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Old 05-12-2013, 06:34 PM   #1
Not-EWRX
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Default 2013 WRX traction control

So I've owned about 5 subaru's now but my 2013 Wrx is the first to come with traction control. I've noticed it a few times when I'm accelerating through corners but nothing too bad until today.

Today I came around a really steep right hand corner that was a bit gravel covered. I knew I would break loose traction and was expecting the car to do so. I imagined a little tail wag oversteer but what I got was a complete cut of power. Car cut all torque and went straight as an arrow

My question is: can the car be driven with the traction control off? The owners manual says not to but if this is any indication of what traction control is than I don't want anything to do with it. It's my understanding that it doesn't do anything besides cut torque when it senses traction loss. Well I loose traction a lot on my way to Snowbird and Brighton. I'd like to be the decider if I want power or not.
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:38 PM   #2
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no you cant drive without it, that button on the dash to the left of the steering wheel is just for looks, if you push it car will explode
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:45 PM   #3
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Thanks for the insightful and helpful explanation. 10/10.
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:53 PM   #4
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I think WRB13WRX's post is a perfect (and hilarious) response to your original post. Traction control makes the car idiot proof. The manual is made by a company that wants the car to stay idiot proof. The car comes with a button to turn the nanny off. You want to "break loose traction", "tail wag", and you don't want your car to stay straight. Seems to me you already know the answer to your question.
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:59 PM   #5
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I don't know the answer to the question. The question was if this simply disables the torque cut or is it also disabling other functions at the same time. Additionally, is it going to cause damage to the car? Hell the owners manual makes it sound like the equivalent of locking the diffentials and driving on pavement.
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Not-EWRX View Post
I don't know the answer to the question. The question was if this simply disables the torque cut or is it also disabling other functions at the same time. Additionally, is it going to cause damage to the car? Hell the owners manual makes it sound like the equivalent of locking the diffentials and driving on pavement.
Well that's different from your original query. So, the 11+ WRXs have VDC "vehical dynamics control" and Traction Control. Since the WRX doesn't have the limited slip differentials of the STI, VDC on the WRX does not turn off when you push the traction control button much like the options you have with the STI. It stays on to act like an electronic LSD, braking slipping wheels, etc.

So, for the WRX, all you have is traction control on and traction control off. Yes, the main part of traction control is to reduce engine power and torque to slipping wheels to keep the car "in control". No, turning off the nanny does not hurt the car in any way, shape, or form.

Additionally, It doesn't "lock the differentials", the manual is describing the rare situation that if you're stuck in snow and traction control kills engine power to all four spinning wheels, obviously you won't have any forward movement to effectively get out.

Last edited by nightdown fox; 05-12-2013 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:21 PM   #7
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08+ WRX/STIs have VDC. When you turn it off, it will not cut engine power like when it is on. When it is on, it is also breaking wheels to try and keep you in that straight line(under control). The system is not intended, at all, to help you push through a corner. That is what the Sport VDC in the STI does. When you put it in the Sport mode(green, in the STI), all it does is the traction stuff on the wheels. It will not cut power. It will not hurt your car to have it off. I promise, though, that no matter how good a driver you are, it can keep you in a straight line better and in control better in an emergency situation.
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:26 PM   #8
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^all this, except the WRX has undefeatable VDC. You can only turn off traction control (the engine torque killing side of things, not the wheel braking system).
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:28 PM   #9
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Brakes never kick in on mine when I turn it off.
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:35 PM   #10
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Yeah the braking is much more subtle than the enging falling on its face. Like I said, it acts more like an electronic LSD for the WRX, braking low traction wheels to send power to wheels with traction... which the AWD system in our cars does a fine job of doing in a majority of the situations anyway when the gas pedal is depressed... so many people don't feel VDC as much as they do TC. I never feel the EBC kicking in on those rare occurrences either.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:02 PM   #11
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I don't know-I have a '08 wrx.

I drive in the mountains a lot, with the traction control button off-I don't sense/feel any braking from the computer when I'm playing in the snow.

With the traction control on, I can get the car to slide/spin a very small amount with no computer braking. Past the very small amount I can definitely feel the computer applying the brakes, and go much further it cuts power.

Reading up on the sti, the single push, turning the light green, keeps the traction /stability control on, but allows full engine power.

Wrx doesn't have this-it's all or nothing.

I will say the traction/stability control works very well on my car, in slick mountain conditions.

Last edited by point78; 05-12-2013 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:17 PM   #12
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Yeah found the vid, 3:40 in explains it. Same system on the WRX. "Traction control" is the engine cutting, but the system doesn't turn off the "brake assist", i.e. VDC.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightdown fox View Post
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mryGnENTsoI

Yeah found the vid, 3:40 in explains it. Same system on the WRX. "Traction control" is the engine cutting, but the system doesn't turn off the "brake assist", i.e. VDC.
i thought the automatics had a different system the standards?
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:28 PM   #14
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the lack of something like a viscous coupling diff in the back keeps me leery of pushing my car on public roads to the point the the back end might "break loose." You are not driving a rwd car with a good weight distribution and rear diff its a nose heavy awd car with electronics trying to help you get traction. Its not an sti, i see posts like this all the time, and the way most people write their posts make feel glad you cant completely disable the system...

If you want to slide your awd car around should have gotten an sti...
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:36 PM   #15
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I don't have a sti, and there are a few snowy roads where my car is usually sideways more than it is straight.

Slides just fine-as long as I have the traction control off.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightdown fox View Post
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mryGnENTsoI

Yeah found the vid, 3:40 in explains it. Same system on the WRX. "Traction control" is the engine cutting, but the system doesn't turn off the "brake assist", i.e. VDC.

You're getting AWD/traction control confused with VDC. You can take a pre-VDC Subaru and do that same test. I've done it at training.


VDC uses sensors that monitor wheel spin, steering wheel input, the yaw position of the car and throttle input to keep the car on it's intended course. There's a video on Subaru.com they had not long ago that demonstrates this against other manufacturers.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:45 PM   #17
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRB13WRX View Post
no you cant drive without it, that button on the dash to the left of the steering wheel is just for looks, if you push it car will explode
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:47 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Not-EWRX View Post
So I've owned about 5 subaru's now but my 2013 Wrx is the first to come with traction control. I've noticed it a few times when I'm accelerating through corners but nothing too bad until today.

Today I came around a really steep right hand corner that was a bit gravel covered. I knew I would break loose traction and was expecting the car to do so. I imagined a little tail wag oversteer but what I got was a complete cut of power. Car cut all torque and went straight as an arrow

My question is: can the car be driven with the traction control off? The owners manual says not to but if this is any indication of what traction control is than I don't want anything to do with it. It's my understanding that it doesn't do anything besides cut torque when it senses traction loss. Well I loose traction a lot on my way to Snowbird and Brighton. I'd like to be the decider if I want power or not.
My question is how do you loose traction? Can you tight traction??
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:05 PM   #20
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Quote:
I don't have a sti, and there are a few snowy roads where my car is usually sideways more than it is straight.

Slides just fine-as long as I have the traction control off.
snow is diff than a dry warm road
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:16 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmochowski View Post
the lack of something like a viscous coupling diff in the back keeps me leery of pushing my car on public roads to the point the the back end might "break loose." You are not driving a rwd car with a good weight distribution and rear diff its a nose heavy awd car with electronics trying to help you get traction. Its not an sti, i see posts like this all the time, and the way most people write their posts make feel glad you cant completely disable the system...

If you want to slide your awd car around should have gotten an sti...
This was the corner in question. I was starting at a dead stop on basically a hairpin. It wasn't like I was flying 60mph through some high speed turns expecting the car to oversteer. I know damn well the back end wouldn't break loose in a situation like that.


I understand my car's dynamics and I don't want electronic nannies kicking in when I least expect them. This same situation in the snow may lead to an accident. Don't believe me? Try coming up to snowbird when it's snowing 6" hour and the canyon is littered with cars sliding off the road.
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:54 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustyWRC View Post
Brakes never kick in on mine when I turn it off.

Same here... in winter if i turn it off. i'm on my own and by this i mean if i lose the car in a curv or whatever, all i have is ABS..
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:56 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmochowski View Post
the lack of something like a viscous coupling diff in the back keeps me leery of pushing my car on public roads to the point the the back end might "break loose." You are not driving a rwd car with a good weight distribution and rear diff its a nose heavy awd car with electronics trying to help you get traction. Its not an sti, i see posts like this all the time, and the way most people write their posts make feel glad you cant completely disable the system...

If you want to slide your awd car around should have gotten an sti...

Absolutely not, i slide,drift my 08 rex with the vdc off like theres no tomorrow on snow..
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:53 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fr0st View Post
Absolutely not, i slide,drift my 08 rex with the vdc off like theres no tomorrow on snow..
like others have said, VDC is not defeatable on the wrx, the traction control system is what you are turning off.
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:54 PM   #25
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I have driven a 2011 Impreza in the snow with traction control off and it felt very similar to my old '96 Impreza. The car would slide depending on how far the fun pedal was depressed.

In my 2012 WRX, with stock tires, the car can also go sideways quite a bit under power, when tc is off. I never got a sense that the computer is trying to slow down and straighten out the car. I am curious if people are labeling electronic diff (individual wheel braking by the computer to emulate a physical LSD) same as VDC. Since the differentials are open, the car would be terrible in the snow if electronic diff was switched off. All the power would just go to the wheels with the least traction.

VDC just like electronic diff also relies on individual wheel braking, but to keep the car in control ( cut out any yaw movement by reading gyroscope data ). My impression of the system is that by pushing the tc off button, VDC and TC become disengaged but the electronic diffs remain operational.

*The testing was done in empty parking lots.
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