The Magic Button on C5 & C6 Corvettes
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Today's video is going to cover a topic that I discussed several years ago, before we had the audio and video quality that we have now. I want to refresh it, update it with new and better information, and educate you guys on what we like to call the "magic button."
Let me explain what that means. For this video, we're specifically going to talk about C5 and C6 Corvettes. They have a traction control button on the C5 that looks just like this, with a little picture of the rear end of a Corvette being chased by two snakes. That's your traction control button. On 2001 and newer cars, you also automatically had active handling.
Now, let me explain for the people who have C5s why you might not have active handling. They started offering active handling as an option in 1998, and it was available through 2000. So, your car could have active handling, or it might not. When I talk about competitive driving mode and some other things, if you don't have active handling equipped on your 98, 99, or 2000 car, then you'll only be able to turn traction control on and off with this button.
Let's assume for a moment that you do have traction control and active handling. Well, Lyle, what are those things exactly? I mean, I hear those terms all the time, and I like listening to car stuff. What does that mean specifically when it comes to Corvette traction control?
The whole point of traction control is to keep your rear wheels from losing traction and spinning. The system achieves this in three ways. Firstly, it adjusts the engine timing to reduce power. Secondly, it limits the throttle input so that even if you're pushing the throttle hard, it will back off if it senses wheel spin. Finally, in extreme situations, it can activate both rear brakes to slow down the spinning of the rear wheels and prevent traction loss. This is particularly important in wet weather conditions and various traffic situations where you don't want to lose control of the car inadvertently.
On the other hand, active handling aids in controlling the stability of the vehicle by activating one or more of the individual brake calipers around the car. This is especially helpful in emergency maneuvers where you have to make quick left or right turns to avoid obstacles. The system prevents oversteering or understeering, which could lead to a loss of control.
Both traction control and active handling are valuable in daily driving, but they aren't conducive to having fun. If you want to have fun, you can turn off traction control and do smoky burnouts all day long. That's awesome! If you want to do track work or carve up a country road, you can turn active handling to competitive mode or competition driving mode.
Now, what does that mean? It means two different things depending on whether you have a C5 or a C6. On the C5, if you push this button once, it turns off traction control. Active handling, if your car is still equipped with it, stays fully active.