Q: Check engine light, VSC light, and TRAC OFF light is on.

asked by on November 15, 2016

I was in an car accident January 2015. The front passenger side took most of the impact. On my estimate, it says they had to remove the actuator without traction control, to reach other components. My first question is, if my actuator is without traction control does that mean my vehicle does not have traction control? Even though I have a button to turn Trac off, which I thought my traction control was always on? I have been battling issues for a while now with the VSC light, check engine light, and TRAC off light popping on all at the same time. The gas cap would be loose and when I'd tighten it, the lights would go away. I even bought I new gas cap since the seal seemed dry and old on the old cap. That helped and the lights didn't return for a while. Now all the lights are back and I'm wondering if the actuator may have been damaged in the accident or never put back in properly.

My car has 116000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there. There’s always the possibility that something may have been damaged in a collision. On your estimate, you stated that it read "actuator removal without traction control". This is simply for estimating purposes; the adjuster that created the estimate probably either guessed or just went with the first option he/she saw. This does not mean that your vehicle does not have traction control. Your concern as stated by you is that the check engine, VSC, & TRAC OFF lights come on. The VSC & TRAC OFF lights will generally turn on any time the check engine light is on; the ECU stops communication for these systems if a code is stored. This is a safety feature of the ECU in that the logic is set that the traction control and vehicle skid control cannot properly adjust as necessary if there is a malfunction with the engine/transmission. It does not mean that you cannot drive the vehicle, only that these features are turned off until the code is cleared/repaired. A qualified technician can perform an inspection that will determine the cause of the lights and avoid replacing unnecessary parts. Your Mechanic has several available technicians that can assist you with a check engine light inspection.

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

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

When l start my car and put it in drive, l hear this horn noise coming from my back tires. Please help.

The noise is coming from your rear brakes. If your vehicle has rotors on the rear, then the noise you heard is your pads vibrating. You may need to replace the rear calipers and keep the shims that fill the...

2011 toyota pruis; code c1391 abnormal leak in accumulator, brake light and abs light on, brake fluid tank full

Hi Andrew. Thanks for the follow-up question. I've forwarded your question to our service and sales department so they can work up an estimate for you to have the actuator and accumulator on your Toyota Prius replaced. They'll contact you...

overheating at idle with new clutch fan

Inspect and verify that there is no plastic bag/trash on front of condenser or up between the radiator and condenser. Plastic ductwork around the fan are all present and intact. You should also consider whether the fan clutch an OEM...

Related articles

The Top 5 Selling Cars in Connecticut in 2012
Connecticut Connecticut offers plenty of rain and its fair share of snow during the winter months, which means drivers need vehicles that can handle these conditions. Top selling vehicles in previous years have included the Toyota Camry, Corolla and the...
The Best Used Cars to Buy If Safety is #1
Maybe Maybe you’re a parent buying the first car for your teenager, or perhaps you’re a new parent and the safety of your little one is of the utmost importance. Or perhaps you're a safety-minded individual looking to make a...
A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Toyota Camry
America’s America’s best-selling passenger car for over a decade, the Toyota Camry is highly reliable, comfortable, and gets great gas mileage. It’s now available in a four- or six-cylinder engine, as well as a hybrid option, and it continues to...