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2004 BMW 325i and 2018 Outback 3.6 Limited
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry to be so dense but I can't figure out when I want to turn OFF the Traction Control and when to turn ON x-mode. Say I want to drive steep slippery (mud or snow) hills? Deep sand or snow? What settings would I use and why?

Thanks for any suggestions.
 

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Premium Member
2013 OB 3.6R (former)
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2,810 Posts
Traction Control Off in any deep stuff. No need to turn it off on steep hills if they are just loose but not deep.

Keep foot on the gas if stuck in anything other than deep stuff.

Air down for deep stuff AND rock.

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Subaru generally keeps things simple, which many find very confusing :) They explain little and rarely.

X-mode enhances VDC and if it is done properly (I never had X-mode) should turn off traction control automatically (check the manual).

To be correct, what is being turned OFF is the function that cuts power to the engine, nothing else. It is that function that bogs you down in sand or mud otherwise.

Here is how it works on the 4Runner with Toyota's version of VDC: On road and in 4H it has on road traction control like Subaru with VDC. Also like a Subaru, it has a disable button. In 4L, however, it turns that off automatically, which is what I hope X-mode does as well. Then I can turn off-road traction control ON, which does NOT include cutting power to the engine AND brakes spinning wheels faster (does others things as well including crawl control similar to another X-mode function, that of maintaining constant speed). This gives you an idea about the difference between on and off-road traction control.
 
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Brucey
'17 3.6
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12,715 Posts
X mode does not turn off traction control. It will kill power the instant you start to slip which is usually right when you need it.

X mode is a more efficient VDC mode that forces power to a tire that isn't moving. It sounds like the ABS is working overtime but other than that side effect it works fantastic in my experience.
 

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Premium Member
2013 OB 3.6R (former)
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2,810 Posts
Oh well.

So, then the answer would be: traction OFF and X-mode ON for anything deep, be that sand or mud or volcanic ash. If it is rocky or slippery but no deep sand etc then there is no need to turn traction control OFF.


It is a good idea to turn TC off before entering a patch of deep sand or mud. Otherwise, the car starts losing momentum immediately upon hitting the patch and can stop moving within seconds.


Try to stay in higher "gear" when climbing loose stuff in order to minimize wheelspin.
 
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