Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How to Replace a Traction Control Module

Traction control module

Traction control is available in most modern cars, from the most basic economy car to luxury cars and SUVs. An outgrowth of the anti-lock brake systems, traction control relies on braking and reducing engine power to limit or prevent wheel spin on low traction surfaces such as rain, ice, and snow-covered roads. With the growing use of electronic throttle bodies over mechanical cable types, the traction control module can reduce engine power or apply braking to an individual wheel up to 15 times per second without your intervention. You may experience issues with the traction control module such as the traction control system becoming inactive, a check engine or ABS light coming on, or the traction control sticking on or off.

Part 1 of 1: Replacing the traction control module

Materials Needed

Negative battery terminal disconnected

Step 1: Disconnect the battery. Always disconnect the negative battery terminal when working on electronic components in a vehicle. Since most of the electronic components work by controlling ground, the worst thing that can happen if the loose negative terminal contacts the body is the circuit is complete. If you loosen the positive terminal and it contacts the body/chassis, you will cause a short that can damage the electronic components.

  • Tip: Wearing rubber gloves reduces the chances of static discharge between you and the vehicle electronics.

Typical module location on abs pump

Step 2: Locate the traction control module. In some vehicles it is located under the hood and/or is a part of the ABS control module. Other vehicles may have the traction control module located in the interior or trunk areas.

When replacing a module located in an interior/trunk location, be sure to spread a plastic sheet or rubber mat in the areas you will be working. Modern vehicle electronics are very sensitive to voltage spikes. Placing yourself on plastic or rubber reduces the chance of any static discharge between you and the upholstery/carpeting damaging any electronics.

Step 3: Disconnect the traction control module. Once located, unplug any electrical connectors to the module. Take pictures or use masking tape to label any connectors so you have no questions as to where they belong later. Remove the screws securing the module; typically four screws hold it in place.

Step 4: Reconnect the wiring to the new module. With the new module in hand, reconnect all the connectors unplugged from the old module. Be careful as plastic gets brittle with age and can break easily. Carefully snap the connectors in place.

Plunger alignment

Step 5: Align the new module in place. When placing the new module on the mounting surface, make sure all orifices on the underside of the module align with all plungers on the mounting surface before pushing it into place. Once in place, replace the mounting screws, being careful not to over tighten.

Step 6: Start the vehicle. Reconnect the negative battery terminal and start the vehicle. The ABS and/or check engine light should flash and then go out. Typically, a few ignition cycles -- starting the vehicle, driving it, then shutting down -- should clear any faults that may have been stored in the system. If not, your local auto parts store may be able to clear the codes for you.

If you have any traction control issues with your vehicle, schedule a visit from a YourMechanic mobile technician to your home or office today.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...
Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires that all drivers in Kentucky carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....


Related questions

Q: How does traction control help me maintain control of my car?

Introduced back in 1987 but required since 2012, traction control is a great standard feature found on almost all modern vehicles. Traction control utilizes the anti-lock braking system (ABS) and the vehicle’s throttle, for vehicles that are equipped with an...

Q: Loud cracking noise underneath them can have a nic loud cracking noise underneath then car almost dies out

Hey there, thanks for writing in about your 2007 Lincoln MKX. Unfortunately, without hearing the noise or conducting a few tests firsthand, it is not possible to determine the cause of your concern. Since you say you are hearing the...

Q: At green light, accelerated, engine revved, but car barely moved

Hello. It sounds like that there was a glitch inside the TCM, known as the transmission control module. There is a TCM update available for your vehicle. Call your dealership to see if the update has been done already or...