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VSA on or off?

  • on?

    Votes: 144 86.7%
  • off?

    Votes: 22 13.3%

  • Total voters
    166
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I bought a nighthawk black pearl 1.8 i-vtec ES 5 door in March '07 after a test drive. I have been driving it with the VSA switched on, but even though I did the same on the test drive and loved the driving experience after two minutes, the more I have been driving, the more I felt I was not in full control of the car. Today I switched off the VSA and immediately felt more at ease with my new purchase. The handbook recommends I keep the VSA on. What do my fellow members advise? I feel I'm breaking rules here. Help!
 

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Not breaking the rules, simply removing a great safety device. You will also be in more control of the car with your seatbelt off (allowing your arms more freedom to move), but is it worth it?

FWD cars really like to show you where you were coming from when you lift off or brake round a corner (especially in the wet) - I quite like the little dibs and dabs from the brakes preventing that manoeuvre. But on the track (not taken the Civ on the circuit - feel it would be too soft and wallowy), it would be off all the way.
 

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Apart from very wet and greasy conditions my VSA will be off. Not that I`m making out I`m some sort of Michael Schumacher prodigy but having spent quite a few days indulging in track days in various performance cars I do know you`ll feel and understand the limits of the car more "naturally" without the VSA.
 

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I can think of two situations where I would choose to switch off the VSA:
1. Racing (which I don't do) :turtle: :rolleyes: .
2. Steep climbing at icy/snowy conditions where the driving wheels are bound to skid (which I might have to do). Here VSA can actually act against you, bringing down the engine power trying to establish traction.
 

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but why on earth would you remove a useful safety device for day-to-day driving?
It's only for the five or six seconds the situation lasts. You will notice it when when the car slowly grinds to a halt in the middle of a hill because it refuses to apply power - when you just know that the car really should be able to make it to the top by spinning through the snow.
I regard it as good safety when it is possible to switch off safety devices if they (in extreme situations) turn against safety ;).
 

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I think I ought to expand my answer a bit...

I have occasionally turned mine off when in an exploratory driving mode, mostly to see what the native characteristics of the car are, or possibly to have the fun that the VSA has censored. I have done 60,000 miles in a 968CS, so am familiar with the basic, raw, sideways round every roundabout concept... :)

But I leave it on because in all other modes of driving, it does nothing at all. So it doesn't improve my experience when driving by turning it off. You have to bear in mind that some people might not really understand what's going on here and may read this and turn their VSA off thinking it may make the car better in normal use.

To clarify, the VSA only does something in two situations:
  • When you are deliberately sliding the car. Here it inhibits your fun.
  • In the split second just as you are about to crash. Here it often stops the crash, and subsequent injury or death.
I spent a bit of time messing around with the VSA in the snow this winter (trying to fool it, and seeing how well it coped with idiot moves like braking hard round corners) and it was excellent. It deliberately allowed power and braking slip at low speeds, and did a great job of trying to stop a spin.

So, unless you are hooning around in a controlled environment, it has to be better off switched on, along with airbags enabled and seat belts on.
 

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Agreed. Having my first experience with stability systems only two months ago, after 20 years of driving :oops:, it is an incredibly step forward in correcting driver errors and generally improved handling in winter conditions. In Norway, voices claims that stability systems should be mandatory in new cars, and the subject is increasingly stressed in the press.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the advice. I'll go for a long drive today and experiment, safely of course. I'm not a boy racer. I'll get back to you all with my results. Conditions up here in Glasgow are dry today,so it's up to Loch Lomond with my new toy. I would certainly have the VSA on in the wet. I will probably have to learn how to appreciate the system. It is a measure of the car that this forum exists. :p
 

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It is very useful. Now, for instance, I know how to upgrade the sound system; I can even print out the pages fond on the forum and bring them to my local car stereo pusher in Trondheim if he gets evasive....:cool:
 

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Romatic, take care. You'll know when the VSA is doing something for you - the light comes on briefly while it removes some power and dabs brakes individually.
 

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I see no reason to turn the VSA off in normal driving. You gain nothing and loose a very useful safety device. Stupid. You can turn it off if you are going to race or slide, where the VSA would prevent you from doing those things well. But in normal driving the behaviour of the car is exactly the same if it is on or off. Pottsy explained it perfectly.
 

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I've never turned my VSA off. The only time that I would if I was on a track or say in an empty car park and wanted to play.
Having said that, I've never really gone sideways in a car so wouldn't know how to control it anyway.
 

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Hi all, interesting thread! I've only EVER turned my VSA off when I was quite literally stuck in the mud. With VSA left on, even though my "pedal was to the metal", the cars wheels wouldn't turn, thus, being left in the mud. However when I switched off the VSA, the wheels were allowed to spin and after a few seconds of the wheels spinning I was free...

I turned on the VSA straight away after that!
 

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I had exactly the same experience on a snowy hill - just wouldn't give me any revs. With it off I managed to spin the wheels enough to get a little traction, and once it moved a bit I could make progress. That's the only time I've turned it off, though.
 

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Again one of the many details making the Civic a driver's car.
It's a lot of cars out there without any possibility to turn off the stability system in an emergency situation.:cool:
 

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Mine stays on and I've not noticed it cut in yet. To me it is one of those things that hopefully you never have to rely on, but the minute you will be the one where 3 seconds early you switched it off - do'h!:rolleyes:
 
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