or none. There will always be those who think their driving abilities are 100% error free, and these systems are a poor replacement for training, but since I recognize we are human beings who make mistakes every day, like it or not, I am willing to err on the side of caution. My current vehicles don’t have these systems, but if I ever consider buying a car that has all three or a motorcycle that has optional ABS, I think I will opt for the systems that can save my butt if I ever find myself on black ice or make another similar mistake. It can happen to anyone.

And yes, I agree, these systems are more effective with proper season-appropriate tires.

ESC (Stability control) is mandatory starting in 2012. As ESC noramlly uses the ABS circuitry I would expect all vehicles to also employ ABS.

Don’t all three (ASM, TCS, and ABS) and some tire pressure monitoring systems use the same sensors to detect changes in the speed at which one or more wheels are turning?

The names of these systems are usually trademarked, so what you think of as ESC (electronic stability control), I think of as ASM (automatic stability management).

ASM and TCS are the terms used in the video game Gran Turismo. Those of you who think these systems are worthless should try driving a 1,000 hp Corvette around a track without them (virtually).