Hill assist light and front brake pulsing while driving in snow
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This is a discussion on Hill assist light and front brake pulsing while driving in snow within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Today I was driving in the snow without traction control on as I find it to be too intrusive for ...

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    Hill assist light and front brake pulsing while driving in snow

    Today I was driving in the snow without traction control on as I find it to be too intrusive for safe driving. When the car lost grip and started to slide the hill assist light came on and the front brakes started lightly pulsing putting me into terrible understeer. WTF?

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    Moderator rage-wrx's Avatar
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    How do you know it was just the front brakes?
    T0ny
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    The Big 2011/2012 Mod Thread


    Ooh,hang on. That is the throb of a turbocharged flat four engine. A sound which,all over the world,heralds the imminent arrival of a moron - JC.

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    I don't know for sure I may very well have been the backs as well but the braking at the front was most evident to me. It felt like there was no grip in the front and it was sending me in a straight line with no ability to add angle through throttle input.

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    Moderator rage-wrx's Avatar
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    It was most likely ABS kicking in. When ABS activates you will feel a pulsation in the brakes.
    T0ny
    2011 WRX
    2012 FXT

    The Big 2011/2012 Mod Thread


    Ooh,hang on. That is the throb of a turbocharged flat four engine. A sound which,all over the world,heralds the imminent arrival of a moron - JC.

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    But, this was happening while I was off the brakes as well. I only tapped them for with my left foot to see what was going on. Unfortunately the snow has been cleared so I cant go attempt to replicate this in a parking lot or something to give a better description. It was almost like traction control was on even though I had turned it off.

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    Registered User nsibanez's Avatar
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    wait...traction control is unsafe?
    you disabled traction control and wondered why you went in a straight line when you hit the brakes and no traction?
    and the pulsation off the brakes was probably just you running over snow

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    Traction control in my experience doesn't allow for additional angle through the application of the throttle. In my experience it cuts the throttle until the tires get grip which causes the understeer in a straight line in whatever direction you were headed. This is unsafe in my opinion because it doesn't allow you to adjust the trajectory of the car and you basically have to hold on helplessly and hope there are no other cars, people or curbs. Additionally, I only lightly applied the brakes for a small second to see what was going on though the pedal and to see if I could transfer weight to the front for more grip. After I concluded there was no more grip to be had due to the weird brake pulsation I attempted to apply the throttle and induce oversteer but the car behaved as it TC was on and wouldent give me any power.

  9. #8
    KHP
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    I'm curious are you running Winter tires or All Seasons? If you're snow driving on summer or low tread tires, then the tires is the cause of your issue. Summer tires are crap on snow. Your brakes will be pulsing even while not using brakes because traction/stability control uses independent brakes to attempt to keep the car going in the direction it's pointing. From what it sounds like you have 0 traction due to summer tires and the traction/stability control is failing to do it's job because the car is just sliding on top of ice/snow.

    I've never had any issues with snow/ice driving on my car at all. Whenever Traction Control kick in it actually helps keep the car going the direction the steering wheel is pointed. Proper/better tires will probably solve your issue.
    Last edited by KHP; 03-10-2013 at 12:30 AM.
    2011 WRX Limited Spark Silver (5 Door)

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