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Old 12-19-2008, 08:43 PM   #1
saturnd00d
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2008 VUE 2.4L
Default Those familiar with Stabilitrak

Hey guys, we were hit with a huge snowstorm today, a whiteout type of storm that is. Anyways long story short, I was snowed in because I live off a major road and the stupid city plows literally snowed me in. So I rocked the Vue back and forth via "D" and "R" to no success, but what I found awkward, is when the stabilitrak icon appeared, it felt like a snapping or creaking sound came from under the car. Is this how it's supposed to sound, or was I on the verge of breaking my new Vue? It just seemed weird. As well, when actually driving today, the ABS felt very rough. Not the most pleasant feeling thing either.

Any thoughts on that?

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Old 12-19-2008, 09:13 PM   #2
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Default Re: Those familiar with Stabilitrak

You likely didn't do anything to hurt it. Stabilitrak uses the ABS to apply brakes individually in an attempt to control wheels spin (traction control) and vehicle direction (stability control). You were probably just hearing your EBCM (ABS module) cycling the solenoids. Remember, when ABS is doing its function, you're creating the hydraulic pressure via the master cylinder. If Stabilitrak wants to apply a brake, it needs to spin up the ABS motor to create hydraulic pressure. This can create some pretty interesting noises as it begins to cycle.

Next time you get stuck, turn off Stabilitrak. Getting unstuck requires wheel spin. One of Stabilitrak's functions is to prevent that. You're basically fighting against the vehicle to get unstuck.

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Old 12-19-2008, 10:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Those familiar with Stabilitrak

Thank you for taking the DUMP for us in NYC!? We watched the Weatherbug radar throughout the day to see when the DUMP would drop snow on us but when I left JFK airport in mid afternoon today the big flakes turned to ice pellets, making for slushy driving. Its clear now and streets are completely cleaned, for the weekend snow dump predicted. I had my first winter opportunity to try out ABS again to test them in this slushy/icy condition and as usual they worked with the all too familiar 'foot massage' - the very fast multiple opening and closing of individual brake valves within the ABS unit to effectively unlock the locked tire that's skidding. This year it didn't take much speed to activate ABS as I was leery of the first winter snows and relearning winter driving. I wanted to speed as usual but was quickly reminded at each braking opportunity how easily ABS activates, warning me that I'm still driving a bit faster than road conditions allows so my normal drive home took double the time with everyone else doing the same. ABS will immediately remind you of its activation by the 'foot massage' as one way to warn you of excessive speeding for the tires unable to maintain complete traction control. Any tire that locks up immediately, even when I went below 20mph braking hard, activates ABS to release the brake-locked wheel while the other wheels are slowing down. As soon as the brake-locked wheel is released and speeds up to the rest of the wheels, ABS immediately closes and applies braking to this wheel. Effectively controlling all four wheel brakes is under control by ABS and not you or me so the foot massage is notifying us that its doing its best to slow the car down and allow us steering control. I try my brakes most often during snow conditions for the icy sliding effect snow gives to force ABS activation - to relearn when loss of traction control events occur, most often sooner than I anticipated. All well and good for me so I know what my tire limits are and can have a better idea of my tires abilities to handle snow conditions. As we all know, snow conditions can have many different ways to affect each car at any speed since we all drive differently and have every tire imaginable from pure bald racing to dedicated snows with some true die-hards running studded tires. So each vehicle will have different traction control that each driver needs to accept to optimize driving safely. I don't have Stabilitrak but can imagine what its doing in your rocking back and forth scenario as I'm guessing that its being enabled at the wrong time. If there's a button to disable it, which I doubt, do so while performing something not remotely related to activating Stabilitrak.

I'm guessing your Stabilitrak is being enabled due to the combination of wheel spin and rocking that translates to Stabilitraks sensors detecting the off angle movements while only rocking the car. I think the technical terms are the yaw (and possibly pitch) sensor detects the slightest left/right (and pitching) movement against the spinning wheel or wheel spin just from your attempts to move the car similar to a dangerous steering jerk at high speed. If Stabilitrak is enabled, you may be feeling the same ABS foot massage but if your foot isn't on the brake pedal (as in a typical Stabilitrak activation mode) you're still feeling the ABS unit being activated to slow the spinning wheel that you're trying to spin to get out of the rut you're buried in!? Go figure. Just supposition on my part and welcome any correction by anyone more knowledgeable on the intricacies of Stabilitrak and possibly one of its unforeseen weaknesses in certain situations. In this case, not a weakness but annoyance, interfering with your desire to get out of the buried snow grave your municipal employees put your car into.

Last edited by fdryer; 12-19-2008 at 10:16 PM..

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Old 12-20-2008, 12:55 AM   #4
GMmon
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2008 VUE 3.6L
Default Re: Those familiar with Stabilitrak

The Stabiltrak is mainly for controlling skids while moving. Traction Control(TC) is for controlling wheel spin while accelerating. Turning OFF the TC is the ONLY way to spin the wheels enough to get through a snow pile,burn your way up a SLICK hill type situation.

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Old 12-20-2008, 03:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Those familiar with Stabilitrak

Quote:
If there's a button to disable it, which I doubt, do so while performing something not remotely related to activating Stabilitrak.
Quote:
Turning OFF the TC is the ONLY way to spin the wheels enough to get through a snow pile,burn your way up a SLICK hill type situation.
The Stabilitrak button is located on the I/P center stack, next to the hazard lamp switch.

Pressing the button will disable both traction control and stability control. Stabilitrak bundles the two systems together and they cannot be disabled independently of one another.

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Old 12-24-2008, 03:00 PM   #6
ZX3Junglist
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2008 VUE 3.6L
Default Re: Those familiar with Stabilitrak

Acutally,

to disable the traction control, you press this button. You'll see one light in your IP. To turn off both traction control and stability control, you need to hold it for 3 seconds. You'll see both lights in your IP.

-ZX

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Old 12-25-2008, 08:41 PM   #7
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2008 VUE 3.5L
Default Re: Those familiar with Stabilitrak

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZX3Junglist View Post
Acutally,

to disable the traction control, you press this button. You'll see one light in your IP. To turn off both traction control and stability control, you need to hold it for 3 seconds. You'll see both lights in your IP.

-ZX
I will try this tonight when I head out. KUDOS to this forum - I had no clue this was an option. I often turn off my traction control in town so I can move through intersections faster in the snow and ice. It will be interesting to see how the car handles with both fuctions disabled.

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