Car Advice

Traction Control

Your vehicle’s computer system not only monitors the brake system and airbags, but it also helps change power from one wheel to another in all-wheel-drive vehicles.  For  example, in an all-wheel-drive vehicle, say you get stuck in snow or a muddy spot next to the road and are trying to get out. One wheel is usually stuck worse than the others-it’s turning but not getting any traction.  Your vehicle’s traction control system will divert the power from the wheel that’s spinning to a wheel that isn’t because the non-spinning wheel has greater traction.  The traction control system allows power to be transferred so that your car can grab traction, have more control and get you out of a situation where you might be stuck.

Traction Control also works when accelerating.  A good example of acceleration mode is when turning a corner the weight of the car shifts from center to outside in the turn.  The traction control system is going to move the power to the wheels with the best traction.

The Traction Control warning light will typically have the abbreviation TCS or TC.  Some models will use a symbol that looks like a car with wavy lines underneath.  Most traction control systems will turn on the warning light when the system detects a loss of traction such as in wet or icy conditions.  Usually the light illuminates when the system engages to maintain traction.  There is a section in your owner’s manual for your vehicle that explains how the traction or stability system works.  It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with its operation so you aren’t startled should it illuminate.

As with any warning lights that come on, it’s important that you seek professional assistance as soon as practical.  The experts at Express Auto/RV Care Center are trained in Traction Control Systems and can get your vehicle repaired and back on the road in a hurry.  If you are traveling and you have good weather, in most cases there is not an immediate need to get to a shop.  However, you don’t want to place yourself in a situation where an accident or getting stranded could have been avoided by ignoring a warning light for too long.

Remember the professionals at Express Auto/RV Care Center are trained to handle your traction control issues and can get you back on the road in a hurry.