I just got my 2007 Santa Fe, Limited, Ultimate Package, AWD yesterday
and am, so far, very satisfied.
Question: I noticed that Elecronic Stability Control (ESC) and All
Wheel Drive can be manually turned off or on. Why would one want to
turn ESC off? And, if AWD is off does than mean that if the front
wheels start to slip traction will not go to rear automatically?
Probably for the same reason that one would turn off ABS; these wiz-bang
electronic systems are typically the least usefull when you need them
most, such as in really low traction situations (ice, for one).
Yup, you'd be just dragging around dead weight that eats into your gas
If you have a flat tire and put on a small spare, it could be sending false
signals, or so I'm told.
ESC works. I had a situation last week where, at 65 mph, I had to cut to
the left lane suddenly and the pavement was wet. I don't know that I'd have
fared well without it as I pulled the wheel sharp left, then right. I
thought I'd be skidding or going off the side, but the ESC kicked in and it
tracked right through.
I'm not sure why you would turn off AWD unless there is a fuel mileage
gain to be had, but most AWD systems, unlike the older 4WD systems, tend
to have less impact on mileage whether they are on or off. Probably
their biggest impact is weight and you can't turn that off.
As for ESC, traction control, etc., there are cases where this is a
handicap. Deep mud and snow come to mind. In those conditions you want
to spin to clean the tread on your tires so that you can keep biting
into the snow or mud. Limiting spinning in those conditions, mud
especially, will get you stuck in a heart beat.
The same holds for ABS in deep snow, sand, etc. It would be better if
you could turn it off and lock the wheels, but ABS doesn't give you that
If you had a childish moment, and you wanted to dust off someone at the
lights, you might turn esc off . wheel spin isn't good I suppose, but I bet
funny cars don't have esc.
Its a good question though. Does esc only apply braking to a slipping wheel
ala tyraction control? I've had it feel like it actvated only once-around a
wet exit ramp while on the gas......never has kicked in while off the
Actually, wheel spin is a bad deal for fast acceleration. Funny cars
don't have ESC last I knew, but they have something that performs a
similar function - a slipper clutch. If a Funny car loses traction and
smokes the tire, they lose. When two are side-by-side and fairly
equally matched and then one spins the tires, the difference in
acceleration is dramatic as the car with the smoking tires drops back
instantly and dramatically.
It also cuts the throttle. I took off on a road with a thin layer of
ice one morning and the car started bucking like crazy. I thought
something was wrong and let off the throttle and it stopped. I got back
on the throttle again and it started bucking again. Guessing at that
point that it was the ESC, I hit the brakes and the ABS kicked in
instantly. I was on black ice.
Yes, I can vouch for the same response on black ice. I had at least 10
mornings this Winter with the nasty stuff. Although we barely got any snow
in my part of NJ this year, the black ice was the worst I can recall.
Although in my car I certainly wouldn't call it bucking. I have a feeling
that is because I have an AT versus your MT.
Personally, though, I really like the ESC and ABS in the bad weather. I
could use the throttle and brakes almost as I would in "normal" weather,
albeit at a slower (safe) speed.
I loathe it in the dry weather though. It takes away some of the fun of
driving as far as I am concerned. It is a good idea for those with worse
reaction time that me though.
Matt, I follow what you say ., and now that you mentioned it, I guess I did
notice throttle being affected. So I concur with one caveat....having had a
such childish moments in my life, it seems from those experiences I can get
a better hole shot using my foot/brain combination rather than the traction
control. The onboard system seems to "give up" at wheel spin and not let you
back into the fray quick enough! That being said, I almost never would have
esc turned off, and don't advocate street racing.
Back in the old days, they used wheel spin as a substitute for the
clutch and transmission. Since no clutch could transfer 1500+ hp
without grenading, they let the tires spin to prevent wheelies and
driveline breakage. As the tires spun and grew, they also got the
benefit of a slightly higher final drive ratio.
It appears that ESC is preventing a lot of rollovers. I think ESC is a
good thing, because none of us are immune to the actions of idiots.
ESC is actually three separate systems.
1. ABS. This activates only during braking and modulates the fluid
pressure to wheels that are starting to lock up.
2. Traction control. This will modulate the ABS, reduce power through
the throttle or by cutting fuel, and in some cases upshift the
3. Stability control. This will momentarily activate the brake (one
pulse) on one wheel to cause the vehicle to rotate more in the desired
2007 19:20:28) about "Re: Why turn ESC off?":
h> ESC is actually three separate systems.
Thanks for taking the time to straighten out this issue as it seems to have
skidded off at a tangent. ;-)
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Checked into this today and found out no ESC. My recollection was from new
vehicle orientation class, which was quite some time ago. I was thinking
everything except Accent that was a new design in 2005 or later had ESC.
Now I'm thinking that was probably side curtain air bags.
2007 17:22:53) about "Re: Why turn ESC off?":
h> .... I was thinking everything except Accent that was a new design in
h> 2005 or later had ESC. Now I'm thinking that was probably side curtain
h> air bags.
Must have been because my 2005 Tib GTV6 has ABS and no ESC. I would have
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