On 7/16/2006 5:00 AM, Randy went clickity-clack on the keyboard and
produced this interesting bit of text:
DON'T PUSH THAT BUTTON! WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T PUSH IT! It activates
the self-destruct mechanism!
Sorry, I couldn't resist. It's actually the Automatic Stability Control
button and changes the way the car handles. Basically it changes the
way the power is sent to the wheels when traction is not equal between
the drive wheels.
"Thousands of years ago, cats were worshiped as gods. Cats have never
forgotten this." - Anonymous
Both of my BMWs have the same button. I've only played with it once so
best that I remember when you start the car, traction control is on. If
you press the button once, it is off but the rear limited slip
differential is still active. If you hold the button in for about two
seconds, everything if off and you can smoke the hell out of the rear
tires if you want to do that. They are both newer than your Z3 so
things may have changed.
It's traction control.
If you want wheelspin to get out of a jam, turn it off.
For example, a couple winters ago my wife could not get her VW up our
driveway because it was snowy/icy. The traction control was killing the
motor at the slightest hint of wheelspin. I got in and turned it off and
was able to claw my way to the top easily. It needed to be able to slip
I too, recently bought a 1998 Z3, with no manual.
If you go to the BMW site and register, you can download manuals.
Unfortunately they don't back to 1998. I was able to get a 2000 Z3
manual in PDF format. It's close enough for most thing.
If you do not find it there, email me directly and I'll send you a copy.
Fort Worth TX
That button controls the Traction Control system.
When ON, if you mash the gas and set about to spin the tires, and manage to
succeed, the traction control will apply the brakes to the rear tire that is
breaking loose. If you are coming out of a turn with the ASC on, you can
mash the gas and not worry too much about the back end breaking loose and
sliding out on you. If you are the sort that does not toss the car around in
this manner, you will hardly notice the feater being on or off. I suggest
leaving it ON all of the time.
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