Traction Control Light And Loss Of Power

Traction Control Light And Loss Of Power

The computer in your vehicle will monitor whether all the components are performing correctly. The light illuminating on the vehicle’s dashboard conveys that there are some issues which needs attention. In this article, you will learn about the traction control light and loss of power.

Traction control light has been present in most car models and light trucks since 2012. Most people do not know about the traction control system and how it works. Suppose you are wondering why the traction control light is illuminating when trying to accelerate the vehicle. In that case, you don’t have to panic, as this is a common issue that most drivers will encounter. By reading this article, you can clearly understand traction control light and loss of power.

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What Is Traction Control System

It is best to know what traction control system is available in your vehicle before figuring out the cause for the light illuminating this system. The automobile uses this traction control system in the modern vehicle as this will help to prevent loss of traction.

When you’re driving the car, the traction control system will monitor the tire using the sensor and detects if any tire is performing at a higher speed than the rest and trying to slip. The anti-lock braking system will prevent the wheel from slipping by reducing the speed.

What Are The Causes For Traction Control Light And Loss Of Power?

Suppose the traction control light in your vehicle is illuminating. In that case, this is a sign that the traction control system is not performing well due to the component’s malfunctioning or the sensor’s failure. Many people often want to know the cause of traction control light and loss of power. Here are some possible reasons for the light illuminating. It is essential to know the causes and fix the issue since the vehicle will lose power while driving when this light is on.

  • Faulty Wheel Speed Sensors

The wheel speed sensors in your vehicle connected to the engine control unit and the traction control system will help detect each tire’s speed. Suppose when you are driving the vehicle, if one wheel performs at a higher speed, then the wheel sensor of that tire will sense this and alert the traction control system. In such a case, if the vehicle has any faulty wheel sensors, then this process will not take place; hence the sensor will not notify the traction control system.

Faulty wheel sensors will cause your vehicle to lose traction. Hence, you may witness the light illuminating. Therefore, you must check on all the wheel sensors to fix any damage, or if necessary, you might have to replace them with a new one.

  • Bad Steering Angle Sensor

The data from the steering angle sensor will also go to the traction control system, which will help to limit the wheel slip. Another common cause of traction control illuminates a faulty steering angle sensor. Sometimes this sensor will require recalibration because after using it for a prolonged period, it might lose calibration.

In other cases, the light is on due to a faulty sensor which you must replace. Since replacing a new steering angle sensor will cost around $70 to $100, it is best to put a trustable mechanic to fix the issue. According to your steering, it is essential to calibrate the new sensor.

  • Faulty Traction Control Module

The traction control module is the crucial aspect of this system as it will receive the input from wheel speed sensors and the steering angle sensor. Suppose the TCM is not functioning correctly, then this will turn the traction control light on, and you will have to check on the causes for the malfunctioning of the TCM.

If your car has a bad alternator voltage regulator or poor battery, you may experience this rare issue. In most cases, the traction control light will turn on due to various other causes as the TCM will not fail to perform it, but this might also be a cause. Hence to fix this issue, you will have to go to a professional mechanic and reprogram or replace the TCM.

Reprogramming TCM will cost around $400 to $800, while if you plan to replace the TCM entirely, it will cost around $400 to $1250, which will depend on your vehicle type. The TCM will share the sensors with the ABS and ESC. So, all three lights might turn on when the TCM or the sensors fail.

  • Slippery Roads

Imagine driving a vehicle on the road with heavy snow and ice. Then there are possibilities for the wheel to lose traction, and as a result, the light will turn on.

In such cases calling a mechanic will not help fix the issue. Instead, you must consider driving the vehicle on a safer road. You can also use winter tires for your vehicle if you reside in a place with heavy snow to prevent wheel slips.

  • Faulty Steering Rack

The steering rack is connected to the vehicle’s steering and will get the hydraulic fluid necessary to turn the steering wheel while driving. Suppose your vehicle has a faulty steering rack, then when driving, your steering will not perform well, which will affect the wheel’s speed. As a result, the traction control light will turn on.

  • Programming Issues

After extensive use of the vehicle, there may be an error in the programming of the traction control system, so you will need to reprogram it. Programming issues will also occur due to manufacturing defects. These errors will illuminate the traction control light, so to fix this issue, you must take the vehicle to a certified mechanic and reprogram the system.

  • Limp Mode

When your vehicle is in limp mode, the traction control light and most dashboard lights will turn on. When there is any fault on the TCS, the limp mode in your car will activate, which will switch off the AC and other less important components. It will also reduce the speed of the vehicle.


These are some causes for the traction control light and loss of power. It may depend on the situation if you wonder whether it is safe to drive the vehicle while this light is on. Suppose you are going on a slippery road, and only the traction control light is illuminating on your dashboard. In that case, you can drive the vehicle with extra care and ensure you minimize the speed when the road condition is terrible.

We hope this article was helpful.

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