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Discussion Starter #1
Why do I have a traction control button on my AWD. Is the Outlook all-time AWD, or does it kick in when the front wheels slip. Either way, why traction control?
 

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Hello
From what I read in the Manual, the traction control is on all the time if you get in a spot (in snow or sand) where you need the tires to spin you shut it off and then you can rock the vehicle back and forth..... check on it in the manual they do a better job of explaining it than I can.
Best
Rob
 

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Traction control is separate from AWD. Some rear wheel drive and front wheel drive cars also have traction control. TC is an extra safety feature.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The Plainsman said:
Traction control is separate from AWD. Some rear wheel drive and front wheel drive cars also have traction control. TC is an extra safety feature.
I know it's different. And I know what it does. It's usually only on 2wd vehilcles. If you have AWD, there is no benefit of TC, thus no need for it. I could see maybe 4wd having TC to make it more like AWD. So my question again, why do I have TC on my AWD Outlook?
 

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From my understanding a very small percentage of power is sent to the rear wheels at all time. When slippage occurs more power is transfered to the rear wheels.
The traction control is for stability purposes. When the AWD no longer helps or it exceeds its useful purpose, as in a side to side motion, then the traction control kicks in adjusting the brakes and thottle via the engine. In other word, AWD gets you moving and TC keeps you from spinning out of control while turning or braking.
 

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Well said scotted73! :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
scotted73 said:
From my understanding a very small percentage of power is sent to the rear wheels at all time. When slippage occurs more power is transfered to the rear wheels.
The traction control is for stability purposes. When the AWD no longer helps or it exceeds its useful purpose, as in a side to side motion, then the traction control kicks in adjusting the brakes and thottle via the engine. In other word, AWD gets you moving and TC keeps you from spinning out of control while turning or braking.
So it's like Nissan's VDC. On my 350Z, it had VDC, and while going through turns, it would transfer traction to the side that was slipping.

So what your saying is that the TC controls the brakes and engine speed when the wheels slip? It should only effect the wheels. Not sure where the braking thing comes in. That's what ABS is for

I will give you a scenario. The other day it snowed here. I hit the gas from a stop, going in a straight line, the wheels started to slip and the TC light came on. It definatly hooked up better, so maybe it's just sending more traction to the rear.

AWD is supposed to supply equal traction to all for wheels. This is why I still don't understand the need for TC. Like I said earlier, I could see it on a 4WD vehicle, where only one wheel drives each axel.
 

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I don't believe the AWD is set up like that. AWD allows a varying amount of power to be divided between the front and rear wheels. Sometimes it's a small percentage and at other times it can be 50% or more. I don't know what the exact figures for the Outlook are. Each manufacturer has a specific amount dialed in for its vehicles.
Some systems such as on the Hummer can focus the power to one wheel or adjust the power from side to side (lateral).
However it happens, at some point the slipping wheels become ineffective in moving the vehicle in a forward motion and it will start to move sideways. A phenomenom similar to sideforce on a single screw boat. The TC will kick in reducing engine power and braking will occur to slow down the spinning wheels so as to regain traction. An excessively spinning wheel has little to no traction. Think of drag racing: You do not want to spin the tires off the line becasue then you are not going forward. Slowing down the wheels via less throttle gives back traction and away you go.
The TC also comes into play during emergency manuevers such as in avoiding something in your way. Jerk the steering to one side and then back again and the vehicle will fishtail. The TC adjusts engine speed and applies the brakes to keep that from happening.
 

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mucky said:
I know it's different. And I know what it does. It's usually only on 2wd vehilcles. If you have AWD, there is no benefit of TC, thus no need for it. I could see maybe 4wd having TC to make it more like AWD. So my question again, why do I have TC on my AWD Outlook?
On the Outlook...the AWD is not on all the time, it only kicks in when needed. Under normal conditions...any Outlook w/ AWD is basically a 2WD vehicle. TC is more effective on a vehicle with AWD than with 2WD because now it can transfer power to the rear set of wheels, rather than just between the front two. AWD is just that...all wheels driving the vehicle. TC is a feature that tells the vehicle when to put more power to other wheels, when to apply brakes if necessary...they are systems that work hand in hand very well.
 

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scotted73 said:
I don't believe the AWD is set up like that. AWD allows a varying amount of power to be divided between the front and rear wheels. Sometimes it's a small percentage and at other times it can be 50% or more. I don't know what the exact figures for the Outlook are. Each manufacturer has a specific amount dialed in for its vehicles.
I believe the manual states that when the AWD is kicked in it is a 60/40 split between the front and rear. At least that is how I understood it.
 

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Here are the Stabilitrack and AWD sections from the '08 manual:

StabiliTrak® System
Your vehicle has the StabiliTrak system which combines antilock brake, traction and stability control systems and helps the driver maintain directional control of the vehicle in most driving conditions.

When you first start your vehicle and begin to drive away, the system performs several diagnostic checks to ensure there are no problems. You may hear or feel the system working. This is normal and does not mean there is a problem with your vehicle. The system should initialize before the vehicle reaches 20 mph (32 km/h).
In some cases, it may take approximately two miles of driving before the system initializes.

If the system fails to turn on or activate, the StabiliTrak light along with one of the following messages will be displayed on the Driver Information Center (DIC): TRACTION CONTROL OFF, SERVICE TRACTION CONTROL, SERVICE STABILITRAK. If you see these conditions, turn the vehicle off, wait 15 seconds, and then turn it back on again to reset the system. If any of these messages still appear on the Driver Information Center (DIC), your vehicle should be taken in for service. For more information on the DIC messages, see Driver Information Center (DIC) on page 3-54.

The StabiliTrak light will flash on the instrument panel cluster when the system is both on and activated. You may also feel or hear the system working; this is normal. The traction control disable button is located on the instrument panel below the climate controls. The traction control part of StabiliTrak can be turned off by pressing and releasing the traction control disable button.

Traction control can be turned on by pressing and releasing the traction control disable button if not automatically shut off for any other reason.

When the traction control system is turned off, the StabiliTrak light and the appropriate traction control off message will be displayed on the DIC to warn the driver. Your vehicle will still have brake-traction control when traction control is off, but will not be able to use the engine speed management system. See “Traction Control Operation” next for more information.

When the traction control system has been turned off, you may still hear system noises as a result of the brake-traction control coming on.
It is recommended to leave the system on for normal driving conditions, but it may be necessary to turn the system off if your vehicle is stuck in sand, mud, ice or snow, and you want to “rock” your vehicle to attempt to free it. It may also be necessary to turn off the system when driving in extreme off-road conditions where high wheel spin is required. See If Your Vehicle is Stuck in Sand, Mud, Ice, or Snow on page 4-21.

Traction Control Operation
The traction control system is part of the StabiliTrak system. Traction control limits wheel spin by reducing engine power to the wheels (engine speed management) and by applying brakes to each individual wheel (brake-traction control) as necessary.

The traction control system is enabled automatically when you start your vehicle. It will activate and the StabiliTrak light will flash if it senses that any of the wheels are spinning or beginning to lose traction while driving. If you turn off traction control, only the brake-traction control portion of traction control will work. The engine speed management will be disabled. In this mode, engine power is not reduced automatically and the driven wheels can spin more freely. This can cause the brake-traction control to activate constantly.

Notice: If you allow the wheel(s) of one axle to spin excessively while the StabiliTrak®, ABS and brake warning lights and the SERVICE STABILITRAK message are displayed, you could damage the transfer case. The repairs would not be covered by your warranty. Reduce engine power and do not spin the wheel(s) excessively while these lights and this message are displayed.

The traction control system may activate on dry or rough roads or under conditions such as heavy acceleration while turning or abrupt upshifts/downshifts of the transmission. When this happens, you may notice a reduction in acceleration, or may hear a noise or vibration. This is normal.
If your vehicle is in cruise control when the system activates, the StabiliTrak light will flash and the cruise control will automatically disengage. When road conditions allow you to use cruise again, you may re-engage the cruise control. See Cruise Control on page 3-12.

StabiliTrak may also turn off automatically if it determines that a problem exists with the system. If the problem does not clear itself after restarting the vehicle, you should see your dealer/retailer for service.
All-Wheel Drive (AWD) System
If your vehicle has this feature, engine power is sent to all four wheels when extra traction is needed. This is like four-wheel drive, but there is no separate lever or switch to engage or disengage the front axle. It is fully automatic, and adjusts itself as needed for road conditions.

When using a compact spare tire on your AWD equipped vehicle, the AWD system automatically detects the presence of the compact spare and the AWD is disabled. To restore the AWD operation and prevent excessive wear on the clutch in your AWD system, replace the compact spare with a full-size tire as soon as possible. See Compact Spare Tire on page 5-100 for more information.
This is probably more info, and vague info, than you wanted, but hopefully it helps.
 
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