August 07, 2011

TRC & ESP - What Are The Differences?

Traction Control System (TRC) and Electronic Stability Programme (ESP or ESC) – both are active safety features found in cars to provide maximum wheel traction when the system detects wheel spin. But what are exactly their differences since both systems also has the same main function?

As for TRC, which is usually found in Toyota cars like Toyota Altis and Camry, helps maintain traction on wet, icy, loose or uneven surfaces by applying brake force to the spinning wheels. This will ensure a smooth acceleration from a stand still and prevent wheel skid at the start of acceleration.Let’s say in an event, few of your wheels came upon muddy surface and TRC detected wheel spin, TRC will limits engine output and applies the brakes to the spinning wheel. Engine power will be supplied to the wheels that still have traction so that you can drive away from the ’sticky situation’.

Electronic Stability Programme, on the other hand, helps prevent wheel slip and loss of traction by reducing engine power and applying brake to the wheels to regain traction. When the vehicle is not going where the driver is steering, ESP monitors your steering angle and the direction your vehicle is actually traveling and calculate the exact force needed to be applied on the brake of each wheel.

Stability programme such as the ESP is important in reducing accidents on the road, especially in Malaysia's tropical weather. The installation of ESP in a car also influences the car's crash test result at EuroNCAP. More and more car manufacturers install ESP as standard in many of their cars, this shows that airbag is not the only essential safety item anymore!

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