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Traction control of a spinning wheel

1024 Views 26 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  DankoRav
I'm sure this has been asked before but I just can't find it, sorry.

Imagine one front wheel is in the air. One rear wheel probably will be too. Car is stuck, fair enough, that's what happens without axle LSD or diff lockers.

That lifted front wheel just spins. Does the traction control brake the spinning wheel at all, or just cut engine power? In my experience it does not brake the spinning wheel. Is that to be expected on the 2008 Limited?

You can use the handbrake gently to slightly brake a spinning rear wheel, mixed success. Two handbrake levers, one for each rear wheel, would be helped in the absence of a diff lock. Not likely though... Any other tips to move on from this situation, rather than more entry speed? Thanks.
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2021 RAV4 XLE Premium Hybrid
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Is that to be expected on the 2008 Limited?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but does not the Limited with AWD have full time AWD? That means it has a center differential. At one time I thought the full time Limited AWD had a Torsen center differential (Torque Sensing) which is an elegant limited slip that sends the torque to the wheel that is NOT spinning. Traction control can still brake selected wheels depending on various factors.

But your case is different. When diagonal wheels don't have traction (spinning) no amount of center differential magic will solve the problem. (I call that the teetter-totter mode). I often encounter that with my 4Runner in off road situations. Higher levels of 4Runners have locking front/rear differentials which solves the problem, but my lowly SR5 does not, but it does have what is called "Atrac" mode which simulates, via the traction control system, a locking front/rear differential. I can't count how many times the Atrac mode has gotten me out of trouble.

In difficult off road scenarios, you can't just enter the difficult section faster to coast through it; you have to go slow due to the bad terrain; no way around that.

One solution, not mentioned so far, is to have weight shift to one side or the other of your car (ask your passengers to move to one side or the other), so one of the spinning wheels may get traction. Doesn't always solve the problem, but may help.
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