The traction control system is a crucial safety feature in modern vehicles. It helps to keep the wheels from slipping on slick or uneven surfaces. However, if the traction control light stays on, it could indicate a severe problem.
If the traction control light stays on, the system has likely malfunctioned. Additionally, low brake fluid, problems with the anti-lock braking system, and damaged sensors can cause this light to stay on. To fix the problem, top off the brake fluid, check the ABS, and replace any damaged sensors.
If you’ve ever been driving and seen your traction control light come on, you might be wondering what to do about it. This blog post will describe a few things that may cause the light to turn on and how to fix them. Keep reading for more information and tips for troubleshooting your traction control light.
Why Your Traction Control System Is On?
It can be pretty alarming if you’re driving along and see the traction control light come on. After all, traction control is there to help keep your car from skidding or sliding, so you definitely don’t want it to fail.
Before you panic, it’s important to remember that there are a few different reasons why the traction control light might come on, and knowing them is the first step to getting the problem fixed.
Here are a few potential causes of the traction control light coming on:
Something Is Wrong With the Traction Control System
One common reason that may cause the traction control light to stay on is if there’s something wrong with the system itself. This could be a problem with the sensors or the software that controls the system.
Another possibility is that one of the parts of the system, such as the wheel speed sensor, is not working correctly. If this is the case, then the traction control system will not be able to do its job perfectly.
Some of the typical causes of traction control system failure include:
- A problem with the software that controls the system.
- A problem with the sensors that send information to the system.
- A problem with the actuator that applies pressure to the brakes.
Pro Tip: If you need a handy tool to help you figure out what might be wrong with your traction control system, consider investing in an OBD2 scanner. In this case, I recommend the LAUNCH CRP129E OBD2 Scanner from Amazon.com. It comes with many features, including the ability to read and clear error codes, and it’s very user-friendly. Besides, it’s compatible with over 10,000 cars, making it a great choice for most car owners.
The Brake Fluid Is Low
Another common reason that the traction control light may stay on is if the brake fluid is low. This is because the system needs brake fluid to function correctly. If there’s not enough brake fluid, then the system will not be able to apply the brakes correctly.
Besides, if the brake fluid is low, it could also indicate a leak in the system. This is something you’ll want to get fixed as soon as possible, as a brake fluid leak can be dangerous.
There’s a Problem With the Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
If there’s a problem with the anti-lock braking system, it could also cause the traction control light to stay on. The two systems share some components, such as sensors and actuators.
So, if there’s a problem with the ABS, it’s likely that the traction control system will be affected.
Some of the most common problems with the ABS include:
- A problem with the sensors
- A problem with the electronic control unit (ECU)
- A problem with the actuator
Your Wheel Speed Sensors Are Broken
Another potential cause of the traction control light staying on is if your wheel speed sensors are broken. The wheel speed sensors are responsible for sending information to the traction control system about the speed of the wheels.
If the sensors are not working correctly, then the system will not be able to function properly. This could lead to the light staying on and other problems such as the car not being able to stop as it should.
Your Steering Angle Sensor Is Damaged
If your steering angle sensor is damaged, it could also cause the traction control light to stay on. The steering angle sensor is responsible for sending information to the system about the angle of the wheels.
If the sensor is not working correctly, the system will not be able to tell how the wheels are angled and whether or not they are slipping. This can cause the light to stay on or come on intermittently.
The following video describes the symptoms of a failing steering angle sensor:
The Steering Rack Is Damaged
Furthermore, if the steering rack is damaged, that could be the potential cause of the traction control light staying on. The steering rack is responsible for turning the wheels when you turn the steering wheel.
If the rack is damaged, it can cause the wheels to slip, which will trigger the traction control system. As a result, the traction control light will stay on until you fix the problem.
The Road Condition Is Poor
Finally, another possible reason that the traction control light may stay on is if the road conditions are poor. This is because the system is designed to help you keep control of the car in slippery or icy conditions.
If the roads are terrible, the system may be triggered more often, which can cause the light to stay on.
Easy Fixes for Traction Control Light Staying On
It is never a fun experience when your car’s traction control light comes on. As I’ve pointed out above, this usually means something is wrong with your vehicle that needs to be fixed.
Here are a few practical tips that may help you fix the problem and get the light to turn off:
1. Check the Brake Fluid Level
The first thing you should do if the traction control light stays on is to check the brake fluid level. As I mentioned above, this is one of the most common reasons for the light to stay on.
To check the brake fluid level, follow these steps:
- Open the hood and locate the brake fluid reservoir. The reservoir is usually found near the firewall on the driver’s side of the engine compartment.
- Once you’ve found it, check if the level is above the minimum line. If it’s not, you’ll need to add more brake fluid. If the level is satisfactory, you can move on to the next potential fix.
Here’s an in-depth tutorial on how to check your vehicle’s brake fluid:
2. Check the Anti-Lock Braking System
If you suspect a problem with the anti-lock braking system, then you should take your car to a mechanic and have it checked out. Unless you’re a qualified mechanic, this is not something to fix on your own.
If the mechanic finds a problem with the system, they will be able to fix it and hopefully turn off the traction control light.
3. Clean or Replace the Traction Control Sensor
If your traction control sensor is dirty, you should clean it as soon as possible. A dirty sensor can cause all sorts of problems, including the light staying on.
To clean the sensor, follow these steps:
- First, locate the sensor. It is usually located on the steering wheel column or near the firewall on the driver’s side.
- Once you’ve found it, use a clean cloth to wipe away any dirt, debris, or grime that may be on it. Be careful but thorough in your cleaning.
- If the sensor is filthy, you may need to replace it entirely. This is something you should take to a mechanic.
4. Replace the Wheel Speed Sensors
If your wheel speed sensors are damaged, it’s time to replace them. Otherwise, they will continue to cause problems, including the traction control light staying on.
For the best results, take your car to a mechanic and have them replace the sensors. They will be able to properly diagnose the problem and find suitable replacement sensors for your vehicle.
5. Fix the Steering Angle Sensor
If your steering angle sensor is damaged, it needs to be fixed as soon as possible. As I mentioned above, this sensor is responsible for sending information to the traction control system; hence, if it’s not working correctly, the system won’t work correctly either.
To fix the sensor, you’ll need to take your car to a mechanic. They will be able to diagnose the problem and make the necessary repairs.
6. Replace the Steering Rack
If your steering rack is damaged, it needs to be replaced. Otherwise, you risk further damage to your car, and the light will continue to stay on.
For the best results, take your car to a mechanic and have them replace the steering rack. They will be able to properly diagnose the problem and find the correct replacement part for your vehicle.
7. Drive in Better Road Conditions
If the road conditions are poor, it can cause the traction control light to stay on. This is because the system is designed to work best in ideal conditions.
So, if you’re driving in snow, ice, or mud, it’s not uncommon for the light to come on. The best thing you can do is to drive in better road conditions. This may not always be possible, but it’s something to consider.
8. Call the Manufacturer or Dealer
If you suspect your car has a manufacturing defect, call the manufacturer or dealer. They may be able to help you fix the problem or offer a recall for your vehicle.
Remember that this is not always an option, but it’s something to consider if you’re at your wit’s end.
If the traction control light in your car is staying on, it’s crucial to take action as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more damage you could do to your vehicle. But don’t worry, there are a few things you can do to fix the problem.
Remember, the most important thing is to take action as soon as possible. If you can’t fix the problem yourself, take your car to a mechanic. They will be able to diagnose the problem and make the necessary repairs.