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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok, I can officially say that the whole "you can't turn VSA off if the TMPS light is on" myth can be laid to rest.

I bought a set of winterforce tires, steel wheels and an extra set of TPMS sensors from discount tire on here to get my E through the upcoming North Dakota winter. Best investment so far and I'm loving them.

After installing the rims/tires I started to drive home, and low and behold, the TPMS light ca,e on. I expected that. The first thing I wanted to do was to try turning the VSA system off because I had heard everything from "it won't turn off", to "you'll be stuck with it on all the time", to "your car will shut off". I push the button, and just as before the new rims and tires, the little VSA light comes on. JUST LIKE BEFORE!

Hmmm, strange, this wasn't supposed to happen according to the people on EOC. :?

Now, no snow was on the ground yet, so I couldn't try to do any insane slip 'n' slide burnouts (I tried on dry pavement, and with brand new grippy winter tires, it's damn near impossible). So, this being North Dakota in December......snow wasn't too far off.

Low and behold, 2 days later it snowed. Woohooo!! We got some snow on the ground, it was packed down by other cars creeping along at some seriously unreasonable slow speeds, but the E was handling as if it were dry out. I LOVE THESE TIRES!!! For the $67/tire I paid for them, you can't beat their performance. I'm taking them on a road trip all over the east coast for the rest of the month and I'll have a review of them after that.

But that's not what this is about, the purpose of this thread though is to put to rest the myth that you have to take your car in the get the new sensors activated otherwise the VSA system will not function properly.

So I take the E with it's bright glowing TPMS light and all out to a nice patch of road with some nicely packed snow and do the same tests as before.

VSA system ON with lit up TPMS light, drop the clutch, wheels spin, power gets diverted to the back wheels, engine bogging down as it tries to get traction, VSA light blinks, car takes off just like it did before the tire swap.

Now with the VSA switched off via the VSA button next to the cruise control button with TPMS light still nice and bright, drop the clutch, front wheels spin and spin and spin and spin, I can take the car all the way up to redline and it'll just sit there and spin the tires. VSA light never blinks, just stays on.

So what happened to the whole "your car will blow up/stall/VSA will come and kill your family and steal your credit cards" thing?

From what I can tell, the only adverse effects that not having a set of learned TPMS sensors has on my car is that I have a little orange TPMS light on my dash. This was taken care of with the help of a small square of blue painters tape. Why painters tape? Because it won't leave a nasty residue for you to clean off your easily scratched gauge cover.

I can deal with a little piece of tape for 5 months to save $70. Well, $140 actually, since I would have had to go get the sensors in my summer wheels relearned as well.

Anyway, sorry for the long post. I tried to make it a bit amusing.

Long story short. The TPMS warning light has no ill effect on the VSA system at all. Learn to deal with the little light (or cover it up) and save yourself a few bucks.
 

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glad to hear that i didn't need to spend that $100 plus $30 a season on a second set of TPMS, but i hate having lights on my dash in front of me if they don't need to be.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
glad to hear that i didn't need to spend that $100 plus $30 a season on a second set of TPMS, but i hate having lights on my dash in front of me if they don't need to be.
Honestly, so do I, but with a strategically placed 1"x1" piece of tape, you can't even tell it's there. I'll have to get a pic of it later.
 

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This is funny, I just got my winterforce tires today, did not have tpms sensors installed, and guess what, my vsa works just as it did stock. I got a killer deal on mine, the tire place matched tire rack and only charged me $13 a tire to mount/balance and lifetime nitrogen fill them, I can stop up anytime and have them topped off, can't wait to try them in the snow!!!
 

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It's about time someone actually tested this. Since I've been around all we've done in speculate and I've always wondered what actually would happen.

Now if only we could find out if ABS works when VSA is off/TMPS is on :) Want to put that one to rest too, Frozen?
 

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VSA system ON ... drop the clutch, wheels spin, power gets diverted to the back wheels ...

VSA switched off ... drop the clutch, front wheels spin and spin and spin and spin
Since the 4WD system is purely mechanical, I can't understand how the VSA could affect it one way or the other. It could be that your 4WD system overheated and switched off protectively prior to the second test.

(This doesn't bear on your main point about TPMS and VSA.)
 

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Since the 4WD system is purely mechanical, I can't understand how the VSA could affect it one way or the other. It could be that your 4WD system overheated and switched off protectively prior to the second test.

(This doesn't bear on your main point about TPMS and VSA.)
and I can't imagine that any engineer would screw around with ABS and have it disable just because VSA might not be working. That would be just plain stupid engineering! lol



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Discussion Starter #10
It's about time someone actually tested this. Since I've been around all we've done in speculate and I've always wondered what actually would happen.

Now if only we could find out if ABS works when VSA is off/TMPS is on :) Want to put that one to rest too, Frozen?
Got some things to go do, so I'll get right on that.
And just to prove that I have all the necessary hardware and conditions to perform this test satisfactorily....


Yeah, it's friggen crappy out. :x
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm back. ABS works just fine with the VSA on and off. Anything else you guys want me to test that doesn't involve the destruction of my car?
 

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You mean TPMS?
No, I meant VSA. But honestly, all of it. TPMS, VSA or whatever the next alphabet soup they decide to add. Nothing will affect the ABS if something else fails... it would be poor engineering. If ABS failed then it would affect other thing because some other "safety" things are using the ABS wheel sensors, etc.

So glad the only thing my Element has is ABS and don't like that too much.



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Discussion Starter #16
and relieved (for the sake of those who do) that it can be switched off.
I don't see why you would ever want to. Well, maybe for IF you ever get stuck in the snow, you can put tire chains on the front wheels and drag yourself out that way, without the computer sending power to the back. Ok, so I guess there's ONE reason why you would want to turn it off. :grin:
 

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I recently put on winter tires and steelies without the sensors, my VSA won't turn off. I push the traction control off and I get no sliding car light up on my dash. On my BMW/Mini and my VW Rabbit, whenever traction control was turned off there was a warning light on my dash. Maybe it's a '09 SC vs. '08 4WD thing.
 

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All VSA does is modulate the brakes to control wheel spin, it has nothing to do with the rear wheels engaging or not. Less spin equals more traction. Turning off the VSA just lets the RT4WD spin one front and one rear (open diffs remember) as fast as you want. If you are on ice or snow with very little friction you can get all four tires spinning and move sideways, my favorite, but once you turn the VSA back on the shenanigans stop and your E gets neutered.:-(
 
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