The traction control system in your vehicle exists as a driving aid during adverse conditions, such as rain, snow, ice, or poorly maintained roads. When the system is not working, it will illuminate a warning light on the dashboard cluster.
What it looks like:
The traction control warning light typically takes the form of the acronym “TC.” Sometimes this light is a small illuminated picture of a car losing control.
How this system works:
Traction control uses wheel speed sensors to detect when one or more of the car’s wheels lose grip and traction. When the system registers a loss of traction in one or more of the wheels, a computer will limit power to the wheels that are still in solid contact with the road to prevent a skid.
Common reasons for this to happen:
ABS is malfunctioning: Traction control and ABS (anti-lock braking system) often share the same control module and internal self-diagnostics system. As a result, sometimes an issue in the ABS can trigger the traction control light. If this is the case, then both the ABS and Traction Control lights will be on.
Broken wheel speed sensors: Wheel speed sensors are usually in the wheel bearing assembly, and determine the rate at which each wheel is moving. The sensors relay that information to the traction control module, which determines whether or not power needs to be shifted. Wheel speed sensors can get dirty or damaged and stop working, which prohibits the traction control module from knowing when to enable the system.
Traction control module is faulty: The traction control module – which, again, is often shared with the ABS – can malfunction and break altogether, causing the system to stop working.
What to expect:
A top-rated mobile mechanic will come to your home or office to determine the source and cause of the traction control issue, and will then provide a detailed inspection report that includes the scope and cost of the necessary repairs.
How important is this service?
It’s important to have the traction control issue investigated as soon as possible, as adverse driving conditions can arise at any time. While your car is unlikely to incur further damage from a faulty traction control system, it won’t be safe to drive in rain, snow, sleet, or other inclement weather, or even possibly through pools of water on the road. Furthermore, the issue that is causing the traction control light to illuminate could also be impacting the ABS.