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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    What problem with the traction control?

    I bought a 2007 Prius a couple of months ago, and it has performed flawlessly, right through our recent cold and snow blitz. So what is this supposed problem with the traction control?

    I have had two different people in the last week (both former Prius owners) tell me "you'd better be careful, you're driving a death trap on slippery roads." They then told me how the car 'loses power' and doesn't accelerate properly on snowy roads. I have now driven three cars with traction control (the others were a Chevy Impala and a Hyundai) - ALL of them accelerated more slowly when the traction control is activated. Unless I'm seriously mistaken that is what traction control is supposed to do, to prevent the wheels from spinning on slippery surfaces and protect the transaxle from damage from over-revving. I've driven manual-transmission cars most of my life and started up on icy roads in 2nd gear to achieve the same thing - worked flawlessly but also has the feeling of 'losing power'.

    So is there really an issue with the Prius's traction control, or is this just a bunch of people who don't understand what it's supposed to do (as I personally suspect)?

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  3. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    My 2007 Prius is approaching 3 weeks old. In these past three days, my area was hit with a combination ice and snow storm. I think I have an idea where people are coming from regarding the traction control.

    I, like you, drove a manual transmission before the Prius. I used the same technique of pulling out in second or third gear. I agree with you about the traction control. I'm on the original all-seasons from the dealer. While on the road, the Prius worked flawlessly. It's a very confident ride in bad weather.

    However, where I think people find problems is exactly where I found mine. The deep snow had changed to freezing rain and I just got to my apartment. I parked crooked, so I went to back the car up...nothing. I pulled forward, it went about a foot...then nothing again. Eventually I made my way out of being stuck by using the non-traction control equivalent of rocking the car forward and reverse. Of course it was frustrating, but the same thing would have happened in another car. There just would have been wheel spin. And what is wheel spin? A lack of traction. I'll admit, it was a little odd put my foot on the pedal and have the prius give no response at all. I lie...the traction-loss light started to blink. But it's doing exactly what it's supposed to do.

    And what really confirmed everything for me was when my wife had to move her gasoline engine car (which was parked right next to mine). She put it in reverse and started off with the wheels spinning. She had to rock forward and in reverse to eventually give herself a big enough patch to get moving.

    I've praised this car up and down to my friends, family, and colleagues for how it's performed in the snow. Incidentally, the day of the storm, I was one of three workers who made it to work that day. Our company has over 100 employees in that office. Most live closer than me.

  4. #3
    Guest

    The car is two wheel drive.

    The car is two wheel drive. I am amazed that you see no problem with this drive system, regardless of the power source, on slippery roads and in navigating through snow and ice. If your vehicle performed flawlessly, it is, for sure, that you were not anywhere near a hill and had minimal snow on the road. I will not buy a hybrid car until a computer system similar to the system developed in the Elica (an experimental computer controlled drive system) is offered as an option. If you own one in an area that gets significant snow in the winter, park it in the garage and wait for spring. Or, have the number of a good towing company on speed dial

  5. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    I have more annoying

    I have more annoying problems with the traction control on dry roads. If I accelerate hard from a stop and it thinks I'm going to peel rubber or there is a little gravel on the road, it cuts the power.

  6. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Mr. Bear: Do you have

    Mr. Bear: Do you have factory original tires? The original Prius tires do not have a lot of traction (as a compromise for high mileage).

    Prius electric drive motor has ALOT of torque at zero speed. That's the big difference between electric and gas engines. Electric motors produce maximum torque at 0 RPM.

    If you have low traction tires, and less-than-perfect pavement, your Pruis tires WILL slip, even on dry surfaces. You might have to settle for 3/4 throttle application until you are moving 10-15mph.

  7. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Yeah, I'm still running the

    Yeah, I'm still running the original tires.

    I just have to remember when the traction control kicks in, I have to back off the gas instead of stepping on it harder.

  8. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    I hear the same complaint

    I hear the same complaint from my wife. I think most people are not familiar with traction control and what it does. Once you add the incredible torque of an electric motor I understand why people think something is wrong. I often wish I could turn off the traction control so she can see what happens without it. I lost track of how many times I have asked her "do you want the car to accelerate slowly or do you want to peel out?"

    I just put new tires on my 05 Prius. I ran my originals down to nothing with 73k miles. I know I was pushing it but I am a world class procrastinator. Perhaps the new shoes will help!

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