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Old 12-04-2005, 01:31 PM   #1
express_wagon
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Default ABS vs No ABS in snow...my experience

after one winter with the wrx, like everyone else...i realize the abs is junk in the snow. so i decided to do a little test today. i rigged up a button over the summer to turn off the abs. here are my results.

done in an open parking lot, unplowed, straight line acceleration and hard braking at 25mph. both runs were basically next to each other so the snow on the ground is identical. tires are green diamond icelanders with ~800 miles. see for yourself.

first run, with ABS


2nd run, w/o


with abs, car basically felt like it was gliding. lots of typical abs noise. stopped okay. unnerving feeling if there would be cars around me.

without abs, though the track marks are not straight, i assure you the car felt alot better and stopped a heck of a lot faster. this is all.

drive safely. wear your seatbelts.
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Old 12-04-2005, 01:44 PM   #2
Casey
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This is my first full winter with the WRX and I am going to go pull my abs fuse today. I just wish that the abs light could be shut off.

Also ABS isn't supposed to help you stop faster but allow you to steer while you are slowing down/stopping. I'd rather pump my brakes anyway.
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Old 12-04-2005, 02:12 PM   #3
TheLegacy
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now if u pump ABS brakes... doesn't that counteract it? Something that i heard awhile back not to do with ABS as thats waht u do with NON-ABS cars...
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Old 12-04-2005, 02:32 PM   #4
Snowphun
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Good luck. IMO there are way too many variable in the real world to not have ABS the entire winter. I've tried both ways on the lake and fellt much better with snows and ABS.

BTW, my Green Diamonds took a good 2-3k miles to break in and get to the carbide flakes, I felt they gripped quite a bit better after that.
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Old 12-04-2005, 02:35 PM   #5
express_wagon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowphun

BTW, my Green Diamonds took a good 2-3k miles to break in and get to the carbide flakes, I felt they gripped quite a bit better after that.
they've already started to appear

and abs stays on basically all the time until there is packed snow on the ground. the switch comes in handy.
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Old 12-04-2005, 04:02 PM   #6
jamesfacts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casey
This is my first full winter with the WRX and I am going to go pull my abs fuse today. I just wish that the abs light could be shut off.
Just pull the bulb.

<--- ABS removed year-round.
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Old 12-04-2005, 04:43 PM   #7
Sephro
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Right... ABS in snow.... this will never allow there to be any buildup of snow in front of the tires... the more snow that is building up there.. the more of a plowing type action.
However on ice with no snow you might find the results to be different.
I remember my prelude when the ABS would kick on in the snow it would give you the feeling of no control. Often I would have to yank the ebrake to get the car to stop..
(couldn't be disabled without screwed up the 4WS system..)

So in short I would prefer no ABS in the snow...
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Old 12-04-2005, 04:58 PM   #8
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I can't speak for US-spec cars but Audis in the UK used to have ABS switches in the car that allowed you tro switch it off for enhanced braking on gravel and in deep snow.

I'd prefer ABS at all other times.

I took a driving course at Skip Barber this summer and all I can tell you is that applying threshold braking without ABS is not as easy as you'd think. In the tests I performed at Skip Barber I was able to consistently stop quicker and in a shorter distance with ABS switched on than when it was off. After some practice I was definately able to stop very quickly in a car without ABS but I'm not so sure I could repeat that performance consistently well.

With the exception of perhaps straight line attempts to stop in snow or on other loose surfaces I think you could find yourself in a scary situation without ABS, especially if you add the need to corner into the mix.

At least express_wagon installed a switch to turn it on/off with ease.

Question for express_wagon: can your ABS system be switched on/off on the fly or do you need to stop the car, turn off the engine, flick the switch, and then restart the car as was the case with the cars at Skip Barber?

David
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Old 12-04-2005, 06:08 PM   #9
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I know the 02's once off and then back on with the modded switch, you have to turn off the car and back on to reactivate the abs.
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Old 12-04-2005, 06:31 PM   #10
Sean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strohausii
I know the 02's once off and then back on with the modded switch, you have to turn off the car and back on to reactivate the abs.
Only if you hook into the wrong fuse. There are two fuses; one ABS Solenoid and one ABS/Cruise. I believe if you hook into ABS/Cruise then you don't need to power cycle the car to get rid of the ABS light.

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Old 12-04-2005, 07:10 PM   #11
andrew_j
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I would like to suggest trying braking with ABS and turning/braking vs non-ABS and turning/braking. Not 100% postive but I think the ABS allows for better turns/stops on slippery stuff, I only have different cars to compare. I agree in straight line though its seems to extend stopping distance.

Great to know either way.
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Old 12-04-2005, 07:17 PM   #12
express_wagon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradus
At least express_wagon installed a switch to turn it on/off with ease.

Question for express_wagon: can your ABS system be switched on/off on the fly or do you need to stop the car, turn off the engine, flick the switch, and then restart the car as was the case with the cars at Skip Barber?

David
the abs can be turned OFF on the fly but cannot be turned back on until you flick the switch back, turn the car off and back on.

for the other comment, if you throw turning into the mix, it's a whole other ballgame. that's when you'll find yourself much better off with the abs on.
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Old 12-04-2005, 09:01 PM   #13
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Anyone that has been to team oneil can tell you how useless ABS is in REALLY slippery stuff. I pull my fuse every winter (not anymore)
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Old 12-04-2005, 09:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davenow
Anyone that has been to team oneil can tell you how useless ABS is in REALLY slippery stuff.
I've been to team oneil twice. Three times if you count showing up for a day and riding backseat in empty spots. And I disagree with your statement.

Fitz
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Old 12-05-2005, 12:53 AM   #15
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I have done team oneil also and I will keep my ABS on. there are lots of variables as pointed out earlier. One thing I make a point of doing every winter (after sufficient snowfall) is braking hard with ABS so that I am familiar with what is needed to complete the stop and not have the unsettling feeling. Lather, rinse, repeat until it is 2nd nature.
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Old 12-05-2005, 01:29 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitz
I've been to team oneil twice. Three times if you count showing up for a day and riding backseat in empty spots. And I disagree with your statement.

Fitz
OK almost anyone.

I know my 02 WRX was outright dangerous in snow and ice with ABS. Come up to a stop sign, touch the brakes in any manner at all and the car would blow right through the sign by easily 10-15 feet.

Pull the ABS fuse and stopping was a non issue. I stopped perfectly without it.
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Old 12-05-2005, 01:34 AM   #17
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So start your braking 10-15 feet earlier
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Old 12-05-2005, 02:40 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean
Only if you hook into the wrong fuse. There are two fuses; one ABS Solenoid and one ABS/Cruise. I believe if you hook into ABS/Cruise then you don't need to power cycle the car to get rid of the ABS light.

NESIC Web Site | Trunkmonkey FAQ | Trunkmonkey Racing | Trunkmonkeys in Action
Exactly. If you connect to the ABS switch on the fuse box, you have to turn the car on and off to reset the switch. But, if you hook the switch up to the fuse next to the fuse box you can turn it on AND off on the fly.
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Old 12-05-2005, 08:01 AM   #19
express_wagon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redobs
Exactly. If you connect to the ABS switch on the fuse box, you have to turn the car on and off to reset the switch. But, if you hook the switch up to the fuse next to the fuse box you can turn it on AND off on the fly.
this is good to know
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Old 12-05-2005, 10:39 AM   #20
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I've always felt I was able to counter act ABS by lifting and re-applying the brakes. Which allows me to have confidence in the system, unlike some of you guys. Yes lifting and reapplying can increase braking distance versus a straight lock up, but, vs not lifting and abs it is more effective. For me, what's important is consistancy. Turning abs on / off just seems like I'd have to do more thinking about weather I had it on, or off at a particular time, than worrying about car control. Since we all agree proper methods to breaking with it on or off is different.
AO
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Old 12-05-2005, 10:43 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redobs
Exactly. If you connect to the ABS switch on the fuse box, you have to turn the car on and off to reset the switch. But, if you hook the switch up to the fuse next to the fuse box you can turn it on AND off on the fly.
yep. mine's been hooked up that way ever since chris (cdvma) showed me his rig. i had it the other way at first (ignition cycle necessary).
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Old 12-05-2005, 02:09 PM   #22
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With the STI it wouldn't really matter.
The brembos are HOPELESS in snow, dangerously so, abs or no abs
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Old 12-05-2005, 02:24 PM   #23
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what makes brembos hopeless in snow?
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Old 12-05-2005, 02:27 PM   #24
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They are very susceptible to snow build up on the rotor.
Press brakes and nothing happens - makes it like Russian roulette sometimes in the snow.
Happens frequently in the rain too.

They are great on a dry day but........
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Old 12-05-2005, 02:39 PM   #25
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rain yeah i've had problems because im cross drilled but in the snow not to much of a problem... generally though i guess id do what i do in the rain which is pump brakes 2x-3x before needing to really stop.
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