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I'd love to hear from all the "hotshoes" out there. Personally I plan on leaving mine on. Too many chances on the road (as opposed to the track) that a dog, child, fallen rock, etc. will interfere with my "perfectly executed turn" on that country road that I know like the back of my hand (except when the cow shows up).
 

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kshapiro said:
I'd love to hear from all the "hotshoes" out there. Personally I plan on leaving mine on. Too many chances on the road (as opposed to the track) that a dog, child, fallen rock, etc. will interfere with my "perfectly executed turn" on that country road that I know like the back of my hand (except when the cow shows up).
Well, since DSC is bundled with ASC+T, I plan to switch it off at least once so I can understand how much work the traction control is doing under hard acceleration or in slippery conditions. Once I've done that to satisfy my curiosity, I plan on leaving DSC on all the time for the reasons you mentioned above Ken - you simply don't know when you might be involved in an emergency situation when driving - and that's exactly the rationale for DSC in the first place. :)
 

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kshapiro said:
Personally I plan on leaving mine on. Too many chances on the road (as opposed to the track) that a dog, child, fallen rock, etc. will interfere with my "perfectly executed turn" on that country road that I know like the back of my hand (except when the cow shows up).
And you are wise to do so. I've done so many track days on road courses that I've lost count long ago. I've also lost count of the number of autocrosses I've done. On the street you just can't match the kind of speeds that you will reach in a corner of a road course--not just the speed, but specifically the limits of adhesion you will encounter (if you do, deserted road or not, you are quite simply the biggest tool in the world). It is most likely when you least expect it that you will explore these limits (i.e.: in an emergency).

I also think that if you haven't done any track events, then the more you need DSC. At the track and the autocross, you will learn things about vehicle dynamics that often go against what seems logical. And it is the misunderstanding of these dynamic qualities that litters our roads with accidents.

On a side note: autocrossing is the best thing anyone can do to improve their driving skills, bar none. At an autocross, you are free to explore the limits of your vehicle without risk of damage to the vehicle or yourself. This knowledge can then be transferred to the track.

If you can't do it slow...you can't do it fast.

Stepping off my soapbox...
Shawn
 

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Since the DSC effect is so dramatic, and the correction can be subtle at times, I plan to take my MINI to a big open empty parking lot and see what it is like.

I'd hate to never know what the car's natural tendancies are like. I'd think it'd be safer to know what to expect from the vehicle, and then have the DSC help you in the real world, where the unexpected is the norm.

I shouldn't think I'd ever switch it off on the street.

There may be other reasons. You won't know when you need to switch it off until you have to. Maybe you can't rock the car when it's stuck, or purposely spin the wheels in wet snow to clear the treads with DSC on. Who knows?

From what I've seen and read about the DSC III on BMW's, the system doesn't interfere noticably to the driver until you've got to the point where you're about to flinch at whatever is going drastically wrong.

This DSC is a performance aid as much as it is a safety system. I can't tell if it's doing anything or not on my Grandmother's 3-Series, but then again I'd never flog her car. But for a RWD in winter, it behaves a LOT better than most other RWD cars I have driven.
 

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Noahe,

Good plan. It's always good to have intimate knowledge about your vehicle. The problem with DSC systems, is that they can boost the ego and confidence in a driver to the point that the DSC kicks on regularly. Then when they do really reach something unexpected, not even the DSC can save their hide.

I plan on doing the same thing.


I almost wish the DSC computer had a bit of a personality. Imagine this scenario:

Driver: Gets surprised by a corner for the first time and the DSC kicks in.

DSC: "You'll be OK. The DSC system was just activated to help you out."

Driver: On a later corner again pushes a little too hard, and causes the DSC to intervene.

DSC: "That was entertaining."

Driver: With a small grin, accelerates to the next corner, and then proceeds to test the DSC system further.

DSC: "Lets not get carried away. Please slow down."

Driver: With a grin now stretching ear to ear, rounds the next roundabout full throttle.

DSC: "You're insane. Slow down idiot!!"

Driver: exits the roundabout heading back home, and knowing the next corner already, although from a different direction, down shifts and revs near the red, through the corner.

DSC: "That's it. I quit. If you want to kill yourself, you can go to hell."

Cheers,
Brant
 

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That's entertaining. Seriously, it'd be nice if a light lit everytime the system engaged. Maybe it does.

Why is there so much conjecture surrounding DSC? Do people already have this option on their MINI's, or is it one of the options becomming available very soon.

I assume that the DSC III on the MINI is the same as the DSC III on the 3-Series, however it's tough to draw comparisons between a heavy RWD car and a MINI.

The system engages directly in relation to the amount of crap you've gotten yourself into. Overcook a corner a bit too much, and the car just goes 'round. You might not even know it kicked in. On the otherhand, slide partially off the road and try to recover, and you KNOW the system just saved your ass. On the BMW, in SEVERE winter driving conditions, the DSC III makes ABS kind of noises all the time. It's doing something.
 

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I believe there is a light. It should probably be accompanied by a calm buzzer too. Perhaps, after the vehicle has recovered. No need to increase the drivers heart beat any further than necessary.

Perhaps an after market company could allow the user to add their own buzzer, so it could play recorded messages. "We regret to inform your next of kin, of your untimely demise."

As for all of the conjecture. DSC systems are fairly new. Until recently they were only available on high end luxury/performance cars.

Very few people in North America have driven a MINI. So we're forced to live vicariously through others. Given that the dealers and staff for the new MINI dealerships are all getting a chance to drive the MINI at Sears Point Raceway, hopefully some of them will be able to give some feedback of how well DSC works. And for those lucky enough to live close to a MINI dealership, there's only 16 days left to go find out for yourself. Maybe a week or two longer, if you have to get in the same line order as deposits.
 

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My DSC light seems to flash at me when accelerating out of small-ish roundabouts, which is always entertaining. I usually turn mine off for the old traffic light grandprix, but it's always back on once I'm in second gear. It's very good, and I wouldn't drive round on public roads without it. Similarly, i'd just love a big airfield so I could find out what it's like with it off!!!

Just to clarify the light thing:
The light is FLASHING when it's busy cutting power to the wheels.
The light is CONSTANTLY ON when it's turned off.

Oh, and I'm sure it saves some rubber too...

Dom
 

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After reading some of the posts in the Performance and Tuning forum, I recognized another area that may force me to turn DSC off.

When I took my last vehicle in for a DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) inspection, they had me drive under load on a rolling cylinder. It was an experimental test that they were considering phasing in over time. I don't know if it's yet a requirement or not.

If it is, then I would imagine that the DSC system and possibly ABS would get quite confused as to why the rear wheels were apparently sliding. Would the ABS pump like mad during the test? I'll probably have to turn DSC off for the test.

Cheers,
Brant
 

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We have a similar test for Ontario's Drive Clean tests. The DSC or ABS do not get confused, but the traction control needs to be turned off as the engine will reduce power if it does not read the rear wheels rolling at the same speed.
 

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Now that's a photo.

Forget the stair master and tread mill. I'll take one of those! On second thought, driving in the open air is probably more fun than a stationary vehicle ;-)

Imagine what vehicle would fit on both sets of rollers. Given that it's at Superchips, and that the rear set ot rollers appear to be set for a vehicle almost 2' shorter, could it be for the original mini?

And finally, a car with proper stripes. Straight, and extended beyond just the hood. I would hope that they are repeated on back.

I've been thinking about going with a single, or pair of offset stripes, on the passengers side. But I need to sit in one first. The idea is to place the stripes such that they help identify when the wheels are in relation to the curb. That way I can dive into a inside corner and not hit any debris.

Thanks for the information.

Cheers,
Brant
 

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The platform is set up for FWD and RWD cars. The MINI in the platform is using it in FWD mode. The New MINI is 12' long. It's not made for cars that are 8' long. I think since it has a hookup for strapping the car in, venting exhaust and a platform up front for the test equipment, they just use different rollers instead of turning the car around.
 

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I thought the original mini was about 10' long.

Everything else makes sense though. And the DSC is an extension of the traction control. There is only one switch, so I guess turning it off would be needed.
 

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The old Mini was about 10' long. The new MINI is about 12'. I was guessing that the dyno test platform was designed to service both FWD and RWD cars, and that it probably never had a car on it that would be the right distance (about 8' long) to have both sets of wheels on both rollers.
 
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