Can I disable the "slip" feature? [Archive] - Nissan Xterra Forum

Can I disable the "slip" feature?

11-25-2009, 11:07 AM
I have had my 07 Xterra S for about 6 months now & on a recent hunting trip was not able to drive on a logging road that had 2 inches of mud because the "slip" or anti-slip feature would not let the tires turn. I tried 2WD, 4WD & 4low, but all the truck did was make a bunch of noise, but no forward progress. I do have a button to turn off the VDC, but not the slip. Any help?

11-25-2009, 12:26 PM
The truck still has the factory BFG longtrail's on it. This was not a tire issue. The truck would not even turn the tires. The slip light on the dash just kept flashing as I was going nowhere.

11-25-2009, 01:59 PM
The slip light should come on when one tire is spinning faster than the others. It sould only be a warning, not disabiling your drive.

11-25-2009, 02:13 PM
*edit - reading fail, I see in your OP you said you do have a VDC button.
Once you turn off Vehicle Dynamic Control the computer will let you spin the wheels and swap ends as much as you want. :)
As was previously stated, 4lo should automatically turn off VDC, (the VDC light in your dash should come on and that means that it's off).
I was kind of freaked out the first time it kicked in on me as I thought the truck was dying or something.

11-25-2009, 02:51 PM
I had the VDC turned off. In 4 low, all it would do was make "noise" sounded like it was trying to transfer power to the wheels, but it tires would not even spin.

Off Road in NY
11-25-2009, 02:58 PM
I don't know if this is possible, but was some part of the drivetrain bound up where it would not actually engage any range? Old style 4WD used to have a nuetral position to the transfer case that did not engage 2WD or 4WD.

11-25-2009, 03:05 PM
I'm guessing the noise I hear is the ABS system. A few people seem to think that the truck uses the brakes ( ABS ) to regulate slippage. Maybe the VDC is not turning off?

11-25-2009, 03:09 PM
I had the truck in 4 low which automaticaly turns the VDC off, or at least turns the light on on the dash showing VDC is off, & I even pressed the button to disable VDC, before getting to the slippery part of the road. It's not that I was stuck in the mud, it that the truck would not even spin the wheels. I was able to back up, then get a big run at the incline & eventually made it down the trail.

11-25-2009, 03:30 PM
I was not stuck at all when this was going on. The road was recently graded & we had some rain , so the top inch or so was greasy, & I was not able to drive up a small incline. The tires would not spin, would not make any forward progress, I had to back down the hill & get a big run at it to make it.

11-25-2009, 03:31 PM
I had the truck in 4 low. Gear was in 2nd.

11-25-2009, 03:48 PM
This was not a big hill, the mud was only on top, maybe 2 inches deep. I was on a logging trail being currently used by a logging company, they drive up & down the road with regular 4wd pickup trucks all day. My POS xterra could not drive halfway up the hill, & when I say hill, this was not steep at all, a kid on a pedal bike could make it up this hill. The truck simply would not spin the tires. Not stuck in a hole trying to get out, just driving up a slippery logging road, & the xterra would not go. My foot was way into the accelerator, the engine would not rev very high ( it was being throttled by the brains of the truck ).

11-25-2009, 03:51 PM
I think I will just be making my 4th trip back to the dealership.... I should have went with my gut when I was trying to decide between a 4Runner or an Xterra, I went with the cheaper option. And here we are.

11-25-2009, 04:07 PM
It seems to me people here are reading between the lines and over analyzing your road conditions.

The way I read this is; it is raining and the road is freshly graded, and I know that after a fresh graded road receives rain, it gets a little soupy. But grandmas grocery getter should prevail through this!
My work car is a Volvo (auto trans) with traction control. When there is snow on the roads and i excelerate, it makes a awful noise limiting the torque to the wheels as they loose and gain traction, and if there is enough drag, the tires won’t turn at all… just like what you are explaining. However if I push the TC button to disable the traction control, its balls to the wall with a roost of snow! No matter if it is in “drive” or not.

It sounds to me that your VDC is not disengaging… despite you being in 4WD and pushing the button. Perhaps the light is on in the dash, but that does not mean the feature is functioning properly. It might be worth having it looked at by someone who is familiar with vehicle electronics. or (dare I say...) the steelership.

Thankfully I have a 1st genny X. After reading the replies on this post the 2nd genny's requires to be wined & dined, followed by a song & dance to persuade them into 4wd!

Good luck, let us know what you discover.

J Everett
11-25-2009, 04:09 PM
I make it through thin layers of sloppy mud and up and over sand dunes all the time, and i have a 2wd with an auto trans. Once the Vehicle Dynamic Control is turned off, the rear wheels can spin like crazy. The 2nd gen Xterra does use the ABS system to transfer power equally between the wheels (Nissan calls it ABLS, for anti-lock brake limited slip), but on sand and mud with the VDC off it'll never clamp down hard enough to lock up one wheel or the other. If I pin it, both wheels spin equally and I'm off like a bat outta hell. How exactly do you know the wheels weren't spinning? Did you have a spotter outside of the vehicle?

BTW, what you call the SLIP "feature" that you want to disable is just a light telling you that your wheels were in fact spinning.

11-25-2009, 05:50 PM
Larry is hearing what I am saying. I was not stuck up to the frame in mud. I am being very clear that the slop on the road was 2 inches at the most. The VDC light was on ( showing that it was disengaged ) my right foot was to the floor, the ABS was making LOTS of noise, the engine was trying to go, but I am guessing if the brakes are clamped, the engine can't do much. My self & my passenger had our windows down looking at the tires not spinning. Now I had a mid 90's 4Runner a few years ago, which had a pooch of an engine, and that thing would throw 60 foot roosers in the same conditions while flying up that road. I am in agreement with Larry that the VDC is not actually disengaing. Is there a fuse or something that can be pulled to test this idea? The last time I had it at the dealership to check a vibration problem that I am still having, the guy says - It's just noram" well you have a 60,000 mi warranty, just hope it really breaks before then". I don't trust those guys.

11-25-2009, 05:58 PM
To clarify...

When you want traction, "spinning" typically means you don't HAVE traction....but you were confused, implying that wasn't the

...when you say the tires would not spin, did you mean they were not turning, or they were TURNING, but not faster than your ground speed?

Its POSSIBLE, that your traction control was ON...and, when on ice, or greasy slop, requires almost NO throttle to move sort of just nibbles you along, gradually increasing ground speed.

IF you hit the gas to go faster, it defeats it, and, ironically, you can just sit there.

I've seen this a few times so far on the new guys....idling out gets you moving, hitting the gas gets you stuck.

As mentioned, the SLIP LIGHT actually lights up to tell you the tire lost traction (Slipped)...turning the light off won't restore traction, its just a if the VDC had been ON, it would have initiated recovery if you slipped, etc.

If the clutch pack got too wet, it CAN make it slip, so the engine can't SEND the power to the wheels.

IF you had switched to 4WD BEFORE getting stuck, the hubs would already be engaged....and power, if making it from the clutch outwards, should be transmitted.

If the tires are turning a little faster than ground speed in 4LO, the program allows it, as some wheel spin is BETTER under some low traction conditions...but if ONE tire tries to go TOO MUCH faster, THEN the ABS is used to slow it back down, etc.

So, all in all, either something is not working like its supposed to, or the new fangled electro-gizmos will take a little more time to learn to use, etc.


11-25-2009, 07:08 PM

The wheels would not turn. I could not move forward. I started out with idling up the road, as I was hunting & not out wheeling, & did not want my truck plastered with mud, but the truck got to the incline, the ABS started making lots of noise & the truck stopped - no forward movement. So, I did what anyone else would do, put my right foot to the floor, but the ABS just got louder & I still did not move forward. I had the VDC button pushed & in 4 low, but the tires would not spin at all forward. I ended up backing down the road.

11-25-2009, 07:36 PM
I would find a new dealership. Finding a good one is easier said that done, trust me I understand.

Sounds like your VDC is acting up. If the ABS was engaging to the point the truck would not move that is a signal from the VDC. ABS will not be that aggressive in a panic stop situation. In that case it is designed to release, not clamp down.

11-25-2009, 07:40 PM
Does anyone know If the VDC can be disabled manually, possibly by pulling a fuse?

11-25-2009, 08:00 PM
don't know for sure but I would assume so. Wouldn't be to hard to go out and check it out. all the fuses should be labeled under the lid of the box. I've got a 1st gen or I would do it for you.

11-25-2009, 08:36 PM
Thanks to everyone for the ideas.

J Everett
11-25-2009, 10:13 PM
I have a quick question that may sound stupid, but what noise can the ABS make? As mentioned before, I drive on the beach a lot and put the ABLS to good use, and I never heard anything but the engine>

11-26-2009, 01:33 AM
J Everett - You hear & feel the solenoids clicking/clacking as they actuate the brakes.

It could be that your tires just weren't getting enough bite and spinning so the ABLS was trying to compensate. I'm pretty sure 4lo, 1st should let you spin the tires to your hearts content. I've hit a couple places where even in 4lo, 1st I just couldn't get enough momentum to crest (and was spinning the tires while looking for a bite) but I have an OR so I hit the diff lock button and viola, up & over no prob.
So I've felt what you are describing and I've either had to try a new line or hit the diff lock. I'd make sure your hubs are engaging properly, get a buddy to watch you in some loose stuff and see if you're actually getting 4 wheel drive.
I guarantee the 2nd gen X can keep up with a 4runner.
Might just take a little getting used to how the brains/mechanicals in the X work vs what you've been used to as the X uses a little more finesse and not so much brute force to conquer obstacles.

11-26-2009, 10:41 AM
don't know for sure but I would assume so. Wouldn't be to hard to go out and check it out. all the fuses should be labeled under the lid of the box. I've got a 1st gen or I would do it for you.

Yup... this is where I would start.

11-26-2009, 05:53 PM
Thanks Guys, I will try pulling the fuse for the VDC & I will let you know.

11-28-2009, 12:27 PM
ABLS is very useful.. and it will not inhibit forward motion.. VDC may though..(in a lack of traction situations), if you were failing to make any forward motion, then my recommendation is to take it to your preferred mechanic(or dealer if you have to) and have it looked at as that is not normal operation, hell I made it up several sand dunes before I realized I left my VDC on and the X did it just fine.

I can't imagine driver error could be the problem on a small incline, but then again I've been wrong before...

If there turns out to be no problems with the X.. might I suggest..

11-29-2009, 07:27 PM
I was not able to find any fuses that indicate that they are for the VDC control. I just tried again today just in sand & with VDC "off" - (or as I am guessing the light on the dash shows it is off, but it is not really turning off) when tires start to spin in the sand the VDC is activating the ABS & limiting spin. I may just need to bring this issue back to the dealership. I'm not exactly sure of how they will try to test this though. I also see that there is a recall for air bag sensors in the front of the vehicle, so I may have this looked at at the same time...

11-29-2009, 07:33 PM
By the way my X is an automatic. Not too much to screw up- put truck in low traction situation, put right foot to the floor and instead of tires spining like crazy,, the VDC is still taking over. If I knew a little more about what fuse is supplying power for the VDC, I would pull it. I may be able to pull the fuses that give power to the ABS?