How Your Car’s Electronic Stability Control System Works

By Tango

Although electric vehicles have been gaining a lot of traction for the past few years, certain car components and parts remain common regardless of the type of vehicle, including electric vehicles, internal combustion engine cars, and hybrids. These include brakes, tyres, suspension systems, and steering components.

In modern vehicles, there are several critical areas, including the ones listed above, that are controlled by sophisticated onboard computers that continuously evaluate driving conditions in real-time and communicate with different components to react accurately and swiftly. One good example is the electronic stability control system, which essentially leverages sophisticated technology to help keep the vehicle from skidding.

What Could Cause a Vehicle to Skid?

A vehicle may skid once it exceeds its traction limits. This is often caused by driving too fast on the current road conditions. Skidding could lead to two main types of skid: understeer and oversteer. Oversteer occurs when the vehicle’s rear loses traction and tries to overtake the front, which causes the car to spin around.

On the other hand, understeer occurs when the front tyres are unable to effectively grip the road, which causes the vehicle to continue moving straight regardless of the driver’s attempt to turn. Such skidding situations can be quite dangerous and may result in serious accidents. For car enthusiasts, it’s highly recommended you check out Tuning 4 Performance.

What Does ESC Do?

The electronic stability control (ESC) system is a sophisticated safety feature that can help reduce skidding significantly by up to 80%. ESC usually works by constantly assessing the vehicle’s behaviour, such as the rolling or leaning angle, and detecting when tyres lose traction with the surface of the road. When the ESC detects a skid, it instantly adjusts engine speed and applies braking to individual wheels as needed to regain traction and prevent the car from spinning out of control. Volkswagen golf twist to the UK market offers top quality High-Performance Lowering Springs.

Keep in mind that the effectiveness of ESC is mainly constrained by the condition of the vehicle’s suspension and tyres.

The ESC works with the presumption that the tyres and suspension system are in good condition, such as when the car was new when calculating the right corrective measures to avert skidding. However, in case the tyres are worn out and the ESC system tries to apply brakes on a given wheel, the car might not have enough grip to implement the corrective measure effectively and prevent a dangerous skid. This demonstrates the importance of regular maintenance and monitoring of the suspension and wheels for safe driving.

How Do Shock Absorbers Work?

Aside from making sure tyres are in good condition, you should also have well-maintained shock absorbers. Shock absorbers have a crucial role in maintaining optimal contact between the tyres and the road. They work by allowing the coil springs to compress and absorb any impact from bumps, and then extending the springs smoothly back to the original ride height. This will help ensure the tyres are in firm contact with the road, which should maximise traction for braking and steering.

Well-working shock absorbers and proper tyres will ensure that more surface area of the tyre stays in contact with the road, which improves traction along with the overall vehicle performance. Note that in case the ESC sends a signal to apply braking on a wheel whose shock absorber is worn, the vehicle might lack the necessary traction to prevent skidding.

Just as with many other parts of the vehicle, shock absorbers also experience gradual degradation of their performance over time. This is mainly due to the hydraulic oil used in most shock absorbers, passing through valves inside the shock absorber during extension and compression, causing wear.