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ESP and snow.....

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by RPB, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. RPB
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    RPB Active Member

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    [Feb 4, 2012]
    Does ESP help whilst in snow? I am thinking it is best turned off in snow. What have you folk found? My first winter in the Audi, never mine my first winter in an S-Tronic as well. having come out of my Subaru with winter rims/tyres I am somewhat apprehensive on how the S3 will be on my hilly road.
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  3. S.
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    S. Well-Known Member

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    [Feb 4, 2012]
    esp should be off all the time :D
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  4. pinterovski
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    pinterovski Member

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    [Feb 4, 2012]
    Amen to that:happy:
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  5. TripleD
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    TripleD Audi Novice

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    [Feb 4, 2012]
    Yes, it should help limit the wheel spinning, but it depends on the situation.

    I'm talking with BMW rwd experience leaving it on helped get off my drive (points down hill) then out my close. Turned it off going up certain hills to allow slip and feathered the throttle, it went up a bit sideways, but still got up.

    I then invested in some auto socks, and never had the problem again!
    #4
  6. MartayMcFly
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    MartayMcFly Well-Known Member Regional Rep VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 4, 2012]
    It helps if you're driving normally, but will cut power to a spinning wheel so you need to turn it off when trying to get unstuck. I'm pretty sure Audi recommend you turn it off in snow in case the car gets a bit twitchy.
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  7. loudchris53
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    loudchris53 Member

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    [Feb 4, 2012]
    Just tried to get up a hill in the snow and it ground me to a halt so reversed back down turned it off and went back up it with no problem, ESP seems to be too sensitive to be any use in snow as in many situations you need the wheels to spin to get a bit of momentum up especially in a non quattro!! Turn it off :)

    Chris
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  8. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    [Feb 4, 2012]
    always switch it off in snow and muddy fields :)
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  9. loudchris53
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    loudchris53 Member

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    [Feb 4, 2012]
    What is a fwd a3 like in the snow? my old a2 was useless is the a3 any good without quattro in these conditions?

    Chris
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  10. a3tdi2001
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    a3tdi2001 Member

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    [Feb 4, 2012]
    It should be switched off to gain traction and get going but once you're on the move the best setting for the majority of drivers is to have it switched on.
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  11. a3tdi2001
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    a3tdi2001 Member

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    [Feb 4, 2012]
    It's got more to do with the tyres than the car IMHO.
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  12. loudchris53
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    loudchris53 Member

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    [Feb 4, 2012]
    Well my goodyear eagle tyres are probably gonna suck in snow!!

    Chris
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  13. RPB
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    RPB Active Member

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    [Feb 4, 2012]
    Thanks folks! :) Off it will be then tomorrow.
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  14. fangio
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    fangio Well-Known Member

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    [Feb 5, 2012]
    That's the problem with the modern trend to low profile tyres. No bad snow for years has made us complacent.
    The best winter wheels are the narrowest snow-cutters that get down to the tarmac!
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  15. SiT
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    SiT Member

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    [Feb 5, 2012]
    In my experience in snow keep esp off and drive cautiously. Stay safe peeps..!!!
    #14
  16. Nessy
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    Nessy VW + Audi mad

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    [Feb 6, 2012]
    Totally.
    Last winter in the depths of the arctic freeze we had my humble A4 on brand new Bridgestones (summer tyres) wouldn't even get back onto my driveway which has a very very slight incline, on clear roads it was OK, but on compacted snow or ice it was truly useless!
    This year I purchased a set of winter tyres which went on the car in December and I awaited some bad weather!
    Yesterday the chance came and I found the difference amazing , a very long 3-lane steep hill (totally snow covered, not gritted) was climbed with ease, whilst all the other cars going up slowly ground to a halt with their wheels madly scrambling for grip I was able to safely overtake and plough on unhindered.
    If you have never run winter tyres you don't know how much of a transformation they make.......
    I'm almost sad the rain has defrosted all the snow around here now,lol............
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  17. nelson19uk
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    nelson19uk There's no poke without smoke!

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    [Feb 6, 2012]
    Up here in Aberdeen last year was an absolute nightmare for snow but My S3 was amazing! It even managed to stop on a 15 degree gradient hill with a 6 inch covering of white stuff (to help an old wifey that was stuck and blocking the road) and managed take off without a slight spin. I normally switch ESP off for take off but on that occassion i didnt even thing about it and it was fine. I don't do snow tyres Michelin pilot sport 3's all the way and didn't have any issues at all. Obviously ground clearence is limited and the front splitter acted like a plough at times :)

    The best bit is that if you give it a bit of right foot on bad bits you can get some amazing 4 wheel drifting with ESP off. (not that i've tried this at all mister ocifer sir!!!!!)

    :)
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  18. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 6, 2012]
    I did some skid pan testing at Mercedes Brooklands this summer and I have to say it's made me far more sensitive to throttle / steering inputs in this weather. More about aquaplaning than snow, but similar deal.

    I wouldn't recommend the Merc day as it's WAY overpriced, but if you ever have £150 burning a hole in your pocket get to the Silverstone skids and skills day and try their car on the ice simulator. I did this back in 2001 and it was money well spent as it's not until you've had some practice that you realise how gentle you need to be to get the most from the car in these conditions.

    We all spend shed loads of dollar on trinkets that we believe make us into driving gods but then next to feck all on honing the skills of the oaf attached to the wheel!
    #17
  19. lil_coz
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    lil_coz Active Member

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    [Feb 6, 2012]
    Too true!

    The first thing I do is switch the ESP off in the snow. Let the quattro take control rather than limiting the power of the engine to stop the wheel spin. In the A3 that I had, the first thing I did when it snowed the first time after I owned it was take it to a big empty car park and have a play. Then you know exactly how a car handles when things get out of control. Never had a problem with the A3 getting stuck on the Pilot Sport 2's. Did the job comfortably. Then again it was quattro. Not driven the S3 in the snow yet, so don't know what it's like with the DSG and how it reacts to the white stuff.
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  20. nelson19uk
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    nelson19uk There's no poke without smoke!

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    [Feb 6, 2012]
    Used to do a bit of rally driving when I was younger so I sometimes get a bit carried away. Up here in the north east of Scotland we get plenty of oppertunity to play in the snow. Not so much this year but normally we get loads of oppertunities. A fresh untouched car park is like a dream. We used to hone our skills in old sierra saph's and find country roads or roads through the hills with a good covering to practice for the Snowman rally Snowman Rally the best fun.

    You are correct. I find it amazing the amount of people i know that have pretty powerful cars abut are clueless about actual driving. Most of them buy the likes of RS4's, Evo's, etc and drive aroung like mad men.

    #19
  21. a3tdi2001
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    a3tdi2001 Member

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    [Feb 6, 2012]
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  22. nelson19uk
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    nelson19uk There's no poke without smoke!

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    [Feb 6, 2012]
    Lol....... That's a good episode.. I can remeber it. :)

    Good gizmo's in most circumstances. We were just saying how its amazing how much a lot of people rely on the gadgets more that the ability to drive sometimes.

    Also ESP is a pest if you are trying to drift. lol :) makes you go straight when you want to go sideways.




    #21
  23. a3glenn
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    a3glenn 6th gear

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    [Feb 6, 2012]
    i have found my fwd tdi to be great in the snow, interesting reading other peoples findings

    i in the past have had my esp on, but saturday night i was going up a hill and was loosing speed till i was at a crawl, esp light looked like it was having a fit, i then saw lots of other cars coming up behind me while im doing 1mph lol.

    after what seemed like a long time i got the abs, esp, handbrake and a big brake symbol come up on the dash, i thought this was going to cost me,
    the esp had trip out, it then seemed that i made more progress to the top, i turned the engine off and back on and the clever audi had fixed it self, nice!

    so think its true that esp can slow you down,
    #22
  24. rezulteo
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    rezulteo Site Sponsor Site Sponsor

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    [Feb 10, 2012]
    Hi,

    We wrote a testing winter tyres about this not long ago.

    It will depend on your car as to whether you should use ESP, and if you have winter tyres on or not.

    If you'r car is new-ish and you've got winter tyres on, then you should use ESP.
    #23

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