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VW B5 Passat TDIs This is a general discussion about B5 Passat(>98 (2004-2005 in North America)). Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

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Old December 22nd, 2009, 07:23   #1
BrentRN
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Default ESP button: What does it do?

I found in my owners manual a description of the Electronic Stability Program but there is nothing in the control section on the ESP button. If I push it will the car use its ESP to predict that I will be in an accident tomorrow?

The manual describes the ASR button where my wagon has a button marked ESP. Are they the same thing? Should the button be pushed or left alone when it's slippery?
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 08:15   #2
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Leave it alone. It is always on. Pressing the button will disable it and a light will appear on the dash to indicate it is off. It will turn itself back on the next time you restart the car. Here's a video of what it does: http://multivu.prnewswire.com/mnr/vw/32207/
Skip the marketing drone and fast forward to the 1:18 mark to watch the demonstration.

<-- just for you Aja8888. Someday maybe you'll get a widescreen monitor or just put up with the fact that sometimes, the information conveyed is more important than resizing the photo.
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Last edited by owr084; December 22nd, 2009 at 09:42.
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 08:16   #3
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It will disable the Electronic Stability Program. Only handy if for some reason you NEED to spin the tires.......
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 08:18   #4
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Pushing it removes the function IIRC. If you find ESP preventing your progress due to ice, pressing the button will allow the tires to spin without all the automatic anti-spin control engaging.
I have never had to press it, but we only get snow a few times a year here.
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 09:14   #5
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When you press the button 3 times and wink, it resizes the grapics you put on this thread that are way too large making it difficult for everyone to read.
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 09:57   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by owr084
Leave it alone. It is always on. Pressing the button will disable it and a light will appear on the dash to indicate it is off. It will turn itself back on the next time you restart the car. Here's a video of what it does: http://multivu.prnewswire.com/mnr/vw/32207/
Skip the marketing drone and fast forward to the 1:18 mark to watch the demonstration.

<-- just for you Aja8888. Someday maybe you'll get a widescreen monitor or just put up with the fact that sometimes, the information conveyed is more important than resizing the photo.
I have an IBM Thinkpad. It is a big as I could get (15.5"). Sorry. Most folks here don't have 24" widescreen monitors. Maybe the BMW forum guys all do?

Thanks for the info. I Have ESP (edit).
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 10:09   #7
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It looks like ESP is for stability while going through curves or in lane changes. Is there a disadvantage to having it on or off when driving straight in slippery conditions such as snow covered or icy roads?
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 10:24   #8
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I once pulled into a freshly snowed upon parking lot and tried to spin the car to no avail...no fun at all, but very safe indeed.
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 11:15   #9
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It is very helpful when dealing with puddles in your lane. The ESP helps to keep your car going straight right through without allowing the front tires to be "grabbed" by the puddle.

aja8888 - Your Passat must be an oddball because according to my 2005 Passat brochure, ESP, ASR, and EDL were all standard for the GLS. But, the brochure is wrong in some cases, like not mentioning the availability of cloth seats. I suspect yours was one of the first batches off the line after the end of the 2004 MY.
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 11:19   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrentRN
It looks like ESP is for stability while going through curves or in lane changes. Is there a disadvantage to having it on or off when driving straight in slippery conditions such as snow covered or icy roads?
It's very helpful when changing lanes and having to cut through the little globs of built-up snow between the lanes... Keep it on all the time except when you're trying to creep up a snowy hill... the ESP will eventually put the brakes on both sides of the car if it gets confused enough...

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Old December 22nd, 2009, 11:25   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by owr084
aja8888 - Your Passat must be an oddball because according to my 2005 Passat brochure, ESP, ASR, and EDL were all standard for the GLS. But, the brochure is wrong in some cases, like not mentioning the availability of cloth seats. I suspect yours was one of the first batches off the line after the end of the 2004 MY.
EDIT: I have ESP, I am wrong...

Just researched specs on the 2005 Passat TDI and ESP was an option, not a standard feature. So not all of them may have them, unless Edmunds is wrong..
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 11:28   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by owr084
It is very helpful when dealing with puddles in your lane. The ESP helps to keep your car going straight right through without allowing the front tires to be "grabbed" by the puddle.

aja8888 - Your Passat must be an oddball because according to my 2005 Passat brochure, ESP, ASR, and EDL were all standard for the GLS. But, the brochure is wrong in some cases, like not mentioning the availability of cloth seats. I suspect yours was one of the first batches off the line after the end of the 2004 MY.
My 2004 GLS has cloth seats also. Sure, the leather would have looked better, but here, parked outside at work during the day, I've come to appreciate the cloth after my shift.

And back on topic... It might be just me, but I could swear that turning the ESP off in normal, dry pavement conditions causes my transmission to shift more smoothly. I don't make a habit of turning the ESP off, but you know what happens when you tell some people, "Here's a button, but DON'T push it!"
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 11:57   #13
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On ice it seems you would not want your tires to spin...so why not just keep it on all the time?

At what point is it preferable to turn it off? Racing from a stop?

Just don't see my wagon...racing! LOL
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 12:32   #14
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On ice, some have been ESP'd to the point where nothing happens and no forward progress can be made at all. At that point, no ESP is the best thing, for a few seconds...
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 12:38   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aja8888
EDIT: I have ESP, I am wrong...

Just researched specs on the 2005 Passat TDI and ESP was an option, not a standard feature. So not all of them may have them, unless Edmunds is wrong..
Our 2005 B5 does not have ESP, it only has ASR. It has a negative option on the window sticker that says something like "without ESP".

Of course it's also painted a color that wasn't available in 2005, go figure. I am thinking it was pushed back in a corner rework area or something over the summer holiday in Germany and got lost until production started back up on the 2005's.
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