Driving in the Snow - Traction Control On or Off?

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Dr. RGB

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As far as I know, there is no way to disable BLD. Holding the TC button for 5 seconds disable's the Electronic Stability Control (ESC).

Regarding BLD;

It really works!!! This summer I was on a 2 track and the road was blocked, so I had to drive up an embankment to get around a tree. My front right tire was in the air spinning with no traction and both my back tires were just digging in.

After a few seconds, the BLD kicked in and power was sent to my front left tire. I literally shot forward and climbed over the embankment. After that day, I've became a true believer in the BLD system.
I took an off-road class last year and the instructor used a JLR to demonstrate the BLD system and showed by climbing rock stairs, that it does as well as using the lockers when one wheel is not contacting the ground.
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As far as I know, there is no way to disable BLD. Holding the TC button for 5 seconds disable's the Electronic Stability Control (ESC).

Regarding BLD;

It really works!!! This summer I was on a 2 track and the road was blocked, so I had to drive up an embankment to get around a tree. My front right tire was in the air spinning with no traction and both my back tires were just digging in.

After a few seconds, the BLD kicked in and power was sent to my front left tire. I literally shot forward and climbed over the embankment. After that day, I've became a true believer in the BLD system.
While I have the LSD, I definitely like the BLD as well. I've seen BLD do some amazing things off-road.
That's why I wanted to be sure that BLD would still be active, if I disabled TC.:like:
 

jeepoch

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While I have the LSD, I definitely like the BLD as well. I've seen BLD do some amazing things off-road.
That's why I wanted to be sure that BLD would still be active, if I disabled TC.:like:
Charles,

For reference, directly from the 2019 JL Owner's Manual (pg 228):

Traction Control System (TCS) This system monitors the amount of wheel spin of each of the driven wheels. If wheel spin is detected, the TCS may apply brake pressure to the spinning wheel(s) and/or reduce engine power to provide enhanced acceleration and stability. A feature of the TCS, Brake Limited Differential (BLD), functions similar to a limited slip differential and controls the wheel spin across a driven axle. If one wheel on a driven axle is spinning faster than the other, the system will apply the brake of the spinning wheel. This will allow more engine torque to be applied to the wheel that is not spinning. BLD may remain enabled even if TCS and ESC are in a reduced mode.

Jay
 

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Charles,

For reference, directly from the 2019 JL Owner's Manual (pg 228):

Traction Control System (TCS) This system monitors the amount of wheel spin of each of the driven wheels. If wheel spin is detected, the TCS may apply brake pressure to the spinning wheel(s) and/or reduce engine power to provide enhanced acceleration and stability. A feature of the TCS, Brake Limited Differential (BLD), functions similar to a limited slip differential and controls the wheel spin across a driven axle. If one wheel on a driven axle is spinning faster than the other, the system will apply the brake of the spinning wheel. This will allow more engine torque to be applied to the wheel that is not spinning. BLD may remain enabled even if TCS and ESC are in a reduced mode.

Jay
Awesome, thanks!
 

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Awesome, thanks!
That BLD works pretty well in the snow even with the normal traction control turned off. My main gripe about TC in the deep snow is how it cuts throttle. A good feature if you're on ice, but not when you trying to plow through fresh deep snow.
 

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From the Owner's manual:

Traction Control System (TCS)
The Traction Control System (TCS) monitors the
amount of wheel spin of each of the driven
wheels. If wheel spin is detected, the TCS may
apply brake pressure to the spinning wheel(s)
and/or reduce engine power to provide
enhanced acceleration and stability. A feature
of the TCS, Brake Limited Differential (BLD),
functions similar to a limited slip differential
and controls the wheel spin across a driven
axle. If one wheel on a driven axle is spinning
faster than the other, the system will apply the
brake of the spinning wheel. This will allow more
engine torque to be applied to the wheel that is
not spinning. BLD may remain enabled even if
TCS and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) are in
a reduced mode.
 
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That BLD works pretty well in the snow even with the normal traction control turned off. My main gripe about TC in the deep snow is how it cuts throttle. A good feature if you're on ice, but not when you trying to plow through fresh deep snow.
So I am wondering how a throttle controller (I have the HikeIt) works with ESC on and the Jeep detects wheel slippage...
 

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So I am wondering how a throttle controller (I have the HikeIt) works with ESC on and the Jeep detects wheel slippage...
You got me, my ECU is still stock. 🤷‍♂️
 

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After growing up driving old trucks and instinctively counter-steering when things start getting squirrelly, I have to remember to NOT DO THAT! It's quite painful when the wheel comes to an abrupt halt, and 'coarse corrects' for you, bouncing the side of my head off the sport-bar...
 

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So, quick question regarding driving on snow covered roads. About a month ago I was on an unplowed road with about 5 inches of snow. Put the Jeep in 4-High and it felt squirrely to me, put it in 4-Low, totally solid. Since then I got an alignment and today, the same thing, 4-High at 20mph and it was all over the place, switched it into 4-Low and was able to maintain 20 mph with no issues. The only difference, besides the gearing (and other electronic controls disabled), was traction control is automatically turned off in 4-Low.

Here is the question, does switching off Traction Control help or hurt when driving on snow covered roads?
Keep in mind that a big part of its value is in 2WD - to help control an unexpected skid or fishtail when you end up in lower traction than you thought (fresh rain storm in hot weather with an oil slick on the roads, patch of ice on otherwise dry road, etc.). I don't mind having it on in those day to day 2WD situations. But if you are aware enough of bad conditions to be putting yourself in 4WD, then you probably aren't going to be surprised and may want to turn it off to have a bit more control and access to a little wheelspin and the ability to "read" the traction situation and how the vehicle is reacting to inputs without the computer-aided fuzziness intervening. That way if you run out of talent or traction and it looks like you are stuck, you can always throw it back on to see if it helps get you out in a manner similar to Toyota's crawl control feature. Sometimes these traction aids can help by applying enough braking to the spinning wheel to put some power where you have traction (assuming you don't have lockers that allow you to do that manually.).
 

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I've driven in snow all my life here in Cleveland. I have always kept traction control and vehicle stability control on. Period. That's what it's there for - to prevent things from getting away from you.

I really have never, ever been in a situation where TCS or stability didn't help me. Maybe I'm cautious, I don't know, but I've never felt like it's hampered me more than it's helped. I don't have the LSD on my Jeep and my FWD Mazda3 certainly didn't have an LSD, either, and I managed through heavy Lake Effect snowstorms the last 3 winters just fine with snow tires and proper route planning. I'm skeptical that I'd do a better job managing traction and slippage better than the TSC despite having plenty of autocross experience in my former Miata that didn't have ABS or any sort of traction control - it had a marginally effective viscous LSD out back and my right foot as traction aids. I leave TCS on all the time, period.

M/Ts are terrible for snow. You need to change those out for winter, IMO. Get proper tires first before blaming TCS for struggling in conditions. I haven't needed 4x4 yet in the Jeep, but I have the Michelin all-seasons on my JL and they seem pretty capable. Not as good as proper winter tires but I'm pleased with their performance.

If you feel your steering is squirrly, go in for the steering box TSB. That could be the reason for its unsteadiness rather than 2WD/4WD settings.
 
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I've driven in snow all my life here in Cleveland. I have always kept traction control and vehicle stability control on. Period. That's what it's there for - to prevent things from getting away from you.

I really have never, ever been in a situation where TCS or stability didn't help me. Maybe I'm cautious, I don't know, but I've never felt like it's hampered me more than it's helped. I don't have the LSD on my Jeep and my FWD Mazda3 certainly didn't have an LSD, either, and I managed through heavy Lake Effect snowstorms the last 3 winters just fine with snow tires and proper route planning. I'm skeptical that I'd do a better job managing traction and slippage better than the TSC despite having plenty of autocross experience in my former Miata that didn't have ABS or any sort of traction control - it had a marginally effective viscous LSD out back and my right foot as traction aids. I leave TCS on all the time, period.

M/Ts are terrible for snow. You need to change those out for winter, IMO. Get proper tires first before blaming TCS for struggling in conditions. I haven't needed 4x4 yet in the Jeep, but I have the Michelin all-seasons on my JL and they seem pretty capable. Not as good as proper winter tires but I'm pleased with their performance.

If you feel your steering is squirrly, go in for the steering box TSB. That could be the reason for its unsteadiness rather than 2WD/4WD settings.
Not blaming, just asking opinions. Also, got the TSB completed last year. I have heard the same thing about the M/T's being bad tires in the snow. Hard to justify new tires with 6k, but might be able to justify a second set for the winter.
 

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Does anyone else lock the diffs to get out of tough snow? Being able to lock them in 4H was one of my primary justifications for getting a Tazer Mini. The one time I needed it the difference between open and locked was significant.

Note that I have a manual, so 4L isn't much of an option in most snow scenarios since the shifts are incredibly short.
 

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I think a distinction should be made on this thread. Driving in the snow off road vs Driving in the snow on the road.

On the road, traction control on, driving off road, traction control off. There is a huge difference between the two.
 
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