Dodge Nitro: Electronic brake control system - Starting and operating - Dodge Nitro Owner's ManualDodge Nitro: Electronic brake control system

Your vehicle is equipped with an advanced electronic brake control system that includes an Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS), Traction Control System (TCS), Brake Assist System (BAS), Electronic Roll Mitigation (ERM) and Electronic Stability Program (ESP). All five systems work together to enhance vehicle stability and control in various driving conditions and are commonly referred to as ESP.

Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS)

This system aids the driver in maintaining vehicle control under adverse braking conditions. The system controls hydraulic brake pressure to prevent wheel lockup and help avoid skidding on slippery surfaces during braking. Refer to “Anti-Lock Brake System” in “Starting and Operating” for further information.

WARNING: The Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) cannot prevent the natural laws of physics from acting on the vehicle, nor can it increase the traction afforded by prevailing road conditions. ABS cannot prevent accidents, including those resulting from excessive speed in turns, driving on very slippery surfaces, or hydroplaning. Only a safe, attentive, and skillful driver can prevent accidents. The capabilities of an ABS-equipped vehicle must never be exploited in a reckless or dangerous manner which could jeopardize the user’s safety or the safety of others.

Traction Control System (TCS)

This system monitors the amount of wheel spin of each of the driven wheels. If wheel spin is detected, brake pressure is applied to the slipping wheel(s) and engine power is reduced to provide enhanced acceleration and stability. A feature of the TCS system functions similar to a limited slip differential and controls the wheel spin across a driven axle. If one wheel on a driven axle is spinning faster than the other, the system will apply the brake of the spinning wheel. This will allow more engine torque to be applied to the wheel that is not spinning. This feature remains active even if TCS and ESP are in the “Partial Off” mode. Refer to “ESP (Electronic Stability Program)” in this section.

Brake Assist System (BAS)

The BAS is designed to optimize the vehicle’s braking capability during emergency braking maneuvers. The system detects an emergency braking situation by sensing the rate and amount of brake application and then applies optimum pressure to the brakes. This can help reduce braking distances. The BAS complements the Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS). Applying the brakes very quickly results in the best BAS assistance. To receive the benefit of the system, you must apply continuous braking pressure during the stopping sequence. Do not reduce brake pedal pressure unless braking is no longer desired. Once the brake pedal is released, the BAS is deactivated.

WARNING: The Brake Assist System (BAS) cannot prevent the natural laws of physics from acting on the vehicle, nor can it increase the traction afforded by prevailing road conditions. BAS cannot prevent accidents, including those resulting from excessive speed in turns, driving on very slippery surfaces, or hydroplaning. Only a safe, attentive, and skillful driver can prevent accidents. The capabilities of a BASequipped vehicle must never be exploited in a reckless or dangerous manner which could jeopardize the user’s safety or the safety of others.

Electronic Roll Mitigation (ERM)

This system anticipates the potential for wheel lift by monitoring the driver’s steering wheel input and the speed of the vehicle. When ERM determines that the rate of change of the steering wheel angle and vehicles speed are sufficient to potentially cause wheel lift, it applies the appropriate brake and may reduce engine power to lessen the chance that wheel lift will occur. ERM will only intervene during very severe or evasive driving maneuvers. ERM can only reduce the chance of wheel lift occurring during severe or evasive driving maneuvers. It can not prevent wheel lift due to other factors such as road conditions, leaving the roadway, striking objects and/or other vehicles.

WARNING: Many factors, such as vehicle loading, road conditions and driving conditions, influence the chance that wheel lift or rollover may occur. ERM cannot prevent all wheel lift or rollovers, especially those that involve leaving the roadway or striking objects or other vehicles. Only a safe, attentive, and skillful driver can prevent accidents. The capabilities of an ERM-equipped vehicle must never be exploited in a reckless or dangerous manner which could jeopardize the user’s safety or the safety of others.

Electronic Stability Program (ESP)

This system enhances directional control and stability of the vehicle under various driving conditions. ESP corrects for over/under steering of the vehicle by applying the brake of the appropriate wheel to assist in counteracting the over/under steer condition. Engine power may also be reduced to help the vehicle maintain the desired path. ESP 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, ESP applies the brake of the appropriate wheel to assist in counteracting the oversteer or understeer condition.
• Oversteer - when the vehicle is turning more than appropriate for the steering wheel position.
• Understeer - when the vehicle is turning less than appropriate for the steering wheel position.

ESP/TCS Indicator Light

located in theThe ESP/TCS Indicator Light located in the instrument cluster, starts to flash as soon as the tires lose traction and the ESP system becomes active. The ESP/TCS Indicator Light also flashes when TCS is active. If the ESP/TCS Indicator Light begins to flash during acceleration, ease up on the accelerator and apply as little throttle as possible. Be sure to adapt your speed and driving to the prevailing road conditions.

WARNING: The Electronic Stability Program (ESP) cannot prevent the natural laws of physics from acting on the vehicle, nor can it increase the traction afforded by prevailing road conditions. ESP cannot prevent accidents, including those resulting from excessive speed in turns, driving on very slippery surfaces, or hydroplaning. Only a safe, attentive, and skillful driver can prevent accidents. The capabilities of an ESPequipped vehicle must never be exploited in a reckless or dangerous manner which could jeopardize the user’s safety or the safety of others.

The ESP system has two available operating modes in 2WD, 4WD Part Time, 4WD Full Time, and on 2WD vehicles.

ESP On

This is the normal operating mode for ESP in 2WD, 4WD Part Time, 4WD Full Time, and on 2WD vehicles. Whenever the vehicle is started, the ESP system will be in this mode. This mode should be used for most all driving situations. ESP should only be turned off for specific reasons as noted below.

Partial Off

This mode is entered by momentarily pressing the ESP OFF switch (located in the center stack lower switch bank). When in “Partial Off” mode, the TCS portion of ESP, except for the “limited slip” feature described in the TCS section, has been disabled and the “ESP/TCS Indicator Light” will be illuminated. All other stability features of ESP function normally. This mode is intended to be used if the vehicle is in deep snow, sand or gravel conditions and more wheel spin than ESP would normally allow is required to gain traction. To turn ESP on again, momentarily press the ESP OFF switch. This will restore the normal “ESP ON” mode of operation.

ESP Off Switch ESP Off Switch

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 ESP OFF switch. Once the situation requiring ESP to be switched to the “Partial Off” mode is overcome, turn ESP back on by briefly pressing the ESP OFF switch. This may be done while the vehicle is in motion.

ESP/BAS Warning Lamp

for the ESP isThe malfunction indicator lamp for the ESP is combined with BAS. The “ESP/BAS Warning Lamp” and the “ESP/TCS Indicator Light” in the instrument cluster both come on when the ignition switch is turned to the ON position. They should go out with the engine running. If the “ESP/BAS Warning Lamp” comes on continuously with the engine running, a malfunction has been detected in either the ESP or the BAS system. If this lamp remains on after several ignition cycles, and the vehicle has been driven several miles at speeds greater than 30 mph (48 km/h), see your authorized dealer as soon as possible to have the problem diagnosed and corrected.

NOTE:
• The ESP/TCS Indicator Light and the ESP/BAS Warning Lamp come on momentarily each time the ignition switch is turned ON.
• Each time the ignition is turned ON, the ESP System will be on even if it was turned off previously.
• The ESP Control System will make buzzing or clicking sounds when it is active. This is normal; the sounds will stop when ESP becomes inactive following the maneuver that caused the ESP activation.

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