Welcome to the Corvette Forums at the Corvette Action Center!

Traction Control vs. Active handling vs. Competition mode

Joined
Oct 25, 2002
Messages
2,634
Location
Lilburn GA
Corvette
2002 Yellow Z06 (sold); 1999 Pewter FRC (sold)
For some reason I keep getting confused about this so I thought I would pore through the manual (again) and previous posts on this topic to see if I can get it straight. I would appreciate any corrections or comments.

This is what I have gathered from various sections of the manual:

Summary
There are 3 modes
1) Traction Control Off, Active handling Off
2) Traction Control On, Active handling On
3) Competitive Driving = Traction Control Off, Active Handling On

Traction Control (TCS)
  • This limits wheel spin by working the rear brakes and reducing engine power.
  • TCS comes on automatically when you start the car.
  • If it engages (i.e. if you start spinning the wheels and it kicks in to reduce spin), the DIC shows TRACTION SYS ACTIVE (momentarily)
  • To toggle TCS on or off, press the Active Handling button on the center console briefly. This will also toggle the Active handling System in conjunction with TCS. The DIC will briefly display "TRAC/ACT HNDLG -ON" or "TRAC/ACT HNDLG -OFF".
  • If it is OFF, then the skidding-corvette-rear-end light (TCS light on the instrument panel) is ON.
Active Handling System
  • Active Handling helps maintain directional control by selectively applying any one of the vehicles brakes.
    (The video has an interesting segment on this feature)
  • Active Handling comes on automatically when you start the car.
  • If it engages to regain vehicle control, the DIC says "ACTIVE HANDLING" (briefly).
  • If you turn the Active Handling System Off, the traction control system will also be turned off. It is toggled on or off the same way the TCS system is toggled (see above)
  • If it is OFF, then the skidding-corvette-rear-end light (TCS light on the instrument panel) is ON.
Competition Mode:
  • Competitive Driving mode allows the driver to have full control of the rear wheels while the Active Handling system helps steer the vehicle by selective brake application.
  • When on, the DIC displays "COMPETITIVE DRIVING"
  • To turn on Competition Mode, press the Active Handling button on the center console for more than 5 seconds.
  • To turn it off, press the button briefly. Does the active handling/traction control then turn ON?
The manual states that ABS remains on with the traction control and Active Handling Systems off. I assume this means it also remains on when in Competitive Driving mode?
 

69MyWay

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
I can tell you this.

Nikki turned off the comp mode by accident before one of her last Autocross sessions. She had been using it to push the car to the limit. She went into the same tight S turn right after a sweet fast slolum and lost control big time. She ended up out in the middle of a grassy field part of the track and took a cone out there with her. She could not believe the difference it made in control of the car.

I have turned on traction control and hammered the car from a dead line acceleration on wet roads and still accelerated faster than I could have ever imagined.

She too searched the manual in full detail but found herself rather lost still. It was not until she played with it that she began to understand.

She is C5_Nik here on CAC. I will have to show this to her tonight and see if she has any other input.
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2002
Messages
2,634
Location
Lilburn GA
Corvette
2002 Yellow Z06 (sold); 1999 Pewter FRC (sold)
So is sounds like when she turned off competition mode, then it was in full manual mode? (all active handling & traction control off, the skidding-corvette light was on?)

I have always been confused by the Competition Mode. I thought it meant that the driver had full control of the vehicle (as in all traction/handling systems off). But it appears that in competition mode, the active handling is ON to assist when the car is going out of control.

I just want to understand it so I don't make a wrong assumption that the car is going to take care of things, when it really isn't.

thanks Chris, I look forward to her comments.
 

69MyWay

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
The best way I can describe the handeling features are the following:

Active-(the way the car is set unless you hit the button) the car's brain is working and it helps keep you from doing anything stupid

Competition-allows the driver to act a little more "stupid" and it helps control when the driver is getting in over his head. (perfect example--I went into a corner too fast and it was gradually applying the brakes...what a werid feeling)

Off-You better know how to drive your car or it could end up in a ditch (like the C5 from Labor day weekend in BG).

I keep the car in Active (regular, don't have to mess with the button) while I am driving around town. When I get on the track I put it in Comp and being the inexperienced driver that I am I AVOID off. Hope that helps!

Nikki :)
 

Rob

Site Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Joined
Sep 16, 2000
Messages
13,763
Location
New Hampshire
Corvette
1990 Corvette ZR-1
Joined
Oct 25, 2002
Messages
2,634
Location
Lilburn GA
Corvette
2002 Yellow Z06 (sold); 1999 Pewter FRC (sold)
Rob, thanks for that link. That is good info, and it sounds a lot like was was discussed on the video. Very interesting reading about all the sensors & computer controller.
Although it did not go into the icons or display lights on the DIC, it appears to confirm what I put in the first post.
 

hoosierdaddy

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 3, 2004
Messages
3,010
Location
Bluffton, Indiana
Corvette
2000 Black Coupe; W/6-Speed
Tammy,

I am still somewhat confused; I guess my original question that started all of this was specificlly TRACTION CONTROL ONLY. Now I do not have active handling that I know of. All that I think my car has is traction control only; I do not have the selectable ride control like compatition mode. sport and touring that I can turn a knob to. All I have is the push button switch on my console and it says traction control. What my initial question was, when do I use this as far as turning it off and on and what does it really do when I do either? Ride control is an option that I don't think I have or if I do I don't know it. I am still confused on this subject. If there is a way to un-confuse me I would appreciate it very much. SO WHAT IS ACTIVE HANDLING, RIDE CONTROL AND TRACTION CONTROL EXACTLY?

Thanks,
Bill
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2002
Messages
2,634
Location
Lilburn GA
Corvette
2002 Yellow Z06 (sold); 1999 Pewter FRC (sold)
Hey Bill-

Traction Control = helps rear wheels get traction
Active Handling = Helps keep your car pointed in the direction it was intended if you oversteer. Useful for seriously aggressive driving but many racers don't use it because they'd rather be in control, even in almost-out-of-control situations.
This came on the Z06's at the time that I bought mine, not sure if it has become an option on other C5s/C6's since.
Ride Control = suspension adjustments. Not available on the z06 in 2002, but an improved magnetic selective ride control package was available in 2003.

As to your question about using your traction control button. Why don't you go ahead and turn it off. See how you like it. You'll probably get more rear wheel spin on damp pavement or in slow turns even under moderate acceleration. I'll be honest and tell you I've never really played with it much. I leave it on, the way it defaults when I crank up.

Tammy
 

hoosierdaddy

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 3, 2004
Messages
3,010
Location
Bluffton, Indiana
Corvette
2000 Black Coupe; W/6-Speed
Traction Control Function When To Use And When Not To Use!

Tammy,

:confused I guess I thought there were 3 choices, Active Handling, Selectable Ride Control, and Traction Control. I have a push button on my console that either turns traction control off or turns it on; if it does more than that I am not aware of it. I realize or at least think the GM gave it this feature of turning it on or off for some reason I just haven't figured out how it works yet. I assume on slick pavement you would want it on but if you were going to get down and serious driving you may not. Do you know if this also has an active handling feature that I may not be aware of or would this be another option and or feature with its own control button? I have played with it some but have still yet to understand not only how is works but when and where I should use it.

Thanks again,
Bill :w

MsSchroder said:
Hey Bill-

Traction Control = helps rear wheels get traction
Active Handling = Helps keep your car pointed in the direction it was intended if you oversteer. Useful for seriously aggressive driving but many racers don't use it because they'd rather be in control, even in almost-out-of-control situations.
This came on the Z06's at the time that I bought mine, not sure if it has become an option on other C5s/C6's since.
Ride Control = suspension adjustments. Not available on the z06 in 2002, but an improved magnetic selective ride control package was available in 2003.

As to your question about using your traction control button. Why don't you go ahead and turn it off. See how you like it. You'll probably get more rear wheel spin on damp pavement or in slow turns even under moderate acceleration. I'll be honest and tell you I've never really played with it much. I leave it on, the way it defaults when I crank up.

Tammy
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2002
Messages
2,634
Location
Lilburn GA
Corvette
2002 Yellow Z06 (sold); 1999 Pewter FRC (sold)
I assume on slick pavement you would want it on but if you were going to get down and serious driving you may not.
Yes. Correct.
Do you know if this also has an active handling feature that I may not be aware of or would this be another option and or feature with its own control button?
I checked the model center and Active Handling was available as a $500 option on the 2000's. I don't know if yours has it or not.

I honestly can't remember if there is a separate button for the active handling or if it is built into the traction control button. I want to say that it is built in, and that holding it for 5 seconds puts it in a different mode than just pushing for a second (traction control on/off). I leave this feature alone, and my car is not with me now so I can't run out to the garage and check.

If you're not the original owner, you can check the glove box for the build codes. I recommend finding an owners manual for it- it will describe what systems you have (if available) and how to operate them.

Check out the codes for options that were available on the 2000:
http://corvetteactioncenter.com/specs/2000/2000prod.html


Tammy
 

hoosierdaddy

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 3, 2004
Messages
3,010
Location
Bluffton, Indiana
Corvette
2000 Black Coupe; W/6-Speed
Traction Control Function When To Use And When Not To Use!

Thanks Tammy :BOW

I can't imagine :CAC without you. You are always there and just make my day sometimes. You are absolutely "Supremo Moderator" in my book. I will next time I take my car out on the road check this active handling/traction control feature out. I kind of have it put away for the winter which really sucks but they are calling for sone snow flurries tomorrow night maybe!! I do have the owners manual and just recently purchased all the shop service manuals for this year. I have checked this out in the owners manual but not the shop manuals yet. The owners manual is somewhat confusing to me but I am going to look at it again. Anyway I really do appreciate you getting back to me on this. What is wrong with your Z; is it in the shop?

Thanks again,
Bill :w


MsSchroder said:
Yes. Correct.

I checked the model center and Active Handling was available as a $500 option on the 2000's. I don't know if yours has it or not.

I honestly can't remember if there is a separate button for the active handling or if it is built into the traction control button. I want to say that it is built in, and that holding it for 5 seconds puts it in a different mode than just pushing for a second (traction control on/off). I leave this feature alone, and my car is not with me now so I can't run out to the garage and check.

If you're not the original owner, you can check the glove box for the build codes. I recommend finding an owners manual for it- it will describe what systems you have (if available) and how to operate them.

Check out the codes for options that were available on the 2000:
http://corvetteactioncenter.com/specs/2000/2000prod.html


Tammy
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2002
Messages
2,634
Location
Lilburn GA
Corvette
2002 Yellow Z06 (sold); 1999 Pewter FRC (sold)
Bill, you are way too kind! Thank you .... I'm just sorry I can't answer your questions once and for all. You've got me wondering again about all of that too.
My car isn't in the shop, it is just resting peacefully in the garage at my house. I have to get some cabinets and things cleared out of the garage here at Mr. Schroder's before I can be reunited with my precious :L

Tammy
 

Gorgon

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2002
Messages
1,040
Location
Philadelphia, PA
Corvette
None
Let's see if I can offer some help. There are two separate traction systems available on the C5, Traction Control and Active Handling.

Traction control is a basic system that uses the ABS sensors to detect rear wheel spin and retards the throttle to help prevent loss of control. The stock C5 system allows for a bit of wheel spin before kicking in which means you can have some fun with it before it cuts you off.

Active handling was an option that was introduced in '98 and was standard on the Z06 model. This is an advanced traction system that uses yaw sensors, throttle sensors and the ABS sensors and steering sensors to maintain control of the car. If it is detected that the driver is loosing control the system will reduce throttle and/or also has control over each of the four brakes individually to help bring the car back in line.

Competition Mode is only available on cars with Active Handling. Holding the traction system button down for 5 seconds will change the mode to Competition Mode and this will be shown on the DIC when activated. In this mode the system only makes correction by applying individual braking to correct oversteer/understeer condtitions but will not retard throttle at all. This is the desired mode for track use where you want to be able to get out of the corners with power and not worry about the car cuttting throttle yet still have a safety net to catch you before you spin into a wall. ;)

The Chevy website had a great flash movie describing how the Active Handling system worked wtih different situations. Not sure it's still available though with the C6 out.

Hope this answers some questions. :)

Leon
 

hoosierdaddy

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 3, 2004
Messages
3,010
Location
Bluffton, Indiana
Corvette
2000 Black Coupe; W/6-Speed
Traction Control Function When To Use And When Not To Use!

:) Tammy,
I am not as kind as I am matter of a fact, you are an absolute asset to CAC. I really appreciate this forum and just chatting about Corvettes; which are my real passion! Anyway you are always there and I hope sometimes we just all learn from good conversation. I know I do!! Sounds like I got a good response back from someone else on this so maybe I will understand more about it as I read, talk and just try it.

Have a great week-end, and stay in touch. Have fun moving and live everyday, tell your husband to buy that new 2005. By the way just last week-end I went and looked at them in person, didn't really like the look of the C-6 as well as the C-5. I set in it, the salesman ask me if I wanted to test drive it and I said no. Really has some neat high tech stuff on it but the looks of it hasn't grown on me yet.

Later,
Bill :v


MsSchroder said:
Bill, you are way too kind! Thank you .... I'm just sorry I can't answer your questions once and for all. You've got me wondering again about all of that too.
My car isn't in the shop, it is just resting peacefully in the garage at my house. I have to get some cabinets and things cleared out of the garage here at Mr. Schroder's before I can be reunited with my precious :L

Tammy
 

hoosierdaddy

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 3, 2004
Messages
3,010
Location
Bluffton, Indiana
Corvette
2000 Black Coupe; W/6-Speed
Traction Control Function When To Use And When Not To Use!

Leon :_rock

I really appreciate the come back on this subject. You cleared up some things for me. One question I have left would be that even though I have only the push button on the console that is labeled traction control I still could have Competition Mode :confused and don't know it until I try it, is that correct? I know that the selectable ride control has a knob that turns to select differant driving or ride control, touring, competition, sport and etc. (can't remember for sure what is all here I don't have this feature I know) is that not also right?

Thanks,
Bill :w


Gorgon said:
Let's see if I can offer some help. There are two separate traction systems available on the C5, Traction Control and Active Handling.

Traction control is a basic system that uses the ABS sensors to detect rear wheel spin and retards the throttle to help prevent loss of control. The stock C5 system allows for a bit of wheel spin before kicking in which means you can have some fun with it before it cuts you off.

Active handling was an option that was introduced in '98 and was standard on the Z06 model. This is an advanced traction system that uses yaw sensors, throttle sensors and the ABS sensors and steering sensors to maintain control of the car. If it is detected that the driver is loosing control the system will reduce throttle and/or also has control over each of the four brakes individually to help bring the car back in line.

Competition Mode is only available on cars with Active Handling. Holding the traction system button down for 5 seconds will change the mode to Competition Mode and this will be shown on the DIC when activated. In this mode the system only makes correction by applying individual braking to correct oversteer/understeer condtitions but will not retard throttle at all. This is the desired mode for track use where you want to be able to get out of the corners with power and not worry about the car cuttting throttle yet still have a safety net to catch you before you spin into a wall. ;)

The Chevy website had a great flash movie describing how the Active Handling system worked wtih different situations. Not sure it's still available though with the C6 out.

Hope this answers some questions. :)

Leon
 

Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
Joined
Jan 10, 2001
Messages
13,453
Location
CenCoast CA
Corvette
71 04 12 19
Traction control is standard on all C5s.
Active Handling, or stability enhancement, was optional from mid-98 to 2000. In 01 the "second generation" Active Handling became standard.

On a car with both, they are a combined system...actually, the two are combined with ABS.

On a car with TCS only there are two modes: on and off.
On a car with AH, there are three modes: on, competitive mode and off. In competitive mode the traction control part of the system is disabled but the stability enhancement is enabled.

On 02 and later, ABS/TCS/AH is calibrated with an antipowerhop algorithm, which, if the ECM detects powerhop TCS will enable to stop the powerhop, even if the system is in comp. mode or turned off.
 

hoosierdaddy

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 3, 2004
Messages
3,010
Location
Bluffton, Indiana
Corvette
2000 Black Coupe; W/6-Speed
Traction Control Function When To Use And When Not To Use!

Hib,

I really appreciate the information; :upthumbs this cleared up quite a bit for me. When I get it out I will be able to tell if I have ACTIVE HANDLING by holding the traction control button down for what 5 seconds? Will this display a signal on the dash or DIC?
Thanks again,
Bill :w


Hib Halverson said:
Traction control is standard on all C5s.
Active Handling, or stability enhancement, was optional from mid-98 to 2000. In 01 the "second generation" Active Handling became standard.

On a car with both, they are a combined system...actually, the two are combined with ABS.

On a car with TCS only there are two modes: on and off.
On a car with AH, there are three modes: on, competitive mode and off. In competitive mode the traction control part of the system is disabled but the stability enhancement is enabled.

On 02 and later, ABS/TCS/AH is calibrated with an antipowerhop algorithm, which, if the ECM detects powerhop TCS will enable to stop the powerhop, even if the system is in comp. mode or turned off.
 

atmmac

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 3, 2003
Messages
751
Location
Hanover, Massachusetts
Corvette
1997 Black Corvette
I wish i had active handling.... Is the F45 Option similar to active handling? The active Handling wasn't offered in 97 otherwise id have it.
 

Gorgon

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2002
Messages
1,040
Location
Philadelphia, PA
Corvette
None
The modes Hib and I described are all controlled with a single button. I believe any system that has active handling actually has the Active Handling label next to the button. The selective ride control (knob that selects ride comfort) is a totally different system and is not related in any way. Selective ride determines how stiff the ride will be, not how the car will behave in a situation where there is loss of vehicle control.

Leon
 

Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
Joined
Jan 10, 2001
Messages
13,453
Location
CenCoast CA
Corvette
71 04 12 19
Gorgon is spot-on.

You also can tell if the car has Active Handling by looking on the RPO label for JL4
 

Corvette Forums

Not a member of the Corvette Action Center?  Join now!  It's free!

Help support the Corvette Action Center!

Supporting Vendors

Dealers:

MacMulkin Chevrolet - The Second Largest Corvette Dealer in the Country!

Parts/Accessories:

Vetteskins

Advertise with the Corvette Action Center!

Double Your Chances!

Partners

Top Bottom