Traction control works pretty well on snow, you might like to fit
some reasonable winter tires and you should have enough traction.
The traction control doesn't help you at all if you have summer
You can even find out, (empty road) how much traction your tires
have on snow, without much danger. Just accelerate until the
traction control kicks in.;)
If you need to "spin" to get some traction at all, it's likely
your are one of those people with summer tires mounted on snow
and better don't drive, dangerous for you and others.
Insurances have started over here (Germany) to check in case of
accidents on snow if you had winter tires mounted, if not they
might not pay 100%. Even without snow, winter tires have better
traction on dry roads, as soon as the temperature is below 7 C.
Most people don't think about the most important thing on snow
and alike conditions. The problem isn't being able to climb up
some hill, there won't happen much if your car doesn't. The real
problem is breaking and getting the car stopped (controlled),
without smashing into something. That's were good winter tires
really pay off, taking tire abrasion into account they didn't
really cost you anything.
At low speeds it puts a little brake action on the spinning wheel, which
increases the torque at the non spinning wheel with this same amount. This
is a bit like a limit slip differential as someone noted. At normal driving
speeds no brake action is applied however, only engine power reduction to
reduce the spinning.
If you took at a wet greasy circle in 2nd gear with your focus (eg a
roundabout) you'd find a balance point with the amount of throttle you could
use and still maintain the circumference of the circle, without the inside
wheel spinning wildly. Same as 101% of other FWD non TC'ed cars.
Less throttle and the circle would tighten, more and you'd drift out,
despite using more steering.
With the TC activated (note this is NOT stability control unless you have a
Focus ESP, which is an entirely different beast) you can plant your foot
right down on the gas and still maintain whatever circumference of circle
you like, the ecu giving just enough power vs the tyres' available grip.
More lock to go tighter and you'll end up going slower as engine power is
If the rear end breaks away, or the tyres loose most of their grip the TC
will not stop you heading backwards through a hedge!
The TC on the petrol 2.0, AFAIR, reduces engine power only-through a
The ESP cars you can barrel into a bend at stupid speeds foot to the boards
and it will go wherever you point it. Quite amazing. That said if you manage
to activate the ESP in the dry then you're really motoring, and probably
doing quite illegal speeds.
My 1.8 doesnt have TC but its only the cases of slippery tight roundabouts
barrelled into under 50% or more power that you can ever get the front to
ride wide and the inside tyre to start spinning. I don;t drive around in a
field either so dont miss the TC.
I've asked the same. My understanding is that it gives you the same
advantages of a limited slip diffeerential, keeps both wheels turning
thte same and helps avoid that one wheel spinning in the mud thing a
la My Counsin Vinnie
Hi thanks for the advice
I am based in the UK so we do not get proper winters ( mind you we do not
get summers either )
I was just intrigued as to what to expect on the edge.
I will go out and play with the car, and see what it will do and more
importantly won't do.
In my experience, with the TC turned off, you;ll get some understeer under
power at the limit, but not very much. Easing off the power will allow the
nose to tuck in nicely. If you dab the brakes the back end will step out
just alittle and switching back to power at that point you can get a slight
4 wheel drift. It won't snap round with massive uncontrollable oversteer.
I wouldnt advise you try it on a public road as you need to be batting on
fairish to provoke it to that degree. I think you'll find why the Focus is
regarded as having exceptional handling.
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