Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Why did the traction control light come on after driving on dry surface?

asked by on

Triangle with exclamation point comes on/off while driving on dry roads. Slow exceleration. Then picks up speed. Slows down again. While warning light is on. Drove car to work. No problem. Next day unable to drive car as usual. What caused light to come on and how to fix it.

My car has 82000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: The traction control system monitors the st...

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.

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: Electrical problems

The seat switch would need to be checked for a short to the power which is keeping the switch engaged in one direction or another. I recommend having a mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, come check the system to...

Q: What could be causing my VSA to engage when I'm not going that fast around and sweeping turn?

The VSA system may be turned off or there is a defective or dirty wheel speed sensor. Check all of the wheel speed sensors and ensure that they are all clean and free from oil or metal as they are...

Q: My engine oil has been drying up every 3 months and I can't seem to find any leaks. What could be causing the drying do fast?

All engines use a little oil over time. If you are using less than a quart of oil for every 750 to 1000 miles with no leaks, then this is considered normal and no action is needed. You should keep...

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...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.