Q: Q: Traction Control System

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Driving to work this morning, coming up to stop light and screen came on that read "Engine Speed Reduced/Service Stabilitrack" and then when I went to leave the light my car would not go faster than 20mph. RPM would go up to ~3000 but speed never increased. I had not had any check engine lights come up prior to this, car was due for service in about 1000 miles, and just bought used from a dealership (no warranty) in September.

My car has 103000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The stabilitrack system is your car’s traction control system. Depending on the conditions in which you were driving (i.e. snow or slippery conditions, etc), this may have caused this to engage. It may also be possible that this was engaged by error. The traction control system monitors the steering stability of the vehicle and engages when loss of traction has been detected. This is done by the use of electronic sensors that communicate with the Power Train Control Module (PCM) regarding steering performance and stability in adverse weather conditions. The traction control system works by reducing engine speed and determining which wheel to apply brake pressure to in order to prevent the vehicle from sliding. The anti-lock braking system and the traction control system work together to maintain the stability of the vehicle. The computer uses this information received from electronic sensors regarding the rotational speed of each wheel, the horizontal motion of the vehicle, and the vertical motion of the vehicle to determine how to direct the traction control system or the anti-lock braking system to best control the vehicle when needed. When this warning indicator light comes on in the dashboard, this could be an indication of several issues such as faulty wheel speed sensors, a faulty steering angle sensor, a faulty rotational speed sensor or a problem with the steering rack. In some cases, the traction control system may simply need to be reprogrammed. I would recommend having a professional from YourMechanic come to your location to properly diagnose your traction control system.

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