And Another Thing: Traction/Stability Control?

Illustration for article titled And Another Thing: Traction/Stability Control?

Luddite Week soldiers on — in a rickshaw! OK, OK, OK. Every true pistonhead with 20W-50 weight blood hates the "nanny" and immediately turns it off, puts electrical tape over the idiot light and hoons it down to 7-11 for Red Bull and Marlboroughs sideways. We get that. However, I very clearly remember making a 90 degree right hander on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway's infield track in a 997, having a 7" strip of rubber come off the tire and thinking to myself, "Well Jonny, you've had a good run" as the back end started to come around. But then, I felt all the brake calipers grabbing wildly and saw the little yellow light flickering even more wildly and despite my best efforts, I was still pointed straight ahead.

I had ran about 15 laps or so with Porsche Stability Management off, but it was 110 degrees out, the AC was useless and I was fatigued. In a stroke of luck, I switched the PSM back and it quite literally saved my kosher-bacon. I also distinctly remember being frightened to switch the stability control off when we had the RS4. I did for a few miles, stared death in the face, and blinked. Also remember that in lardy SUVs, stability control has greatly reduced the number of rollovers those types of rigs are prone to. And furthermore, when a car is already outfitted with ABS, stability control adds no weight whatsoever as it is simply an alogrhythm. Anyhow, that's my argument. Yours?

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I am Jack's complete lack of compassion

I have a hard time telling when it is kicking in on my '03 330xi... unless it's raining. Then usually I'm in a 4 wheel slide and traction control isn't going to do anything useful anyway.

In my '05 Mustang GT (5 spd) it was an unbelievable pain in the ass. Talk about overcompensating, it would literally kill the engine if any wheelspin was detected. Trying to throttle steer in a turn usually made it go apeshit and would actually make the situation MORE dangerous than it would have been without it. I made it a habit of turning it off after a few really embarrassing stoplight episodes.

That being said, aside from SUVs, traction control is for people who don't know what the hell they're doing.