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Encyclopedia > Traction control

Traction control systems, on current production vehicles, are typically (but not necessarily) electro-hydraulic systems designed to prevent loss of traction (and therefore the control of the vehicle) when excessive throttle or steering is applied by the driver. Although similar to the Electronic Stability Control systems, the Traction Control systems do not have the same goal as them. Vehicles are non-living means of transportation. ... Power steering is a system for reducing the steering effort on cars by using an external power source to assist in turning the wheels. ... Traction usually refers to friction between a drive member and the surface it runs on, where friction is used to provide motion. ... Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is the generic term for systems designed to improve a vehicles handling, particularly at the limits where the driver might lose control of the vehicle. ...


The intervention can consist of any, or all, of the following:

  • Retard or suppress the spark to one or more cylinders
  • Reduce fuel supply to one or more cylinders
  • Brake one or more wheels
  • Close the throttle, if the vehicle is fitted with drive by wire throttle.

The brake actuator, and the wheel speed sensors, are the same as that used for anti-lock braking systems. Look up cylinder in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... An anti-lock braking system (commonly known as ABS, from the German name Antiblockiersystem given to it by its inventors at Bosch) is a system on motor vehicles which prevents the wheels from locking while braking. ...

Contents

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Use of traction control

  • In road cars: Traction Control is used mainly as a safety feature in high-performance cars, which would otherwise need very sensitive throttle input to keep them from spinning when accelerating, especially in wet or snowy conditions. It is also used in off-road vehicles to enhance traction on loose surfaces.
  • In race cars: Traction Control is used as a performance enhancement, allowing maximum traction under acceleration without wheel spin. When accelerating out of turn, it keeps the tyres at the optimum slip angle.
  • In off road vehicles: Traction Control is used instead or in addition to the limited slip or locking differential. Spinning wheel is slowed down with short applications of brakes, so that an opposite wheel starts rotating and gains traction. This form of traction control has an advantage over a locking differential as steering and control of a vehicle is easier, so the system can be continuosly enabled. It also creates less stress on the drivetrain, which is particularly important to the vehicles with an independent suspension that is generally weaker compared to solid axels. On the other hand, only half of the available torque will be applied to a wheel with traction, compared to a locked differential, and handling is less predictable.

It is widely thought that TC removes some skill and control from the driver. As such it is unpopular with many motorsports fans. Some motorsports series have given up trying to outlaw TC. With current state of technology, it is possible to implement TC as a part of software in ECU, and as such it is very hard to detect by scrutineers. In Formula One, an effort to ban TC has lead to the change of rules for 2008: every car must have a standard ECU, issued by FIA, which is relatively basic and does not have TC capabilities. In car handling, slip angle is the angle between a wheels actual direction of travel and the direction towards which it is pointing. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Off-roading. ... A locking differential or locker is a modified type of automotive differential. ... An independent suspension is an automobile suspension system that allows the wheels on an axle to move independently of each other. ... Solid axle and Panhard rod on a 2002 Mazda MPV A beam axle is a suspension system, also called a solid axle, in which one set of wheels is connected laterally by a single beam or shaft. ... Auto racing (also known as automobile racing or autosport) is a sport involving racing automobiles. ... Computer software (or simply software) refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of a computer for some purpose. ... An Engine Control Unit (ECU), also known as Engine Management System (EMS) is an electronic device, fundamentally a computer, that is part of an internal combustion engine, which reads several sensors in the engine and uses the information to control the ignition systems of the engine. ... Formula One - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... 2008 (MMVIII) will be a leap year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Fédération Internationale de lAutomobile, commonly referred to as the FIA, is a non-profit association established in 1904 to represent the interest of motoring organisations and motor car users. ...

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Traction control in cornering

Traction control is not just used for moving a vehicle from stationary without slippage. During hard maneuvers in a front wheel drive car, there is a point where the wheels cannot both steer and drive the car at the same time without losing traction. With traction control it is a possibility that the ability to control the direction of the car is restored. There is a limit though, when the tyres lose grip and can neither steer or accelerate, this is Understeer. In some front wheel drive cars, Traction Control can induce Lift Off Oversteer due to it's throttle retarding capabilities. This can keep some cars stable in long maneuvers. In rear wheel drive cars, traction control can prevent Oversteer Understeer is a term for a car handling condition during cornering in which the circular path of the vehicles motion is of a markedly greater diameter than the circle indicated by the direction its wheels are pointed. ... Oversteer is the phenomenon ocurred in an automobile when the rear-end of it doesn´t follow the trajectory of the front-end tending to overtake this one causing the car to spin. ...


All car manufacturers strongly point out in vehicle manuals that the Traction Control system is not to be taken for granted and that it's presence should not encourage dangerous driving or situations beyond the driver's control.

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See also

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Car safety is the avoidance of car accidents or the minimization of harmful effects of accidents, in particular as pertaining to human life and health. ...

External links

  • Motorsport site claiming its use is rife.
  • How Stuff Works.com explains Traction Control a bit more indepth.
  • Traction control in Formula One

  Results from FactBites:
 
Method and apparatus for modifying the feedback gains of a traction control system - Patent 5865512 (4272 words)
A traction control system, as set forth in claim 4, wherein the machine further includes front and rear wheeled sections hinged together by an articulation mechanism for relative movement about a vertical axis, and an angular position sensor that produces an articulation signal having a value responsive to the angle of articulation of the machine.
A traction control system, as set forth in claim 5, including means for storing a plurality of gain values, receiving the lift position signal, receiving the articulation angle signal, receiving a gear selection signal, determining whether the machine is digging, and selecting the appropriate gain value in response to the machine digging.
A traction control system, as set forth in claim 7, wherein the machine includes front and rear wheeled sections hinged together by an articulation mechanism for relative movement about a vertical axis, including an angular position sensor that produces an articulation signal having a value responsive to the angle of articulation of the machine.
Britain.tv Wikipedia - Traction control (612 words)
Traction control systems, on current production vehicles, are typically (but not necessarily) electro-hydraulic systems designed to prevent loss of traction (and therefore the control of the vehicle) when excessive throttle or steering is applied by the driver.
In off road vehicles: Traction Control is used instead or in addition to the limited slip or locking differential.
With traction control it is a possibility that the ability to control the direction of the car is restored.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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