A cross wind assistant is a relatively rare gimmick and therefore not found in many vehicles. The assistance system is only intended for tall vans, such as the Mercedes Sprinter, and is intended to prevent inappropriate driver reactions in crosswinds. Whether the system is also available for older vans and whether a retrofit solution makes sense is explained below.
Crosswind assistant - retrofitting possible?
The so-called high-build vans include, for example, the Mercedes Sprinter, the Ford Transit, the VW Crafter but also the VW T6. The cars are ideal for commercial and private transport and are often bought by parcel service providers such as Hermes, DHL or UPS. As beneficial as high-rise cars are, they have one major disadvantage. Due to the large and particularly high surface, they are very vulnerable to wind and can lead to an unsafe driving style. Crosswind assistants are installed in modern, high-rise vehicles so that no quick and uncontrolled actions are carried out by the driver when the wind “attacks”. And the manufacturer Mercedes, for example, also offers retrofitting options for installation in older Sprinter models.
When is retrofitting possible?
For Mercedes Sprinter models, the cross wind assistant can be retrofitted if the so-called Adaptive ESP is already available. The Sprinter models from January 2012 are usually equipped with Adaptive ESP as standard. If you are not sure whether this applies to your vehicle, you should read the operating instructions or ask a specialist workshop. For other high-build van brands, the specialist workshop should also ask for retrofit kits for the crosswind assistant.
Why is ESP a prerequisite for retrofitting?
The cross wind assistant is an additional function of the ESP. ESP is the so-called "electronic stability program" and it is necessary to be able to record and analyze information about cross winds through sensors. The sensors can detect the cross wind, which, in strong winds, can cause individual wheels to brake. The crosswind assistant intervenes to keep the vehicle on track. ESP is also important in order to recognize the load condition and weight. Vehicles with a higher center of gravity can be kept on track by ESP and crosswind assistants.
Control lamp warns the driver
A cross wind assistant relieves the driver and in the event of gusts, inappropriate lane transgressions and dangerous situations are avoided as far as possible. The system only intervenes (at least for Mercedes) from a speed of 80 km / h. If the system intervenes, the driver is informed by an indicator light. The cross wind assistant performs a braking intervention on the wheels that face the wind. This leads to a so-called greed movement. The cross wind fault can be counteracted in a targeted manner. The vehicle can thus be kept on track.
What to look for when retrofitting?
The crosswind assistant should be suitable for the respective vehicle model. The specialists in the licensed workshops of the vehicle manufacturers provide information about retrofitting options. Retrofitting a cross wind assistant can be very useful, for example, for a Mercedes Sprinter model. The transporters are tall and offer gusts due to their design a good target. This can quickly end in a dangerous situation, especially when unloaded. The cross wind assistant should be retrofitted at the manufacturer in order to avoid compatibility problems.
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