MotoringFile Dynamic Stability Control: Explained

Discussion in 'MINIs in Other Media' started by Nathan, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

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    #1 Nathan, Nov 23, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010
    Now that snow, ice and other winter messes are showing up all over the world we have received many question about the functions of Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). The following information is a brief synopsis of each of its functions and the basics behind it all. We hope that this information is useful and provides you with some answers to your questions. The information here is for the newer generation of cars equipped with DSC.

    DSC is ON by default, there is no need to press any buttons on start up. DSC uses a series of sensors to detect wheel spin, yaw rate of the car and other properties. Using sensors and other electronics it can apply the brakes as needed, cut engine power and with Active Steering it can make small steering corrections to better keep the car under control. In layman terms, all the nannies are on by default and help to keep the car from spinning out. When DSC is intervening a caution light will flash in the instrument cluster.

    In some models, DTC (Dynamic Traction control) is a sub-function of DSC. It is activated by briefly pressing the DTC button. A light will light up in instrument cluster indicating this function has been activated. DTC will allow the wheels to spin, increases the angle at which the system will begin to apply the brakes (eliminates the yaw rate sensors) and does NOT cut the engine power. This system function is designed to allow the driver to spin the wheels in order to get through snow, ice and other conditions where wheel spin is required. While certain sensors are deactivated others still remain active. This function also provides a more sporty driving experience in dry conditions while at the same time being a limited security blanket. Having some track time messing with this system, DTC will still cut in and apply braking so you can’t get the back end out all that much but it still allows you full power to motor through. Like DSC a blinking caution light indicates the system is intervening.

    DSC/DTC can be turned OFF by holding the DTC button for 3 seconds. The caution indicator light (as shown above) will remain lit in the instrument cluster, the nannies are now off and you are on your own so stay within your abilities!

    A function of the DSC system that does remain active even when everything is OFF is the e-Diff (standard on the R56 JCW and some MINIs after 2009). The e-Diff essentially mimics the concept of a limited slip differential (LSD) but does so without the mechanical complexity and weight of normal LSD. It accomplishes this by applying braking to the spinning wheel and thus transferring more power to the wheel with better traction. This feature is also active in DTC mode.

    While DSC and its companions provide you with an extra level of safety it is important to remember that no electronics, no matter how sophisticated, can over come the laws of physics and driver ability. In other words, drive safe and within your ability and exercise caution in less than ideal road conditions.

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  2. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    The lovely and talented Mrs. MINIDave drives an Audi Allroad and every winter I remind here that even tho the all wheel drive will really help make the car GO, it does little or nothing to help it stop or turn. You just have to slow down and be ready for whatever winter hits you with. It's particularly important for her as she works nights and is often driving home on unplowed streets at 2 am.

    The DSC on our cars can be a bit intrusive, but it's nothing like what's found on other cars - Toyota/Lexus in particular, the traction control can keep the car from moving at all, and at other times it intervenes so hard and for so long that it can be more of a hindrance than an aid. And on a lot of those cars, you can't turn it off!
     
  3. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    Ha.....
    Didn't know about the DTC and about holding the button for three seconds. I've been pushing it for less and have not been fully deactivating the system.

    I just learned something new today on my drive in to work this morning.
     
  4. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

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    Oh DSC how I loath thee.

    There is an answer for R53 owners. Buy one of the GB MINIs auto up circuits with track mode now available from Dr O & have the default be off, not on. I did not buy DSC, I spent that money on LSD. But my traction control nanny ASC is off by default using one of those wonderful circuits.

    Sad that DSC is now standard. One more choice is taken away from us mere mortals. Thank you big brother. They won't be happy until the cars are driving us.... I wish big brother would mandate meaningful driver training instead.

    Disclaimer....

    Reading this post may start a riot, make your hair fall out & cause you to die in a terrible crash because you turned off the DSC nanny. Button pushers assume all risk, yada yada yada.

    Nathan, nice job of explaining these nanny's. Especially the last paragraph. :Thumbsup:
     
  5. Qik

    Qik Well-Known Member

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    Now I find this thread...
     
  6. Qik

    Qik Well-Known Member

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    Definitely makes the car more fun.
    "DSC/DTC can be turned OFF by holding the DTC button for 3 seconds. The caution indicator light (as shown above) will remain lit in the instrument cluster, the nannies are now off and you are on your own so stay within your abilities!"
     
  7. Sully

    Sully Administrator
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    Yea - I’ve yet to take mine off yet. Still getting used to the car (when I’m actually home to drive it). :rolleyes:
     

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