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Turning Off Traction Control and AdvanceTrac

jnathan68 said:
As others have stated, need to "turn it off" each time. Kind of a pain but same on most other newer cars I have driven.

I have track key software and using the track key:

** On a track I have never driven before or if it is a cold first session, I use the advance trac setting (while not moving, hold brake pedal and push the traction control button twice). I find this allows the car to get a bit loose but noticed it does kick in if the tires begin slipping/spinning too much.

** Once I know a track and it is warm, I go fully disabled (while not moving, hold brake pedal and push and hold traction control button until TCS slip light comes on).

Let me just state that I have tracked for a while so I feel pretty comfortable with car control.

There is a reason why so many accidents occur on the first and last laps of the day. Cold tires and a cold or tired brain can really sneak up on you. ;D

Up here in the Pacific Northwest, driving a track in the rain is just a fact of life if you want to extend the season out. I personally feel that it really helps with car control and smoothness. It also pushes your concentration to the limits because everything can get out of control so quickly. That said, certain tracks are better to drive in the rain than others. I feel Oregon Raceway Park is a very easy track to drive in the rain. Pacific Raceways a little harder and more things to hit, but I have driven there many times when wet. I would be very weary of driving a fast track like Willow Springs in the rain.
 
^ on a side note I was always told my teachers and pros to learn on street tires then move to sticker tires like and R comp then slicks. I've heard it's not good to jump right into slicks. This will also allow you to learn what the car is doing at slower speeds plus you get more feedback from the tires opposed to a slick which can just let go (on or off). Then you can keep your TC off.

Ill drive with it off but ill put it in sport mode too on a fast track like big willow so I can gain confidence pushing my speeds then turn it off.
 
DD GT3 RD said:
^ on a side note I was always told my teachers and pros to learn on street tires then move to sticker tires like and R comp then slicks. I've heard it's not good to jump right into slicks. This will also allow you to learn what the car is doing at slower speeds plus you get more feedback from the tires opposed to a slick which can just let go (on or off). Then you can keep your TC off.

Ill drive with it off but ill put it in sport mode too on a fast track like big willow so I can gain confidence pushing my speeds then turn it off.

+1, I do exactly the same thing.

On another note I've watched your 1:32 lap at Willow on Youtube, that is a very impressive time.
 
darreng505 said:
Is there a difference between TC/ESC off/off and sport mode? Oddly enough I haven't tried sport mode.

The Boss (all Bosses) are equipped with Advanced Trac. Advanced Trac is two systems combined, Traction Control (think ice) and Stability Control (think going around a corner fast). You can set the system to four different configurations:

Leave it alone (just start the car) and the full Advanced Trac is on.

Press the button once (no need to apply the brakes) and it shuts off the Traction Control but not the Stability Control. This is made easy to do for people that drive in places with snow and ice. If it was on and you were in snow the system will not allow the tires to spin to help you get unstuck. This is also a good setting for drag racers, tires will spin but Stability Control will not take over driving a straight line.

Sport Mode will use the Advanced Trac system (both Stability Control and Traction Control) but at a much lesser level then leaving the system alone. This is a great way to learn for people new to the track. Stability will not take over until you are about to lose control of the car. It will limit engine power and apply individual brakes (I think only the rears) if the car becomes unstable. As a beginner or intermediate driver this will not hurt you in any way on the track, in fact you might see better lap times at first. To apply "Sport Mode" you need to be stopped, holding the brake and tap the button twice quickly. You will see Advanced Trac Sport Mode in the message center if done correctly.

Last is like Gary said, system full off. Used by people that have plenty of experience. You need to be stopped holding the brake pedal and hold the button down until you see Advanced Trac off (about 5 seconds). In this mode you have no Traction or Stability Control, as a beginner if you lift going into a turn or gas too early coming out then you better hope there are no close walls since the car will spin.
 
So... i am going to ask another stupid question. If keeping the sport mode or the entire Advance Trac system on can save my butt, as I can think of a few times it has done that for me, what are the advantages of turning it off? I have had a number of cases where I am a bit heavy on the throttle, but not OC, and have felt the car bog for a second, perhaps applying brake. Is this one of those cases where having it off would let me drive through that at a higher speed without the TCS trying to correct it for me? Does it do anything in conjunction with the ABS when braking hard?
 

ArizonaBOSS

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If you get in way over your head it might be able to help you out. I know it will cut power and/or apply brakes to correct the yaw rate of the car.

Two primary reasons to turn it off completely:
1. Save your rear brakes! Left on, all the aforementioned rear brake actuation will wear your rear pads and rotors much faster than normal.
2. You are 100% in control of the vehicle: The car won't be taking any actions other than what you tell it to do, nothing unexpected (should) happen.
 
That certainly helps explain the power loss I feel when I am bit too heavy on the throttle. Nice to finally figure out there is a way to correct this. And as it has been suggested, I am first going to play around with the sport mode, before shutting it off completely.
 
LS110 said:
If keeping the sport mode or the entire Advance Trac system on can save my butt, as I can think of a few times it has done that for me, what are the advantages of turning it off?

The only advantage of turning it off is getting to learn how to drive the car 100% by yourself. I started tracking with it on and got to a point when I needed to learn how to drive without it. I then turned the car around twice on different tracks, once on turn 16 at Sebring in traffic. I was very lucky to get away damage free at that corner. There is no shame using the system as a beginner, if a tool is available to remove a lug nut you going to use your fingers? So why not use this learning tool. Some people have a natural ability to drive a high HP race car, others like myself needed to learn how and I was never ashamed I use it. The only other learning tool (for a select few) is taking two throw-away cars to the track every weekend.

LS110 said:
I have had a number of cases where I am a bit heavy on the throttle, but not OC, and have felt the car bog for a second, perhaps applying brake. Is this one of those cases where having it off would let me drive through that at a higher speed without the TCS trying to correct it for me?

My guess is you would have gone faster but sideways or backwards. The system is somewhat restrictive in full mode but in sport mode I feel it only takes control when I would have lost all control. It is common for beginners to get into the gas before the car is straight, I did it at Miller with Charlie Putman and he told me to change that because no matter how much I practiced doing this, it never works out good.

LS110 said:
Does it do anything in conjunction with the ABS when braking hard?

The system as far as I know will reduce engine power and apply rear brakes (most likely in the ABS mode) separate or together. It does not effect how the ABS system works, IE: applying the ABS braking later or lighter then normal. The ABS system is separate from Advanced Trac and works off of a sensor at each wheel to keep it spinning under hard braking.

Saying that there is a Ford Racing part you can get - the 302S ABS module that will bolt right into our cars. That will change the parameters of when and how the ABS will activate. As an advantage to advanced drivers it also disables the Advanced Trac all the time.
 

batman48195

I never get tired of driving it!
I always learn something new here. I thought there were either 1 or 2 pushes of the button. Didn't know about just holding and activating a 3rd mode. Is the light that is on in the 3rd mode the same as one of the other 2 modes?

Brian
 
batman48195 said:
I always learn something new here. I thought there were either 1 or 2 pushes of the button. Didn't know about just holding and activating a 3rd mode. Is the light that is on in the 3rd mode the same as one of the other 2 modes?

I am not exactly sure what the message center says on the 13. On the 12 if you hit the button once it will say "Traction Control off" hit it once again it will say "AdvancedTrac on" I believe that you can only turn on the Sport Mode when the system is full mode, not off completely or in "Traction Control off" mode.

When you hit the button twice the message center says "AdvancedTrac Sport Mode".

When you hold the button it say "AdvancedTrac off"

If you are asking about the idiot light, it will be on in any mode except Full Mode. So it will show in Full Off, Sport Mode or just shutting off Traction Control.
 
LS110 said:
Thanks for that help with my questions. Bummer that it will be awhile before I can go put it to use.
Yep six weeks from tomorrow. ;)
 
As others have said, try sport mode first. Coming out of slow speed corners it will let you slip just enough to know you are putting power down too early and that can help with the learning process. Also, if you over cook a corner it can save you in ways you would never be able to pull off on your own, no matter how good of a driver you are.

That said it is also good to know when to stop using it entirely. In certain situations like fast constant radius turns it will give you a false sense of security. You might think you have found the limits of throttle steering but it's really the computer keeping the car at an acceptable slip angle. This is exaggerated even more in the rain. Just something to be aware of.
 

Bill Pemberton

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Love driving this car with everything off, as it telegraphs so well and I do prefer driving a bit on the loose side and using all the curbing on a track. It seems that if one does like to rotate the car on the curbing , it upsets the systems if left on. I would definitely suggest making sure all systems are off if autocrossing, as you are at a relatively low speed event and that is a great place to learn the limits. Old school, perhaps, but this is a driver's car and I would sure suggest learning the pure elemental feel as soon as you are comfortable -- it is a rewarding experience. Have to agree things would change in the rain, but like Cloud , I no longer see much advantage running in the wet unless in a full competion sanctioned race - and then you would be in a 302S or 302R.
 
Bill - Your comments make me want to get back out there now and play around with this. 6 weeks from today that will be happening, but that is 6 weeks to long.
 

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