Traction Control on Your BMW: What You Should Know

bmw winter tiresMost newer model BMWs have some type of traction control system on board. These systems are designed to help drivers maintain control even when faced with slippery conditions, such as snowy roads, heavy rain, and wet leaves.

Toronto roads can become treacherous from time to time throughout the year. Most drivers in this part of Canada have quality skills to handle all sorts of driving conditions, but as traction control technology has improved over the years, it has relied more and more on sensors and on-board computer technology to maximize control for the driver so that all you need to do is hold the wheel and then slow down.

Traction control is a system that detects slipping of wheels. Any time that one of your BMW’s tires slips on the road surface (whether you’re accelerating too fast or driving on slick roads), the traction control system will engage.

Sometimes a light will appear on the dashboard indicating that this system has engaged. Sometimes it might not come on, especially if the issue is minor and extremely short-lived (fractions of milliseconds).

When the car’s computer recognizes that a tire is slipping, it will move power proportionately to other tires to help you stay on the road and continue driving in the right direction.

For example, if you’re rounding a corner and your inside front tire begins to lose traction, the car will transfer more power to the outside tire. If you have four-wheel drive, then it will shift power to the other three tires as needed. This will help you keep control in that curve.

Some drivers complain about traction control, feeling that they could maintain better control over their BMW. In reality, though, traction control systems have become so advanced that they can help reduce the risk of accidents by more than 50 percent.

Most of the time you won’t even know that your tires have slipped; you might only see a light on the dashboard illuminate. When you do see that, you can thank the traction control system for ensuring that you are still safely on the road. Just don’t begin driving recklessly because you think you’re safe: traction control can only help so far in slick conditions.

2014-09-12T17:13:23+00:00 September 12th, 2014|Tips|

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