If you’re an off-roading enthusiast, you know that having traction control is essential to maintaining your vehicle’s performance. But as much as it provides security on uneven terrain, this feature can come with its share of difficulties when you need more aggressive power from your engine. To help, we’ve put together a guide on how to turn off traction control so that you have the best possible experience while driving in difficult conditions.
What Is Traction Control?
Traction control is a crucial safety feature that helps keep your car firmly planted on the road, even when the conditions are slippery or dangerous. It works by limiting the amount of wheel spin, so your car maintains its grip on the surface you’re driving on.
The good news is that since 2012, traction control has been a standard safety feature on all cars sold in the United States. Although you have the option to turn it off, it’s generally safer to keep it on whenever possible.
How to Disable Traction Control?
To turn off traction control on your vehicle, begin by locating the button or switch with the symbol of a car on top of two squiggly skid marks, which is the standard traction control symbol. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, this button or switch may be situated on the center console or near the steering wheel.
Once you’ve located the button or switch, press it to disable the TC. Verify that the system has been switched off by checking your vehicle’s display. Some vehicles may display a message on the dashboard indicating that “Traction Control Turned Off,” or the TC symbol may light up on your dash.
If you’re unsure of the location of the button or switch or how to operate it, refer to your car’s owner manual. You may also search for your vehicle’s manual online by entering the manufacturer’s name. Note that on some vehicles, the warning light may remain illuminated even when TC is deactivated.
How to Disable Vehicle Stability Controls (VSC) When Traction Control (TC) Fails to Turn Off?
You can try disabling the vehicle stability controls. To do this, you’ll need to find the VSC button or switch in your car. Typically, it’s located near the TC button or switch. Press and hold the VSC button or switch for a few seconds until the VSC and TC symbols on your dashboard turn off. However, keep in mind that disabling the VSC may affect the stability and handling of your car, so use caution when driving.
If you’re unsure about how to disable the VSC or can’t locate the button or switch, don’t fret. Simply refer to your car’s owner manual or search for it online by entering the manufacturer’s name.
How Does Traction Control Work?
The traction control system is designed to detect any instances where the wheels lose their grip on the road, which can cause instability and potentially lead to dangerous situations. This happens most commonly during snowy or icy weather and when driving on wet roads.
By automatically applying brakes to the slipping wheel or cutting down on engine power to that wheel, the traction control system helps keep the car steady and safe on the road.
When To Turn Off Traction Control?
If you live in an area with harsh weather conditions, such as snow, mud, sand or ice, turning off traction control may be a wise decision. By allowing your wheels to spin freely, you can gain more grip on the surface and push your car forward more quickly.
In sticky situations, where your car is stuck in mud, snow, ice, or sand, you need the wheels to spin to find solid ground. Once the wheels catch onto something firm, your car can regain the traction it needs to move forward.
When to Use Traction Control?
Traction control is a crucial safety feature that’s always on when you start your car. While it may seem unnecessary in normal weather conditions, it’s actually essential in hazardous ones. Whether you’re driving in heavy rain, snow, or on loose ground, traction control can make all the difference in keeping you safe.
Even when you’re not in a hazardous situation, leaving traction control on is still the best choice. It can help you stay on the road and avoid accidents, especially when driving around curves or making sharp turns.
What’s the Difference Between Traction and Stability Control?
While traction control limits wheel spin, stability control can actually help maneuver your car. This impressive system uses multiple sensors in your wheels, adding a few extra ones to the mix, and works alongside your vehicle’s computer to find the motion’s intended direction.
If your car isn’t moving in the desired direction, stability control will step in to make corrections and help keep your ride stable. Think of it like traction control on steroids – not only does it automatically apply the brakes to a wheel spinning too fast, but it also helps correct the motion of any wheel not moving as it should.
What Does the Traction Control Warning Light Indicate?
This light can mean many things, depending on the image displayed. If the light shows a car with skid marks behind it, this means that the safety feature is doing its job, keeping you safe.
However, if you see a triangle with TC in it and a line through it, there may be a problem with the system. If you notice this light come on while driving, be cautious, as it could mean a loss of grip on wet pavement or around a sharp curve.
FAQ How To Turn Off Traction Control?
How Do I Fix My Traction Control Light?
Simply follow these steps: depress the gas pedal three times, engage your engine fully and wait a minute. If there’s no underlying issue with your TCS system, you’ll see those annoying warning lights go away in no time.
If the light is still on, then you’ll need to take it into a professional and have them diagnose and repair it.
What happens if traction control is off?
If you turn off the traction control system, you will lose out on some of the safety benefits it provides. Without the system, your car may slip and slide on wet roads or in icy conditions, making it difficult to stay in control of the vehicle.
Do I Need Traction Control?
Yes! The traction control system is incredibly important for keeping you safe while driving in hazardous conditions. Whether you’re driving in snow or rain, this feature will help keep your car on the road and avoid any unnecessary accidents.
Can You Turn Off Traction Control Completely?
Yes, it is possible to turn off traction control completely if necessary. However, we recommend that you only do so when absolutely necessary – usually when driving in hazardous weather conditions or over loose terrain – and always turn it back on after leaving those areas.
Does Traction Control Use More Gas?
No, traction control does not use any more gas than normal. In fact, it often improves your car’s efficiency by providing better grip and resistance to wheel spin in slippery situations.
How Do You Know Traction Control Is Working?
Traction control is working when you notice the wheels of your car spinning less than they would without it. You’ll also feel a slight tug from the brakes as traction control kicks in and helps to keep your vehicle’s grip on the road.
Additionally, you may see the Traction Control Light come on briefly when traction control is activated. This indicates that the system is working properly to help maintain stability and improve safety.
What happens if you turn off traction control while driving?
If you turn off traction control while driving, your car’s stability may be compromised. Without the assistance of the system to help you regain grip on wet or slippery surfaces, there is an increased risk of skidding and sliding.
Thank you for reading! We hope this article was helpful in answering the question how to turn off traction control. Traction control is a great feature to have in your car, as it helps keep you safe on the roads and prevents spin-outs in slippery conditions. However, there are times when it’s wise to turn off traction control if you need extra help getting out of a tricky situation.
Do you have any further questions about how traction control works or when to turn it off? Feel free to leave us a comment below!
I’m Timothy Ballard, owner of a used car dealership in Springfield. I love just about everything automotive, but I have a special place in my heart for trucks. I’m an ASE Certified Master Technician, so I know my way around a car. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling with my family and hiking new trails.