emotodude
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:38 pm

Stabilitrak seems over-sensitive? Any way to disable?

Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:37 pm

So I commute in the Santa Cruz mountains on a daily basis and find the stabilitrak to be wildly over-sensitive. I probably trigger it 1/2 dozen time every trip. I am not pushing the car that hard. There is one corner in particular that seem to trigger it even at very mild speeds. I estimate less than .2g's lateral.

Anyone else notice this? Or maybe I should have my car checked? Yes tire pressures are all correct and even.

Any way to permanently disable stabilitrak? I am concerned about doing wheel and suspension mods as it may confuse the system and make things even worse.

tigger19687
Posts: 204
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:24 am
Location: Boston

Re: Stabilitrak seems over-sensitive? Any way to disable?

Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:12 am

Not trying to Hijack this,
But could you describe what this feels like ?

I plan on buying this car and read an issue in another thread but I am not understanding what the issue is.

For reference, I drive an F-350 Diesel so I assume it is very different. But I have also driven an Escort, Lexus 300 sporty (didn't like it) and a few other cars in my life.

FutureFolly
Posts: 141
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:22 pm

Re: Stabilitrak seems over-sensitive? Any way to disable?

Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:22 am

"Electronic stability control" systems are legally required on all new cars. They use sensors to detect how fast you're cornering. When the algorithms decide you're cornering too fast they cut power and apply the inner brakes to help pull you through the corner. The problem is that it's a very intrusive feeling.

Most manufacturers have their own brand name for their system. GM calls their system "StabiliTrak." They all work by the same principle though.

emotodude
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:38 pm

Re: Stabilitrak seems over-sensitive? Any way to disable?

Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:01 pm

tigger19687 wrote:Not trying to Hijack this,
But could you describe what this feels like ?

I plan on buying this car and read an issue in another thread but I am not understanding what the issue is.

For reference, I drive an F-350 Diesel so I assume it is very different. But I have also driven an Escort, Lexus 300 sporty (didn't like it) and a few other cars in my life.

It's an annoying "pulsing" at a couple hertz as the car brakes the rear inside wheel to pull the nose around. Also the stabilitrack indicator flashes when active. It does work. But it's way over-active in this car, I suspect I have 50% "grip" left before it really needs to actuate this system. So mostly it's super annoying, and arguable slightly unsafe because the cars behavior changes sporadically and inconsistently.

It seems like in order to be "safer" they have opted for an over-stable car that "pushes" in the corners and uses the stabilitrak to pull the nose back in line. This means you are less likely to spin and lose control, but it also yields less overall performance and annoying, quirky and inconsistent behavior. Both my '86 civic hatchback and 2007 yaris hatchback handled much better and had no need of this silly stability augmentation non-sense.

With no way to permanently disable this "feature" it means that changing wheels, tires, brakes, and suspension components may confuse the system and cause it to behave in un-intended ways.

It also means I may boil the rear brakes trying to autocross or race at Refuel this year. It's not unique to this car. Many cars with stability features, even "sports cars" have this problem.

SanDiego
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:36 pm

Re: Stabilitrak seems over-sensitive? Any way to disable?

Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:16 pm

I hate the behavior of this system too, especially on curvy country roads in downhill bends. In our urban driving its mostly on freeway on-ramps.

I consistently hold down the button behind the shift lever to turn off traction control, which my imagination tells me may help the situation a little. Hold that button down long enough at low speeds and stability control turns off too, but unfortunately it doesn't stay off. When it's off it handles like a real car.

My wife, as far as I can tell, may never have had stability control intrude. Different driving styles,I confess.

Since the front tires are almost worn out I'm going for a stiffer pair, which may help - who knows. I'll post what I find out.
2014 Spark EV 2LT - leased on July 24, 2013

SanDiego
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:36 pm

Replaced front tires; big effect on stability control

Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:51 pm

I posted this on the "Torque Steer" thread, but want to duplicate it here too as a promised follow-up re. the stability control system:

I replaced our front tires with Yokohama Avid Ascend (185/55R15 = the original size).

This seems to have tightened up the car's handling in every respect, and after a few hundred miles of testing, seems to eliminate my complaints about the over-sensitive stability control, which I do not feel kicking in at all, even on tight turns at a fast clip.

The original Ecopia tires wore down to 4/32" tread after 9,000 miles. The handling got more and more mushy. Traction was reduced. There are a limited number of tires made in the 185/55R15 size. The Avid Ascend is one of them, and it's billed as a low-rolling-resistance tire. It's wear rating is more than twice the rating of the Ecopia tires. The OEM Ecopia tires have no mileage warranty, but the Avid Ascend has 85,000 miles of coverage. So it looks like they will carry us for the rest of our 36,000 mile lease with no problem. I wish I had bought them sooner.
2014 Spark EV 2LT - leased on July 24, 2013

Electricbowtie
Posts: 95
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:04 am
Location: Los Gatos Mtns, CA

Re: Stabilitrak seems over-sensitive? Any way to disable?

Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:19 pm

@emotodude - I too now commute in the Santa Cruz mountains in my Charcoal Gray Volt and pretty sure I saw you on Bear Creek a few days ago. Blue Spark EV correct? Anyway, I also drive my wife's Spark EV up the hill on occasion and really noticed the Stabilitrak messing with my driving. I did see that you can disable it by holding the TC button down for 5 seconds, so will try that on Monday when I drive it up there to see if that helps. Not sure if you have done the same yet.
2012 Cyber Gray Volt (EV best = 51.5 miles)
https://www.voltstats.net/Stats/Details/1192

2014 Electric Blue Spark EV (EV best = 79 miles (16.6kwh) with 15 to go)
http://www.voltstats.net/SparkEV/Stats/Details/4223

NomadMac
Posts: 163
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:26 am
Location: Marin County

Re: Stabilitrak seems over-sensitive? Any way to disable?

Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:32 pm

I complained about the traction control on the wet road up and down Mt. Tam. Took the same drive yesterday and the TC was coming on in hairpin corners that were dry. Really annoying. Hoping the Avids will fix this issue as someone else noted. Not ready to replace the Ecopias just yet with barely 4,000 miles on them.

Electricbowtie
Posts: 95
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:04 am
Location: Los Gatos Mtns, CA

Re: Stabilitrak seems over-sensitive? Any way to disable?

Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:11 pm

I did the round trip to work today on the winding Hwy 9 and Bear Creek Road home and the Stabilitrak was absolutely maddening!! It was hitting the brakes on most curves and sucked the fun out of the drive. Our Volt handles the road WAY better. Even when I turned it off, it kicked back on curves. Grrr
2012 Cyber Gray Volt (EV best = 51.5 miles)
https://www.voltstats.net/Stats/Details/1192

2014 Electric Blue Spark EV (EV best = 79 miles (16.6kwh) with 15 to go)
http://www.voltstats.net/SparkEV/Stats/Details/4223

nmikmik
Posts: 142
Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 3:46 pm
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Replaced front tires; big effect on stability control

Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:17 pm

SanDiego wrote:I posted this on the "Torque Steer" thread, but want to duplicate it here too as a promised follow-up re. the stability control system:

I replaced our front tires with Yokohama Avid Ascend (185/55R15 = the original size).

This seems to have tightened up the car's handling in every respect, and after a few hundred miles of testing, seems to eliminate my complaints about the over-sensitive stability control, which I do not feel kicking in at all, even on tight turns at a fast clip.

The original Ecopia tires wore down to 4/32" tread after 9,000 miles. The handling got more and more mushy. Traction was reduced. There are a limited number of tires made in the 185/55R15 size. The Avid Ascend is one of them, and it's billed as a low-rolling-resistance tire. It's wear rating is more than twice the rating of the Ecopia tires. The OEM Ecopia tires have no mileage warranty, but the Avid Ascend has 85,000 miles of coverage. So it looks like they will carry us for the rest of our 36,000 mile lease with no problem. I wish I had bought them sooner.
Thanks for posting it here SanDiego,
I am wondering if you felt any change of the ride harshness or smoothness?
I know usually there is a trade off from a better handling.
2014 white LT1 w/QC option
2014 blue LT2 w/QC option

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