Traction control helps to prevent the vehicle from losing traction while you are driving down the road. The traction control system is turned on when the throttle input and engine torque do not match the road surface conditions. Some of the things the system does is apply brake force to one or more wheels, reduce the sparks to one or more cylinders, or reduce fuel supply. The traction control switch turns the traction control system on and off.
The option of turning the traction control system off with the switch is available because some drivers to not like the intervention and find it annoying. If you do deactivate the system with the traction control switch, a warning light will illuminate on the dashboard to remind you that traction control is not available. The system will stay off until you turn it back on, or until you start your vehicle again.
The traction control system is automatically turned on every time you start your vehicle, so if you prefer to have it off, you need do this manually each time you start the car. Furthermore, turning off the traction control does not turn off the anti-lock braking system, which is something important to remember.
Over time, the traction control switch can go bad and wear. This is because it is an electrical part and is prone to wear and tear. The traction control and anti-lock braking system are closely related so a problem with one can cause issues with the other, which is why it important to have your vehicle diagnosed by a mechanic.
Since the traction control switch can go bad and fail over time, there are a few symptoms you should be aware of that indicate it is going bad.
Signs that your traction control switch needs to be replaced include:
The Traction Control Warning light comes on
The button will not shut off the traction control
The button will not turn on the traction control
To ensure you have a stable and reliable car, have a certified mechanic look out for any other problems your car may have to reduce further complications with your vehicle. Also, have the mechanic replace the traction control switch to ensure your car is running at its full capacity.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Does a Traction Control Switch Last? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.