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Traction Control Off - Still starts out in 1st gear - 2003 STS

3228 Views 23 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  thu
I found out by accident that, in a 2003 Seville STS, turning the traction control off does not relegate it to 2nd gear starts. All this time that I've had this car, I assumed 2nd gear starts with TC off. I never bothered to check, but tonight I did. It *definitely* starts out in 1st gear on a WOT launch from a standing start with TC turned off.
I wonder if this is true in the 2002, 2001, or even 2000 STSs.

I wonder if this is also true in the SLSs.
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:thumbsup: My late 2002 (02/02) STS with MagneRide is like yours.....TC on or off, first gear exists as it should. With TC off and a little brake and gas pedal work you can destroy a set of front tires in a hurry. I JUST had to replace the OEM Goodyear RS-A's at 41,500 mi. due to leaking air from tiny sidewall cracks. Before I went to Western Auto for the change on Thursday AM I made sure I punched TC and left a 35 foot double black signature on a local side road :bouncy:. Curious...the new Cooper CR4-V's seem "stickier" than the half-worn Goodyears....and they are quiet......
Just curious, Why would the traction control have any bearing on the gear selection? And even if it did, turning it off would suggest to me that first gear would be the more logical choice.

The only vehicles that I know of that have 2nd start capability are toyotas, and thats only because i sold them for a few years.

Earlier Cadillacs started out in 2nd gear when TC was turned off.
No, I think they all start in 1st gear with traction turned off. They definitely all start in 2nd gear when the traction is disabled due to a fault/code.
my dads 98 sts and my 97 etc defaulted to 2nd gear with the t.c off via button
Escalade also still starts off the same with T/C off as it does with it engaged.
2000 sts starts in 2nd, as the car accelerates it seems the PCM holds the car back. power, torque and maximum revs seem very handicapped.
having a button to turn off the traction control seems a complete waste of time if by doing so engine power is held back.
ok, so i understand that they wanted to ensure the tranny, motor and linked components didn't get trashed while still under warranty but i feel that they shoulda just not bothered with the traction off button at all.
Here's what the manual says:

If the traction control switch is off, your vehicle will not
go into FIRST (1) gear and the vehicle will accelerate
from stop more slowly. This can help in deep snow or
mud conditions.
This applies to 98-04 vehicles.
This is retarded! There is no possible way that turning traction control off, will make ANY vehicle have less performance. There is absolutely no reason for it to work so ass backwards like that, and even tho GM has done a whole heap of stupid stuff in their time, im sure they got this one right...My 98 SLS starts out the same with TC on or off. The TC system is completely apart from the engine, your car still makes the same HP. TC just limits the amount of power delivered to the wheels when they slip, or spin faster than the others.

how do you think the TC manages to limit the power to the wheels? the TC system is linked to the PCM, it has the ability to shut off injectors (probably can retard the timing too) etc, same thing happens when the Stability program is activated, it's also linked in with the ABS system. the tranny has no LSD as such, PCM limits power, tranny might change down a gear or two and the ABS applies to the wheel thats spinning. it's a very complicated and clever system that frustrates the hell out of me!
:bigroll: padrvr, the manual you're quoting is a late 2001 edition. Things changed in late 2002.
adamh21, go to the technical archives and read up on stuff like Deville/Seville '99-'03 transmissions, TC, stabilitrak, MagneRide, CVRSS, and a host of other Cadillac running change bulletins and TSB (technical service bulletin) info. As always, don't start vast projects with half vast ideas......there's a whole lot more to this PCM/vehicle sensor interaction than any of us know. NigelB, yup, it's all in the FSM.........
TC has nothing to do with how your engine performs, if you think im wrong turn it on and mash on your gas, your RPMs dont change and youre tranny certainly wont kick down a gear as it is in first already. GM's TC system from the late 90's simply disengages the torque converter more. and the stability control most def does not change youre engine, yes all these things are controled by the ECU, and yes the ECU can shut off injectors and retard timing, but just because the ECU can do these things does not mean that it is related to your TC, the ECU can also dim your dome light, but it sure as hell wont do it just cause youre wheels are spining. in the case of ESC youre vehicles engine wont be affected, and if your ESC is on 90% of the time youre foot is on the brake anyway. The ESC is controlled by the ECU as well, but its going to do things like apply brakes to one or more select wheels, and adjust the suspension firmness.

Prior to '98, if you manually turned the T/C off, via the button, the transmission would start in 2nd gear. There was nothing you could do to get it to kick down into 1st. WOT, pull the selector back to 1, etc. As long as the T/C was off via the button, 2nd gear was as low as you could get. Trust us.

I don't know when they started ENABLING 1st gear again, with T/C off, after '97. My '01 will start in 1st gear with T/C off. My '97 did not.
:thepan: Adamh21, you didn't complete the first phrase in your 6/18 AM post. "TC has nothing to do with how your engine performs under normal driving conditions" . Read an owner's manual or, better yet, a FSM for the '99 to '03 Seville series. Under abnormal skids, wheelspin, and "rocking" between 1st and R, the TC sends signals to the PCM ordering it to limit engine RPM, drop cylinders, apply selected brakes, and limit gear changes. The system does not unload the torque convertor, although it WILL remove convertor lockup if the vehicle is travelling fast enough when the abnormality begins to occur. The only way to "disengage" a torque convertor is to move the stator and rotor farther apart or go to much thinner fluid, and the GM TC system does not slip individual gear clutches.
:bigroll: padrvr, the manual you're quoting is a late 2001 edition. Things changed in late 2002.
Nope. Every Seville manual from 1998 to 2004 contains the exact same passage I quoted regarding TC.
Unless of course the ones from (this is where I downloaded them) are wrong...:noidea:
:rolleyes: Exactly......My late '02 has an early '01 edition manual, which has several operating procedure mistakes. I'd like to find out if the manual was ever edited after late '01 or early '02. Who has what car in the Seville '99 -'04 series and what are your Owner's Manual edition/revision dates????? "Things changed"... refers to running manufacturing changes in the vehicles themselves. Either the manual writers don't talk to the engineers or vice versa. OR, no one at GM figured anyone would give a damn. (Who ever reads the Owner's Manual other than most people in these forums?)
"Things changed"... refers to running manufacturing changes in the vehicles themselves. Either the manual writers don't talk to the engineers or vice versa. OR, no one at GM figured anyone would give a damn. (Who ever reads the Owner's Manual other than most people in these forums?)
True, true... :)
:rolleyes: Actually, my owner's manual is kind of elegant in its leather cover. But it's also a thick piece of non-information.
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