McLaren Life banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,330 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
just back from my first track day with the car, and overall it was a fabulous experience, but there were definitely "flies in the ointment". We ran at Houston's Motosports Ranch, and I did three hard twenty-minute sessions. On the plus side - thank god for ESC as on my first time out it save my bacon a couple of times. As I got more used to it, I began to really enjoy the performance and by my last session, I was actually lapping porshes and other exotcis on the course (and believe me, I am not Ayrton senna).
I have now decided that the noise-altering thing is actually kind of cool; with a helmet on the track setting for powertrain is just right and really adds to the feel of the car, everyone who rode with me thought the noise was awesome. It still sucks for street driving however!
Now, here are the frustrations; no matter what I did, whenever I set track mode for handling the ESC disabled light came on. I tried abso-bloody-lutely everything to get that little "OFF" word to disappear but to no avail, so had to run the entire day with the powertrain in Track but Handling in Sport. The result of this was that the car felt floaty and bouncy at several corners - it was really frustrating not to be able to drive the thing in full track mode. When I got home I fiddled with everything again, exactly following the manual, but its still the same - as soon as you engage track setting for handling the dashboard shows ESC OFF. The next frustration are the brakes; whilst they did the job (mine are the steel units) the definitely do not inspire confidence, feeling mushy with lots of pedal travel - I often felt like I would run out of track turning into a corner (although I never did, so it must just be the feel of them). Third bitch is that half-way through the third session I got a hot oil and hot water reading on the intruments - the 'bars' turned orange. It was a hot day, but I'm surprised the car would complain after such a relatively short thrashing.
Anyone else had the ESC OFF issue?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
886 Posts
ESC is off in track made but it is not "off" it is loosened up from street but still very intrusive and quite safe. To get the car to really be closer to "off" you have to go through the 20 second routine of holding the brakes and active then both aero and manual at the same time....

You should have been fine in track/track and quite safe. The ESC will not let the rear get very far off track in this setting.

The brakes work quite well but let the car squirm around a bit, which I think is part of the car searching for grip and not over relying on the ABS.

Glad to see you had a great time and didn't have any real issues.

Again, I think you car was operating normally. But it sounds like it make have been good that you were in street for the first time out in this car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,875 Posts
Yes, Tex, it confused me at first too that the ESC OFF would show in Track handling mode, when really it is not completely off. Not sure why they did it that way, but falb is correct - that is the way it works and you could have put the handling in Track mode and still had a safety net.

Regarding the brakes, sounds like you may have boiled your brake fluid and/or got some air bubbles in it. That would certainly result in a mushy pedal, even if the braking distance was not elongated. Could be that your fluid has absorbed too much moisture since being put in the car, either at the factory or sometime since then. I'm not sure what fluid they put in, but I always switch out the default stuff for hi-temp racing fluid before going to the track (usually Motul RBF600). Then, at a minimum, I get the lines bled before subsequent track days and do a full system flush periodically, depending on use. Again, I don't know what is in there from the factory, or what other brands are compatible as per McLaren, but probably worth a call to the dealer to find out and also to get the lines bled, minimum.

Sounds like you were pushing the car quite hard and if it was a hot day, then hot water and oil readings would definitely be normal, especially if they never went red and/or caused the car to go into limp mode. Were the organizers of the track day allowing you guys to take a full cool down lap at the end of every session? A 20 minute session is actually a long session for a street car - on a hot day I will even break that up by doing a cool down lap in the middle of the session.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
432 Posts
Tex; sounds like you had a better track day than me. My car is still at the dealer. It sounds like they're still running diagnostics.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
296 Posts
Yes, Tex, it confused me at first too that the ESC OFF would show in Track handling mode, when really it is not completely off. Not sure why they did it that way, but falb is correct - that is the way it works and you could have put the handling in Track mode and still had a safety net.

Regarding the brakes, sounds like you may have boiled your brake fluid and/or got some air bubbles in it. That would certainly result in a mushy pedal, even if the braking distance was not elongated. Could be that your fluid has absorbed too much moisture since being put in the car, either at the factory or sometime since then. I'm not sure what fluid they put in, but I always switch out the default stuff for hi-temp racing fluid before going to the track (usually Motul RBF600). Then, at a minimum, I get the lines bled before subsequent track days and do a full system flush periodically, depending on use. Again, I don't know what is in there from the factory, or what other brands are compatible as per McLaren, but probably worth a call to the dealer to find out and also to get the lines bled, minimum.

Sounds like you were pushing the car quite hard and if it was a hot day, then hot water and oil readings would definitely be normal, especially if they never went red and/or caused the car to go into limp mode. Were the organizers of the track day allowing you guys to take a full cool down lap at the end of every session? A 20 minute session is actually a long session for a street car - on a hot day I will even break that up by doing a cool down lap in the middle of the session.

I think the brake fluid is "Dot 5", which is about as good as it gets, and certainly helps the steel brakes perform as well as other brand CCM. But there are no cooling ducts on the steel system, and i imagine someone trying to impersonate senna with lots of left foot braking deep into the apex could be dragging the pedal a bit and over heat everything.
Good call on the "slow lap" 6E during a session, but also important is to let cars idle and fluid circulate after coming off the track. I always turn the heater on full, open the doors and engine cover, then hold the idle high for a couple of minutes after coming off the track. I cant tell you how many times the 360/430 would spit its coolant all over paddock just idling. I don't think water pumps designed to work at 8000 rpm can move fluid when at 850 !
Sounds like your warnings saved the day though, so that is a good thing.
As for the ESC, it was working as designed, turn it "OFF" and let the slides begin :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,330 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Well now I'm confused! The manual clearly states that in track mode the ESC logo is permanently illuminated (which is fine and understood) but when ESC is turned off, the word OFF comes on under the logo. So, my car shows both the logo and the word whenever track mode is engaged, which definitely is not what it says in the manual - it should just be the logo..... Or am I mis-understanding something?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,875 Posts
Well now I'm confused! The manual clearly states that in track mode the ESC logo is permanently illuminated (which is fine and understood) but when ESC is turned off, the word OFF comes on under the logo. So, my car shows both the logo and the word whenever track mode is engaged, which definitely is not what it says in the manual - it should just be the logo..... Or am I mis-understanding something?
I think it is just a single light (i.e. the slippery car icon and the "OFF" text are not two separate lights). Page 86 of the manual is misleading, in that regard, as it does show the slippery car icon without the OFF text. Is that the source of confusion? See page 78 for a better description, including the statement that ESC is still on when handling mode is set to Track.

I just went out to my car to check for you. In Track mode, my light has both the slippery car icon and the word OFF underneath. Very counterintuitive, I agree. The real pisser is that it seems to have cost you some enjoyment at your track day. :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,330 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
6E, thanks for this. I've contacted the dealer too and they're investigating. As you say, it makes no sense/ is not intuitive for the ESC to be on when it clearly says its off!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,875 Posts
6E, thanks for this. I've contacted the dealer too and they're investigating. As you say, it makes no sense/ is not intuitive for the ESC to be on when it clearly says its off!
Yeah, it's dumb. But I think it may be because the early cars did not have the ability to turn the systems off completely. So handing in Track mode used to be the most "OFF" that you could get, therefore the icon. (could also be that only part of the system, i.e. the traction control, was fully off, so the icon made sense). Then, when they added the button press sequence to turn everything off completely, they were not able to change the dash display icons in time for production. That is just a guess, on my part.

See Chris Harris video at 10min7s where he mentions the difference between older and newer cars: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=5mKB-8WUB5k#t=607s
 

·
McLaren Fanatic
Joined
·
3,071 Posts
The dashboard information display simply reads: "You've gone mental!" :D

>8^)
ER
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,330 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
OK, the dealer came back to me and said that, in track mode, 20% ESC remains (even tho' it says "OFF"). However, why can't I keep 100% ESC - I'd feel a lot better when hurling around a track if I could be sure that Ron would protect me?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
886 Posts
IMO, it is hard to get into too much trouble in track/track, but the car will let you know a little when you have overcooked it.

As Jeremy Clarkson said, (something to the effectof) the traction control is very polite and unobtrusive, it invites youin for tea to let you know that you overdid it a bit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,330 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I think it is just a single light (i.e. the slippery car icon and the "OFF" text are not two separate lights). Page 86 of the manual is misleading, in that regard, as it does show the slippery car icon without the OFF text. Is that the source of confusion? See page 78 for a better description, including the statement that ESC is still on when handling mode is set to Track.

I just went out to my car to check for you. In Track mode, my light has both the slippery car icon and the word OFF underneath. Very counterintuitive, I agree. The real pisser is that it seems to have cost you some enjoyment at your track day. :(
Interesting - my manual has different page numbering to yours; I guess this is a function of US versus other countries? Regardless, my manual very clearly says that the only time the word "OFF" illuminates is when you have gone through the rigamarole of de-activating the ESC - page 82 in my manual. Page 81 very clearly states that only the ESC icon is lit when in track mode, and this is reinforced by a table on page 73. I guess at my next track day I'll try it per evryone's advice, and if I crash it I hope you all feel terribly guilty!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
Interesting - my manual has different page numbering to yours; I guess this is a function of US versus other countries
Texas, the different numbering is normal. You guys in the US love disclaimers, so they added a few specially for you. The European version of the user guide only focuses on important advice like "before closing the luggage compartment, ensure that nobody has got trapped inside". For the US, there is a "jumbo" version which also warns owners about the risk of putting the key fob on a table, in case someone may be injured if it falls.:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,194 Posts
Interesting situation.... I was told by my agent that in track mode the ESC intervention is retarded by 80%. What exactly does that mean? I.E. What percentage of rotation will the car allow before it intervenes?

This leads to the question: Will I have a better experience at the track in full track mode Vs. Would I be much safer leaving it in sport/sport mode?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
886 Posts
IF you are not comfortable in track/track on the street having a little fun then I wouldn't do it on the track.

based on my first 1,000 miles, I would say....
Normal=nearly no rear wheel slip and no slip angle
Sport= haven't really used this setting
Track=some rear slip and slip angle but will haul you back into line fairly quickly if over cooked, used this setting on the track and it was great
ESC Off=tons of rear slip allowed and huge slip angle, did a little play in this setting and the car was quite composed and happy to drift
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top