Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

P0886 OBD-II Trouble Code: Traction Control Module (TCM) Power Relay Control Circuit Low

diagnostic check engine light

P0886 code definition

The P0886 trouble code signals an error with the communication circuit in the traction control module.

What the P0886 code means

The P0886 code is a generic OBD-II trouble code that notes an issue with the traction control module (TCM) communication circuit. This communication circuit is responsible for sending live traction control data to the powertrain control module (PCM), as well as other control modules. The PCM and the other control modules then use the data from the TCM communication circuit to help determine the proper fuel delivery strategy, engine timing, RPM, and other engine performance factors. When the PCM or the other control modules are not receiving data from the TCM communication circuit, then the P0886 trouble code will be detected.

What causes the P0886 code?

The P0886 trouble code is most likely to be caused by a malfunctioning ON/OFF switch in the traction control system. This is often the result of a spilled liquid on the switch. It is also somewhat common for the electrical components of the traction control system (such as the wires, connectors, and fuses) to be damaged and defective, or for the sensor connector to have extreme corrosion on it.

What are the symptoms of the P0886 code?

The P0886 trouble code will usually be accompanied by the check engine soon warning light illuminating on the vehicle’s instrument cluster. It is likely that the traction control system will not work, meaning the vehicle will have diminished grip when driving on wet or icy roads. The P0886 code can also result in transmission issues, such as an inability for the vehicle to shift, harsh shifting, and the transmission entering “limp-in” mode. Lessened fuel efficiency is also commonly reported.

How does a mechanic diagnose the P0886 code?

The P0886 trouble code will be diagnosed with the assistance of a standard OBD-II trouble code scanner. A trained technician will use the scanner to look at the freeze frame data to gather information about the code, and to check for any additional trouble codes that have been detected. Codes should always be addressed in the order in which they appear. The codes should then be reset, and the vehicle will be restarted. The mechanic will then check to see if the code has returned. If it has not, it should be assumed that it was triggered erroneously, or represents an intermittent issue.

If the P0886 code remains on, the technician will begin with a visual inspection of the electrical components. If any damaged wires or connectors are spotted, they should be replaced. If corrosion is noticed on any connectors, they should also be replaced.

Next, the mechanic will inspect and diagnose the traction control ON/OFF switch, and replace it if necessary. If the issue is still not resolved, a connector area network (CAN) scanner can be hooked up to the vehicle, which will allow the mechanic to see detailed information about the PCM and other control modules, and see if the issue can be spotted.

After any component is replaced, the trouble codes will need to be reset, and the vehicle should be restarted, so the mechanic can see if the codes return or not. This helps ensure that the technician will know as soon as the problem has been fixed.

Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0886 code

The most frequently made diagnosis mistake with the P0886 code comes from a failure to follow the basic OBD-II trouble code diagnosis protocol. The proper protocol should be complied with at all times, step by step, to make sure that all inspections and repairs are efficient.

It is common for the entire traction control module to be replaced, when a less seious error such as a defective ON/OFF switch or damaged electrical components was the only problem.

How serious is the P0886 code?

A vehicle with a detected P0886 trouble code will usually still be drivable. However, the traction control system likely won’t work, meaning the driver should avoid slippery road conditions. The transmission may also experience some issues that will impact the drivability, and could ultimately harm the transmission. For these reasons, the P0886 code should be addressed as soon as is possible.

What repairs can fix the P0886 code?

Some repairs for the P0886 trouble code include:

Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0886 code

The P0886 trouble code only relates to vehicles that have an electronic traction control system.

Need help with a P0886 code?

YourMechanic offers certified mobile mechanics who will come to your home or office to diagnose and repair your vehicle. Get a quote and book an appointment online or speak to a service advisor at 1-800-701-6230.

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

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

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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.


Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.


More related articles

How to Get a Louisiana Driver's Permit
s licensing program. The first step in this program is to obtain...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...

Related questions

Q: Check engine Light on and medium consume increased fast

Hello, According to the numbers you have provided, the engine is consuming much more fuel than it is supposed to. You also mention that this began only after your Check Engine Light came on. From your description, it appears that...

Q: How do I know that my OBD system is working right?

The OBD system on your vehicle is a self-monitoring system. The Powertrain Control Module monitors and controls all of the systems and functions that regulate fuel, ignition, emissions, and engine cooling as well as having some minor control over air...

Q: P0741 OBD code

Hello, thanks for writing in about your Volkswagen Passat. Trouble code P0741 indicates: Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Performance or Stuck Off. If you need help with getting this fixed, consider YourMechanic, as one of our mobile technicians can come to...