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ABS chatter

Joe writes:
As far as I know, ABS is intended to help you maintain CONTROL of the car

Scott's probably right with the highest Cf on ice being a locked wheel, but
you're not going to change your direction that way.  Skid - vector change -
correction - back into skid is a tough thing.  If you are skidding, then you
along for the ride until you stop the skid -- by whatever means are most
suitable.  Don't get me wrong here, there are times and places where a
"controlled" skid is preferrable to "controlling" your car right up to
>>>>  Which is the definition of audi ABS on ice....  Try it....  I don't
even take the control argument....  On ice, by definition "control" is
keeping the car in a straight line....
If you are confident in your reactions/abilities then ABS off in the really
slick stuff might be okay.  If you get into an accident though -- don't even
mention the existence of the switch.
>>>>  The switch defaults to abs on, nice feature.....  Volunteering that
information means your head should be examined...   Car control on ice is not
an easy thing, my argument is that audi abs on ice is harder than no abs at
all, btdt...

Then Sharf writes:
 >  Heres an easy one. When would you want to shut off your  ABS or
 >  would you.
To which, on 96-12-09 08:21:24 EST, I6941tb@aol.com writes:

 << On pure ice, Bob. You'll brake better than a dumb komooter.  >>

I don't buy it.  ABS (for the normal human) will still produce an optimal
combination of short stopping distance _and_ steering control on ice.  And
what, pray tell, is "pure ice?"  Be aware that ice is not ice.  Temerature,
surface texture/finish, the presence or absence of water and/or snow on the
ice surface, the tires in question, etc. are all mitigating factors which
bear on the coefficient of friction at the tire/road interface.
>>>>  Forget that....  If the cf gets low enough, and wet snow (eric's post)
is enough, your abs function is not helping you stop any faster, and control
on ice is almost an oxymoron, it certainly is with abs on, what does it give
you, steering control?  hello....  ABS will not function properly in low cf
conditions, cuz impending lockup, is skid release and skid...  the problem is
the release and skid cadence of audi cars abs(and any abs I've driven to
date) on ice is a joke...  An ice switch might help that, but I doubt it....
 Most good drivers can outbrake abs with impending lockup....  There is no
impending lockup on ice, you touch them brakes you skid, abs just goes to the
floor, and gives you that sick feeling that maybe the abs switch should have
been off to begin with...  The standard answer for ABS does not apply
here....   In higher cf, I really don't take exception to the statement....
The few circumstances in which turning off the ABS might produce shorter
stopping distances are typically deep snow, deep sand and deep gravel.  The
build-up of a wedge of snow/sand/gravel (your choice)  at the leading edge of
a tire can "sometimes" produce shorter stopping distnces.  So can bald tires
on a high coefficient of friction surface.  But what is the missing element
on which we all pride ourselves? ... it's steering control.  When you are a
sliding projectile, you don't have it.  I'd rather have some say on my final
resting place.
>>>>  Steering control on ice while braking?  Hellow again, I assure you
there is no steering control in that circumstance....  audi ABS is a great
lifesaver....  I would propose, as much is proper driving technique....  When
I'm at the track or in the slick stuff, ABS function is always off....
  Don't let that box do your thinkin....  It's not that smart, in fact it
assumes lockup to be lockup, no matter what the cf,cg, or steering input...
 Unfortunately that just ain't the real world....

  The magic of ABS lies in achieving minimal
stopping distances while preserving steering control.  Even in the examples
of exception where a wedge of snow/sand/gravel produces shorter stopping
distances, the car becomes an unsteerable projectile.
>>>>  FOR A GIVEN CHASSIS AND DESIGN, yes, it ain't even close to magic...
     Drive an M3 or 951sometime, it educates well on brake, chassis and
control, then add abs....  snow gravel and sand?  I volunteer to take you for
a ride, a VERY fast ride, abs off, in gravel, snow or sand, even ice, Mr. and
Ms. Clark and Ben Howell went with me at steamboat, even the 360 at full
throttle didn't change direction of travel (scared em a little tho)...  Eric
and a few others here could do it too...  ABS is a marketing cream dream,
good brakes and chassis design only sells limited cars.....  That box isn't
the substitute for the head and hands at the wheel....
My vote lies with an effective combination of short stopping distances _and_
steering control.  Not many of us are together enough to decide (at the
instant of an emergency) whether or not  to switch off the ABS.  The presence
of an ABS switch is a nice placebo for those who want the Nth bell and
whistle, but I'd be very skeptical of anybody's claim that they can always
pick the right switch setting for every condition/circumstance/eventuality.
 And to those who think that they are "good" enough to drive with ABS turned
off, well, good luck and keep out of my trajectory.  I'll stay in Clark Kent
mode and leave the system enabled at all times.
>>>>  I urge you  to go to Steamboat this year....    On ice, shorter
stopping distances and abs and steering control are all oxymorons....  Proof:
 Even Steamboats "Cadence braking" technique (really, eric, I still don't
like it!) will produce shorter stopping distances and better control than
your abs....  Go to the school....  They have all sorts of car products out
there with little abs defeat switches on them to teach you that abs on ice is
just not the lifesaver you think....  You have very little steering control
on ice, to think that abs works on ice, to me, just means you haven't been
there enough.....  What you will do Mr. Kent, is have your foot planted on
the floor with all those lovely Lucifer medal sounds from your foot, as you
slide your missile right into my trunk...  That scares me....  Snow, gravel,
sand and ice....  Read your manual, that's why the switch is there...  It
ain't a toy...  It's a tool to make you a more effective driver.  The fact
that you consider it a bell & whistle makes me think the pilot needs the
education...    I always applaud audi for understanding that sometimes that
box is the dumbest tool a driver could have....

Just more arguments for other winter driving schools....  Hope it happens
soon....  Heard a couple qusa events might have them....  Do yourself a

I do not understand driving enthusiasts that don't WANT to learn HOW to drive
a car correctly, first.....  There are those of us available to teach, from
the chair or the pass seat....  I ought to loosen up, no doubt, but this is
serious fun:)...  Keeping sheet medal intact is my passion...  So are audis
strengths and weaknesses, and spending inordinant amounts of time and money
correcting the latter.....  I assure you there is a list on both sides......
 I constantly try to make the head behind the wheel the most educated
possible, not the merits of abs....  Practice, practice, practice...  The
schools and instruction are there for you, and specific to the audis to

Class dismissed, this pulpit will self destruct in 5 seconds

Scott, again at current peso exchange