Dynamic Traction Control and steering - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums

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Old 03-21-2010, 04:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dynamic Traction Control and steering

Got a question for my resident 2010 OB brothers and sisters.

In the manual it says to expect that the steering will feel a little correction when going through curves because of the dynamic traction control. As much as I love my OB so far, it's one small annoyance coming from 2WD vehicles.

Also in the manual it says to leave the DTC on. Has anyone shut down the DTC for an extended period of time? Does it cause any harm? Does it make the steering smoother in the turns?

Thanks for your help.

Harley
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Old 03-21-2010, 05:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I missed this in the manual. I'm guessing this is the torque steer like feeling I've experienced on curves. I've had other subarus without VDC, and other AWD cars with similar systems and these did not impact steering dynamics. I'm puzzled. This is not endemic to AWD systems. I was attributing this to the electric power steering or perhaps something a little loose ( and hoped it could be addressed in future maintenance visits).
If it is software and not hardware issue, seems like it could be eliminated in most normal driving conditions?

All car manufacturers will advise you not to turn it off for liability reasons. It does cars no harm to do this, but for normal driving the system should be invisible and there as a safety net should you need it. I want it on most of the time and would be just as unnerved by knowing that it was off as I am when I feel the odd "correction" feedback on a curve. It is ironic that a stability system would make the steering feel unstable under certain normal driving conditions.
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Old 03-21-2010, 06:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by pghgreg
I was attributing this to the electric power steering

Are you sure that the new Outback has electrically-assisted power steering?
I was under the impression that "conventional" hydraulically-assisted power steering is still being used by Subaru on their US-manufactured models.
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Old 03-21-2010, 06:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Somerset Max



Are you sure that the new Outback has electrically-assisted power steering?
I was under the impression that "conventional" hydraulically-assisted power steering is still being used by Subaru on their US-manufactured models.
Edmunds online wrote:

"we were convinced that Subaru had switched from hydraulic-assisted steering to electric-assist. ... We were wrong about the electric assist (it's still hydraulic)"
Source: http://www.insideline.com/subaru/ou...irst-drive.html
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The only "correction" you should ever feel from the Dynamic Traction Control (VDC, TCS, ESC, whatever...) would be when/if the system activates. Traction Control will only activate if wheel slip is detected, ESC will only activate if the vehicle is understeering or oversteering. During normal everyday driving, neither of these systems should activate unless a) the roads are slippery, b) an evasive maneuver is necessary, or c) you're driving like an a-hole.

The "correction" you might feel at the steering wheel if the stability system does activate is not the intent of the system... it is a byproduct. If the car is oversteering around a corner (rear of car begins to slide out, vehicle yaws more than driver-intent) the system has to build brake pressure at the front wheel that is on the outside of the corner. This produces a torque on the entire vehicle that resists the excessive rotation of the car. Depending on the suspension design (scrub radius, caster, etc) this braking force can be felt at the steering wheel by the driver. If you're in a situation where ESC has to activate, the "correction" you might feel at the wheel should simply remind you that they safety system you paid for just did its job.

As for the steering feel, in general. I find it very numb during cornering and have noticed that it is susceptible to road camber and bump-steer. If people are feeling "corrections" at the steering wheel during normal (i.e. stable) cornering, I'd bet it's simply the base chassis reacting to the road.
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