How does traction control help me maintain control of my car?

How does traction control help me maintain control of my car?
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
Introduced back in 1987 but required since 2012, traction control is a great standard feature found on almost all modern vehicles. Traction control utilizes the anti-lock braking system (ABS) and the vehicle’s throttle, for vehicles that are equipped with an electronic throttle body, in assisting with keeping the vehicle under control while driving. In other words, if the vehicle reads that the driver needs assistance in a particular area, such as braking, it can override and gain control of the vehicle with the ABS. This is a great safety feature in automotive advancement.

It is natural to wonder how a feature like traction control is able to perform such a great feat. In vehicles with traction control, precise sensors that are installed are able to detect how the driver is handling the vehicle, how they are steering, and how they are making use of the braking and accelerating pedals during driving. These sensors include the steering wheel angle sensor, yaw rate sensor and wheel speed sensors. Traction control is also able to detect how the vehicle is performing in relation to how the driver is handling it and gain control when it sensor’s tell it, it is necessary.

For example, if the driver is accelerating and feels the rear tires on a rear wheel drive car start to slip and basically do a burn out, the traction control system will send a signal to the throttle body overriding the gas pedal to ease off the accelerator until the wheel slip is eliminated. During emergency braking, the traction control will sense wheel speed and will then apply or release the brakes at each individual wheel to aiding the driver in keeping control of the vehicle.

Traction control is a great feature because it utilizes the same components as the ABS, allowing for factory installation to be fairly simple and convenient. Because safety features like ABS and traction control have been proven to improve vehicle safety, most insurance companies even offer discounts if a vehicle is equipped with traction control. This is a great advancement in regards to driver safety. Proper maintenance however is crucial to traction control performing correctly.

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Traction Control (TC) limits wheel spin during acceleration. It does this by applying the brakes (ABS) to the drive wheels only when slip is detected. Just like stability control, it can also cut engine power if you get overzealous with the throttle.
The traction control system (TCS) is a safety system that detects when a car`s wheel slips and loses grip on the road. The system then automatically slows the slipping wheel`s speed. Traction control became standard on every car starting in 2012. TCS automatically engages unless turned off.
When the speed sensor detects that a wheel has locked, the hydraulic valve automatically releases brake fluid pressure, thereby releasing the braking pressure. When rotation of the wheel is detected, the pump engages to create pressure and the braking system reapplies the brakes.
In modern vehicles, traction-control systems utilize the same wheel-speed sensors employed by the antilock braking system. These sensors measure differences in rotational speed to determine if the wheels that are receiving power have lost traction.
What is traction control? In simple terms, traction control helps to identify any slip or loss of grip between your tyres and the road surface to help drivers avoid wheelspin and maintain control over their car in unpredictable weather conditions.
By definition, traction is a function that works in the background to help accelerate and prevent wheel slippage when driving on slippery or wet surfaces. New or old, truck or car, nearly any type of vehicle can experience a loss of traction in inclement weather or on loose surfaces like gravel or mud.
The ABS control module is a microprocessor that runs diagnostic checks of a vehicle`s antilock braking system and processes information from wheel-speed sensors and the hydraulic brake system to determine when to release braking pressure at a wheel that`s about to lock up and start skidding.
Works in the background to help accelerate and prevent wheel slippage (or “over-spinning”) when driving on slippery surfaces. Traction control is most effective when accelerating from a stopped or slowed position, or when trying to accelerate up a slippery hill.
ABS sensors are classified in to two different types, Passive and Active. Passive is without a power supply and Active is with a power supply. These comprise of a wire coil wound around a magnetic core and a permanent magnet.
Types of ABS Sensors

The two basic types are active and passive ABS Sensors. Active sensors need an external energy source to operate and are designed for toothed/magnetic encoder wheels. There are also two types of active sensors, Hall sensors and Magneto Resistive sensors.

Traction is reduced when there are any foreign substances on the road surface, such as water, snow, ice, gravel, sand, wet leaves, or loose dirt. ⚫ The effects of limited traction are particularly dangerous in curves and turns.
Stability control often cuts power and brakes wheels to move the car where a driver is pointing it — with limited success sometimes, but it`s better than fighting Mother Nature all by your lonesome. Traction control only limits wheel spin; stability control can maneuver a car.
Tractions` main goals are to control pain from muscle spasm, reduce fractures maintaining anatomical reduction, and to prevent and correct deformity. An effective traction will provide a pulling force on the body by ensuring a good grip on the injured limb that is adequate and secure.
In addition, having a high level of traction can help businesses attract investors and funding. Traction can also help businesses gain valuable insights into their customer base. By tracking user engagement and customer feedback, businesses can gain valuable insights into what their customers want and need.
The traction control system uses the same sensors as the anti lock braking system. So if the ABS sensor detects a wheel spin, the vehicle`s ECU will temporarily cut the engine`s output to allow the tire to slow down and regain traction. Put simply, it helps your wheels gain traction on a slippery surface.
While friction is a general physical expression, vehicle traction can be defined as the friction between a drive wheel and the road surface. “traction is the friction between a drive wheel and the road surface. If you lose traction, you lose road grip.”
Traction works any time a car is in motion, whether traveling in a straight line or around a curve. It works on all road conditions. Braking comes into play when the driver engages the brake pedal and expects to stop the car. In other words, braking is a sub-phenomenon of traction.
ABS allows the driver to steer his/her vehicle out of potentially damaging situations. The anti-lock brake system is engaged only under potentially dangerous conditions and engages when it detects impending wheel lock. ABS is not engaged under normal braking conditions and it will not impair normal braking actions.
The ABS module in most cars should be located on the driver`s side front corner of the engine compartment. The hard brake lines should be attached to the unit, which should help you locate your car`s module.
There are five major components of ABS: ABS speed sensor, valves, a pump, brake fluid and a controller. ABS speed Sensor: The ABS sensor normally consists of a toothed ring and a magnet enclosed within a coil. The contact among the ring and the magnet induces an electric field due to which a sign is generated.
There are four main components of ABS: wheel speed sensors, valves, a pump, and a controller.
In some vehicles it is located under the hood and/or is a part of the ABS control module. Other vehicles may have the traction control module located in the interior or trunk areas.
Wheel speed sensors are often also called ABS sensors as they were used in vehicles for the first time when ABS was introduced. Wheel speed sensors can be designed as active or passive sensors, depending on how they operate.
An absolute pressure sensor measures the pressure relative to zero absolute pressure or a perfect vacuum. A gage pressure sensor measures the pressure relative to the normal atmospheric pressure.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

How does traction control help me maintain control of my car?
ANSWER : Introduced back in 1987 but required since 2012, traction control is a great standard feature found on almost all modern vehicles. Traction control utilizes the anti-lock braking system (ABS) and the vehicle’s throttle, for vehicles that are equipped with an electronic throttle body, in assisting with keeping the vehicle under control while driving. In other words, if the vehicle reads that the driver needs assistance in a particular area, such as braking, it can override and gain control of the vehicle with the ABS. This is a great safety feature in automotive advancement.

It is natural to wonder how a feature like traction control is able to perform such a great feat. In vehicles with traction control, precise sensors that are installed are able to detect how the driver is handling the vehicle, how they are steering, and how they are making use of the braking and accelerating pedals during driving. These sensors include the steering wheel angle sensor, yaw rate sensor and wheel speed sensors. Traction control is also able to detect how the vehicle is performing in relation to how the driver is handling it and gain control when it sensor’s tell it, it is necessary.

For example, if the driver is accelerating and feels the rear tires on a rear wheel drive car start to slip and basically do a burn out, the traction control system will send a signal to the throttle body overriding the gas pedal to ease off the accelerator until the wheel slip is eliminated. During emergency braking, the traction control will sense wheel speed and will then apply or release the brakes at each individual wheel to aiding the driver in keeping control of the vehicle.

Traction control is a great feature because it utilizes the same components as the ABS, allowing for factory installation to be fairly simple and convenient. Because safety features like ABS and traction control have been proven to improve vehicle safety, most insurance companies even offer discounts if a vehicle is equipped with traction control. This is a great advancement in regards to driver safety. Proper maintenance however is crucial to traction control performing correctly.

I put the wrong key in my car and a few weeks later my car just shut down and it will not start I believe it’s the computer but…
ANSWER : Hi there. What had happened is the wrong key set the security to the vehicle. This is to prevent the vehicle from starting with the wrong keys. Try removing the battery cables (+) and (-) for 13 minutes. During that time, put the original key in the ignition and turn it on. Activate everything in the car even though there is no power. Then remove the key and hook up the battery cables. The computer should have reset and reset the security. If the security is still being tripped, then I recommend seeking out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you

Oil leaking from under car and "remote control car" sound when car is first started for a few minutes until it warm up.
ANSWER : Hello,
There are a number of things that could make an engine noisy when starting up. Depending on the specific type of sound you are referring to, this will determine how to properly diagnose. If there is a bit of a hissing sound, this may be a sign of a vacuum leak. If this is more of a shrieking sound, this may be a sign of a worn out or out of adjustment serpentine belt. If there is a bit of a howling or growling sound, this may be a sign of a worn out or low on fluid power steering pump. A rattling or pinging sound may be caused by an ignition problem. An engine can ping (or knock) due to an improper combustion process. A "spark knock" is the result of combustion occurring too early. Early combustion can occur from carbon buildup inside the combustion chamber, a lean air/fuel mixture, and advanced ignition timing (spark plug firing too soon). A clattering type sound may be a result of improper lubrication in the valve train which could be a more serious problem and should be addressed as soon as possible. I would suggest having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and inspect your vehicle to ensure everything is in proper working order.

on starting engine light & throttle control and traction control light comes on and car idols hard no codes when scanned
ANSWER : Hello, and thank you for writing in. Unfortunately the first technician is correct in that this can be cause by a wide variety of issues. Considering that it is intermittent, we can assume that there is either an electrical issue (sensor or bad connection), or that there is a particular part which is dirty or failing. There are a couple of ways you can approach this. One being that you attempt to clean, repair, and replace the many number of components that can cause this. A second being that you attempt to replicate the issue by unplugging sensors and trying various tests to try and narrow down what system is being effected. When dealing with a misfiring situation, you need to look into the air intake, ignition (spark), and the fuel systems first. One last consideration is to have the vehicle scanned by another type of code reader. They vary in brand, manufacture compatibility, and software. For more diagnostic help, contact our service department to schedule an appointment, or to obtain a quote once the issue is diagnosed.

Replaced alternator on car 2 times each time shows it’s charging 14v let car run for a little bit then test drive and car voltage
ANSWER : There are reports that the replacement alternators will not communicate with the engine computer and will not charge correctly. I recommend using only the manufacturer approved replacement part. It can be new or remanufactured but approved for use in the vehicle. Some lower cost alternators on the aftermarket will have charging problems since they will not communicate with the ECM on the vehicle and will stop charging.

Car shifts hard and rpms rev high on there own or car doesn’t shift at all, ABS and traction control lights are on also. 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt
ANSWER : Hi there – first task is to be sure the transmission fluid is at the proper level, and in good condition (more pink than black, and no burned smell). Low fluid, or dirty fluid, can cause lots of unexpected transmission behavior. The second task is to check for problem codes, whether the Check Engine light is illuminated or not. The possible problem we’re looking for here is a failing throttle position sensor – which interacts with the transmission controller and affects shifting behavior. I recommend a transmission inspection performed by a mobile, professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will come to your location, diagnose this problem, and give you an accurate assessment of damage and cost estimate for repairs.

I hit a curb pretty hard.. 5 to 10 minutes later my traction control light and my reduce engine power light came on.. Now ive cha
ANSWER : Any fault/error (or damage to the vehicle) that will affect drivability or vehicle performance "can" cause reduced power. Consequently, the codes that have caused the traction control warning light to illuminate should first be downloaded and if those codes implicate any of the possible causes of reduced power, those codes should be fully resolved first. Once that step is accomplished, that is once the traction system is EITHER ruled out, or once repairs are made if there was damage due to the collision, if the reduced power issue remains, such would be resolved in a Reduced Engine Power Warning Light Diagnostic. The bottom line is, you can just simply request a reduced power diagnostic but, as noted, the mechanic will first consider the possibility that the underlying cause is a traction system fault. If the cause of reduced power is not found "there", it then becomes a reduced power diagnostic. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

Traction control light light/reduced power message. Engine light stays on when car turned off/on, but traction control will clear
ANSWER : Hi there. The P2135 OBD-II error code indicates that the Power Control Module (PCM) has detected an erroneous reading regarding the voltages transmitted by throttle position sensor A or B, the accelerator pedal position sensor and or the actual throttle plate. If one throttle position sensor is reading at half throttle and the other is reading at full throttle, the PCM will set a code P2135 because the voltage readings will be so remote that it is impossible for the data to be accurate. Typically, once a professional mechanic downloads all stored error codes, they will test drive a vehicle to try and replicate any symptoms you’re experiencing to correctly diagnose this problem. Once they determine what damage has occurred to sensors, or electrical connectors, they’ll be able to recommend repairs that will fix your issue. You should start by having a professional mobile mechanic complete a check engine light inspection first.