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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys. I have some questions on the Realtime All-wheel Drive. I understand how it works so that is not where the confusion comes in. What I am confused about is how it works while also having VSA on. So here are my questions...

I know when the front wheels slip it will transfer power to the rear wheels. Now doesn't the VSA cut the throttle when it senses wheel slip? Is there some sort of threshhold where if it slips a certain amount it will cut the throttle and if it slips a different amount it will engage AWD. Does anyone know exactly how it determines which? I may be incorrect in assuming it cuts the throttle on certain conditions but I believe it does. I know it does on Hondas and Acuras that are 2wd. Not sure about the AWD models.

I have the Manual Transmission so I can easily spin wheels from a stop. I am assuming this would not be good for the AWD system as it is designed for slippery conditions? But I also assume Honda would account for this? I have merged quickly and had the orange light come on and what I guess is the car cutting the throttle.

Also when the rear wheels engage does the little triangle VSA light come on? Does it beep or let you know somehow?

We havent had any snow yet for me to do some tests but I would like to know beforehand.

Any info would be great. Thanks
 

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I'm not sure how it works either, but with the manual trans in slippery conditions try starting out in 2nd gear you'll get less slip,
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I was searching for a couple of hours and came across this thread. It seems to give a bunch of good info and links to many other pages.

http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40561

It seems that there is an accelerometer that can tell whether you are on slippery surfaces or dry surfaces. If you accelerate too hard on pavement it will cut the throttle. If you accelerate too hard on ice it will apply power to the rear wheels.
 

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I was searching for a couple of hours and came across this thread. It seems to give a bunch of good info and links to many other pages.

It seems that there is an accelerometer that can tell whether you are on slippery surfaces or dry surfaces. If you accelerate too hard on pavement it will cut the throttle. If you accelerate too hard on ice it will apply power to the rear wheels.
Negative on the accelerometer controlling the awd. The E's awd system in purely mechanical/hydraulic. The VSA works via the abs sensors in each wheel. The sensors monitor wheel speed and if one or more is getting excessively out of control, the VSA will apply the brake to that particular wheel to reign it in. The accelerometers are there to sense if you are getting sideways in a bad manner and those work with the VSA only.

My experience is that you have to be fairly aggressive on the go pedal to get the VSA to really kick in. Otherwise it seems as though it's willing to let the awd do most of the work.
 

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i would think that the VSA would react to differences between left and right, while drive to the rear would react to differences between front and rear. that's just my simplistic explanation, i don't have anything to back it up, other than what i've read. no doubt it's more complicated than that and includes inputs from throttle and brakes as well as the speed sensors at each wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Negative on the accelerometer controlling the awd. The E's awd system in purely mechanical/hydraulic. The VSA works via the abs sensors in each wheel. The sensors monitor wheel speed and if one or more is getting excessively out of control, the VSA will apply the brake to that particular wheel to reign it in. The accelerometers are there to sense if you are getting sideways in a bad manner and those work with the VSA only.

My experience is that you have to be fairly aggressive on the go pedal to get the VSA to really kick in. Otherwise it seems as though it's willing to let the awd do most of the work.
so i went out and tried some tests. If I launch hard on dry pavement the VSA cuts the throttle and the light comes on but if I acclerate and slip the wheels on ice the rear gets power but VSA doesnt kick on.

How does it know the difference? If it was purely mechanical why does VSA come on in a straight line?
 

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for the dry launch, the right front probably spun faster than the left and the VSA was afraid you might not stay in a straight line, so it took the only action it knows.
for the icy launch, both fronts probably spun faster than the rears, causing the 4WD system to engage the rears.
again, just my simplistic explanation. better ones are welcome.
 

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I have an old Element so I don't know what the VSA would do, but it is fun to go into an empty snowy parking lot, and do donuts. Spin the front wheels while steering hard to one direction or the other. The rear ones kick in, producing oversteer. The spin is almost as go as with a rear wheel drive car.

The practice reminds me not to accelerate too hard when I have limited maneuvering room - such as on a muddy mountain road.
 

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so i went out and tried some tests. If I launch hard on dry pavement the VSA cuts the throttle and the light comes on but if I acclerate and slip the wheels on ice the rear gets power but VSA doesnt kick on.

How does it know the difference? If it was purely mechanical why does VSA come on in a straight line?
The AWD system for all model year E's is the same, it has not changed since 03. It has always been a purely mechanical system. The addition of VSA in 07 and newer models does not change how the system works, it merely enhances it. The VSA works with the throttle and brake system.
 
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