Does a Tesla have Traction Control?

Having traction control in a vehicle is especially important especially during winter conditions.   Since you’re paying a lot for your Tesla, it’s good to have a system that’s going to be adequate for you so that your tires did not spin out of control on slippery pavement.  I will indicate whether a Tesla has the normal type of traction control or some other type of system.

Does a Tesla have traction control? A Tesla does have traction control, especially advanced in the Tesla Model S.   Even though a Tesla is not a performance car, it does have wheel spin control that works adequately.  There is the electrical motor connection to a differential gear box that controls the two front wheels at the same time. This allows the outside drive wheel to rotate at a rate faster than that of the inside drive wheel especially during turns. This is helpful for traction control.

How does Tesla traction control work?

The traction control system in a Tesla does not work the way it works in a normal gas-powered car.   A normal car uses limited slip which gives different torque to each wheel.  To achieve this independent use of torque, it requires an extraordinarily complex gear system which is something that has not been incorporated into a Tesla.  A Tesla has astronomical torque and it’s important that they use something lighter and less complex to stabilize the car.

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To avoid using the technology of the limited slip, Tesla incorporates the rear brakes which is going to transfer the torque to the wheel that is currently gripping the most.  These commands are controlled by the stability control system which is highly logical and controlled by software.  The stability control system provides independent control of the wheels along with use of the rear brakes and order to provide high stability even with slippery conditions during rain or wintery weather.

Tesla states that their control system gives you maximum contact to road via your tires.  This assistance with control will work if you were in the Rockies dealing with a lot of winding roads or if you find yourself in the middle of storm on the Gulf Coast which it has a lot of rainstorms. Their system prevents the loss of traction and it maintains a lot of control. Even if you were to understeer or oversteer, the stability control system will reduce torque and apply the brakes so that you have full control over your Tesla especially when cornering.

They used this software advanced system for traction control since they wanted to incorporate the least amount of weight, which made a gear system almost impossible to incorporate into a Tesla.  This is just another way the best minds on the planet were able to deal with car control and stability.

Even though they are just emulating limited slip, it’s just another case of Tesla producing something extremely innovative and complex at the same time.  Torque control cannot be handled with a lot of extra Hardware, since that would add weight to an electric car.  So, the next time that you slam on the brakes and you still seem to be in control in a Tesla, the above information will provide you with an understanding why this is happening.

Having an elevated level of stability is wonderful but is this a function that only is used just periodically by a Tesla?  Some people would rather have traction control that they can control more manually, instead of having traction control that is controlled by software.  However, I will explain the benefit of the Tesla system that controlled by subroutines with its software.

Here is a video of a guy that is putting the traction control in a Tesla to the test.  He drives around in the snow and even tries to stop on hills that are slippery:

Do you have traction control all the time in a Tesla?

Yes, you have traction control all the time in a Tesla.  This traction control is activated very quickly, much more quickly than you would see within a gas-powered car.  In a gas-powered car, the system for traction control must hijack the ABS system.  This takes about a tenth of a second to do so, which is a lot of time if you need to prevent your car from fishtailing during a slippery incident.

Your Tesla on the other hand is constantly monitoring what’s happening to its tires, and it instantaneously can react because of the circuitry that communicates with the electric motor.  This communication provides power when needed to control the stability.   It doesn’t have to waste time understanding a signal from an ABS system.

Nevertheless, you do have to be accelerating for traction control to take effect, because it takes speed to cause a fishtail. We have all heard while we were learning how to drive how you should not apply the gas if you’re on an icy patch on a road.

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I would say that the traction control system is more reliable in a Tesla versus a gas-powered car because it’s able to detect extremely slight differences in how fast the wheels are going and it is able to quickly redirect torque.  Of course, a human would not be able to do this as effectively manually, since they would have to incorporate a lot of counter steering to reduce the power that is transferred to the tires that are slipping. 

It is hard to understand scientifically how the stability control in a Tesla can prevent a fishtail.  You just need to realize that it is working correctly and it’s a huge advantage over the ICE car.  I have read many reports from owners of  Teslas online stating that they’ve never had a problem with traction control.  Nevertheless, there a lot of electric vehicles that utilize a similar system, providing even more proof that a software-controlled stability is better than the typical hardware system within a gas-powered car. 

Another function that is related to traction control on a Tesla is the slip start.

What is the Tesla slip start?

The Tesla slip start is a function that allows the tires to slip ao that you don’t remain stuck in snow or some other substance such as sand.   In this type of environment, you don’t need traction control that is designed to prevent your car from spinning out of control.   With traction control your tires are still spinning but they are receiving less power which means that they’re not spinning as fast.  If you are stuck in snow or sand, you don’t want the tires to spin.  Setting the slip start function will prevent a tire from spinning for a brief period. 

Nevertheless, you cannot be travelling at more than forty miles per hour since stopping a tire and allowing it to slip at a high speed, could cause an accident.   It is rare that you would need to use the Tesla slip start.  That is why it is not enabled automatically. 

The best time to utilize it is when you’re trying to start the Tesla on a patch of loose gravel or snow.  Some examples of this driving scenario is when you’re driving in deep snow, in mud, or in deep sand. Another time to use the Tesla slip start is when you’re trying to rock your EV out of a large hole or deep rut that’s in the road.

Some Tesla owners feels that this function is asking like a second gear, but in fact it doesn’t really have anything to do with another gear at all.  It’s just tuning down the traction control.

The typical gas-powered car is not able to use this type of function because it is not able to control the spinning speed of a specific wheel.

Having the slip start activated may entice you into deactivating traction control completely in your Tesla so that you will feel as if you are more in control of the vehicle.  Can you shut it off in a Tesla?

How do you turn off traction control in a Tesla?

It is not possible to turn off traction control in a Tesla for a particularly important reason.  A Tesla has a high level of torque, so totally turning off track control is not a good plan.  There used to be an Android app that will let you turn off certain functions including traction control, but it has been taken out of the app store for Android.

Another reason that traction control is needed in a Tesla is due to the weight of a Tesla compared to a gas-powered car.  It is very heavy, and you need to have some sort of traction control to control it properly so that you don’t spin out of control.

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