I have to turn off ESP on snow in winter.

A serious mistake! This assertion is only correct in exceptional cases. In short, the ESP (= Electronic Stability Program) is a technical assistant in the vehicle that helps to keep the vehicle on track in various driving situations. It does this by braking individual wheels in a targeted manner. The ESP is not to be confused with the ABS! In winter, the ESP on snow also ensures that you can open the throttle in first gear when setting off, but the vehicle still starts off gently with good traction. This prevents the drive wheels from spinning.
If the vehicle is equipped with ESP, it is always active and must be deactivated by a separate button, usually by long pressing. The ESP can only be switched off in the following situations in the winter necessary:

  • Snow-covered road on a strengthen pitch
    If you have snowy inclines ahead of you, you should turn off the ESP electronic stability control as an exception. Otherwise the system reduces the engine power so much because of the turning wheels that the vehicle slows down and, in extreme cases, comes to a standstill. After the incline, however, the ESP should be switched on again immediately.
  • When using snow chains
    When using the chains, drivers should switch off their vehicle’s Electronic Stability Program (ESP) in order to increase traction. In this case, the wheels even have to spin for the car to move forward. The ESP would counteract this and reduce the traction

ESP Sport vs. ESP off – switch off ESP completely?

How do you switch off the ESP or ESC completely? Racing driver and Cupra brand ambassador Sebastian Stahl shows us on snow and ice. While ESP prevents all unstable driving situations during normal driving, in ESP Sport mode it allows a lot more lateral driving. In the Leon Cupra you can also switch off the ESP completely by pressing the ESP button for a long time. Then the ESP is actually completely switched off. The driving pleasure increases – with the appropriate ability. But it’s better not to try it on the road.


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