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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-22-2008, 11:15 AM
bamastones bamastones is offline
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DSC vs DTC -- when to use each setting

I have read the manual and done some searching, but I am confused with the various settings on my 09 535i x-drive. What exactly is the difference between the default traction control setting, the DTC setting when I push the button on the dash, and the DSC setting when you hold in the button on the dash for a couple of seconds? when should I use each setting. The manual gives us pages on how to use the seatbelt, but only a couple of cryptic sentences on these traction modes. thanks for any input
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  #2  
Old 12-22-2008, 12:02 PM
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Do nothing, you're in DSC. All the nannies and minders apply.

Hit the button briefly, you're in DTC. Some of the nannies and minders are off. Allows for some wheel spin to start off in snow/ice.

Hit the button again, all nannies and minders return.

Hit the button and hold for about 8-10 seconds, nannies and minders take a vacation and the fun can begin. Not recommended for rain and snow.

dj
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  #3  
Old 12-22-2008, 12:04 PM
Corgidog Corgidog is offline
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I also have an 09 535 X drive and had similar questions when I read the owner's manual. My take is to set to DTC when your wheels are spinning in snow and to use DSC when you want to disable the system which would affect traction. If I drive normally on lightly snow covered roads my guess is not to use DTC but I could be all wrong.
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Old 12-22-2008, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djfitter View Post
Hit the button briefly, you're in DTC. Some of the nannies and minders are off. Allows for some wheel spin to start off in snow/ice.
A good thing, you don't want the ECU deciding for you when to spin or not, when trying to get momentum up on the ice and snow.

Quote:
Hit the button again, all nannies and minders return.

Hit the button and hold for about 8-10 seconds, nannies and minders take a vacation and the fun can begin. Not recommended for rain and snow.

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  #5  
Old 12-22-2008, 03:16 PM
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bmrboy2008 bmrboy2008 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djfitter View Post
Do nothing, you're in DSC. All the nannies and minders apply.

Hit the button briefly, you're in DTC. Some of the nannies and minders are off. Allows for some wheel spin to start off in snow/ice.

Hit the button again, all nannies and minders return.

Hit the button and hold for about 8-10 seconds, nannies and minders take a vacation and the fun can begin. Not recommended for rain and snow.

dj
What are nannies and minders?
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  #6  
Old 12-22-2008, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmrboy2008 View Post
What are nannies and minders?
The little electrictronic components that moderate gas/brakes/things to keep you in a direction you intended when other forces are trying to do otherwise.

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  #7  
Old 12-22-2008, 03:52 PM
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elistein elistein is offline
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I tried to DTC in snow and it was pretty much useless in both the 530i and 535i... I suspect it's because I have low-profile tires in both...
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  #8  
Old 12-23-2008, 12:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elistein View Post
I tried to DTC in snow and it was pretty much useless in both the 530i and 535i... I suspect it's because I have low-profile tires in both...
Summer tires?
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  #9  
Old 12-23-2008, 05:56 AM
Corgidog Corgidog is offline
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Originally Posted by TMQ View Post
Summer tires?
I think he means wide tires which are not as good in the snow as narrower tires.
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  #10  
Old 12-24-2008, 08:15 AM
jcl10 jcl10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corgidog View Post
I also have an 09 535 X drive and had similar questions when I read the owner's manual. My take is to set to DTC when your wheels are spinning in snow and to use DSC when you want to disable the system which would affect traction. If I drive normally on lightly snow covered roads my guess is not to use DTC but I could be all wrong.
That isn't what DTC is for. The confusion starts with the BMW labelling system for warning lights and the button.

In normal state, no lights, you have DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) and DTC (Dynamic Traction Control), by default. DSC helps with sliding, DTC puts a brake on to stop a wheel from spinning. There is a low system threshold for a spinning wheel, meaning the system (nanny) intervenes quite early.

Pushing the button once turns off DSC, but keeps DTC on. It allows more wheelspin than the standard setting (fewer nannies). This is designed to be used if you try to get going at slow speeds and the road is so slippery that you have no throttle response, ie the computer is limiting throttle because of wheel spin. Allowing some wheel spin can get you up a hill or get you moving sometimes when the system would otherwise stop you. Once you are moving, it is worth putting turning DTC off (back to normal state) for most drivers.

Holding the button for longer turns everything off. Good for track days, or playing around in parking lots to find out the limits of your car.
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  #11  
Old 12-24-2008, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcl10 View Post
That isn't what DTC is for. The confusion starts with the BMW labelling system for warning lights and the button.

In normal state, no lights, you have DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) and DTC (Dynamic Traction Control), by default. DSC helps with sliding, DTC puts a brake on to stop a wheel from spinning. There is a low system threshold for a spinning wheel, meaning the system (nanny) intervenes quite early.

Pushing the button once turns off DSC, but keeps DTC on. It allows more wheelspin than the standard setting (fewer nannies). This is designed to be used if you try to get going at slow speeds and the road is so slippery that you have no throttle response, ie the computer is limiting throttle because of wheel spin. Allowing some wheel spin can get you up a hill or get you moving sometimes when the system would otherwise stop you. Once you are moving, it is worth putting turning DTC off (back to normal state) for most drivers.

Holding the button for longer turns everything off. Good for track days, or playing around in parking lots to find out the limits of your car.
I think this is mostly right, except that I thought / think that rather than putting brakes on to stop wheel spinning, it reduces accelerator inputs to prevent spinning. Maybe both, I'm not sure, but it is clear that you have reduced power when you're trying to break the rear-end loose if you don't turn the system off.

Cal
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  #12  
Old 12-24-2008, 08:34 AM
BrianBSL BrianBSL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcl10 View Post
That isn't what DTC is for. The confusion starts with the BMW labelling system for warning lights and the button.

In normal state, no lights, you have DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) and DTC (Dynamic Traction Control), by default. DSC helps with sliding, DTC puts a brake on to stop a wheel from spinning. There is a low system threshold for a spinning wheel, meaning the system (nanny) intervenes quite early.

Pushing the button once turns off DSC, but keeps DTC on. It allows more wheelspin than the standard setting (fewer nannies). This is designed to be used if you try to get going at slow speeds and the road is so slippery that you have no throttle response, ie the computer is limiting throttle because of wheel spin. Allowing some wheel spin can get you up a hill or get you moving sometimes when the system would otherwise stop you. Once you are moving, it is worth putting turning DTC off (back to normal state) for most drivers.

Holding the button for longer turns everything off. Good for track days, or playing around in parking lots to find out the limits of your car.
I think you have it backwards - both DSC and DTC are on by default, pushing the DTC button once turns off DTC but leaves DSC on, and holding it turns both off. (May have just been a typo on your part)
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  #13  
Old 12-24-2008, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianBSL View Post
I think you have it backwards - both DSC and DTC are on by default, pushing the DTC button once turns off DSC but turns DTC on, and holding it turns both off. (May have just been a typo on your part)
Fixed. Your 1/2 right, jcl10 is right and pretty much what I said.

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  #14  
Old 12-24-2008, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcl10 View Post
That isn't what DTC is for. The confusion starts with the BMW labelling system for warning lights and the button.

In normal state, no lights, you have DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) and DTC (Dynamic Traction Control), by default. DSC helps with sliding, DTC puts a brake on to stop a wheel from spinning. There is a low system threshold for a spinning wheel, meaning the system (nanny) intervenes quite early.

Pushing the button once turns off DSC, but keeps DTC on. It allows more wheelspin than the standard setting (fewer nannies). This is designed to be used if you try to get going at slow speeds and the road is so slippery that you have no throttle response, ie the computer is limiting throttle because of wheel spin. Allowing some wheel spin can get you up a hill or get you moving sometimes when the system would otherwise stop you. Once you are moving, it is worth putting turning DTC off (back to normal state) for most drivers.

Holding the button for longer turns everything off. Good for track days, or playing around in parking lots to find out the limits of your car.
Your description (other than holding the button for a while turns off both DSC & DTC) is not correct--at least vs. how it works in my car.

Don't touch the button: DSC is on (prevents wheel slipping when starting off, and provides stability in corning).
Press button once: DSC still on, but DTC now on (which allows some slipping of wheels, to facilitate starting in snow, for instance). But DSC still being on means you still have cornering stability system on.
Press and hold button for 10 secs.: both DSC & DTC off
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Last edited by stream; 12-24-2008 at 09:50 AM.
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  #15  
Old 12-24-2008, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianBSL View Post
I think you have it backwards - both DSC and DTC are on by default, pushing the DTC button once turns off DTC but leaves DSC on, and holding it turns both off. (May have just been a typo on your part)
Not quite--DSC is on by default, not DTC, which is turned on by briefly pressing the button. See post #14.
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Old 12-24-2008, 10:24 AM
Corgidog Corgidog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcl10 View Post
That isn't what DTC is for. The confusion starts with the BMW labelling system for warning lights and the button.

In normal state, no lights, you have DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) and DTC (Dynamic Traction Control), by default. DSC helps with sliding, DTC puts a brake on to stop a wheel from spinning. There is a low system threshold for a spinning wheel, meaning the system (nanny) intervenes quite early.

Pushing the button once turns off DSC, but keeps DTC on. It allows more wheelspin than the standard setting (fewer nannies). This is designed to be used if you try to get going at slow speeds and the road is so slippery that you have no throttle response, ie the computer is limiting throttle because of wheel spin. Allowing some wheel spin can get you up a hill or get you moving sometimes when the system would otherwise stop you. Once you are moving, it is worth putting turning DTC off (back to normal state) for most drivers.

Holding the button for longer turns everything off. Good for track days, or playing around in parking lots to find out the limits of your car.

Didn't I basically say the same thing regarding DTC?
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  #17  
Old 12-27-2008, 01:44 AM
Transporter08 Transporter08 is offline
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Talking

Confused newbie (me)
I read the posts and I would like to understand this whole thing, since we got a lot of snow here now. I drive a 530i. From what I gather I can summarize the following:

1.
Initially after starting the car:
DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) is on by default.
DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) is off by default.

2.
Hit the DTC button once (light goes on, I can see it in the front panel too):
DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) is now off. (??)
DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) is on. (use for snow)

3. Hit the DTC button once (light goes off):
DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) is now on. (??)
DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) is now off.

4.
Hit the DTC button for a long time (about 8 seconds):
DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) is off (and not coming back?).
DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) is off (and not coming back?).

So, it's either DTC or DSC, but noth both at the same time... I think,
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Old 12-27-2008, 07:07 AM
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Fahrer Fahrer is offline
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Folks,
No car company has traction control off by default. Stability contol and traction control are always active until you start pressing the buttons.
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  #19  
Old 12-27-2008, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Transporter08 View Post
Confused newbie (me)
I read the posts and I would like to understand this whole thing, since we got a lot of snow here now. I drive a 530i. From what I gather I can summarize the following:

1.
Initially after starting the car:
DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) is on by default.
DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) is off by default.

2.
Hit the DTC button once (light goes on, I can see it in the front panel too):
DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) is now off. (??)
DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) is on. (use for snow)

3. Hit the DTC button once (light goes off):
DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) is now on. (??)
DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) is now off.

4.
Hit the DTC button for a long time (about 8 seconds):
DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) is off (and not coming back?).
DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) is off (and not coming back?).

So, it's either DTC or DSC, but noth both at the same time... I think,
The way I see it, you got it right.

dj
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Old 12-27-2008, 08:21 AM
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My experience is that you turn DTC OFF if in snow and you're having trouble getting going.... not leave it on for use in snow as above. The behavior of DTC is to limit power applied to rear wheels to avoid spinning, but if spinning is what you need (ice and snow it often is to get some momentum) you'll need to turn DTC off. I have to admit, I haven't used DTC-off in my current BMW, as I don't drive it in those conditions, but this is how all my other cars' and trucks' traction control system has worked, and I think I've read in the admittedly confusing BMW owners' manual this is how it works. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Cal
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Old 12-27-2008, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calpalmer View Post
My experience is that you turn DTC OFF if in snow and you're having trouble getting going.... not leave it on for use in snow as above. The behavior of DTC is to limit power applied to rear wheels to avoid spinning, but if spinning is what you need (ice and snow it often is to get some momentum) you'll need to turn DTC off. I have to admit, I haven't used DTC-off in my current BMW, as I don't drive it in those conditions, but this is how all my other cars' and trucks' traction control system has worked, and I think I've read in the admittedly confusing BMW owners' manual this is how it works. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Cal
The way I interpret it is that DTC is turned on by deactivating DSC (which limits tire slipping) with the button. DTC (allows some tire slipping) is used in icy conditions (when tire slipping is generally necessary) to initially start off and then DSC is reengaged (touch of the button), to keep you safer while moving in the slippery conditions.
I don't think there is any interpretation problem with the 'hold the button in' to disengage everything to let the fun begin (not in snow/ice) during those 'play days'.

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  #22  
Old 12-27-2008, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Transporter08 View Post
Confused newbie (me)
I read the posts and I would like to understand this whole thing, since we got a lot of snow here now. I drive a 530i. From what I gather I can summarize the following:

1.
Initially after starting the car:
DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) is on by default.
DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) is off by default.

2.
Hit the DTC button once (light goes on, I can see it in the front panel too):
DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) is now off. (??)
DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) is on. (use for snow)

3. Hit the DTC button once (light goes off):
DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) is now on. (??)
DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) is now off.

4.
Hit the DTC button for a long time (about 8 seconds):
DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) is off (and not coming back?).
DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) is off (and not coming back?).

So, it's either DTC or DSC, but noth both at the same time... I think,
Not quite...see post #14, where I summarized what the owners manual says (hint, hint... ). Based on the myriad descriptions provided in this thread, you really have to wonder how many people actually read the owners manual.

The parts of your post I highlighted in red are incorrect.

Here are excerpts from the owners manual (it's amazine how useful that thing is )--I actually think it's pretty clear (I added the blue highlighting):

DSC Dynamic Stability Control
The system prevents traction loss in the driving
wheels when starting off and accelerating. DSC
also detects unstable driving conditions such
as a fishtailing rear end or sliding of the front
wheels.
In these cases, DSC helps the vehicle
maintain a safe course within physical limits by
reducing engine output and through braking
actions in the individual wheels.
The DSC is operational every time you start the
engine.

DTC Dynamic Traction Control
DTC is a version of DSC in which the drive output
is optimized for particular road conditions,
e.g. unplowed snow-covered roads. The system
assures the maximal drive output, but with
reduced driving stability.
It is therefore necessary
to drive with appropriate caution.
You may find it useful to briefly activate DTC
under the following special circumstances:
> When driving on snowy inclines, in slush, or
on unplowed, snow-covered road surfaces
> When rocking a stuck vehicle free or starting
off in deep snow or on loose ground
> When driving with snow chains

Activating DTC
Press the button briefly; the DTC indicator lamp
in the instrument cluster lights up.

Deactivating DTC again
Press the button again; the DTC indicator lamp
in the instrument cluster goes out.

Deactivating DTC and DSC together
Press the button until the DSC indicator lamp in
the instrument cluster lights up, but not longer
than approx. 10 seconds. Stabilizing and drive
output promoting actions are no longer executed.
In addition, the stability promoting intervention
of the active steering is deactivated,
refer to page 81.

Reactivating DSC
Press the button; the DTC indicator lamp in the
instrument cluster goes out.
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