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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Enjoying my first week with a 500 Sport. It seems to me that putting it in Sport mode and also turning off the ESC gives the steering much better feel than with the ESC on. Anyone else tried this? Any other responses?
 

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Hi

I've tried turning the ESC off several times. It does seem to make the steering feel stiffer to me (with ESC on there seems to be just a little bit of play in the steering where I can move it just a bit (a fraction of an inch) one way or the other without any effect on direction, but with ESC off that looseness goes away). Also, I may just be imagining this, but with ESC off it seems like I'm feeling the effects of the road through the steering wheel a little better, whereas with ESC on, I don't seem to notice some of the little stuff so much.

I've tried using Sport mode, and in my manual Pop it did seem to stiffen up the steering a bit as well, but for the most part I don't use Sport mode much.

Regards

Pat

PS. Whenever its raining or anything like that, I make sure to leave the ESC on though.
 

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I've yet put the car through it's paces with ESC off. I've only turned it off maybe two or three times in the past. I drive fairly aggressively and only twice has the ESC interfered. Both times in the dry I might add. I'm curious to see if there actually is a difference in the way the car behaves with it switched off. I've never really paid that much attention.
 

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More specifics on the ESC system...as per the manual.



Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
This system enhances directional control and stability of
the vehicle under various driving conditions. ESC cor-
rects for over-steering or under-steering of the vehicle by
applying the brake of the appropriate wheel to assist in
counteracting the over-steering or under-steering condi-
tion. Engine power may also be reduced to help the
vehicle maintain the desired path. ESC uses sensors in
the vehicle to determine the vehicle path intended by the
driver and compares it to the actual path of the vehicle.
When the actual path does not match the intended path,
ESC applies the brake of the appropriate wheel to assist
in counteracting the over-steer or under-steer condition.
• Over-steer - when the vehicle is turning more than
appropriate for the steering wheel position.
• Under-steer - when the vehicle is turning less than
appropriate for the steering wheel position.

ESC Operating Modes
The ESC system has two available operating modes.
Full On
This is the normal operating mode for ESC. Whenever
the vehicle is started the ESC system will be in this “On”
mode. This mode should be used for most driving
situations. ESC should only be turned to “Partial Off” for
specific reasons as noted below.
Partial Off
This mode is entered by momentarily pressing the “ESC
Off” switch. This mode is intended to be used if the
vehicle is in deep snow, sand or gravel conditions and
more wheel spin than ESC would normally allow is
required to gain traction.
To turn ESC on again, momentarily press the “ESC Off”
switch. This will restore the normal “ESC On” mode of
operation.
NOTE: To improve the vehicle’s traction when driving
with snow chains, or starting off in deep snow, sand or
gravel, it may be desirable to switch to the “Partial Off”
mode by pressing the “ESC Off” switch. Once the situa-
tion requiring ESC to be switched to the “Partial Off”
ESC Off Switch (Automatic Transmission)
5
mode is overcome, turn ESC back on by momentarily
pressing the “ESC Off” switch. This may be done while
the vehicle is in motion.

WARNING!
The Electronic Stability Control (ESC) cannot pre-
vent the natural laws of physics from acting on the
vehicle, nor can it increase the traction afforded by
prevailing road conditions. ESC cannot prevent acci-
dents, including those resulting from excessive speed
in turns, driving on very slippery surfaces, or hydro-
planing. Only a safe, attentive, and skillful driver can
prevent accidents. The capabilities of an ESC
equipped vehicle must never be exploited in a reck-
less or dangerous manner which could jeopardize the
user’s safety or the safety of others.
 

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Hi

I just tried to turn Sport on and ESC off, and I think I'll never try that again. The steering actually felt just about as bad as on my old 67 Plymouth when the power steering went out. Just outside my parking lot at work and I had a real hard time turning the wheel to get around it.

I think I'll just leave Sport off and ESC on for the most part from now on. :)

Regards

Pat
 

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Ok I went out for a drive and couldn't feel any difference in the way the car behaved with ESC on or off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This is getting curiouser and curiouser, as my 9th grade teacher used to say. It seems that no two people have the same experience and response.

Are we all that much different, or are the cars that different from car to car?

More experimentation to come, but as the sun is out and this is Seattle, I am riding my motorcycle to work these days.

Fiat is going in next Tuesday to have a LoJack anti-theft deal installed, and I will ask the Service Manager for his thoughts at that time.
 

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I haven't driven the 500 without the ESC but now I'm going to have to test it out. When I had my RX-8 and wanted to push the car I always turned off the ESC because it was annoying to drive hard, especially the corners, with it on. I'll test it on the 500 tomorrow and report back.
 

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>>Are we all that much different, or are the cars that different from car to car?

There is a range for the steering when they are built. So, when the components are produced to be in spec, there is a large range from looser to tight feeling that would still be in spec. So, yes there is a range for when the cars are built.

The electronic steering rack compensates for most of the harsh feel and the gain was boosted over the earliest prototypes that were built. Most of the ones that I have driven they have a good steering input and are certainly easier than a Mini to drive.
 

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How the car feels with the ESC on or off all depends on your your speed, driving style, grip of the pavement, type of tyres, etc. Ten different drivers in the exact same car on the exact same road will feel ten different things.
 

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I turned off my esc while driving at 70 on the highway, dry conditions, no one around, and did some quick wheel left to rights(don't know how else to explain it). It seemed to be a lot more floaty, not as secure feeling than it did with the esc on. I know that this may be very technical talk but I don't know how else to describe it. Just my two cents. I will not take it off unless I am trying to get started in deep snow because I like the feel of control with it on.
 

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More specifics on the ESC system...as per the manual.



Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
This system enhances directional control and stability of
the vehicle under various driving conditions. ESC cor-
rects for over-steering or under-steering of the vehicle by
applying the brake of the appropriate wheel to assist in
counteracting the over-steering or under-steering condi-
tion. Engine power may also be reduced to help the
vehicle maintain the desired path. ESC uses sensors in
the vehicle to determine the vehicle path intended by the
driver and compares it to the actual path of the vehicle.
When the actual path does not match the intended path,
ESC applies the brake of the appropriate wheel to assist
in counteracting the over-steer or under-steer condition.
• Over-steer - when the vehicle is turning more than
appropriate for the steering wheel position.
• Under-steer - when the vehicle is turning less than
appropriate for the steering wheel position.

ESC Operating Modes
The ESC system has two available operating modes.
Full On
This is the normal operating mode for ESC. Whenever
the vehicle is started the ESC system will be in this “On”
mode. This mode should be used for most driving
situations. ESC should only be turned to “Partial Off” for
specific reasons as noted below.
Partial Off
This mode is entered by momentarily pressing the “ESC
Off” switch. This mode is intended to be used if the
vehicle is in deep snow, sand or gravel conditions and
more wheel spin than ESC would normally allow is
required to gain traction.
To turn ESC on again, momentarily press the “ESC Off”
switch. This will restore the normal “ESC On” mode of
operation.
NOTE: To improve the vehicle’s traction when driving
with snow chains, or starting off in deep snow, sand or
gravel, it may be desirable to switch to the “Partial Off”
mode by pressing the “ESC Off” switch. Once the situa-
tion requiring ESC to be switched to the “Partial Off”
ESC Off Switch (Automatic Transmission)
5
mode is overcome, turn ESC back on by momentarily
pressing the “ESC Off” switch. This may be done while
the vehicle is in motion.

WARNING!
The Electronic Stability Control (ESC) cannot pre-
vent the natural laws of physics from acting on the
vehicle, nor can it increase the traction afforded by
prevailing road conditions. ESC cannot prevent acci-
dents, including those resulting from excessive speed
in turns, driving on very slippery surfaces, or hydro-
planing. Only a safe, attentive, and skillful driver can
prevent accidents. The capabilities of an ESC
equipped vehicle must never be exploited in a reck-
less or dangerous manner which could jeopardize the
user’s safety or the safety of others.
Tweak you mention two positions, On and Partial off. There is a third which is a Full off position. This is accomplished by holding the esc button in (5 to 10 seconds) till an audible beep is heard. The esc is totally off in this mode. This is the preferred mode for the track imo.
 
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