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Unwanted Stabilitrak / Traction Control features

Discussion in 'Chevy Silverado Forum (GMC Sierra)' started by smartin357, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. smartin357

    smartin357 New Member

    Does anybody know of a way to disable or turn off the Stabilitrak and Traction control features on a 2009 4x4 Z71 Silverado? I do a lot of off-roading and have been really frustrated when those features kick in and limit your wheel spin and cut the power to your engine. I've read the owners manual and tried pushing the button on the dash for 5 seconds to "temporarily turn off" this feature but found that it won't actually do it as I have conducted multiple tests and the engine retarder and braking systems still kick in when the wheels start to spin. Does anyone have any ideas?
  2. stchman

    stchman Active Member 1 Year 1000 Posts

    Disabling the traction control is very easy, just push the traction control button and the DIC will report traction control off. To disable Stabilitrak, push and hold the Traction Control/Stabilitrak button until the DIC reports Stabilitrak AND traction control is disabled. Please RTFM!!!

    Remember, Stabilitrak AND Traction Control will be re-enabled when you re-start the vehicle.
  3. smartin357

    smartin357 New Member

    Ok, as I stated in my post - I did "RTFM" and have tried to use that control on my dash to turn off both the TC and Stabilitrak but it doesn't truly disable those features. In 4x4 High with those turned off the computer still will defeat the engine and apply the breaks if it senses that the wheels are spinning. So, what else you got?
  4. stchman

    stchman Active Member 1 Year 1000 Posts

    I apologize, I did not see that.

    Also there is no "5 seconds" in the manual. Does the DIC on your dash read that traction control and stabilitrak have both been disabled?

    It looks like both stabilitrak and traction control are disabled when in 4LO.

    IIRC, there is a fuse that can be pulled, but this also disables ABS.
  5. smartin357

    smartin357 New Member

    I found that 4 Low is supposed to be the only mode that you can be in and not activate TC or Stabilitrak but in some situations you need 4 High (long hill climbs, mud/snow, etc.). There is section of the manual that says press and hold that button for five seconds and that is supposed to turn off both TC and Stabilitrak and the DIC on my dash does display those messages but as I said before, it doesn't really do it. I could live without ABS off road - if it is as simple as pulling a fuse I am interested in trying it.
  6. stchman

    stchman Active Member 1 Year 1000 Posts

    From what I have read, having ABS while off-roading is not good as your tires won't dig in when the brakes are locked.
  7. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Tires digging in while the brakes are locked would fall more under tire tread and traction available. And believe it or not 4 wheelers were driving like this many years before ABS was installed on vehicles. ABS registers wheel speed, or lack of it and releases the wheel to rotate before it locks up, so in certain off-road conditions like extremely slick mud or a down hill slope with loose soil you could end up with the brakes never actually activating and instead of stopping you continue to roll. In certain situations a little tire dragging and building a mound of dirt in front of the tire can be all that stops you.
    If you disable the ABS what will happen is your vehicle has the possibility of locking up one or more tires when you press the brake pedal. The upside of this is the system wont know when you have wheel spin so it wont be able to retard power to the other wheels.
    Disabling ABS systems has been priority 1 for many off-roaders over the years because ABS hinders the capabilities of a vehicle in extremely slick or low traction situations, removing the C/B is one way to accomplish deactivating the TC system but with the computers being used now I'm not sure it works 100%, you might want to find an empty field to experiment in before you hit the trails, and be sure you put the C/B back in when getting back on paved roads, these trucks dont handle well at all on pavement with things deactivated.
  8. stchman

    stchman Active Member 1 Year 1000 Posts

    Maybe I wasn't clear. When off roading, there are times you WANT the wheels to lock up so the tires dig into the soil. If you have ABS on your wheels will never lock, thus never allowing the tires to dig into the dirt.
  9. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    OK I understand what you were saying now.

    ABS has been an issue for years with the off-road crowd, when I bought my 99 Tacoma TRD I waited until I was stationed in Sicily since by buying it over there it was a US standard truck that was legal to import but didnt have ABS, my 98 Tacoma TRD had ABS and the off-road performance between the two trucks was like night and day even though they were equipped exactly alike except for the ABS.
    Pretty sad having to sell a year old truck and buy an similarly equipped new truck just to delete the ABS.
  10. stchman

    stchman Active Member 1 Year 1000 Posts

    IIRC, most vehicles have a fuse that you can pull to deactivate ABS.

    If we get right down to it, 98% of the 4WD pickups sold in the US don't see much in the way of off-roading. Probably why trucks are set up the way they are.

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