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An observation on ESP

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by lil_coz, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. lil_coz
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    lil_coz Active Member

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    [Jun 22, 2008]
    The past few tanks of fuel, its fair to say that I've been giving my car some fair old stick. Really enjoying it! So its also fair to say that I've been giving it some round corners. I'm now considering weather having the ESP on is actually dangerous when pushing on....

    What I've noticed is that when I got into a nice sweeping bend with ESP switched on, the car gets all out of shape! Now I doubt that this is my driving style because I've been racing karts for years and that teaches you to be smooth and constant with your steering and throttle inputs and not to hack away at the steering wheel whilst stamping on and off the throttle. If Pedro is reading this I'm sure he'll back me up on it...

    I'm guessing this is what happens... you push on in the corner and the car senses some slip on the front wheel so it applies the brake to it to control it. I then notice this change in the car's balance so adjust the wheel accordingly to correct what feels like the front biting (front brake coming on) which usually means that the back is about to step out so i go to correct that too which results into a mini tank slapper. I've noticed it on a few occasions! I've tried the same today with the ESP turned off and I've had nothing of the sort! The car was planted, did exactly what I expected it to do and I've got to say felt a lot more confident to take it faster through the bends! Got to say, really did make me smile :happy:

    Just wondering if any of you guys found the same?

    Coss
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  3. Sohrob
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    Sohrob Member

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    [Jun 22, 2008]
    not really noticed and im not sure if the esp applies braking force or just kills power??

    All i do know is i pretty much drive everywhere with it turned off!!!
    #2
  4. MarcQuinlivan
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    MarcQuinlivan Active Member

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    [Jun 22, 2008]
    From wikipedia.....

    #3
  5. lil_coz
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    lil_coz Active Member

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    [Jun 22, 2008]
    But thats just it.... I had none of that with it turned off and seemed to want to tankslap midway through the corner when turned on. Thats whats confusing me. I can only guess that it interferes WAY too early....
    #4
  6. richs2891
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    richs2891 I cant spell !

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    [Jun 22, 2008]
    I found the ESP to be more intrusive on the diesels than on the S3, maybe the power delivery is more progressive on the S3 ?
    But the one occasion where it has cut in on me badly 90 degree right handed whilst braking hard (yeah I know not sensible), I found it very intrusive and like you had the a bit of a tank slapper, Did it again without ESP and I found the haldex system and throttle response was more than capable of sorting the mess out !

    Richard
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  7. phantom
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    phantom On Boost

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    [Jun 22, 2008]
    Whats a tank slapper?

    p
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  8. MarcQuinlivan
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    MarcQuinlivan Active Member

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    [Jun 23, 2008]
    I think the term originated in the bike world.
    See this video.... http://www.metacafe.com/watch/176949/tank_slapper/

    Found this definition on some bike forum:

    However while it may have initially meant the wobbling of the handlebars and them hitting the tank, it appears to have taken on a new meaning which in a car is it getting out of shape and the fuel slapping off the sides of the tank.
    #7
  9. S3 Big Andy
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    S3 Big Andy Stealth Beast Baby Yay

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    [Jun 23, 2008]
    I get more mpg with it off!
    not found any problems but I am not std so that could be it
    #8
  10. dultanur
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    dultanur all promises, no action :)

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    [Jun 23, 2008]
    i agree with coss, esp takes action that you haven't accounted for, ruining your driving style. i turn it off whenever i drive a bit fast. also it has never saved me, ever! if you've messed up, doesn't matter if its on or off, you're fooked.
    #9
  11. siu00adg
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    siu00adg Member

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    [Jun 23, 2008]
    Had a play yesterday with the ESP off, was going around a long corner in the left lane and decided to plant my right foot, managed to power slide around it! was very exciting! Ended up straddling the white line though!
    #10
  12. PNH80
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    PNH80 Low life livin' the high life.

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    [Jun 23, 2008]
    I always drive mine now with ESP off. ESP generally takes the edge off the car.

    See a thread i started a while ago about whether or not ESP interferes with Haldex Quattro. Makes for interesting reading.
    #11
  13. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Jun 23, 2008]
    I used to drive with it off too, even if the annoying warning light bugged me.
    As others have said above, it cuts in way too early.
    Not only that, but it's quite crude in it's action.
    Audi should take a leaf out of BMW's book and offer different settings.
    I have three settings
    1/ Full - very smooth in action, no jerking like Audi's
    2/ Part - Allows some tail-out action, but will still take over if it all goes pearshaped
    3/ Off
    #12
  14. bacardi
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    bacardi Active Member

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    [Jun 23, 2008]
    Pretty much noticed the same with mine, I tend to notice the braking on the rear wheels more though, which has given me the mini tank slapper on a couple of occasions - as you say, ESP off things are a little more predictable,
    #13
  15. lil_coz
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    lil_coz Active Member

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    [Jun 23, 2008]
    lol so true!

    Its great with it turned off. You can feel the loading up of the tyres nicely and with a little 4 wheel drift when you go that little bit faster! I've never really experience plough on understeer in it.

    True... not smooth at all. When I'm feeling spirited, it goes straight off now. It suprised me as to how much it unsettled the car when it did kick in. Am I right in thinking that even though you turn it off, its never really off and that it will interfere in the extremes?

    When it happens, I can feel the front brake coming on first and then that makes the back end go out and then it puts the rear brake on.
    #14
  16. richs2891
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    richs2891 I cant spell !

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    [Jun 23, 2008]
    A better explanation in relation to cars is here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fishtailing

    The easist way to get a 4wd drive out of a tanks sapper \ fishtailing situation is to keep your foot down, Unfortunately the ESP on Audi's cuts the power and this makes it harder to control.
    On some 4wd cars that have a strong self centering steering action (such as a Subaru Impreza), keeping your foot down and holding the steering wheel lightly, the car will pull its self straight - but this takes major b*lls to do this and a lot of road / space!

    Richard
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  17. dultanur
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    dultanur all promises, no action :)

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    [Jun 26, 2008]
    it puts on the outside front brake during oversteer and the inside rear for understeer.
    #16
  18. mcbigp
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    mcbigp New Member

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    [Jun 29, 2008]
    I agree the esp is very crude in its actions, a few times now it has killed the power so much its felt like im going to smash my face on the steering wheel!!

    I think perhaps my other problems with it stem from driving front wheel drive before with no kind of traction control, what you have a tendancy to do when it understeers (especially in the wet) is turn the wheel a lot more to compensate, obviously in ths s3 when you do this the esp kicks in hard.

    Ive been trying hard not to do this and have found the esp doesnt kick in as much, although i think know knowing people are running with it off im ready to try the same.

    I guess aswell audi dont want loads of cars at the side of the road having understeered or oversteered in to that 'slightly high' kerb on a right hand bend, bear in mind not everyone can drive fast well!!:laugh:
    #17
  19. richs2891
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    richs2891 I cant spell !

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    [Jun 29, 2008]
    Its a shame that the ESP cant be reprogrammed to simply kick in later and let the haldex 4wd (in the case of the S3 & the quattro cars) sort the majority of problems. I feel that they seem to argue with each other of who should have control !

    Richard
    #18
  20. trims
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    trims Member

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    [Jun 29, 2008]
    I'd be grateful for an answer to this one. I have noticed the car being unsettled in some corners. However, I have no pedigree as a kart racer, so thought it was just my very average driving. Feel nervous about switching ESP off for the same reason.

    Perhaps I could switch off most of the time, but back on in precarious (wet) conditions? Advice appreciated.
    #19
  21. newbiecrg
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    newbiecrg windsurfer

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    [Jun 29, 2008]
    I never had the ESP killing my driving line... But I do drive in a less agressive way.... I like to feed in the power until traction is lost and then keep on that edge...

    If you are too agressive ESP sensors just go berserk and kill it!! Put in different terms if you prefer rally style driving... ESP kicks in a lot.... If you prefer smooth circuit driving (Faster between A to B) ESP rarely kicks in...

    I prefer the clean fast driving, maybe because of my go kart roots... going sideways is not going forward....

    Pedro
    #20
  22. lil_coz
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    lil_coz Active Member

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    [Jun 29, 2008]
    It seems that way! I feel much more confident with it turned off when I'm pushing on now. I feel more in control of the car then!

    It all depends on how confident you feel in your own driving. If you feel safer with it turned on in the wet then thats what you want to do. I think I read in the manual that its advised for you to turn it OFF in the snow. Obviously dont drive like an idiot but for a normal/safe drive in the snow its better for you to turn the TC off.

    Oh I'm with you 100% on that one! Slow in, fast out. Going sideways in a kart bogs down the hell out of it! Its at the point where you start to find the edge, it starts doing funny things to the balance of the car. That is in my experience anyway...
    #21
  23. newbiecrg
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    newbiecrg windsurfer

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    [Jun 29, 2008]
    Hmmm... maybe the S3 has a different ESP settings or the fact the power delivery is smoother and over more revs we might not feel that much ESP...

    What I can say is from the driving I do ESP on or off makes not a big difference so I opted of leaving it on... Well I did feel a couple times the ESP and it unbalances the car but I was just testing the limits of it...

    ESP is a good thing... unless you know what to do in an emergency situation... if you know than it kills the fun... I think ESP should have a sport mode...

    Pedro
    #22
  24. lil_coz
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    lil_coz Active Member

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    [Jun 29, 2008]
    I agree. Bowfer said the same thing. Although I dont bother turning it off when driving normally. Can anyone confirm when you turn the ESP off, its not actually fully turned off and that it will kick in when things get VERY out of shape? But as someone else on here said, if you get it wrong you're going quite fast so you're buggered either way!

    I dont drive like my hair's on fire all the time. 95% of the time I drive normally, taking my time to get places. But when the conditions are just right and the mood takes you... why not?!
    #23

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