If your vehicle needs maintenance or if you want to tell that something isn’t right, it can cause the Traction Control lights to go off.
The reasons why they come on are usually not a source of worry, but should not be ignored. What could cause the traction control light to come on?
A faulty wheel or speed sensor is the most common cause of the Traction Control lights illuminating.
You need a mechanic to test the codes that are stored in the ECU to identify the cause of the problem and fix it.
There are a lot of reasons why your ABS and traction control light is on. Read on to learn more.
But before getting into the topic we should first learn about ABS and Traction control.
A safety feature used on aircraft and land vehicles is called the Abs.
As part of your vehicle’s system check each time you turn on the engine, the light will give off a yellow, amber, or orange color and will come on for a few seconds.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NHTSA mandated that cars have Electronic Stability Control or ESC, which prevents wheel lock under braking and alters the front-to-rear brake bias, on September 1, 2013.
The driver is given control of the steering wheel when the vehicle enters a skid.
The anti-skid feature uses wheel-mounted sensors to monitor the speed at which the wheels are turning.
If it discovers that one wheel turns slower than the others, it will interpret that as a lock-up or a potential cause for loss of steering control.
The driver’s brakes and steering control would be given back by the ABS immediately after they pumped the brakes at the outlier wheel.
You can monitor your vehicle’s stability and steering performance with the Traction Control system.
Historical data on how your car grips the road and draws across the surface is kept by it.
If it finds anything that is outside of the usual patterns based on historical data, it fixes it. It’s an essential part of vehicle safety and spurred the requirement for Abs.
Traction Control uses wheel-speed sensors to detect if any wheel has lost traction.
A flashing Traction Control symbol, a counterclockwise arrow around a triangle with an exclamation point, or a picture of a car losing control are just some of the things that can be seen by the light.
The wheel spin can be stopped or slowed by a hydraulic modulator when it happens.
This feature works in snowy or icy conditions where one or more of your vehicle’s drive wheels can spin due to the slippery surface.
The Traction Control System uses the same wheel-speed sensors to detect tire slip when driving.
Reasons Why Your ABS and Traction Control Are on:
ABS Module Failure
The most common reason for one or both warning lights to come on is the simplest. There is a chance that the controller could have stopped working.
An unresponsive brake pedal could be to blame for the Traction Control Light to come on.
It will certainly happen since the control module and vehicle components are the same for the two systems.
Proper Traction Control function can be accomplished by taking over the central computer system of your vehicle.
Chances are the computer system itself is having problems if your Traction Control Light goes off and you don’t find an external factor affecting the Traction Control System.
Errors can be made in the central computer to get rid of issues in the current programming.
Low Tire Pressure
Your car has sensors that monitor wheel speed and relay that information to the anti-theft system.
When your tires have low tire pressure, you will get an abnormal speed from the ECU.
It may send inaccurate or flawed information to the Traction Control, which causes them to sound a warning.
Defective Steering Angle
The steering angle sensor is located inside the steering column and must be used to accurately measure the steering wheel’s angle, position, and rate of return.
If the wiring is faulty, it will affect the connection between the Traction Control System computer and the wheel and cause it to fail and cause the Traction Control Light to illuminate.
Defective Pump and Valve
The wheel-speed sensor is connected to this pump-and-valve system.
The anti-lock mechanism can be messed up when the wrong amount of brake fluid is applied to each wheel.
Often accompanied by a red warning light when the brakes come on, this indicates that your car suffers brake fluid loss or has worn-out brakes.
Immediate attention is required for either the root problem or repair work.
Bad Wheel Alignment
In icy conditions, the turning of your wheels can become inconsistent. If you have had a lot of encounters with curbs and potholes in your car.
When the amount of pressure on the wheels is insufficient, Traction Control will be applied.
If something prevents these systems from working, warning lights will come on and stay on until the issue is fixed.
The light will reset on its own if the issue is just a brief one. It will be indicative of a bigger problem if that is not the case.
The limp home mode, also known as the limp mode, is a self-preservation security feature in cars that can be activated when it senses a malfunctioning electrical component or mechanical operation.
Your car is acting up and behaving strangely. The warning lights on your dash, as well as the Traction Control lights, illuminate, but the car features keep to a bare minimum, with extras turned off or reduced, and transmission, speed, and RPM limited.
Low Battery Voltage
There are warning lights that can come on, including the Traction Control lights, if a weak battery causes them to come on.
If your car’s alternator isn’t working properly, it can cause the battery to lose charge and cause the car to lose all power.
An abrupt loss of power may send wrong signals to the Traction Control System that could cause their warning lights to go off since both systems rely on the same electrical system.
Dirt and Debris
The Traction Control system on your four-wheeler is at risk of malfunctioning if the roads and dusty areas are salted. The warning light goes on and stays on when this happens.
If you want to get the Traction Control Light to do its job again, you have to clean it yourself or have a carwash wash it for you.
If cleaning doesn’t help, go to your local mechanic or parts store and ask for advice.
Faulty Steering Rack
One of the most important parts of your car is the steering rack, which helps drivers direct the wheel easily and receives high-pressure hydraulic fluid.
Drivers will have trouble with handling rough terrain if this becomes faulty. If the Traction Control Light illuminates, it’s a good idea for vehicle owners to check it out.
Low Brake Fluid
A low brake fluid level may cause your vehicle to drive a different way. Your car may take more time to come to a complete stop because the braking system feels soft.
You are more likely to get other indicators if you have the ABS light. One way to prevent this occurrence is to use the correct fluid for your four-wheeler.
If you already have low brake fluid readings, make sure to check for leaks in the entire system.
If you find any, make sure to address them immediately as they could be dangerous if left unattended.
A blown fuse or a broken wire between the controller and the system sensors could be the cause of your ABS light coming on.
Your car’s computer will detect this problem, and the ABS Light will be activated.
The engine check light and the ABS light are used to notify you if a problem has arisen after a fuse blows.
It’s a good idea to have your vehicle scanned for codes to find out what’s going on.
Can I Ignore This?
If the lights come on, you should not ignore the warning. If both indicators are lit, along with the red brake warning light, this is a sign of a serious problem with the brakes.
If you’re on the road, find a safe place to pull over, then do a quick vehicle restart to make sure the lights are on.
If you follow this step, you will be able to rule out the possibility of a fluke. If it comes back on, you can call a mechanic and get a system diagnosis.
If the need to drive is urgent, make sure that you do so gently, avoiding hard braking and acceleration, as these could cause wheel slippage.
How to Reset?
To make sure that your vehicle’s safety features are functional and ready to go off in the event of another skid/slippage, you need to reset the lights after determining what caused the Traction Control Light to come on.
Here are some steps to reset each warning light.
- If you want to drain the vehicle’s electrical system when you reset the central computer, hold down on the brake pedal and remove the positive cable from the car battery.
- The power can be restored by plugging the positive cable back in. If this step does not permanently reset the light, it should be turned off for at least a week.
- If the light appears after the first step, check for worn-out ABS sensors and replace them with new ones by removing the wheel hub-mounted housing, removing the wire, and attaching replacement sensors.
- After completing this step, make sure to reset the computer again.
- If the light continues after you do steps 1 and 2, you need to connect an OBDII reader to your vehicle’s diagnostics system to find out what is causing the warning light to turn on.
- Other parts may need to be replaced or repaired if the light is set off.
- Similar to the Check Engine Light, vehicle sensors will check the problem that triggered the Traction Control Light and turn it off once they know that the issue has been addressed.
- If the stability light is still on after the repair, it is a good idea to drive the car for a few minutes to give the computer enough data to assure it that traction is okay.
- Don’t forget to turn on the Traction Control Light when you need to get out of deep snow or mud since you can manually override it.
- When the stability control system is shut down, make sure that the other features are on as well.
- For the wheel-speed sensors to get accurate readings, all wheels have to be of the same size and type and this will prevent the Traction Control Light from triggering.
- Since the Traction Control System is a part of your vehicle’s stability program, driving too fast is guaranteed to cause the light to go off.
- If you drive moderately and keep the car under control, the warning light will be turned off.
- If the first four steps are not successful at resetting your vehicle’s light, then you need to run a system check on your car to make sure that nothing is malfunctioning.
- If you want to get the best results, bring your vehicle to a professional mechanic.
Whenever a malfunction, a faulty wheel sensor, or other mechanical failures are detected by the vehicle’s computer or PCM, the Traction Control lights come on.
When the main brake light goes off, the warning lights may point to a graver problem if they are combined with it.
Truck driver by profession, automotive lover by heart. Ricky is the main publisher and editor at Truckile.com sharing his life-long knowledge and experience in the auto industry and truck driving!