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Old 03-02-2012, 12:38 PM   #1
riccnick
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Default 2012 Impreza 2.0i Stability Control Function

Just purchased a 2012 Impreza 2.0i Premium with the All Weather, Alloy, and Moonroof Package. It is the CVT model (5-spds were a month out). Got the chance to test out the AWD yesterday after work. Came home to 8 inches of heavy, crusty snow on the driveway. Long story short, it works great. However, I was playing around on my road (also not plowed) and tried to turn off the Vehicle Stability Control to see how differently the AWD would operate without the traction control and skid control chomping at the brakes. It didn't operate any differently! I have consulted my owners manual, the .pdf owners manual on the mysubaru.com site, searched this site, and checked for TSB's on nhtsa.gov. The only conclusion that I have come up with is that the button does not actually deactivate the VSC (therefore making the owners manual incorrect), or that there is something wrong with my car. I've been reading through this forum for about two hours now, and I've read all the posts regarding different functionality for different years, and for the STi. Anyone else have this issue?

Thanks for hanging in there, I know its a lot to read, lol.
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:21 PM   #2
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It turns off *traction* control.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:30 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by subiTWO View Post
It turns off *traction* control.
It says that in the manual, along with disabling the skid control function. However, in real life, it does not. At least in my car.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:57 PM   #4
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I think 'weakens' it is a more accurate term.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:09 PM   #5
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No I wouldn't even say it weekends it, in my experience it's the exactly the same with it off as it is on. It does turn off the torque reduction part though so you can spin your wheels but that's it. I'm really mad about this too and iv been trying all kinds of ways to turn it off fully.
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:36 AM   #6
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We really need to find a way to disable this fully. Anyone have any ideas?
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:03 PM   #7
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Haha!

I was just thinking about how much I hated the drive home yesterday, in a blizzard, cause I couldn't 4-wheel drift it! It's nice to see others like to do that, too.

Although you actually *can* drift it, as long as you don't turn the steering wheel off of 'center' once you get the chassis angles off of the direction of travel.
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:59 PM   #8
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Is this the same with sport models? Can anyone with a sport chime in and let us know if your able to fully disable your VDC "stability control"
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Old 03-03-2012, 05:15 PM   #9
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Sport Premium 5-speed here. Cannot fully disable VDC.

I'd like to when I start autocrossing so I hope there is a bypass!
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Old 03-03-2012, 05:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MINIz guy
Sport Premium 5-speed here. Cannot fully disable VDC.

I'd like to when I start autocrossing so I hope there is a bypass!
Thanks for the input. There has got to be a work around or some kind of posses to disable it fully, something like the trick to turn off the seatbelt chime or like the lexus and toyotas were you pump the brake and parking brake in a certain sequence.
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Old 03-03-2012, 05:52 PM   #11
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iLoki View Post
I think 'weakens' it is a more accurate term.

Yeah, Just tried another experiment yesterday with the on and off button. With the VSC on, the traction control clamps down / cuts throttle so that it won't rev past about 3,000 RPM. However with VSC off, the throttle is not limited and will rev up as high as you want, even though the brakes are still chomping away at the spinning tires. Found that it actually transfers torque a little better like this (at about 4,500 rpm, as high as I felt comfortable letting it go), I'm sure at the expense of the brakes and drivetrain components.

Still, like I noted before, it will not allow any rotation of the chassis without the VSC killing it.

As far as a solution? My only thought is to find out where the gyrometer (yaw sensor) is in the car, and install a switch to kill power to it or something. This would effectively not allow the car to sense yaw (rotation). However I'm not completely sure it would have any effect on the intervention of the traction control. And it may just immobilize the car completely, depending on if the computer knows what to do without the gyrometer. My thoughts are that if any sort of mod is completed, all warranties will be void.
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:55 PM   #13
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I could not find an article on the internet but I swear I read it somewhere recently. At some point in the near "The nanny state" is putting regulations in effect that will outlaw TCS overrides on cars. On my 2009 Wrangler. You could "turn off" the TSC but It wasn't really off. Just reduced. It would completely shut off in 4Low because 4low vs. Traction control fighting back ends badly!
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:11 AM   #14
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how are you trying to turn it off? press and release? press and hold? press hold and watch it cycle?
i believe each does something different
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnlson
how are you trying to turn it off? press and release? press and hold? press hold and watch it cycle?
i believe each does something different
Only the sti has the multi function traction control. But iv tried all the ways I could think of just in case with no luck, it still leaves stability control on.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:18 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by cnlson View Post
how are you trying to turn it off? press and release? press and hold? press hold and watch it cycle?
i believe each does something different
Tried all of these combo's:

Default is VSC on when the car is started. Traction control on, Skid control on, Engine Management on.

#1) One press while driving: VSC off light comes on, traction control is on, VSC is on, Engine management (killing throttle while wheels slip) is off.

#2) One press while car is stopped, but still in gear (Drive): Same results as #1.

#3) Press and hold for different intervals, while car is stopped and while in motion. 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds: Same results as #1.

#4) Press and hold for 30 seconds, while car is stopped and while in motion: VSC Off light is ON for 30 seconds, then shuts OFF. VSC button no longer responds to pressing. Vehicle systems act in default setting. Shut off car, turn it back on, VSC button operates normally. Owners manual confirms this function.

The thing I don't get is that the owners manual says:
"Pressing the switch to deactivate the Vehicle Dynamics Control system can facilitate the following operations.
-A standing start on a steeply sloping road with a snowy, gravel-covered, or otherwise slippery surface
-Extrication of the vehicle when its wheels are stuck in mud or deep snow.
When the switch is pressed during engine operation, the Vehicle Dynamics Control OFF indicator light on the combination meter illuminates. The Vehicle Dynamics Control system will be deactivated and the vehicle will behave like a model not equipped with the Vehicle Dynamics Control system. When the switch is pressed again to reactivate the Vehicle Dynamics Control system, the Vehicle Dynamics Control OFF indicator light turns off. With the Vehicle Dynamics Control system deactivated, traction and stability enhancement offered by Vehicle Dynamics Control system is unavailable. Therefore you should not deactivate the Vehicle Dynamics Control system except under above-mentioned situations.
NOTE:
-The Vehicle Dynamics Control system will be activated automatically when the engine is started. If the switch is held down for 30 seconds or longer, the indicator light turns off, the Vehicle Dynamics Control system is activated, and the system ignores any further pressing of the switch. To make the switch usable again, turn the ignition switch to the “LOCK” position and restart the engine.
-When the switch is pressed to deactivate the Vehicle Dynamics Control system, the vehicle’s running performance is comparable with that of a vehicle that does not have a Vehicle Dynamics Control system. Do not deactivate the Vehicle Dynamics Control system except when absolutely necessary.
-Even when the Vehicle Dynamics Control system is deactivated, components of the brake control system may still activate. When the brake control system is activated, the Vehicle Dynamics Control operation indicator light flashes.

According to this, the Traction control, Skid control, and Engine Management should be off. Until you get to the last two lines, where it says they may still be on? Doesn't make any sense.
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riccnick View Post
Tried all of these combo's:

Default is VSC on when the car is started. Traction control on, Skid control on, Engine Management on.

#1) One press while driving: VSC off light comes on, traction control is on, VSC is on, Engine management (killing throttle while wheels slip) is off.

#2) One press while car is stopped, but still in gear (Drive): Same results as #1.

#3) Press and hold for different intervals, while car is stopped and while in motion. 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds: Same results as #1.

#4) Press and hold for 30 seconds, while car is stopped and while in motion: VSC Off light is ON for 30 seconds, then shuts OFF. VSC button no longer responds to pressing. Vehicle systems act in default setting. Shut off car, turn it back on, VSC button operates normally. Owners manual confirms this function.

The thing I don't get is that the owners manual says:
"Pressing the switch to deactivate the Vehicle Dynamics Control system can facilitate the following operations.
-A standing start on a steeply sloping road with a snowy, gravel-covered, or otherwise slippery surface
-Extrication of the vehicle when its wheels are stuck in mud or deep snow.
When the switch is pressed during engine operation, the Vehicle Dynamics Control OFF indicator light on the combination meter illuminates. The Vehicle Dynamics Control system will be deactivated and the vehicle will behave like a model not equipped with the Vehicle Dynamics Control system. When the switch is pressed again to reactivate the Vehicle Dynamics Control system, the Vehicle Dynamics Control OFF indicator light turns off. With the Vehicle Dynamics Control system deactivated, traction and stability enhancement offered by Vehicle Dynamics Control system is unavailable. Therefore you should not deactivate the Vehicle Dynamics Control system except under above-mentioned situations.
NOTE:
-The Vehicle Dynamics Control system will be activated automatically when the engine is started. If the switch is held down for 30 seconds or longer, the indicator light turns off, the Vehicle Dynamics Control system is activated, and the system ignores any further pressing of the switch. To make the switch usable again, turn the ignition switch to the “LOCK” position and restart the engine.
-When the switch is pressed to deactivate the Vehicle Dynamics Control system, the vehicle’s running performance is comparable with that of a vehicle that does not have a Vehicle Dynamics Control system. Do not deactivate the Vehicle Dynamics Control system except when absolutely necessary.
-Even when the Vehicle Dynamics Control system is deactivated, components of the brake control system may still activate. When the brake control system is activated, the Vehicle Dynamics Control operation indicator light flashes.

According to this, the Traction control, Skid control, and Engine Management should be off. Until you get to the last two lines, where it says they may still be on? Doesn't make any sense.
I feel your pain, I've tried all the same ways to disable VDC and maybe even a few more all with the same results.

I've even gone as far as pulling the fuse for VDC/ABS which did disable all traction control even abs but it also disabled power steering and that made the car pretty much imposable to drive.

There must be a way to fully disable the stability control "most likely hidden" and still leave ABS and power steering on.

Here's a short video I made when testing different methods.


Its hard to see in the video but the stability control was working and applying brakes to keep me from really being able to slide =(

Last edited by Alairmore; 03-06-2012 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:52 AM   #18
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What you are still getting is EBD, even though TC and VDC are off. You can still autocross with it turned "OFF", just don't do a lot of trail braking or the system kicks on pretty violently.

I have gotten my '12 stuck in the mud, greatly sucked. Did not matter if TC/VDC was turned off or on, had to get pulled out. OEM 15" tires are terrible!

But you can autocross, my video from when I got the car, TC off, OEM 15" tires, CVT--

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Old 03-07-2012, 12:36 PM   #19
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Slightly off-topic, but your awesome autocross video also showcases one of the 2 things that irk me just slightly. You have to turn the wheel a lot to get anywhere. Even just turning a corner takes a full 360 degree turn of the wheel. Yes it has an awesome turning radius, but I just wish it turned faster. (The only other thing I don't love about the car is no automatic locks =0)
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:07 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Alairmore View Post
I feel your pain, I've tried all the same ways to disable VDC and maybe even a few more all with the same results.

I've even gone as far as pulling the fuse for VDC/ABS which did disable all traction control even abs but it also disabled power steering and that made the car pretty much imposable to drive.

There must be a way to fully disable the stability control "most likely hidden" and still leave ABS and power steering on.

Here's a short video I made when testing different methods.

http://youtu.be/kU4ve5IirIQ

Its hard to see in the video but the stability control was working and applying brakes to keep me from really being able to slide =(
Thanks for the video. Good to know I'm not the only one out there doing donuts and sliding around! Did you have the VSC on or "off" in this vid? It doesn't look like the car let you get sideways very much at all. I'm going to try to find the Yaw Rate sensor underneath the center console and see if I can unplug it. Another option we all may have is to unplug one of the wheel speed sensors. Theoretically the ABS, Traction Control and VSC will all be non functioning, but the speedo should still work, and I hope the power steering will also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesWilson2 View Post
What you are still getting is EBD, even though TC and VDC are off. You can still autocross with it turned "OFF", just don't do a lot of trail braking or the system kicks on pretty violently.

I have gotten my '12 stuck in the mud, greatly sucked. Did not matter if TC/VDC was turned off or on, had to get pulled out. OEM 15" tires are terrible!

But you can autocross, my video from when I got the car, TC off, OEM 15" tires, CVT--

2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i autocross - YouTube
Another great video, thanks! Not to nitpick, but EBD, even though it is part of the other safety systems in this car, is not the culprit. EBD (Electronic Brake-Force Distribution) varies the brake balance from front to rear when it detects an uneven weight distribution. In default setting the brake balance may be about 60%/40% front to rear bias. But say if you have 500lbs in the trunk, more rear braking power can be utilized because the tires won't lock up as easily with the extra weight gluing them to the road. Its designed to take advantage of the maximum amount of braking force that can be applied to a wheel without making it lock up. EBD is only active when you are pressing on the brakes. What you may be feeling when trail braking is the VSC cutting in due to the aggressive change in both lateral and longitudinal acceleration combined. Or because the inside tires will be unloaded, this may simply be wheel lockup, where the ABS would intervene. Could be both, but the EBD is a non intrusive system, and probably would never be detectable by the driver.

Because you have a base model with the CVT, I would greatly appreciate if you wouldn't mind leaving some input on a topic I started about the "Sport" light in the center cluster. http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2320551
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:44 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riccnick View Post
Thanks for the video. Good to know I'm not the only one out there doing donuts and sliding around! Did you have the VSC on or "off" in this vid? It doesn't look like the car let you get sideways very much at all. I'm going to try to find the Yaw Rate sensor underneath the center console and see if I can unplug it. Another option we all may have is to unplug one of the wheel speed sensors. Theoretically the ABS, Traction Control and VSC will all be non functioning, but the speedo should still work, and I hope the power steering will also.
That was with with VSC OFF via the button on the dash and the transmission in manual mode. Yep your right as soon as the car starts to get a little slide and you counter steer to power through it will apply brakes to a wheel and kill your rotationwhich is fine if your mom is driving to get some milk in a snow storm but not when I'm trying to power slide around a dirt road.

And yeah I love sliding around doing donuts and "drifting" AWD cars in snow and gravel its so much fun and very controllable on its own with out a nanny system messing things up.

That would be awesome if you could find the yaw sensor potentially we could then hook up a switch to kill power to it.
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:53 AM   #22
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So, I started out last night with an experiment. I unplugged the wiring harness at the abs module. The dash lit up like a Christmas tree, the driver's information center at the top middle of the dash only displayed the time and temp, no fuel info, but it seemed to have the effect on the VSC we are so desperately searching for. So I'm buzzin' around the yard and I crank in into some snow, and go nowhere. No traction conrtol, no VSC, and no ABS, but also no power to the rear wheels. It defaulted to Front-Wheel-Drive! Now I'm stuck. Luckily I was able to plug the harness back in, and on restart the ABS and Traction Control and AWD work, but the VSC and a bunch of other idiot lights are still flashing. Needless to say I felt pretty lucky when I felt those rear wheels kick in, I was getting pretty nervous because I didn't know if the AWD would figure it self out, or if I was going to miss work today for a trip to the dealer. After a couple restarts and about a mile of driving all the idiot lights went off and the car began functioning normally So, Test #1 = FAILED. Test #2 went the exact same way. I unplugged the driver's side front wheel speed sensor. Same results as test one, except I knew enough not to get stuck this time! Car defaulted to no VSC, Traction Control, ABS, and no AWD.

So I decided to go on a journey to the depths of the center console. Got the whole center console out, and no Gyrometer or Yaw Rate Sensor in sight! Ok, must be further forward by the shifter right? Nope, just an airbag sensor right behind the shifter cowl on the floor. So I start tearing down the glove box, nothing in there. Under the radio? Not sure, I couldn't get the HVAC controls to come out with the radio bezel, so before I broke it I peered behind there the best I could, but I don't think its back there either. Took a look under the drivers dash, laying on the floor mat looking up, I could see all the wires going to the switch for the VSC. I thought "Briliiant! If I unplug the switch the computer won't know what to do and it will most certainly have to default to VSC off." So I do that, and I am most certainly wrong! Made no difference. The switch is a momentary switch, so its position is not what's important, it only matters that it is pressed once for off, and once for back on. So then I'm thinking, unplug the steering wheel angle sensor, that'll do it. I'm looking up under the dash, and all I can see are a bunch of airbag sensors, wiring harnesses and control units. Ok, not gonna mess with that. Last thing I need is the knee airbag kneeing me in the crotch at 100mph. So I called it a night, put everything back together, and test drove the car to make sure I didn't induce any rattles. I am now very impressed with how this car is built. Everything is mounted solidly, and each piece re-located perfectly after my bending and twisting and prying to get them apart because I've never taken this interior apart before. Once I figured out the order of operations, it was very logical. I'm not giving up just yet on the Yaw Rate Sensor Mod, I just need to do some more research I guess.

Here are the only pics I could get before my phone died.

The ABS Module Wire Harness:


Push down here and lift lever,



Push up until it clicks in, then pull gently until it slides off.



Idiot lights that were on when the ABS harness was unplugged: AT Oil Temp was flashing, didn't get it in the picture.


The Display not displaying:
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:58 AM   #23
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I'm seeing a trend of this being on cvt cars. Are people having this same issue with mt's as well? I haven't had the chance to try and kick her sideways yet.
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:34 PM   #24
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I feel that if a 5-speed driver unplugged their ABS module, they would still have AWD since it is just a viscous center differential. Anybody care to try it on their manual transmission equipped car?

I don't dare to do it as I'm on a lease and they might see the tamper marks from removing the plugs.
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:02 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MINIz guy View Post
I feel that if a 5-speed driver unplugged their ABS module, they would still have AWD since it is just a viscous center differential. Anybody care to try it on their manual transmission equipped car?

I don't dare to do it as I'm on a lease and they might see the tamper marks from removing the plugs.
^^^^^ This is very intriguing. +1 for the request of a 5-speed guy with the ("cajones") to do it!
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