Traction Control Systems

Traction Control Systems

No, this light doesn’t mean snakes are following your car. It’s the indicator for the Traction Control System.

To keep the car from losing traction and possibly causing an accident, many cars come with a Traction Control System, or TCS. On-board computers monitor wheel speeds and braking pressures to determine if one or more wheels lose traction. If that happens, the system automatically transfers power to the wheels that are still grabbing the pavement. The TCS also has some control over the engine output to keep an overactive right foot from inadvertently causing loss of control. Both two-wheel drive and all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicles utilize these systems.

Some AWD vehicles also have a special mode that locks all four wheels together. This mode is only used at extremely low speeds and is designed to aid in extricating the vehicle from snow, ice, mud, sand, etc.

During the starting procedure, the TCS light comes on momentarily as the system activates a self-test. If there’s a failure in the system, the light (which is usually YELLOW) will stay on. The car can still be driven, although the traction control will not be available. That when you should call us so we can do some testing. On some models, the TCS light will illuminate when the system is actually adjusting the car to prevent slip. This is a normal notification — it just means you need to be careful.



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