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Vehicle stability control - yea or nay?
Posted by: AllGold
Date: January 26, 2007 11:39AM
Do you think it's worth $700?

This would be Toyota's version which is stability control only, not traction control.



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Re: Vehicle stability control - yea or nay?
Posted by: MacMagus
Date: January 26, 2007 11:51AM
Stability control is almost inevitably part of a premium package... and will be until mandatory in 2012.

What else are they throwing in? Heated leather seats and heated mirrors? Satellite radio?

Tell me what model car and which package and I'll tell you if I think it's worth it.

...and where/what conditions are you driving in?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/26/2007 11:53AM by MacMagus.
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Re: Vehicle stability control - yea or nay?
Posted by: testcase
Date: January 26, 2007 12:06PM
Will it get you a discount from your insurance company? If so, its' true cost will be less than $700 (especially since you'd get that discount every year). Don't forget to factor in its' value when you sell or trade the vehicle.
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Re: Vehicle stability control - yea or nay?
Posted by: AllGold
Date: January 26, 2007 12:10PM
A Prius and VSC is the only difference between package #1 and #2 (which apparently are the most common option packages). VSC is included on all option packages beyond that but I'm not looking at leather or nav systems, etc.

I'm in Michigan and we have our share of snow and ice but I still don't see it being useful more than about once a year.



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Re: Vehicle stability control - yea or nay?
Posted by: AllGold
Date: January 26, 2007 12:11PM
Good point, testcase. Thanks, I'll check.



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Re: Vehicle stability control - yea or nay?
Posted by: Michael
Date: January 26, 2007 01:03PM
I'd get it. I view this type of thing as insurance--hope I never need it, but if I do, I'll need it badly. Amortized over the years of the car and the fact that it will increase the trade-in value eventually and it's pretty cheap.

The IIHS [www.iihs.org] has recently decided that to get a top safety rating from 2007 and beyond, a vehicle must have stability control:

Top Safety Pick 2007 criteria

The Institute rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests plus evaluations of seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts. The first requirement for a vehicle to become a Top Safety Pick is to earn good ratings in all three Institute tests. A new requirement for 2007 is that the winning vehicles must offer electronic stability control. This addition is based on Institute research indicating that ESC significantly reduces crash risk, especially the risk of fatal single vehicle crashes, by helping drivers maintain control of their vehicles during emergency maneuvers.
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Re: Vehicle stability control - yea or nay?
Posted by: MacMagus
Date: January 26, 2007 01:41PM
> I'm in Michigan...

I'd get it.
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Re: Vehicle stability control - yea or nay?
Posted by: the_poochies
Date: January 26, 2007 01:42PM
Quote
AllGold
A Prius and VSC is the only difference between package #1 and #2 (which apparently are the most common option packages). VSC is included on all option packages beyond that but I'm not looking at leather or nav systems, etc.

I'm in Michigan and we have our share of snow and ice but I still don't see it being useful more than about once a year.

I don't think that VSC has that much to do with ice or snow. I thought that it automatically gains control of the car if you have to swerve suddenly (even on dry pavement).
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Re: Vehicle stability control - yea or nay?
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: January 26, 2007 01:44PM
Because of the demos I've seen on Motorweek I'd get it.



Grateful11
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Re: Vehicle stability control - yea or nay?
Posted by: billb
Date: January 26, 2007 03:16PM
ABS + a yaw sensor (and an upgraded brake computer software) = VSC

Isn't traction control part of the package of VSC ?
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Re: Vehicle stability control - yea or nay?
Posted by: kj
Date: January 26, 2007 03:43PM
I didn't like the idea of it, but now that I have it I wouldn't be without it. I invoke it often and I'm amazed what it can do. If nothing else, it keeps you from fishtailing in the snow, but I know too that it can straighten you out when you get a little "bent out of shape" turning quickly. Luckily, I can turn it off with a button when I want to "drift" a bit, but I usually leave it on. What I notice most is it cutting power to the engine (it won't let you do cookies), but I've also felt it apply brakes to different wheels to straighten the car. kj.
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Re: Vehicle stability control - yea or nay?
Posted by: davester
Date: January 26, 2007 06:34PM
I consider this to be a no-brainer decision unless you only use your car to drive around the corner (not too fast) to the grocery store and back. One of the main reasons we bought my wife's current car is that it was one of the first models to offer this feature, and we have definitely noticed in kicking in a few times when driving in inclement conditions. Her prior car didn't have it and almost took her down an embankment after skidding on a slippery road surface.

Whoever said that this feature doesn't apply in ice and snow needs to check their facts, because those are the conditions where you will likely utilize it the most.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Vehicle stability control - yea or nay?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: January 26, 2007 08:26PM
Whoever said that this feature doesn't apply in ice and snow needs to check their facts...

You need to read the question and not read anything INTO it, especially the part- I thought that it automatically gains control of the car if you have to swerve suddenly (even on dry pavement).

Emphasis, mine.

Note that he didn't say "only on dry pavement".





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Re: Vehicle stability control - yea or nay?
Posted by: AllGold
Date: January 26, 2007 08:27PM
Hmmm according to my agent, my insurance company, State Farm, doesn't give a hoot about stability control as a safety feature. No discount at all.

It would have been nice if it paid for itself in lower premiums, but oh well.



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Re: Vehicle stability control - yea or nay?
Posted by: kj
Date: January 26, 2007 10:02PM
Hey, it doesn't take much of an accident to cost you more than the 700.00 for the stability, not to mention injury. kj.
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Re: Vehicle stability control - yea or nay?
Posted by: Jack D.
Date: January 27, 2007 06:43AM
My wife has it on her BMW 328i and it's always on by default. In her case it's constantly adjusting the throttle and brakes so that you can pretty much drive like a nut if you wanted and it will decelerate and brake individual wheels as needed to keep you "safe". Sort of compliments the ABS system. Very nice on sticky pavement and for the most part transparent to the driver.

However, I was not excited about what happened during our first dusting of snow. The roads were very slick and the system when into lurch mode. As you tried to accelerate the slick surface caused you to lose traction and engine rpm increased, so the system applied the ABS and reduced throttle to produce the same effect as hitting the gas and then braking over and over again. We turned around and switched over to the Tahoe and 4wd. There's almost no traction problem you can't solve with a bigger vehicle and more weight. ;)



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Re: Vehicle stability control - yea or nay?
Posted by: ArtP
Date: January 27, 2007 10:29AM
Don't forget about our Michigan Lefts (Google it if you are not from Michigan) and many of our cloverleaf exit ramps for the expressways. You will spend more time than most goiing in a semi circle just driving in Michigan by default.

It may be worth the $700.
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Re: Vehicle stability control - yea or nay?
Posted by: davester
Date: January 27, 2007 10:43AM
Hmmm, I'd never heard of a Michigan left. It looks to solve the same problem (head-ons at 4 way intersections) that english roundabouts do. Not a bad idea for main roads with lesser travelled side streets, though I think I prefer the elegance of the roundabout in general.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Vehicle stability control - yea or nay?
Posted by: kj
Date: January 27, 2007 04:35PM
>>My wife has it on her BMW 328i and it's always on by default.

There's a button in front of the gear shift on the left that partially disables it when pressed. If you press and hold it for 5 secs. it turns it even more off. kj.
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Re: Vehicle stability control - yea or nay?
Posted by: AllGold
Date: January 28, 2007 01:49PM
Thanks everyone.

I guess $700 isn't much over the life of the car and I'll probably get it if it's available on what's on the lot at the time. But I've never had a car with any form of stability control and I've been driving for decades. It's not like you will instantly crash without it. smiling smiley

I would really like to get a Prius but I may end up having to stick with my Camry for a while longer.



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