The traction control warning light is a common symbol that might be displayed on your car dashboard. It usually comes on for a couple of seconds when the engine is switched on. Any longer than that and you may have a problem. Read on to find out more about the traction control system, the warning light, and what to do if you see it come on.
Why is My Traction Control Warning Light On?
Most cars are fitted with traction control. It will either be a dedicated traction control system or integrated into a utility that combines both stability and safety aids. A warning light will show on the dashboard when this system is activated. This can happen when the traction between one or more tires and the road surface has been lost.
What is the Traction Control Warning Light?
There are several lights that can show up with the traction control system. They are usually amber in color. A light displaying ‘TC’ with a line through it will turn on when the traction control system has a fault or has been manually switched off.
If you see a light that looks like a car with some wavy lines, this is the stability control system. It is used commonly in many makes and models of cars and usually shows up if the car skids or loses traction with the road. If the symbol has a triangle around it, this means that there is a fault with the safety and stability program, or it has been switched off.
‘ESP’ in a circle refers to a combination of stability and safety systems. This might show up on the dashboard due to a fault. If you see a car with some wavy lines with ‘off’ underneath it, this is to inform the driver that the stability control program has been switched off manually.
What Does it Mean When the Traction Control Warning Light is Flashing?
If you notice a flashing traction control light on your dashboard, this means that the system is in operation. A flashing light indicates that the system is attempting to increase the traction between the road surface and the car’s tires. On the other hand, if the traction control light is steady without flashing, this indicates a fault with the traction control system.
How Does the Traction Control Warning Light Work?
All new cars built in the EU have ABS as standard. This uses wheel speed sensors that are located in each wheel to measure the rotation speed. These sensors are used in the traction control system. It uses many other components of the anti-lock braking system including sharing the same wheel speed sensors, control module, pump, and high-pressure accumulator. Since the sensors are located on wheels, they are subject to potential corrosion and damage, even though they are highly reliable.
What are the Common Reasons the Traction Control Warning Light Will Come On?
There are three possible reasons why you might be seeing a traction control warning light on your car dashboard. These include:
- The traction control system has been switched off manually
- The traction between the road surface and on