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Old 09-08-2011, 02:26 PM   #1
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Long time 4wd owner, newb Jeep owner -Question about traction control vs 4wd

I've used the search function ,and can't really find what I'm looking for. I am confused about whether or not I have traction control, and exactly what is meant by traction control in a Jeep. I have a 2011 Unlimited Sport.
I have always had 4x4's. Explorer's and I currently still have an Expedition. In my Ex's you can be in 4H, 4L, 2H or A4WD which is like a traction control type setting. Great for Canadian winters. When one wheel slips, the other grabs. Like a part time 4WD. So if you are going around corners and such, or highway driving, you have the extra safety of the truck knowing when to go into 4wd. When I go mudding, or off road, I use 4H or in extreme bogs, 4L.
The sales man we bought the Jeep from told us that the Wrangler has full time traction control, and you have to hit the little button that looks like a car skidding in order to turn it off. Is this correct? Does it have traction control or stability control. Or do I need to be in 4H to get down our snow and slush covered roads. That feature was kind of one of the reasons we went for the Wrangler. I love the fact that it can get me through the winters and such...
Any help, or explanation of traction control for our Wrangler would be much appreciated.

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Old 09-08-2011, 02:33 PM   #2
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Traction control (ESP) in the wrangler senses when a wheel is slipping by the difference in speed and applies braking to compensate for the slip. 4wd is manually controlled by the transfer case. The wrangler has a part time system which is much different from the AWD system you are used to.

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Old 09-08-2011, 02:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lane24 View Post
I am confused about whether or not I have traction control . . . . I have a 2011 Unlimited Sport.
Yes, you do.

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Originally Posted by Lane24 View Post
and exactly what is meant by traction control in a Jeep. . . . . In my Ex's you can be in 4H, 4L, 2H or A4WD which is like a traction control type setting. Great for Canadian winters. When one wheel slips, the other grabs. Like a part time 4WD. . . . .
What you're describing ("when one wheel slips, the other grips") is not traction control or AWD. It's a limited slip differential. It was an option (not standard) for your rear axle.

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The sales man we bought the Jeep from told us that the Wrangler has full time traction control, and you have to hit the little button that looks like a car skidding in order to turn it off. Is this correct?
Yes.

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Does it have traction control or stability control.
Depends what you mean.

If a wheel spins, the Jeep will apply the brakes to that wheel, sending torque the other direction. This simulates a limited slip differential and is called a "brake locking differential."

If you have the trailer tow package, the Jeep will also detect when the vehicle is being swayed by the trailer (tail wagging the dog) and will apply the brakes to bring it under control.

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Or do I need to be in 4H to get down our snow and slush covered roads.
Your Jeep uses a true 4wd--not an AWD--system. Don't use it on paved roads unless traction is very, very dubious. Otherwise it stays as a RWD vehicle.
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Old 09-08-2011, 02:36 PM   #4
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Yes the jeep has traction control it's called ESP. It's only turns off when u turn if off by hitting the car sliding button or when you engage 4lo. By the way you can test it out by spinning your tires on dirt on pavement. This traction control does not engage 4wd it just brakes the spinning tire.
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Old 09-08-2011, 02:51 PM   #5
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Thanks everybody. Quick responses!! Great forum.
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Old 09-08-2011, 02:55 PM   #6
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Ok, I have been scratching my head ever since I read how the Jeep does its thing.

And what is the difference between AWD and 4WD?

That may answer my Jeep confusion. Anyway, if you don't have lockers, a Jeep isn't really 4WD right? Because even in 4H/4L it still only uses two wheels, just in opposite corners right?
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Old 09-08-2011, 03:11 PM   #7
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Ok, I have been scratching my head ever since I read how the Jeep does its thing.

And what is the difference between AWD and 4WD?

That may answer my Jeep confusion. Anyway, if you don't have lockers, a Jeep isn't really 4WD right? Because even in 4H/4L it still only uses two wheels, just in opposite corners right?
Short answer....
Anything with a legit 4L is 4WD IMO. The lockers don't matter.

AWD is what an Audi has...put the terms get confusing because by the way people use the term "part-time 4WD vs full-time 4WD" which is not the way Jeeps uses them.
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Old 09-08-2011, 03:17 PM   #8
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An awd system has a center differential that accounts for the difference in wheel speed when turning to prevent binding which causes the wheel hop you experience by turning on dry pavement. That system works on the road, but isn't very robust off. BTW, the term awd is just as much a misnomer as 4wd. Only 2 wheels have power unless you have lockers.
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Old 09-08-2011, 04:04 PM   #9
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An awd system has a center differential that accounts for the difference in wheel speed when turning to prevent binding which causes the wheel hop you experience by turning on dry pavement. That system works on the road, but isn't very robust off. BTW, the term awd is just as much a misnomer as 4wd. Only 2 wheels have power unless you have lockers.
Yup....and that is where it gets confusing.

My Libby has both 4WD and AWD (Select-Trac instead of Command-Trac). So I can run in 4WD on dry pavement without binding (it has a center differential like AWD vehicles have). But it also has a standard 2WD, 4L and 4H which either locks out the front axle (2WD), or locks both front and rear axles together (4L or 4H).

It does not have lockers in the sense of seperate front and rear axle lockers (where you get into LSD vs lockers), but it does have the ability to lock out the front axle altogether and drive in 2wd mode as daggo suggested (as all Wranglers can).

Clear as mud now?
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Old 09-08-2011, 04:14 PM   #10
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Might be worth mentioning you cannot really turn off the traction control with the ESP button.

If you try and spin the tires it will still enagage. Try doing cookies in gravel sometime, it'll make you car sick.

ESP can be manually bypassed by cutting wires and adding a switch but only shifting into 4Lo really turns it off.

I find it super annoying in soft sand or dry snow as it clamps the brakes and kills all your momentum the instant it feels a tire spin.

Probobly why brake pads only last 2 years on these rigs.
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Old 09-08-2011, 04:38 PM   #11
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Question

Ok, this is new to me also.......my previous truck was a stright slam it into 4wd and all 4 grabbed. 4L and they REALLY grabbed.

In snow...or I guess sand but I doubt I'll be doing beaches....ya never know......anyway:

In snow I would assume I would want to put my Sport "S" in 4H.

I have the 6sp w/ 3.21's. In 4H I would think I would be able to drive to about 55 mph (why in snow would be the question) but lets say the highway is partially covered (first plowing/salting but its still slippery).

What do you all reccommend? I am new to Jeeps, and frankly this is the first manual I have ever driven with 4WD.

Everything up to now was Auto.

Much appreciate the advice, Jim.
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Old 09-08-2011, 04:38 PM   #12
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Might be worth mentioning you cannot really turn off the traction control with the ESP button.

. . .

ESP can be manually bypassed by cutting wires and adding a switch but only shifting into 4Lo really turns it off.

I find it super annoying in soft sand or dry snow as it clamps the brakes and kills all your momentum the instant it feels a tire spin.

Probobly why brake pads only last 2 years on these rigs.
Actually, you can turn it off. Just not with the ESP button.

According to my 2010 owners manual on page 385:

Quote:
The following procedure will disable (or re-enable) ESP functionality in the vehicle:

1. Shift the transfer case into the 4H range position.
2. Turn the steering wheel until it is centered and the
wheels are pointed straight ahead.
3. Cycle the ignition key OFF to ON.
4. Wait approximately five seconds for the system bulb check.
5. Turn and hold the steering wheel one-half turn to the right (clockwise).
6. Press and hold the ESP OFF button for seven seconds.
7. Turn the steering wheel back to center, and turn and hold an additional one-half turn to the left (counterclockwise).
8. Press and hold the ESP OFF button for seven seconds.
9. Turn the steering wheel back to center.
10. Press and hold the ESP OFF button for seven seconds.
11. Cycle the ignition key to OFF.


After performing the ESP disable procedure correctly, “ESP OFF” will be displayed in the odometer for approximately 12 seconds each time the ignition is moved to ON. Repeating the ESP disable procedure will re-enable normal ESP operation.
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:42 PM   #13
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Interesting. So what is actually off when the ESC OFF appears on the odometer? I held the traction button for about 10 seconds, got a chime and then this message on the odometer.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:26 PM   #14
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Might be worth mentioning you cannot really turn off the traction control with the ESP button.

If you try and spin the tires it will still enagage. Try doing cookies in gravel sometime, it'll make you car sick.

ESP can be manually bypassed by cutting wires and adding a switch but only shifting into 4Lo really turns it off.

I find it super annoying in soft sand or dry snow as it clamps the brakes and kills all your momentum the instant it feels a tire spin.

Probobly why brake pads only last 2 years on these rigs.
Sure you can. I'm not sure about 2WD, but in 4H you just have to hold the button in for 5 seconds. It will turn back on the next time you start the engine.

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Actually, you can turn it off. Just not with the ESP button.

According to my 2010 owners manual on page 385:


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Interesting. So what is actually off when the ESC OFF appears on the odometer? I held the traction button for about 10 seconds, got a chime and then this message on the odometer.
It is in fact off when you do that. It is only temporarily off until the next time the engine is started. MTH's method turns it off until you repeat the procedure.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:40 PM   #15
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It is in fact off when you do that. It is only temporarily off until the next time the engine is started. MTH's method turns it off until you repeat the procedure.
Thanks for the clarification!
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:19 PM   #16
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I always turn mine off when I'm in 4H in the sand because wheel speed is important in the sand. If I start losing traction temporarily the last thing I want is the brakes to kick in and cause me to bog down.
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:33 PM   #17
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I think you just answered my query re: turning it off in snow.....
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:43 PM   #18
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This all haconfused me a bit. I own a 2010 sport with no extras. Do I have this awd ability or am I only 2 rear wheel until I shift it to 4 wheel high or low manually?

Thanks
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:38 PM   #19
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You have a two wheel drive vehicle for the majority of the time you will drive it. It will only engage 4wd when you put it manually into 4hi or 4lo
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:09 PM   #20
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Thanks @padrex. Thats what I figured
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:11 PM   #21
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I think you just answered my query re: turning it off in snow.....
I was waiting for someone with a Wrangler to chime in. I'm able to put the Libby in "AWD" mode on patchy ice and light rain. But I'm not sure what people do with Command-trac. I guess you just have to come to the conclusion that the roads are slick enough to demand 4WD. This is another reason why LSD is a must for me.

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