Traction control light won’t turn off — causes and fixes
Learn the simple solution to turning off a persistent traction control light.
Several technological advancements have emerged to improve vehicles’ safety over the years. Most upgrades have been focused on avoiding collisions and the automation of anti-skid. The aim is to minimize traction loss under a variety of conditions.
The traction control system significantly reduces the chances of harmful wheel skids. A vehicle’s traction control system is not resistant to dangerous skids and slides. If the traction control light comes up on your dashboard, you may wonder.
The traction system detects if your wheels have begun to slip and lose traction. This traction loss usually happens in snowy or wet road conditions if your moving wheel hits a patch of ice and begins to slip.
When there is a lack of traction, the traction control system changes the direction of the power from the slipping wheel to the gripping wheels. This power transfer keeps your vehicle running safely on the desired pathway. So what if the traction control light won’t turn off? In this article, we will discuss the highlights of driving with the traction control light on.
What is traction control?
Traction control is an essential safety feature that prevents hydro planning, skidding, wheel slip, and other mishaps. This safety feature is available in all vehicles manufactured after 2012.
The traction control system relies on several sensors at each wheel end location. This series of sensors determines if one wheel is moving faster than others. In this case, the brakes at the particular wheel location are automatically hammered, slowing the slipped wheel.
In some scenarios, the power of the specific wheel is cut. The traction control light often illuminates when the slipped wheel is detected, and the traction system comes in to correct the problem. If the traction control system is damaged, it hinders its ability to work efficiently, and the flashing light will continue.
The traction control light flashing can be risky, so it is essential to visit an auto repair shop to resolve the issue.
Why is my reaction control light staying on?
Your vehicle’s traction control light can stay on for several reasons, and it is often associated with the fault of the traction control system. It isn’t uncommon to observe a blinking or flashing “check engine light” when there is a traction loss.
The ABS light or the flashing of your vehicle’s traction control usually indicates a system failure. Some damages tend to be more common than others. Some of the reasons why you experience an illuminating traction control include;
Bad wheel speed sensor
A faulty speed sensor is one of the most common reasons the traction control light keeps illuminating. The wheel speed sensors are mounted in each hub of the car and track the speed of the car’s wheel in relation to another. If the speed rotation of any wheel unexpectedly changes while you are accelerating, the sensors will detect the change and inform the traction control system.
If the sensors relay a variation in speed from one wheel end location to another, the vehicle’s traction control system will intercede. When the wheel speed sensors get damaged, the traction control system will fail to step in to resolve the issue. This causes your car to lose traction and makes the flashing traction control light come on. That’s why it comes in handy to know the bad speed sensor symptoms so you can prevent such scenarios.
Bad road condition
If you are driving in a severe road condition, the traction control may not be able to handle it. Living in a location with a lot of snow on the ground makes it difficult for the tires to maintain traction. If the traction gets too harsh, this will cause your traction control signal to light up on the dashboard.
However, there isn’t much you can do to resolve this issue. You can purchase winter tires if you do not have them, as winter tires are more suitable for wet and snowy road conditions than regular tires.
Faulty steering angle sensor
The steering angle sensor is located in the steering column so it can easily track its angle and rate. The sensor calculates the angle of the steering wheel and the rate at which it is being turned.
It is used by the (stability control system) to detect the direction you intend to follow. If the sensor becomes damaged, the traction light will get illuminated.
Faulty steering rack
The steering rack is an essential part of the power steering system. It is attached to the steering wheel and receives the high-pressure hydraulic fluid necessary to turn the steering wheel quickly.
Having good traction involves acquiring smooth steering that is easy to control. A bad steering rack makes it difficult to steer your vehicle on rough roads, and a faulty steering rack can illuminate your traction control light.
The limp mode is responsible for allowing you to move your vehicle to a technician for repair, and it prevents you from requiring a tow and being stranded. Your dashboard will typically illuminate when your car enters limp mode, and the traction control light also comes on.
The traction control system must be reprogrammed if it has a problem with its current programming. A programming error can be expected as it operates over a long period.
It can also be due to the manufacturer’s oversight or defect. The traction control light will get illuminated if there is a programming issue. A qualified technician should be able to fix this programming issue.
Most vehicles have a button you can press to disable the stability and traction control system. If you are stuck in the mud or snow, you may choose to disable the traction control. Sports car owners can disable the traction control system to control the car’s handling dynamics better.
If you have disabled the traction control system manually, it is most likely to turn itself on when you restart the vehicle. There are different traction and stability controls, and the procedures to disable them also differ. Consult the car’s instructions manual for the detailed vehicle procedure.
The traction system control module can become damaged in rare cases. This can cause the traction system control light to illuminate. It isn’t easy to identify this problem; a thorough inspection can pinpoint it.
Why is my traction control light not going off?
If your traction control system light isn’t going off, the car’s traction is uncontrolled and needs to be inspected. Inspecting this problem requires a unique scan tool to read the trouble code that triggered the flashing light. The scan tool helps point out the issues that could lead to a damaged speed sensor or connector at any wheel.
The traction control does not come into play if you aren’t driving on a slippery or snowy road, so repairing it isn’t very significant. The traction control offers many benefits and can also be an obstacle when entering or leaving a parking space with rutted snow.
The traction control system can be so sensitive during a wheel slip. It can reduce power and apply the brakes with so much force and make you stranded.
How much does it take to fix traction control?
The cost of the traction control system depends on the part that needs a repair or a replacement and the labor charge. The service replacement costs for some traction control system components include:
Wheel speed sensor
Wheel speed sensor replacement may cost around $208 to $250, including parts ($146 to $177) and labor costs ($62 to $78).
Traction control system switch
Traction control system switch estimated cost of replacement is around $111 to $125. This includes spare parts ($54) and labor charges ($56 to $71).
Can I drive my car with the traction control light on?
If you lose traction, it is stable to keep driving with the traction control light. However, moving with the traction control system light on can increase the potential of losing control of your vehicle.
The traction control light will illuminate when you lose traction. This happens when it is safe to drive, which means your traction control system engages. If you go without enabling the traction control, your vehicle will be susceptible to sliding and spinning around the road. If the traction control system is damaged, your car may not handle slick roads as it should. Things are similar for the question “why is the ABS light on“, only this time you won’t be dealing with the system that assists you while braking, but while driving at potentially high speeds.
The traction control system controls the stability and traction of your car. If the light keeps illuminating, the best thing to do is to visit an auto repair shop. If necessary, there should be a replacement of the traction control system and an entire system inspection.
The traction control system helps maintain stability and control your vehicle if it loses grip and starts to slide or skid. It detects when a wheel loses traction and illuminates as soon as the issue is detected.
If your traction control light doesn’t turn off, it may be caused by several reasons ranging from faulty wheel sensors to car programming issues. It is essential to diagnose and repair any traction control system fault thoroughly. If you fail to do this, your car will be prone to traction loss and skidding.