Torque Shop: Should traction control be turned off on wet roads?

When turning off traction control, you may have a smoother acceleration, but it is definitely less safe. PHOTO: UNSPLASH

Whenever I accelerate a little too quickly at traffic lights in wet conditions, the car judders rather violently. The dealer's workshop told me that it is normal and caused by the traction control system. When I switch off the traction control by pressing a button on the centre console, I no longer experience the judder. Should I leave it off on wet roads?

The juddering is a result of intermittent interruption of power to the driven wheels. This happens when the traction control system detects wheelspin. By doing so, the system is working to maintain grip.

When turning off traction control, you may have a smoother acceleration, but it is definitely less safe.

In most modern cars, the stability management system incorporates traction control. Hence, when this is turned off, the car will be at a higher risk of skidding in corners, especially when the road is wet.

Stability management has proven to be highly effective in preventing skidding, spinning and general loss of control. Its network of sensors monitor, among other dynamic aspects, speed, acceleration and lateral G-force (during cornering), and make the necessary corrections - such as applying the brake on one wheel - to maintain stability and traction.

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