A Daring Proposal – “Traction Control: On”

Firstly, I want to briefly apologize for the lack of posts. Maybe you care, maybe you don’t – but I’ve been in the midst of summer classes, car work, and moving. I’ll let you decide the greater from the lesser.

Nonetheless, I want to share a brief revelation I had the other day. My family had Chinese for a takeout dinner the other night, from a place a few miles west of my parents house. I elected not to drive the Celica there. Instead, I took my Mom’s Acura TSX.

The TSX is not really an ordinary TSX. It’s the Sport Edition. It has a Six-Speed gearbox (yes, manual), three pedals, and sway bars larger than the sun(I’m not kidding, those suckers are like 40mm in diameter). Dare I say, it’s actually fun to drive. Except for the Traction Control. Now, I hate traction control. I feel as though it’s an example of the Nanny State trying to tell me what I can and can’t do. Anyone who tells me what to do pisses me off and makes it so I forego sleeping that night and instead plotting revenge.

I do not like Traction Control. I don’t own a car with it. I don’t really plan on owning a car with it. Sure, it’s a safe thing, but Driver Education I feel always wins. There’s more here though. More aside from that (stupid and overrated) safety aspect. Based on a strategic sample of cars equipped with Traction Control (2 coupled with the quite-excellent simulator that is Forza), I can’t stand it. Not because it keeps me in a straight line, but because it interferes. Even in the TSX I can feel when the tires are about to lose grip, and I have already compensated for that. In Forza, I can’t drive with the “Traction Control” on because I correct because it does. So then it kicks in and puts me in a bush. Sure, it tries to help. But it fails miserably and pisses me off. Not to sound full of myself, but I’m better than it. I know what my car is going to do before the traction control kicks in because I’m the one telling it what on earth I want it to do. I don’t think Traction Control can do that.

So I want to propose leaving Traction Control turned off by default. What about those people who don’t know how to drive? Well, newer cars are already set up with such a predictable understeering suspension that I think the only hazard is someone learning how their car responds to being driven.

Anyway, more to come. Just my 2 cents.


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