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Old 01-22-2007, 07:55 PM   #1
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Default T/A, Stabilitrak & ABS faulted out

So we just got a few big snows in the past week and I did take the GXP out in it all. Now, I live in a rural area where the snow is not frequently plowed, (which is why I usually prefer to drive a 4x4 truck). Anyway, I went through some pretty deep snow, followed by lots of icey/slush in the city and then some more deep snow when I came back home. I left the car in the garage (which is not heated) for a few days and came back to it for the first time today. Everything was fine when I started it up and drove out my driveway (all electronic stability systems worked fine) and the problem only occurred when I pulled out onto the road. Once I hit about 60kmph I heard a chime and saw that the ABS warning light was on. So I touched the brakes a bit and then slammed on them. Yup, no ABS...the car just locked right up. No stabilitrak or traction assist either. Now, I wasn't alarmed because I remember this happening to me last year and this was caused by a buildup of snow/ice on and around the sensors and wheels. As soon as I shut off the car and rebooted the system, the stability safeguards were all back to normal again and the chime only came back on once I got to speed. Last year I pressure washed the car with hot water and got all the ice and snow off of it and the problem disappeared. I did the same thing again today and the problem subsided once again. So, if any of you are having the problem that I've described, you've probably got a buildup of snow and ice on the sensors near your front wheels.

Just as a side note, I was testing the capabilities of the stabilitrak/ABS system today and was really surprised at how effective they are. I was driving at about 70kmph on hardpack snow when I just slammed on the brakes. Now, at the same time I swerved back and forth and tried to pay attention to how the car reacted. You could feel the car rotating in an extremely controlled manner to make it go where I was steering. It wasn't the feeling of a slide either, it felt very secure and predictable. Recall, I'm still running the Goodyear RSA'* which are not very good in the snow. I know this system works well when driving hard on dry pavement, but I was really surprised how good it was on hardpacked snow.
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Old 01-22-2007, 08:00 PM   #2
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I am so damned glad you are that brave. We had a two inches of hard packed snow on our roads Sunday. I drove the GXP down the street to the considerable hill, thought about the loan amount and how hard it was to find the perfect car, and turned right back around.

But now I know the ABS/Traction works as well in the GXP as it does in the SSE. My SSE traction/ABS saved our lives twice.
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:06 PM   #3
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Oh, by the way, I wasn't on the road when I was testing out the stability system and swerving all over the place. I wasn't in anyone'* way.
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Old 01-23-2007, 02:15 AM   #4
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I havent had a ABS fault, but havent really gotten involved in slushy stuff yet. I just drove from my new house in Cincinnati to home in N.E. PA Friday through some pretty hairy snow squalls from Colombus, OH to beyond Erie PA with the RSA'* on. I have to give two thumps up to Stabltrack. Car was awesome on icy, snow packed roads. I was worried about the "street tread" of the RSA'* but the car did amazingly well.
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Old 01-23-2007, 09:08 AM   #5
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The weight is definetly a help. The other day when I was too chicken to go down the hill, several cars were trying to get up (Taurus, Stratus, G6 and a 92-95 Bonneville). Guess which one got up? Yup, the Bonnie. Eventually I will have to drive in the snow, it'* just inevitable. I never minded when I lived in flat as a pancake Michigan, but this West Virginia place has nothing but hills and all the roads slope and twist. My ABS came on going down a hill with black ice this morning and kept me right on the road without slipping or sliding. I have to say I'm none too eager to take my new car out in the snow where I live.

Three crimsons in a row. Great color!
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Old 01-24-2007, 10:07 AM   #6
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We've had some ice this year, and I've been really impressed with the bonnie. No RWD car could hang with this car on ice. I tried flinging it around in an empty parking lot covered in sleet. It is possible to get the back end to come around, but you have to really try hard to do it.

In the wet, the car is unflappable. The trac control is not too intrusive, and it lets you no-brain it off the line if you want to. It will do a nice 4-wheel drift. I can't tell how much the Stabilitrac is helping, but it will just drift without either end sliding too much. To do this you have to turn off the traction control or it will kill power in the turn.

My Tbird is RWD and a stick. Taking a curve in wet conditions near the limit of traction requires extreme caution. A little too much gas and the back end will jump right out on you. The Bonnie is SO much more secure. Too much gas and the front end will just push a bit, and if you let up on the gas, it snaps right back in line.
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Old 01-24-2007, 12:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2.3 Turbocoupe
Too much gas and the front end will just push a bit, and if you let up on the gas, it snaps right back in line.
I hate understeer in FWD cars. I'd much rather be kicking out the backend since it'* way more fun. But yes, from a safety point, a little understeer is a lot safer than oversteer since you don't really have to do any work to get it back on track, just let off the throttle like you mentioned.
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Old 01-24-2007, 01:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5.3Avalanche
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2.3 Turbocoupe
Too much gas and the front end will just push a bit, and if you let up on the gas, it snaps right back in line.
I hate understeer in FWD cars. I'd much rather be kicking out the backend since it'* way more fun. But yes, from a safety point, a little understeer is a lot safer than oversteer since you don't really have to do any work to get it back on track, just let off the throttle like you mentioned.
I hear ya, overall understeer is not much fun. I do miss "dirt tracking". And on dry pavement I miss feeling the back end break loose. But with speeds above 35 on wet pavement, it becomes difficult to catch the back end if it goes out. So I found it cool to be able to push a lot harder in that situation without fearing for my life.

I still feel that RWD is the way to go in a performance car, but the GXP has softened my position somewhat. I'd love to play with a RWD car with stability control though.
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