Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Traction Control Module

The traction control system (TCS) works to prevent the loss of vehicle control when adverse weather conditions are present, such as snow, ice, or rain. Wheel sensors are used so that the traction control system (TCS) can apply the brakes to specific wheels in order to counteract oversteering and understeering. A reduction of engine speed may also be utilized to assist drivers in maintaining control over the vehicle. The traction control system (TCS) is made up of wheel speed sensors, solenoids, an electric pump, and a high pressure accumulator. The wheel speed sensors monitor the rotational speed of each wheel. The solenoids are used to isolate certain brake circuits. The electric pump and high pressure accumulator applies brake pressure to the wheel(s) that are losing traction. The traction control system (TCS) works with the anti-lock brake (ABS) system and the same control module is often used to monitor and operate these systems. Therefore some symptoms of a faulty traction control system (TCS) and anti-lock brake system (ABS) are often similar or the same.

When the traction control module is not working properly the traction control safety feature will be disabled. It may be more difficult to maintain control of the vehicle during adverse weather conditions. The traction control system (TCS) warning indicator light may be on in the dashboard, and the traction control system (TCS) might remain on all the time or be completely off all together. If the traction control system (TCS) and anti-lock brake system (ABS) share the same module, there may also be problems with the anti-lock brake (ABS) system.

1. Traction Control System Warning Indicator Light is on

When the traction control module is going bad or failing, the most common sign is when the traction control system (TCS) warning indicator light is on in the dashboard. This is an indication that a serious problem exists and should be addressed as soon as possible. See the bottom of this article for a list of generic diagnostic trouble codes that are designated for the traction control module.

2. Traction Control System (TCS) won’t turn off/on

A traction control system (TCS) switch is installed in some cars and gives drivers the ability to turn traction control on and off. This may become necessary in situations where wheel spin and acceleration is required to get unstuck. If the traction control module is going bad or failing, traction control may remain on even when the switch has been turned off. It is also possible that turning the traction control off will not be possible. It is important to note that although this could be a symptom of a failing traction control module, it could also be an indication that the traction control switch is not working properly and needs to be replaced.

3. Loss of Traction Control System (TCS) features

If the traction control module is going bad or failing, it may be more difficult to maintain control of the vehicle when braking during adverse weather conditions, such as ice or rain. The traction control system (TCS) and the anti-lock brake system (ABS) work together to maintain control when hydroplaning. Most of the time a car does not hydroplane for long enough to require the traction control system (TCS) to kick in. However, when the traction control system (TCS) is not working properly, it will not be effective in helping to maintain control of the car during the occurrence of any hydroplaning incident.

4. Loss of Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) features

If the traction control system (TCS) and the anti-lock brake system (ABS) share the same module it is possible that there will be a loss of anti-lock brake system (ABS) features. The ability to brake safely may be diminished, it may be necessary to apply more pressure to the brake pedal when stopping, and the likelihood of hydroplaning and loss of traction are greater.

The following are the generic diagnostic trouble codes that are designated for the traction control module:

P0856 OBD-II Trouble Code: [Traction Control Input Signal]
P0857 OBD-II Trouble Code: [Traction Control Input Signal Range/Performance]
P0858 OBD-II Trouble Code: [Traction Control Input Signal Low]
P0859 OBD-II Trouble Code: [Traction Control Input Signal High]

P0880 OBD-II Trouble Code: [TCM Power Input Signal]
P0881 OBD-II Trouble Code: [TCM Power Input Signal Range/Performance]
P0882 OBD-II Trouble Code: [TCM Power Input Signal Low]
P0883 OBD-II Trouble Code: [TCM Power Input Signal High]
P0884 OBD-II Trouble Code: [TCM Power Input Signal Intermittent]
P0885 OBD-II Trouble Code: [TCM Power Relay Control Circuit/Open]
P0886 OBD-II Trouble Code: [TCM Power Relay Control Circuit Low]
P0887 OBD-II Trouble Code: [TCM Power Relay Control Circuit High]
P0888 OBD-II Trouble Code: [TCM Power Relay Sense Circuit]
P0889 OBD-II Trouble Code: [TCM Power Relay Sense Circuit Range/Performance]
P0890 OBD-II Trouble Code: [TCM Power Relay Sense Circuit Low]
P0891 OBD-II Trouble Code: [TCM Power Relay Sense Circuit High]
P0892 OBD-II Trouble Code: [TCM Power Relay Sense Circuit Intermittent]


Next Step

Schedule Vehicle Engine Electrical Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Vehicle Engine Electrical Inspection. Once the problem has been diagnosed, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.00 off as a credit towards the repair. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

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

Recent Vehicle Engine Electrical Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating

(9)

Rating Summary
9
0
0
0
0
9
0
0
0
0

Dominic

28 years of experience
202 reviews
Dominic
28 years of experience
Nissan Maxima - Camshaft Position Sensor - Cape Coral, Florida
Very thorough, helpful, and professional!
Hyundai Sonata - Door Mirror Replacement (Driver Side, Passenger Side) - Estero, Florida
Excellent

Miguel

21 years of experience
155 reviews
Miguel
21 years of experience
Kia Optima - Vehicle Engine Electrical Inspection - Nutley, New Jersey
I am so happy and grateful for meeting and having Miguel as my mechanic. I'm 64 yrs old and I have experienced many disappointments with car mechanics. Miguel is a blessing. I know when I meet a man with integrity, and has great intelligence. Thank you so much Miguel!!!

Michael

27 years of experience
300 reviews
Michael
27 years of experience
Scion xB - Vehicle Engine Electrical Inspection - Phoenix, Arizona
great work

Ronnie

30 years of experience
54 reviews
Ronnie
30 years of experience
Dodge Charger - Vehicle Engine Electrical Inspection - Nashville, Tennessee
He did a great job with my car and fixed some issues I couldn't figure out for awhile now!

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

Related articles

Are Wider Tires Better?
The The size and width of the tires on your vehicle determines how your vehicle will handle in different conditions. There are several factors that go into the decision of which tires to equip your vehicle with, including: The...
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Anti Lock Pressure Switch
If your ABS system is not working or continuously running, or if your brakes are locking up, you may have to replace the anti-lock pressure switch.
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Yaw Rate Sensor
Common signs include the Check Engine Light, Vehicle Stability, or Traction Control Lights coming on and the Stability Control Light flashing.

Related questions

ABS sensor

The ABS wheel sensors are a commonly known part to fail. As you know, these are located at each wheel and help the ABS system detect abnormalities in driving conditions which causes the ABS system to engage. Occasionally, these sensors...

What should i check before replacing the ABS module

Hello There, It sounds like you may have some faulty wheel speed sensors that may be causing the ABS light to come on. Your car is equipped with wheel speed sensors at each of the four wheels which monitor wheel...

Replaced rt.& Left Rotors and brake pads. Also Rt. hub. the problem is ABS & brake light still come on. Does this have be reset ? 2004 Buick Ranier

Hello - the short answer is "Yes", the ABS problem code needs to be cleared with an appropriate Scan/Reset tool. This also begs the question "Was the ABS specific code read when the ABS light first came on, so that...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com