Stabiltrac on Ice
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Cadillac DTS Forum - 2006 through 2012 Discussion, Stabiltrac on Ice in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Today I was driving on roads that resembled nothing so much as greasy polished glass. The roads had about a ...
  1. #1
    Atavar is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Question Stabiltrac on Ice

    Today I was driving on roads that resembled nothing so much as greasy polished glass. The roads had about a half inch of clear ice on them with a dusting of blowing snow over the top. I will comment that the roads were icy enough that at 70mph less than an inch of accelerator movement would break traction on the drive wheels. Reasonable safe stopping distance from 70mph would have been about a half mile (or more), especially with ABS. Yes, I took that in to account at all times. (I hate ABS)

    As I was driving along I noticed that the car was quite wiggly, taking constant correctional steering to keep a straight line. It was not so much as to feel unstable, but very noticeable in that I was constantly adjusting left and right just a hair, similar to the feeling you get when driving with cheap tires down a highway with rain grooves or across a grated bridge.
    As an experiment I turned off the traction control. The wiggly feeling immediately went away.
    I did not feel the same instability (for lack of a better term) on dry or snowy road, only when on glare ice with all four wheels. During the times I felt the instability the traction light did not illuminate.
    I must say that on the ice I felt much safer and more in control without the traction/stability control. I think I will turn the traction control off whenever I am driving on glare ice.
    Does this hold true with what others have experienced in our cars in extreme low traction conditions?

    Caveat -- Before the flames start about driving at highway speeds on slippery roads, this is North Dakota, in a section where three cars in a mile of highway is considered heavy traffic. I have been driving on ice since I was 13 (about five decades ago) and i am quite good at it. So long as I can avoid the stupid drivers i have no problem. With skill, forbearance, planning and caution it is possible to drive on ice without danger. One just needs to plan speed or direction changes well in advance and adjust velocity gradually to be able to make controlled changes. Keeping a separation of one complete stopping distance from other vehicles and reducing closing rates to near zero also helps.

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    Superjim's Avatar
    Superjim is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Stabiltrac on Ice

    The wiggly feeling you were getting was the Traction Control kicking in as one wheel or the other broke traction on the ice for just a fraction of a second.
    Mine does the same thing unless I turn Traction Control OFF...

    Just a side note... when you do turn OFF Traction Control, Stabilitrac is still ON... as far as I know there is no way to turn OFF Stabilitrac.
    Atavar likes this.

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    Atavar is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Stabiltrac on Ice

    Ah, so it was not Stabilitrac applying brakes but Traction Control disengaging power.. I guess that makes sense.. it really was not a warm fuzzy feeling.
    Thanks Jim!

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    Superjim's Avatar
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    Re: Stabiltrac on Ice

    Quote Originally Posted by Atavar View Post
    Ah, so it was not Stabilitrac applying brakes but Traction Control disengaging power.. I guess that makes sense.. it really was not a warm fuzzy feeling.
    Thanks Jim!
    Right... I don't like it either...

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    jsorrell is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Stabiltrac on Ice

    I'm not sure how the Cadillac systems work but just from driving different types of vehicles in New England winters the DTS doesn't seem to handle as well in the snow as my other cars have even with snow tires. It feels more like a traction control issue than anything, like it engages too often and at times im not expecting it to. I've heard this is normal for the DTS but often I just turn traction control off and it seems to go much better. Maybe I'm just not used to the system that GM uses as I've only had a few GM products in my life and this is my first newish one.

    -Justin

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    Superjim's Avatar
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    Re: Stabiltrac on Ice

    Quote Originally Posted by jsorrell View Post
    I'm not sure how the Cadillac systems work but just from driving different types of vehicles in New England winters the DTS doesn't seem to handle as well in the snow as my other cars have even with snow tires. It feels more like a traction control issue than anything, like it engages too often and at times im not expecting it to. I've heard this is normal for the DTS but often I just turn traction control off and it seems to go much better. Maybe I'm just not used to the system that GM uses as I've only had a few GM products in my life and this is my first newish one.

    -Justin
    To me, the Traction Control is way too sensitive.
    The slightest slip of either wheel, and it kicks in.
    Mine is OFF 90 percent of the time... the other 10 percent of the time, I just forgot to turn it off or it would have been OFF then too...

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    Atavar is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Stabiltrac on Ice

    As much as I do not like the Stabilitrac I will admit that it save my bacon one time. I was driving in Bismark where I was unfamiliar on a dry summer evening, and while looking around for the restaurant I entered a 25mph cloverleaf at a little over 45mph. The car went around the loop with almost no body roll and never a squeak from the tires. I am sure without the Stabilitrac it would have been a lot more exciting.
    Having said that, I still prefer to turn it off in minimal traction conditions just because it is annoying.

  9. #8
    Superjim's Avatar
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    Re: Stabiltrac on Ice

    Quote Originally Posted by Atavar View Post
    As much as I do not like the Stabilitrac I will admit that it save my bacon one time. I was driving in Bismark where I was unfamiliar on a dry summer evening, and while looking around for the restaurant I entered a 25mph cloverleaf at a little over 45mph. The car went around the loop with almost no body roll and never a squeak from the tires. I am sure without the Stabilitrac it would have been a lot more exciting.
    Having said that, I still prefer to turn it off in minimal traction conditions just because it is annoying.
    When you push the button to turn it OFF, you ARE NOT turning off Stabitrac.
    You are only turning off the Traction Control.
    Traction Control and Stabilitrac are two totally different things...

    I absolutely love the Stabilitrac, but not Traction Control...

  10. #9
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    ztollon is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    You should be able to turn off stabiltrak by either pushing the tc switch 3 times fast or by holding it down for a period of time.

  11. #10
    big greg is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Yes I need my 300 horses in the snow. I despise the tc. I turn it off every day when it's snowy lol

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    Superjim's Avatar
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    Re: Stabiltrac on Ice

    Quote Originally Posted by ztollon View Post
    You should be able to turn off stabiltrak by either pushing the tc switch 3 times fast or by holding it down for a period of time.
    Don't work that way on 2006 DTS and newer...
    I have tried every button combination anyone has ever suggested...

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