Q: Can you reset or bypass traction control?

asked by on March 04, 2017

We changed the back tires. Since then the traction control light keeps flashing and the car loses power.

My car has 182000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

if the light came on after replacing the tires, verify that the tires are the same size front and rear. Anti-lock brake and traction control systems work by measuring wheel speed. Different size tires have different diameters, so they have a different rate of rotation. Smaller tires spin faster than larger tires. If there is as little as a 1/4 inch difference in the rolling diameter of the tires either front to back or side to side, (either due to mismatched sizes or significant differences in tread wear), the system may think that certain wheels are spinning faster or slower than others. So if for example, the rear tires are taller and spinning slower than the front, the traction and ABS systems may think the front wheels have lost traction because they are spinning faster than the rears. The traction control system will reduce engine power or even apply the brakes is it thinks those wheels are slipping (spinning faster) If the tires are correct, then the reason for the traction control light flashing will require further diagnosis. There is no way to bypass this system.

Was this answer helpful?

If you just put on new tires only in the rear and not in the front then the tires need to be checked to see if there is a difference in the tire height. This will cause the wheel sensors see the rear tires turning slower than the front and cause the traction control and throttle control to kick in. You can turn off the traction control if you have an on off switch option on the dash. If not then you will need to replace the two front tires to match the new rear tires.

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

My car will start and the theft light comes on then car jerks

Hello, and thank you for writing in. When multiple sensors and warning lights appear to fail, the culprit is typically electrical. You may want to start with a basic charging system test, which would include testing the battery and the...

What tire size should I use and what pressure should I run in the tires?

Your car may have one of three different tire sizes, depending on the actual trim level and engine size. It’s important that you continue to use the OEM-specified tire size when your original tires wear out. It’s also important that...

What does the anti-lock Brake System (ABS) warning light mean?

There are several important lights in your dash, including the anti-lock brake system (ABS) warning light. This light should come on briefly when you crank the engine, but it should turn off after completing a short self-test. If the light...

Related articles

How Do I Take Care of My New Tires?
You’ve You’ve equipped your car with a brand new set of tires, replacing the old set of worn out rubber. They were noisy, and every time you had to brake hard, you were losing traction. Now you’ve spent your hard-earned...
How Does My Car Monitor Tire Pressure?
You’re You’re driving home from work and your steering wheel begins to pull. It gradually gets worse, then you hear a thump-thump-thump noise. You stop on the side of the highway to investigate, only to find you’ve got a flat...
All About All-Season Tires
Depending Depending on the climate you live in, season changes can be slight or they can be extreme. Some areas of the United States have very temperate climates with a rainy season and a hot season. Others have a short,...