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

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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.

A: Hi there. There’s always the possibility th...

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.

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