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Old 02-03-2007, 10:09 PM   #1
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Default Sold on Stabilitrack

Today in Michigan we had a pretty bad blizzard with very icy roads underneith the drifting snow. At one particular intersection I was turning at, there was a line of cars a head of me. All five cars were making the same turn I was to the road on the right. Each and every one of the cars ahead of me slid around the turn and ended up in the far lane during the turn. (it was a 4 lane road, but luckily the two oncoming lanes were empty!) The only car that made the turn without sliding that far was mine because the stability control kicked in and swung the car back in the intended path. It was awesome to feel the car correct itself from a slide that would have put me nearly in the ditch, but instead, the car engaged the right tires on both sides and the car swung around at an amazing speed. Has anyone else toyed around with their stability control on their 2000+ model? It'* just completely amazing what it can do.
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Old 02-03-2007, 10:15 PM   #2
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StabiliTrak is definitely nice, I wish our cars had the 4 channel system but 2 channels is enough to keep you in good shape.
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Old 02-03-2007, 10:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: Sold on Stabilitrack

Quote:
Originally Posted by Custom88
... the car engaged the right tires on both sides ...
Can you clarify that?
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Old 02-03-2007, 10:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: Sold on Stabilitrack

Quote:
Originally Posted by popatim
Quote:
Originally Posted by Custom88
... the car engaged the right tires on both sides ...
Can you clarify that?
substitute tires for brakes. It'* suprising that the stability control only controls two tires, not four, because of the way a slide is corrected. It really feels like four wheels. Learn something new everyday I guess!
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Old 02-03-2007, 10:24 PM   #5
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When I first bought the car, I picked it up in similar weather to what we're having now. It had the lousy RSAs on it. I was making a left turn at a slippery intersection, when it started to slide. Just as I was going to start my usual avoidance maneuvers, it was like the car said "no, no....let me do that for you". Before I could react, it had the car heading where it was supposed to be going. It works very well. Better yet, it doesn't kick in when it'* not needed.
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Old 02-04-2007, 08:18 AM   #6
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is stabilitrack standard on 00+ Bonneville SSEI'*?
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Old 02-04-2007, 08:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auroralover
is stabilitrack standard on 00+ Bonneville SSEI'*?
Yes
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Old 02-04-2007, 11:17 AM   #8
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Default Re: Sold on Stabilitrack

Quote:
Originally Posted by Custom88
Can you clarify that?
substitute tires for brakes. It'* suprising that the stability control only controls two tires, not four, because of the way a slide is corrected. It really feels like four wheels. Learn something new everyday I guess![/quote]

Yeah, I was surprised too but this was like Stabilitrak 1.0 Hey, no complaints, the system works very well. I believe it just controls the two front wheels. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong)
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Old 02-04-2007, 12:35 PM   #9
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You're right. It just controls the front. This is a link to an explanation of the entire system; from ABS to the stability system.

ABS etc
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Old 02-18-2007, 01:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: Sold on Stabilitrack

Quote:
Originally Posted by Custom88
Today in Michigan we had a pretty bad blizzard with very icy roads underneith the drifting snow. At one particular intersection I was turning at, there was a line of cars a head of me. All five cars were making the same turn I was to the road on the right. Each and every one of the cars ahead of me slid around the turn and ended up in the far lane during the turn. (it was a 4 lane road, but luckily the two oncoming lanes were empty!) The only car that made the turn without sliding that far was mine because the stability control kicked in and swung the car back in the intended path. It was awesome to feel the car correct itself from a slide that would have put me nearly in the ditch, but instead, the car engaged the right tires on both sides and the car swung around at an amazing speed. Has anyone else toyed around with their stability control on their 2000+ model? It'* just completely amazing what it can do.
This past week we had a small snow/ice storm that left the roads here in the Northeast quite a mess. I heard there were almost 1,000 accidents on the New Jersey roadways alone during that storm. I was driving The Vibe (slowly) to work and the Snow Tires, Traction Control, ABS, and Stabilitrack (aka Vehicle Stability Control) all came into play. Since The Vibe is a "Hybrid" (basically a Toyota Matrix) it uses the Toyota Stability system but the principle is the same.
When I went to change lanes, and went over some deep slush, the rear of the car started to break away. Then a "BEEP" came from the dash and the VSC warning light started to flash. I guess the car was telling me that IT was taking over and it did do the job of getting me going straight again. Technology can be a beautiful thing. The one safety feature I hope NEVER to use, are any of the air bags located on this vehicle

Here'* the article that was in the NY Times today about GM'* next Gen Stabilitrak.

ROUNDING up the teenagers and heading to a snow-covered parking lot for driving lessons has been a winter tradition for generations.


Cars See Stars Over Crash Tests (February 18, 2007) A wide-open expanse of slippery pavement gives neophytes a chance to learn skid control under a parent’* watchful eye — though many teenagers surely do it on their own — providing not only a course in crash avoidance, but a howling good time, too. In a matter of hours, a new driver could learn the importance of a light touch on the brakes and steering, and what to do when a spin seems imminent.

But the spread of computer-driven features like antilock brakes and electronic stability control may have relegated such excursions to family lore. And the role of computers in driving safety, already well established in brake and accelerator controls, continues to grow and to take on more responsibility — even correcting the steering of a hamfisted driver.

The benefits of electronic stability controls are so widely acknowledged that the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration in September proposed new rules that would make the systems mandatory on new vehicles in 2011. The added cost is estimated at $111 for a vehicle already equipped with antilock brakes.

The agency estimates that universal use of stability control would prevent as many as 10,000 deaths each year, many of them in rollover crashes of sport utilities. Nearly 30 percent of all 2006 models were equipped with stability control and more than half of all new *.U.V. models include the systems as standard equipment.

The N.H.T.*.A. proposal is under review by the White House Office of Management and Budget. Rather than wait for the rules to be finished, General Motors is installing electronic stability systems in most of its vehicles sooner.

“General Motors is well ahead of N.H.T.*.A.’* planned rollout of stability control,” Mike Rizzo, a lead engineer for chassis controls at G.M., said. “The majority of our products will have it as standard by 2008, and all but our very low-volume products by 2010.”

G.M., which introduced its first stability controls a decade ago on the Cadillac Seville, has continued to refine the systems; this fall, a third-generation release called StabiliTrak 3 will make its debut on the 2008 Cadillac STS luxury sedan.

The new version goes beyond the engine and brake controls typical of stability systems, adding a feature G.M. calls active front steering. When the rear wheels lose traction, it can turn the front wheels into the skid — exactly as a trained driver would — to help prevent a loss of control.

The STS is not the first car to be equipped with an active steering system. BMW introduced the feature in the 2004 5 Series and has since made it available on the X5 sport wagon, the 3 Series and the 6 Series.

G.M.’* first-generation StabiliTrak operated only on the front (driving) wheels. StabiliTrak 2, a four-wheel system, arrived on the 1998 Cadillac DTS, STS and Eldorado as well as Indianapolis 500 Pace Car versions of the Chevrolet Corvette.

StabiliTrak, like other stability controls, makes use of the mechanical parts that operate the antilock brakes and traction control. The system also uses a network of sensors to continuously monitor the vehicle’* motion and the driver’* actions, measuring cornering forces, gas pedal movement, brake pedal pressure and how many degrees the steering wheel has been turned, among other parameters.

Using data gathered from these sensors, the system acts to keep the vehicle from understeering, the condition when front wheels lose traction, or oversteering, which occurs when grip at the rear wheels is lost. Mr. Rizzo said the system intervened very quickly to reduce vehicle speed, first by closing the throttle and then by applying the brakes at a single corner of the car to coax the vehicle back onto the driver’* intended path.

For example, the driver of a car entering a left curve too quickly may find the rear end slipping to the outside of the curve as the cornering forces exceed the available tire grip. A device in the stability control called a yaw sensor detects the difference between the car’* actual direction of travel and the driver’* intended course and applies the right front brake through the antilock system.

The operation of an electronic stability control system is similar to piloting a canoe, Mr. Rizzo said.

“If you’re paddling a canoe from the rear and want to point the bow to the left, you put your oar in the water on the left,” he said. “The bow turns left, rotating around the oar. That’* essentially what we are doing.”

The steering corrections performed by StabiliTrak 3 are carried out by the active front steering hardware — a gearbox and a powerful electric motor positioned on the shaft that connects the steering wheel with the car’* rack-and-pinion assembly.

Mr. Rizzo said that active steering could add or subtract steering as needed to avoid a loss of stability; considerable effort went into making sure that the driver would feel nothing unusual at the steering wheel while this correction took place.

The engineer responsible for calibrating the STS system, Chris Kinser, said that if an experienced driver steered in the direction of the skid to counteract it, the system could quickly add more steering; if a driver reacts slowly or not at all to the skid, the system takes over and turns the steering wheel the necessary amount.

A further benefit of the system is its ability to change the steering ratio — the relationship of how much turning of the steering wheel changes the angle of the front wheels — in a range from 12:1 to 20:1. In practice, that means a car equipped with StabiliTrak 3 will require fewer turns of the steering wheel in low-speed maneuvers like parking, yet at highway speeds will have a ratio slow enough to keep the vehicle from darting across the lane when the driver twitches.

Mr. Kinser says that to keep the system feeling natural and normal to the driver, it is limited to adding the equivalent of 60 degrees of steering-wheel rotation in emergency maneuvers, and only about 20 degrees in steady-state driving. Movement of the front wheels is limited to four degrees.
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