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Discussion Starter #1
I got stuck at the bottom of my driveway in the snow left by the plow. When I pulled in the front wheels were definitely deep in the snow. I did not remember about the turning off the TC, and when I accelerated I noticed that I could not. When I pushed on the accelerator it was like nothing?? The engine maintained a low speed and would not accelerate as I went from drive to reverse to rock myself out. I eventually put down a rug behind the two front wheels to get out. This was the first time I've ever been stuck since buying the car. I was surprised I had no power to accelerate out of the rut. Is this common? I realize I should have turned the TC off, but that was hindsight.
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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TC acted like it should. You have 4 VSSs (vehicle speed sensors) since you have ABS, so it knew that the rear wheels weren't moving when the fronts were.

It acted to keep them from over-revving and then, when suddenly getting traction, possibly snapping a CV axle or the innards of the transmission.
 

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That's your traction control kicking in. Completely normal and terribly inconvenient.

Instead of putting power to the drive wheel not spinning the car just dumbs down the wheel that is spinning. Eventually your car is useless until you turn TC off and then you're a one wheel peel behemoth.

I wish they had smarter TC systems or "in stuck in the snow" button to act like sn LSD.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited by Moderator)
TC acted like it should. You have 4 VSSs (vehicle speed sensors) since you have ABS, so it knew that the rear wheels weren't moving when the fronts were.

It acted to keep them from over-revving and then, when suddenly getting traction, possibly snapping a CV axle or the innards of the transmission.
Thanks for your explanation of what was occurring during my episode in the snow. I can't believe I never had that problem before this, living in the midwest. I slowed down to enter the driveway, and that's where I made the mistake. I usually get a run at it and blast on through. Your right, I would hate to snap a halfshaft! I've never experienced that loss of control with the accelerator before, so I was thinking something seriously was happening. Thanks Driven!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That's your traction control kicking in. Completely normal and terribly inconvenient.

Instead of putting power to the drive wheel not spinning the car just dumbs down the wheel that is spinning. Eventually your car is useless until you turn TC off and then you're a one wheel peel behemoth.

I wish they had smarter TC systems or "in stuck in the snow" button to act like sn LSD.
O.K. so with the TC off, it accelerates like normal? I'm for that! Thanks Sharon!
 

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O.K. so with the TC off, it accelerates like normal? I'm for that! Thanks Sharon!
Turn TC off and YOU are the traction control. Be careful! Don't floor it. Floor it and you'll redline your engine and can cause damage. Turning TC off will allow the wheels to spin but you'll only spin the one with the least grip they other drive wheel will do nothing. Sometimes you can get out this way sometimes you need to shovel.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Turn TC off and YOU are the traction control. Be careful! Don't floor it. Floor it and you'll redline your engine and can cause damage. Turning TC off will allow the wheels to spin but you'll only spin the one with the least grip they other drive wheel will do nothing. Sometimes you can get out this way sometimes you need to shovel.
So the TC is like diff lock. You spin both wheels and turning it off disengages it, so it acts like a normal differential?
 

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Sorry I think it would have been better if I said you are throttle control not traction control. Unless you have an LSD, once one wheel loses traction all the power of the engine sadly goes to that wheel. Traction control will reduce power or apply brakes or any number of things to reduce the slipping on that wheel but at no point does it add power to the other wheel. Basically, from my limited understanding, is that if a wheel is slipping and not getting any grip like when you're stuck in the snowbank the car will just reduce power to the point of it being useless. Turning traction control off disables the computer from reducing the power so you have full engine power to your wheels, HOWEVER, that doesn't actually get you any more grip so you can just spin your one wheel to highway speeds and literally go nowhere.

Here is a cool video showing you the different effects of different types of traction control and differentials.
Team O'Neil: Differentials and Traction Control Explained
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Sharon, that was a very good video explaining the various systems used for icy conditions. I understand now why my car reacted the way it did. Also, Driven gave me insight into the car's system.
 
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