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Discussion Starter #1
My parents purchased a 2009 Malibu and struggle with the traction control during the winter and on muddy roads. The traction control can be shut off, but the minute the tires spin it kicks back on or it doesn't truly shut off
100%. Living in North Dakota, the car needs to get through snow. Is there a way to completely disable the traction control on the Malibu?
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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Pressing the TC button turns off traction control. Pushing it and holding it will also turn off ESC - Electronic Stability Control.

My question is why does it need to be turned off? It simply keeps the driver from spinning unnecessarily when traction is limited. I just drove home in 3" of snow (not a lot, I know, but it's still slippery) and I had no issues when the TC decided that I was a little too aggessive with the go pedal.

How they use it is up to them, but I still wonder why. If it's doing stuff that makes driving the vehicle harder to operate, then maybe they need to take a trip to the dealer and have it checked out. But mine works as expected and I leave it engaged.
 

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I agree with Driven. If there is truely something wrong, take it to the dealer. Otherwise tell your parents to take the lead out of their shoes before they start driving. If you accelerate slowly, you should have minimal problems. If you constantly spin the tires at intersections then A) you need new tires or B) you don't know how to drive properly in those conditions.
 

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Sometimes, having the TC off IS better in the snow. When I lived in NY I believe it or not daily drove my '00 Camaro SS for the first few years I owned it before I got a daily driver. With the 6-speed it was sometimes easier getting going in second gear with the TC off. Sometimes the TC will kick in so much it impedes forward motion.
 

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If the tires spin excessively I would check the tires/drivers. Im sure they have winter tires on it but if they dont they need to invest in them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
At least SilverLTZ undestands what I'm talking about. Lead out of their shoes or get snow tires is just a dumb response (sorry, but I'm not an idiot nor are my parents). In ND snow is an issue and traction control kicking in is a pain in the butt. People in the Dakotas need to be able to get a run for the snow in order to get through it with a car (don't tell me they need a four wheel drive; they already do and it's needed on the farm). There old pontiac grand prix was excellent in snow because it didn't have traction control. Normally a car will make it, but the traction control issue makes it difficult. I simply wanted to know if anything could be done to truly shut it off.
 

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Actually, snow tires is not a dumb response. If you get a lot of snow where you live, you'd be a fool not to use them. Snow tires will give you so much more traction than all-season tires (which in turn will prevent your TC from kicking in all the time).

What Driven Daily said is the only way to turn it off.
 

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Actually, snow tires is not a dumb response. If you get a lot of snow where you live, you'd be a fool not to use them. Snow tires will give you so much more traction than all-season tires (which in turn will prevent your TC from kicking in all the time).

What Driven Daily said is the only way to turn it off.
Thank you. All seasons in ND is pure stupid.

I was just merely suggesting that if they didnt have them get them so just calm down there.


Also, if they do turn off the ESC Id suggest they go learn how the car reacts in an empty parking lot. Its a totally different animal with the TC and ESC off.
 

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When you are stuck and need to rock back and fourth to get out, some wheel spin is sometimes necassary. With traction control on this is not possible. I know exactly what the original poster is talking about. It doesn't happen very often, but there are times when it is better to have traction control off. It has nothing to do with having a heavy foot. On our Malibu pressing the button turns it off and it stays of till pressed again.
 

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At least SilverLTZ undestands what I'm talking about. Lead out of their shoes or get snow tires is just a dumb response (sorry, but I'm not an idiot nor are my parents). In ND snow is an issue and traction control kicking in is a pain in the butt. People in the Dakotas need to be able to get a run for the snow in order to get through it with a car (don't tell me they need a four wheel drive; they already do and it's needed on the farm). There old pontiac grand prix was excellent in snow because it didn't have traction control. Normally a car will make it, but the traction control issue makes it difficult. I simply wanted to know if anything could be done to truly shut it off.
Understand what they are trying to do and agree it doesn't matter what type of tires you have. If pushing the button doesn't completely turn off traction control then there may be a problem with the car. However, they may also need to turn off stability control to do what they are trying. Stability control senses the steering wheel angle, yaw rate of the car and the lateral acceleration of the car and determines if the car needs to yawed more to make it go in the direction the driver is turning the wheel. To yaw the car it applies the brake to one wheel to make the car turn more or less. Getting up a head of steam to get through a pile of snow is old hat to people who grew up driving in deep snow (fast means go, slow means stuck) but when you do that a stability system may see the turning of the steering wheel, the twisting of the car back and forth and the drive wheels spinning as an out of control car and start applying the brakes. Same thing probably would happen if you are trying to bull down a muddy road.

Bill
 

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I'm glad there are a few people who experienced the problem the original poster was explaining. I live in Michigan, and have a stamped, stained, concrete driveway. It must be sealed with a glaze. There is traction powder to add to the glaze but it is ineffective. If there is snow or ice on it, the traction control must be off to get up it, and into the garage. With it on, you start a process of tire spinning and moving forward that gets the job done, until the traction control shuts off all power. You basically lose all momentum, come to a stop or slip back, it then switches the power back on, and you start going forward again in that mix of traction and spin, and then off again, and you get nowhere.

With traction control off, that spin/traction forward process gains momentum or at least maintains it, enough to get up the drive and in the garage. I've had different vehicles since having this drive. I've had snow tires on some of them and it makes no difference. The Traction Control on or off makes all of the difference.

Humanity sucks. It's amazing how little empathy people have for even trying to understand someone's statements or situation. Lack of empathy leads to things like the holocaust. Go ahead, laugh, but it's true. And boards like these can be helpful, but it's too bad it comes with people who have such shallow egos they need to jump immediately at any chance to know more than you do down your throat. So much so, and so quickly that instead they just show their ignorance.

I'm here because my wife is driving my Silverado while I take her AWD Cadillac in for body work (accident). Hertz passed off a Malibu as a full size car and now the problem is back for a few days. Glad I don't have to rely on this forum, as I don't own the car. Just some advice to think before you show your desperation to feed your egos. Yes, one of your suggestions of snow tires is not the answer but a good idea regardless. Though most use all season, I don't. I know the value of snow tires. But that's not the solution, nor the point here. The point is, most of the replies he got, were rude and off base. Funny how the perpetrators chose only that small part of replies to stand on and say "we dindunuffin". He did get the solution, so it shows that this site can be, and is helpful. Thank you.
 

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I have a 2012 Chevy Malibu i ran into a puddle of water about a month an my ESC traction stays on i have new set of tires however at first the car jerked but not anymore. What can i do about the ESC Traction Service reading.
 

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I have a 2012 Chevy Malibu i ran into a puddle of water about a month an my ESC traction stays on i have new set of tires however at first the car jerked but not anymore. What can i do about the ESC Traction Service reading.
Get the stored codes read. That is step one to determine what or where is causing the problem like a wheel sensor for example. Which wheel etc. .
 

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So quick question, is it a bad thing to drive with TC and ESC off?
It will not hurt the car, but is it "bad"? Explain the context in which you're using it and I could modify my answer.

TC just assists with wheel spin or loss of traction, and does so faster than you. If you're using Cruise Control and a wheel spins (water, ice, leaves on the roadway), it'll pause CC. You can then resume CC and it will continue to motor down the road until another slick spot happens.

ESC has actually corrected the path my vehicle was taking when I was straightening out some corners. The first time it happened was truly amazing because I had never experienced something like that ever. There were no cars anywhere around me and as I was accelerating on a tight right-hand corner entrance ramp to a surface highway, I knew that I was gonna drift into the next lane. I didn't care because there were no cars to worry about and my blinker was on, so I was "just changing lanes", so to speak. ESC briefly activated the 2 right brakes and turned the car just enough to keep me in my lane!

Neither one is required to be active or available in order to drive the car. But they are good things to have.
 

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Much like ABS brakes, driving without TC or ESC will not mechanically hurt anything. However, it is technically less safe to do so because bad situations now rely entirely on driver skill to do things the old fashioned way while under duress.
 
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