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Old 10-15-2007, 09:28 AM   #1
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Is PSM a Necessity?

I am looking for opinions at to whether or not PSM is a necessary option when considering a cpo'd boxster.


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Old 10-15-2007, 09:47 AM   #2
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Well it all depends on weather not your any good at getting sideways and always bringing it true like Steve McQueen and the weather in your area. If its rainy or roads are usually wet, you probably want psm.

In So Cal, i dont have it and im glad cause i wouldnt want to have to turn it off every time i come to my favorite left hand turns on the way thru my short cuts that take me between the Valero and Texaco refineries where there are NO cars usually.

On second thought, if you dont mind turning it off when you want it off, it would be nice to have when you resell the car... option is an option.
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Old 10-15-2007, 09:52 AM   #3
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I wouldn't leave home without it!
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Old 10-15-2007, 11:03 AM   #4
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I gave this a great deal of thought when I was buying my car. In the end, I ended up getting a car without one. Why? I liked everything else about that car, and I live in san jose and these cars grip well (much better than a mustang I owned years ago ). However, as CJ said, it is an option, so its good to be with it than without.

To answer your specific q about PSM being a necessary option or not, again quoting CJ, it'd depend on the weather and the kind of driving you do.
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Old 10-15-2007, 11:32 AM   #5
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I ordered my new BoxsterS explicitly without it. It's my fun car and that means I would disable PSM anyway.

Don't regret it. In 7 years, 61k km I've never missed it. Apart from one scary moment exiting a highway and going sideways without doing it on purpose. As I do a lot of drifting for fun I did the right thing:kept throttle, countersteered the right amount (not too much preventing a counterspin) and got the slide. However it was scary as hell. It really got me by surprise.

Neccesity NO. But daily driver, not too experienced with RWD cars, or rainy climat then having PSM can't hurt you...

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Old 10-15-2007, 11:42 AM   #6
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Option or nor, when I considered my wife would be driving the car, I found I can always turn it off, that's easy. Turning it on when it ain't there....darn hard to do!

PSM actually stands for Please Save Me
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Old 10-15-2007, 05:22 PM   #7
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First I do not know the limits of PSM. I wouldn't do anything blantantly stupid like cranking the wheel 180 at 100mph attempting to drift it...


Over the last few days, I've been purposely trying to fry my rear tires since I need to replace them anyways and practice some skid control at the same time. They were getting bald on the inside and one has a patch so that was my excuse for driving like a mad man in a big deserted parking lot for my stunt driving .


PSM is simply amazing. At speeds below 50mph (parking lot wasn't THAT big) , I could never get the car to spin! I did get it out of shape somewhat, but PSM would dutifully kick in and save me and point the nose in the right direction while simultaneously scrubbing off speed. Many times it did so without my being able to detect the edge or limit of adhesion, especially in the wet. As I honed onto that limit envelope I took off PSM and had some really wild rides. Attempting my impression of Tiff Needell, I easily found myself doing 180's and 360's without much provocation (bald tires) and overcorrected some slides. Saving the first slide too quickly often resulted in me spinning in the opposite direction. It made good learning for fast wheel manipulation, hand over hand steering vs. shuffle steering etc... (once at an auto-x years ago I rode in a 944 and this guy could drive like a MOFO! I mean I thought he over cooked just about every single corner but he would alway maintain control AND be fast! For months I made a dedicated effort of making shuffle steering a habit where ever I went, and I noticed he did the let-the-wheel-slip through the fingers routine like so many of us do intuitively when we first started driving. What I had just broken the habit of after doing it for years. When I asked if that was the "correct" and accepted race method for steering he responded, "it works for me". Anyhow back to PSM...


PSM was so good, I considered running the tires down to the cords, but decided that hydroplaning was not something I wanted to experiment with and although PSM was doing a stellar job, I don't know what it would do on ice.


For me, PSM is a must have. It's a no-brainer, much like the S decision. I believe that in 10 to 20 yrs all cars will be equiped with such. Like ABS, for 99.9% of drivers, I don't think you can beat it. On the track, under a controlled environment, I do however believe it will slow down an expert driver a little.

Last edited by boxsterz; 10-15-2007 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 10-15-2007, 06:11 PM   #8
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I don't have it, not really a necessity but, it's a nice feature. Sometimes I wish I did, I think when winter hits I'll wish I had it. As far as track use, most people I know with it turn it off on the track.
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Old 10-15-2007, 06:56 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=boxsterz] PSM is simply amazing. At speeds below 50mph (parking lot wasn't THAT big) , I could never get the car to spin! I did get it out of shape somewhat, but PSM would dutifully kick in and save me and point the nose in the right direction while simultaneously scrubbing off speed. Many times it did so without my being able to detect the edge or limit of adhesion, especially in the wet. As I honed onto that limit envelope I took off PSM and had some really wild rides. Attempting my impression of Tiff Needell, I easily found myself doing 180's and 360's without much provocation (bald tires) and overcorrected some slides. Saving the first slide too quickly often resulted in me spinning in the opposite direction. It made good learning for fast wheel manipulation, hand over hand steering vs. shuffle steering etc... QUOTE]



Yes, PSM was a definite must have for me. I'm actually surprised by the mixed review so far.

Unlike systems from other car manufacturers, PSM is very unobtrusive in day-to-day driving. For example, the BMW system kicks in all the time and will drive you nuts.

Something to keep in mind, mid-engine cars (the Boxster is my 3rd) have a nasty tendency to get very squirelly after you pass their handling limits. Read BoxsterZ's experiences again. He does a great job of describing how difficult a mid-engine car can be to reign-in when your sideways.

Unless you are a rare driver capable of intuitively staying on the throttle during the chaos & steering out of it -- get PSM.

Then again, if you were this type of driver, you probably wouldn't be asking the question.
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Old 10-15-2007, 08:07 PM   #10
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i dont have it, and i drive in rain and snow.
never really noticed that i need it, so whatever...

but then again, none of my cars had any traction control of any sort, so i dont want it to start with
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Old 10-15-2007, 09:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatmike
I'm actually surprised by the mixed review so far.

You know it's funny. It's the same as the S arguement. There is no denying that this forum is home to two camps of owners (of which neither is right, but I have a preference for). Those that find PSM less of a necessity are inclined to one of the three:


a) Those that are wondering probably don't take their car to the edge given the opportunity. Let's face it, many boxsters are garage queens, reserved for boulevard cruising replete with shiney painted calipers.

b) Those that do push it, yet find it unimportant never experienced driving WITH PSM and frankly don't know what the're missing.

c) Those fabled few that can skillfully balance the box on the razor's edge who have been lucky enough not to wreck badly, yet. Sooner or later you will want PSM, because inorder to be an expert at the limit, you have to surpass it once in a while. PSM allows you to do so without the controlled track condition.



Before you flame me, have a buddy shadow you in a PSM boxster. My guess is, a like wise skilled driver would run circles around the non-PSM car. Moreso if roads are wet. If you know the road well, you might be faster without PSM. If however you were pressed to do so consistently say 10 times, chances are the one time you cross the limit may result in a serious wreck without PSM (I'm thinking of those Mt. twisties). With PSM, you wouldn't "lose control", worse case is you'd be slower...
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Old 10-16-2007, 04:26 AM   #12
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I haven't got PSM, and from my point of view it would probably help driving in rain and snow. But considering the fact that cars didn't have any sort of traction control until a few years ago, it does not make a huge difference. I enjoy my spirited driving without the PSM, and in conditions when it might help me from spinning off the road, I'll just slow down. It is no big deal, just tame your driving to fit the road conditions.

And in response to boxsterz, what your getting at is that PSM boxsters can go faster on twisty roads and in poor road conditions. But who cares about speeding up the mountain in the snow, or speeding up on an average day. Unless your racing someone it doesn't matter and if you were racing you probably would be professional enough to turn the PSM off.
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Old 10-16-2007, 05:02 AM   #13
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Has anyone driven a Boxster with Traction Control extensively and compared it to PSM driving? I'd be curious to know how much better PSM is (obviously I have TC).
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Old 10-16-2007, 05:25 AM   #14
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I'm a big fan of PSM especially as a relatively inexperienced track driver. The great part about it is that it let's you slide a bit before it reigns you in. My other cars with traction control it kicks in much earlier.

On the track, I had a number of mild slides and it never kicked in. I was pretty happy to know it was there though as I test the limits of the car. I wouldn't disable it until I am a much more experienced driver and feel that I can benefit (have more fun) with it off.

Contrary to popular belief, I read somewhere that PSM has very little impact on your ability to get good times on the track. I can't recall the exact numbers but some professional drivers experimented with it on versus off and the time differences were insignificant.

Point being, I'm glad I have it.
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Old 10-16-2007, 05:57 AM   #15
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This arguement is likely split based on some easy demographics like age and location.

Folks who learned to drive on cars without ANY computer intervention will likely say no, it is not necessary.

Those who want the latest gizmos and who rely more on technology than skill will say Yes, it is necessary.

I am in camp #1. I like getting the car to rotate with the throttle. I don't appreciate interference from the "please save me" button.
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Old 10-16-2007, 06:10 AM   #16
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As a side note, this is a good reason for 987 buyers to consider the Sport Chrono option...because it tones down PSM when in Sport Mode.
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Old 10-16-2007, 06:20 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmussatti
As a side note, this is a good reason for 987 buyers to consider the Sport Chrono option...because it tones down PSM when in Sport Mode.
Yes it does, in fact it allows quite a bit of spin, wheel hop and lateral movement before engaging.

I took it off at the DE in Bremerton Raceway in the skidpad....I learned to steer with the throttle.

I find it difficult to agree with you, racer_d. Aside form the obvious inference that electronic devices naturally indicate a lack of control or experience, the main point is the system is completely disabled easily enough. My point is that with out it being offered? Porsche's market share would be nowhere the size it is today and Boxsters may well have never been marketable. Good, bad or indifferent....it's a cold hard monetary decision. I grew up driving motorcycles, never even had a car till I was in my early 20's and that was on the LA freeways in the 60's. Traction control was your pucker factor.
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Old 10-16-2007, 08:05 AM   #18
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PSM is like seat belts. They provide no benefit --well, unless you actually need them.

A few years ago, I did a 360 on I-95 going 70mph. A sudden shower made the road slick and the car (a Dodge InCrapped) did a full 360 within a matter seconds. I wasn't even changing lanes. It was pretty scary seeing headlights pointing at me rather than brake lights. Somehow I managed to not hit --or get hit. I was pretty lucky.

I have to wonder how the car would have performed if it had a "PSM" type system.
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Old 10-16-2007, 08:31 AM   #19
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I went from a no TC jeep liberty to a DSC(dynamic stability control) Z3 to a no traction boxster.

Jeep could do burnouts on wet pavement but never really needed TC ever.
Z3 could spin the tires easily and I could fishtail it and bring it back. DSC saved me plenty of times, but I drove it like it had TC (full throttle in snow/slick/wet, etc...)
Boxster has been hard of traction in winter, but you have to drive it gently to get it to move. Going from 2 sports cars, one with, one without TC, I prefer the non TC. But ONLY for experienced drivers. If my Z3 didnt have TC i would have wrecked lots. A 16 y/o with a sports car can only be so good. But at 18 I knew my way around the wheel decent enough to stay out of trouble. And I have so far, knock on wood.
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Old 10-16-2007, 10:27 AM   #20
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Seems to be a theme that more experienced drivers don't need PSM and novice drivers do.

I couldn't disagree more. Let's keep in mind PSM can be turned off. So if you are an experienced track/autocross driver you can turn it off for your event then back on for normal driving.

At some point in your life you are going to be in a situation that requires split second reaction or a crash. In many of those cases even the most veteran driver will not be able to 'save' the car because you can only do so much. I can say that my traction system on my Touareg saved by butt last year on snow going down a hill and I am a very good driver.

Here is why. PSM can brake a single wheel to straighten a car that would otherwise spin. Unless you know something I don't, I'm pretty sure you can't brake just one wheel without it. Full brakes and countersteering aren't always effective.

To make a long story short PSM is nice to have as a tool that can help in emergency situations - regardless of your driving abilities. I think i saw some insurance stats that said traction control reduces accidents something like 100 times more effectively than anti-lock brakes.
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