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Discussion Starter #1
A story about my experience with the stability / traction control.

Today on my way to work as I rounded a sharp corner I met a dump truck pulling onto the roadway. When I first saw him he was just about to cross the white line. He was turning the way I was coming from so I would think he had to have seen me coming especially when the Malibu always has its lights on. Instead of hitting his clutch he keeps slowly pulling into my path. I was going 55 and it was raining. In the second it took my brain to register that he wasn't going to stop I hit the brakes and heard the tires squeal for a second and the brakes began to chatter. I have never had anti-lock breaks before so my instinct was to pump the breaks when I heard the squeal of the tires so I let off the brakes and then thought to myself anti-lock now don't do that and hit them again because I was really really close to him by now. The car started to slide to the side but I turned into it and the car very quickly righted itself and I was able to steer around the back of the truck on the side of the road. All of this happened very very quickly, its hard to explain just how close I was to him and how little time I had to react.

Now I don't know how much me not hitting the truck was my driving / the malibu's systems / luck but I made it through with a huge adrenaline rush and everything intact. I was surprised at the car starting to spin on me and wouldn't have expected that. I think it was the stability control that saved my ass. I don't know if that is just how this car is or if the tires are crap because they seemed to loose traction pretty quickly. I have a 2LT with the 17" Hankook tires that the factory put on it.

Anyone else have any stories or comments about how the car was for you during evasive driving?
 

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Evasive or reckless? In my experiance of twisting and turning through the country back roads fifteen plus over (hence, the "reckless"), it operates perfectly. Once I got that out of my system, I have not really seen much use of the traction control system, though I must say one thing: Your drifting to the side possibly was not a traction control reaction, but the reaction of weight in your car. The slightest thing could have shifted inside the trunk, or even in the car's mechanics itself, and caused the slight (or, if enough force is in the braking, major) sliding of the back wheels.

Your reaction to pump the brakes probably also might have added to the problem...since once you depress the brake you have to keep it firmly planted for the ABS to work properly. Otherwise, the Malibu seemed to have prevailed.

Bu' 1, Mack Truck 0.
 

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Glad to hear everything worked out well for you! It's also nice to know that you have OnStar should this incident not have worked out in your favour.. it's a good thing you don't have road rage like I do or that other driver would've been in BIG trouble.
 

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WOW - Great story, and glad to hear both you and the Bu' are okay....I guess modern technology isn't too bad sometimes.
 

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The stability control works to yaw the car in the direction you are steering. The whole idea is for you to turn the steering wheel in the direction you want to go and the system will yaw the car to make it go in that direction if the laws of physics permit. The advantage provided by a stability system is it can apply the brake to just one wheel to get the car to yaw faster. So if you turn the wheel to the left sharply enough that the car starts to plow instead of turning the system will react. It does this comparing the the amount you have turned the wheel and the rate the yaw sensor is telling the system the car is turning and apply the brake to the inside rear wheel which gets the car to turn left faster. If the back end starts to come around it will apply one front brake to correct that yaw based on where you are pointing the steering wheel.

It is a pretty slick operation.

Bill
 

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MY stability control story... it's not as great as yours because I'm not a storywriter or anything but I was on the highway going about 65mph after coming back from Starbucks and of course there was a stupid truck in front of me.. All of a sudden I notice the truck just ran over an entire bumper from what looked like a pickup truck or large sedan (I had about 150-200 feet between my car and the bumper when I noticed it).. my immediate reaction was to ensure nobody was right behind me, slam on the brakes, and start turning around the bumper.. all which the car did immediately and flawlessly.. then of course other cars behind me weren't stopping as fast as I was so I had to immediately floor it to avoid being rear-ended.. I know for a fact that my Cobalt I just got rid of wouldn't have stopped me that fast or turned while I was still on the brakes.. that would've caused a major accident with so many cars going that speed. I just hope I didn't hurt the car doing this emergency maneuver as I'm still in my "break-in" stage.. :-(
 

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Ohh so is it good that I had to do that then? LOL I don't really understand why it's called a break in :-/
 

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It's just breaking in the engine to perform more efficiently. You don't need it in the newer cars (first 1,000 miles usually finishes off what the assembly plant did not do). It was once suggested in a Ford E350 van for breaking in:

Assure to full throttle at least twice within first 2,500 miles not below 45mph or above 70mph.

Always had me wonder if we were supposed to full throttle engines to break them in...so I did a few times to feel the car :D
 

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Haha feels good to floor it, doesn't it? I just wish the police weren't always so anal about that stuff. :-(
 

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LOL local police around here don't care what it is they listen for the noise then respond to it as if it were a bank robbery.
 

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Police around here don't listen, they just look. If you're a punk driving a sports car, you get first dibs on sights. If you're in a tinted Malibu late at night and they can't tell its tinted, they don't care to watch you (or pop you with radar!).

I still have my detector on my windshield, though. Interstate is a different story...highway patrol will take down my grandma if she went three over.
 

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Actually, even 1000 miles to finish off what the assembly plant didn't do is being generous for a break-in period. The manual actually calls for a 500 mile period, no steady speeds (or cruise), under 55, etc. There are lots of folks out there that will tell you that no break-in is needed for today's cars, thanks to the capability of the machinery making the engines and transmissions now.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I threw a camera up in the dash and made a video to show the corner. I slowed down going around it to show it off a bit better. You see the path they take across the lanes. With the loads they have it takes them a long time (relative to someone coming around the corner) to get across there.

<object width="400" height="300"> <param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /> <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /> <param name="movie" value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=1769549&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1" /> <embed src="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=1769549&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="400" height="300"></embed></object><br /><a href="http://vimeo.com/1769549?pg=embed&sec=1769549">Bad Corner</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/lcrawford?pg=embed&sec=1769549">Lance Crawford</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com?pg=embed&sec=1769549">Vimeo</a>.
 

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I am confused - on my 2LT with perf. package - is it a traction control or stability control? The button on the center stack says "TC".
 

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I am confused - on my 2LT with perf. package - is it a traction control or stability control? The button on the center stack says "TC".
Both. You have traction control which will limit the throttle and apply brakes as necessary on the front wheels if it senses they start slipping, AND then you have Stabilitrak which is across the whole car and can do the same thing plus throw the rear brakes into action as need be and keep you on course.

If you hit the TC button and turn that off, you just turn off the general throttle kill/brakes to the front wheels if spinning action.
 

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ok thanks, now it makes sense.
 
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