VSC vs Traction Control? What’s the difference?
While the goal of both the VSC and Traction Control system is to ultimately keep the occupants of the vehicle safe, they work differently to achieve this, and modern cars will have both on board working hand-in-hand to keep the car on the road. In this article, we’ll explain how traction control systems and stability systems work, as well as explore their differences and their advantages in brief (hopefully). There’s a lengthy article here for those who desire a heavier, more technical read.
What is VSC, or Vehicle Stability Control?
Vehicle Stability Control, or VSC systems come in the form of many acronyms, like ESC, VDC, DSC, and ASC. They are the same thing, albeit from different car companies, and they work the same way. Vehicle Stability Control works by braking one or two wheels in a given situation, or the wheel that has lost traction, to bring the car back in control.
What is Traction Control?
Sometimes shortened to TC, Traction Control only works on the vehicle’s designated driven wheels i.e. front-wheel drive cars will only have TC on the front wheels. The system will, therefore, only work under acceleration, and will cut or limit power on the wheel that is slipping to maintain traction, like taking a slippery curve or climbing an icy slope.
How does stability control work?
The VSC system works by cutting power and braking one, or more wheels. In an oversteer, the outside wheels may be braked, while in an understeer situation, the brakes of the inside wheel will be applied while the ones on the outside may be released slightly to tighten the turn radius.
As for Traction Control, it’s a little simpler. Drive is cut to the wheel that is losing traction to keep the car in its trajectory through the corner.
VSC vs Traction Control? Which is better?
Both are important in a car, and vehicle stability control systems are actually an evolution of the simpler traction control system. They both utilise wheel speed sensors, but stability control also has extra sensors for yaw, roll, throttle position, and steering wheel angle to give the car more information to head in the desired direction.
Both Stability Control and Traction Control are not marketing gimmicks to confuse a car buyer, but are systems that can be trusted to work when the situation calls for it. However, no safety device can save someone from stupidity, so drive responsibly, make sure your tires are in good condition, and stay focused while driving.