Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Traction Control System

asked by on

what does it mean when the stabliltrak off and service traction control light comes on?

Hi There, 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 at each of the four wheels 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.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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

Q: Both the AdvTrac and ABS Lights are on; how do I disengage them?

Hi, and thanks for contacting YourMechanic. First, try checking the ABS sensors for a proper connection. You may need to remove the sensors and clean them off. If there was any moisture on the sensors while the vehicle sat, then...

Q: Traction Light coming on

Hello. Your car is equipped with wheel speed sensors at each of the four wheels which monitor wheel speed while relaying this information constantly to the ABS and traction control system which are controlled by the car's ECU. When the...

Q: TC light on and car shutting down

Hello. I believe the light you are referring to is the traction control light (TC). The electronic brake control module (EBC) in your car monitors the speed of all four wheels via speed sensors. It then uses this information to...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...