Nissan Maxima Owners Manual: Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system

Nissan Maxima Owners Manual / Starting and driving / Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system

The VDC system uses various sensors to monitor driver inputs and vehicle motion. Under certain driving conditions, the VDC system helps to perform the following functions:

  • Controls brake pressure to reduce wheel slip on one slipping drive wheel so power is transferred to a non slipping drive wheel on the same axle.
  • Controls brake pressure and engine output to reduce drive wheel slip based on vehicle speed (traction control function).
  • Controls brake pressure at individual wheels and engine output to help the driver maintain control of the vehicle in the following conditions:
  • understeer (vehicle tends to not follow the steered path despite increased steering input)
  • oversteer (vehicle tends to spin due to certain road or driving conditions)

The VDC system can help the driver to maintain control of the vehicle, but it cannot prevent loss of vehicle control in all driving situations.

When the VDC system operates, the indicator in the instrument panel flashes to note the following:

  • The road may be slippery or the system may determine some action is required to help keep the vehicle on the steered path.
  • You may feel a pulsation in the brake pedal and hear a noise or vibration from under the hood. This is normal and indicates that the VDC system is working properly.
  • Adjust your speed and driving to the road conditions.

For additional information, refer to "Slip indicator light" and "Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) OFF indicator light" in the "Instruments and controls" section of this manual.

If a malfunction occurs in the system, the indicator light comes on in the instrument panel.

The VDC system automatically turns off when the indicator light is on.

The VDC OFF switch is used to turn off the VDC system. The  indicator illuminates to indicate the VDC system is off.

When the VDC switch is used to turn off the system, the VDC system still operates to prevent one drive wheel from slipping by transferring power to a non slipping drive wheel. The indicator flashes if this occurs. All other VDC functions are off and the  indicator will not flash.

The VDC system is automatically reset to ON when the ignition switch is placed in the OFF position then back to the ON position.

The computer has a built in diagnostic feature that tests the system each time you start the engine and move the vehicle forward or in reverse at a slow speed. When the self-test occurs, you may hear a clunk noise and/or feel a pulsation in the brake pedal. This is normal and is not an indication of a malfunction.

WARNING

  • The VDC system is designed to help the driver maintain stability but does not prevent accidents due to abrupt steering operation at high speeds or by careless or dangerous driving techniques.

    Reduce vehicle speed and be especially careful when driving and cornering on slippery surfaces and always drive carefully.

  • Do not modify the vehicle's suspension.

    If suspension parts such as shock absorbers, struts, springs, stabilizer bars, bushings and wheels are not NISSAN recommended for your vehicle or are extremely deteriorated, the VDC system may not operate properly. This could adversely affect vehicle handling performance, and the indicator may flash or the  indicator light may illuminate.

  • If brake related parts such as brake pads, rotors and calipers are not NISSAN recommended or are extremely deteriorated, the VDC system may not operate properly and both the and indicator light may illuminate.
  • If engine control related parts are not NISSAN recommended or are extremely deteriorated, both the and the   indicator light may illuminate.
  • When driving on extremely inclined surfaces such as higher banked corners, the VDC system may not operate properly and the indicator   may flash or the  indicator light may illuminate.

    Do not drive on these types of roads.

  • When driving on an unstable surface such as a turntable, ferry, elevator or ramp, the indicator may flash or the  indicator light may illuminate.

    This is not a malfunction. Restart the engine after driving onto a stable surface.

  • If wheels or tires other than the NISSAN recommended ones are used, the VDC system may not operate properly and the   indicator may flash or the indicator light may illuminate.
  • The VDC system is not a substitute for winter tires or tire chains on a snow covered road.

Brake force distribution

During braking while driving through turns, the system optimizes the distribution of force to each of the four wheels depending on the radius of the turn.

WARNING

  • The VDC system is designed to help the driver maintain stability but does not prevent accidents due to abrupt steering operation at high speeds or by careless or dangerous driving techniques.

    Reduce vehicle speed and be especially careful when driving and cornering on slippery surfaces and always drive carefully.

  • Do not modify the vehicle's suspension.

    If suspension parts such as shock absorbers, struts, springs, stabilizer bars, bushings and wheels are not NISSAN recommended for your vehicle or are extremely deteriorated, the VDC system may not operate properly. This could adversely affect vehicle handling performance, and the indicator may flash or both the and indicator lights may illuminate.

  • If brake related parts such as brake pads, rotors and calipers are not NISSAN recommended or are extremely deteriorated, the VDC system may not operate properly and both the and the   indicator lights may illuminate.
  • If engine control related parts are not NISSAN recommended or are extremely deteriorated, both the and indicator lights may illuminate.
  • When driving on extremely inclined surfaces such as higher banked corners, the VDC system may not operate properly and the indicator may flash or both the and indicator lights may illuminate. Do not drive on these types of roads.
  • When driving on an unstable surface such as a turntable, ferry, elevator or ramp, the   indicator may flash or both the and indicator lights may illuminate. This is not a malfunction.

    Restart the engine after driving onto a stable surface.

  • If wheels or tires other than the NISSAN recommended ones are used, the VDC system may not operate properly and the  indicator may flash or both the and indicator lights may illuminate.
  • The VDC system is not a substitute for winter tires or tire chains on a snow covered road.
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