How Does Traction Control Keep My Car Under Control?
Summer was fun while it lasted. Now we are starting to get into the colder months. Some places are starting to see a few snowflakes already, and the forecast for the winter looks to be very cold nearly everywhere. Car owners need to start thinking about winter driving and what helps make the car much safer in winter. One safety mechanism on the car is the traction control.
Basic of traction control
It is a fact of winter life that the roads are going to get slippery. Traction control basically reduces the slip of the tires on icy surfaces when the car begins to accelerate. The mechanics of traction control are not that difficult to understand. A standard traction control system is going to make use of the wheel speed sensors that are part of an antilock braking system (ABS). If the sensors pick up an indication that the wheel is beginning to slip, the engine power to the affected wheel is automatically reduced. That will help the wheel once again have traction. It is also possible that the traction control will initiate the braking system to help the wheel that is starting to slip. Power from the engine goes to the other wheel. What the transfer of power and brake activation achieve is the prevention of wheel spin. That definitely stops some very serious accidents from happening.
Traction control has become a standard feature on a lot of automobiles. At the heart of this part of an ABS system is a computer chip. The computer in the car with information derived from the ABS sensors will determine traction problems. The driver is alerted by traction control warning light. This might sound a little bit unusual, but there are times when the traction control of the car is turned off. The reason for this has to do with being stuck in the snow. The driver needs to keep in mind that the primary mission of traction control is to stop wheels from spinning. Situations can arise in deep snow where the car is seriously stuck in the white. In such situations many people will put the car in reverse and accelerate the engine rapidly, literally propelling the car out of snowdrifts. That cannot be done with traction control in operation. There are situations where the tracks control is so sensitive that the car will be abruptly stopped in snowy condition. Understanding that there are times traction control has to be turned off, is still advisable to put the system back in operation once out of the snowdrift.
Importance of traction control
A car does not need the traction control system operating to function. A person can drive a car easily without the traction control, safety feature on. However, it is important to understand that trash control is something meant to in conditions of inclement weather. As we are approaching snowy days, traction control is going to become even more important for the well-being of the driver. The system can develop problems that need to be addressed. The sensors of the ABS system are extremely important and buildup of dirt can affect the operation. It is also possible that electrical connections to the computer become faulty. A driver may not notice this because the system doesn’t have to be on. It is for this reason that before the snow starts falling the traction control should be checked by professionals to be sure everything is in good order.
Advantages of traction control
Traction control also has an advantage for a person’s checkbook. This is a bona fide safety feature of the car and can qualify for an insurance discount. Anyone who has a car with traction control should not hesitate to ask the insurance agent about any such discount.
There are still people who think that traction control is a nuisance and is expensive to maintain. This type of reasoning makes sense if an individual lives in an area with very mild winters. Unfortunately, bad weather happens. Atlanta, Georgia received a horrible snowstorm last winter that piled inches of snow on the ground. People were not used to snowy driving, and accidents occurred. Safety is important not just for the driver, but for the passengers as well. Even a person who is very conscientious behind the wheel can run into road situations that are more than hazardous. That little extra safety that comes from traction control can make a serious difference.