P0886 code definition
The P0886 trouble code signals an error with the communication circuit in the traction control module.
What the P0886 code means
The P0886 code is a generic OBD-II trouble code that notes an issue with the traction control module (TCM) communication circuit. This communication circuit is responsible for sending live traction control data to the powertrain control module (PCM), as well as other control modules. The PCM and the other control modules then use the data from the TCM communication circuit to help determine the proper fuel delivery strategy, engine timing, RPM, and other engine performance factors. When the PCM or the other control modules are not receiving data from the TCM communication circuit, then the P0886 trouble code will be detected.
What causes the P0886 code?
The P0886 trouble code is most likely to be caused by a malfunctioning ON/OFF switch in the traction control system. This is often the result of a spilled liquid on the switch. It is also somewhat common for the electrical components of the traction control system (such as the wires, connectors, and fuses) to be damaged and defective, or for the sensor connector to have extreme corrosion on it.
What are the symptoms of the P0886 code?
The P0886 trouble code will usually be accompanied by the check engine soon warning light illuminating on the vehicle’s instrument cluster. It is likely that the traction control system will not work, meaning the vehicle will have diminished grip when driving on wet or icy roads. The P0886 code can also result in transmission issues, such as an inability for the vehicle to shift, harsh shifting, and the transmission entering “limp-in” mode. Lessened fuel efficiency is also commonly reported.
How does a mechanic diagnose the P0886 code?
The P0886 trouble code will be diagnosed with the assistance of a standard OBD-II trouble code scanner. A trained technician will use the scanner to look at the freeze frame data to gather information about the code, and to check for any additional trouble codes that have been detected. Codes should always be addressed in the order in which they appear. The codes should then be reset, and the vehicle will be restarted. The mechanic will then check to see if the code has returned. If it has not, it should be assumed that it was triggered erroneously, or represents an intermittent issue.
If the P0886 code remains on, the technician will begin with a visual inspection of the electrical components. If any damaged wires or connectors are spotted, they should be replaced. If corrosion is noticed on any connectors, they should also be replaced.
Next, the mechanic will inspect and diagnose the traction control ON/OFF switch, and replace it if necessary. If the issue is still not resolved, a connector area network (CAN) scanner can be hooked up to the vehicle, which will allow the mechanic to see detailed information about the PCM and other control modules, and see if the issue can be spotted.
After any component is replaced, the trouble codes will need to be reset, and the vehicle should be restarted, so the mechanic can see if the codes return or not. This helps ensure that the technician will know as soon as the problem has been fixed.
Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0886 code
The most frequently made diagnosis mistake with the P0886 code comes from a failure to follow the basic OBD-II trouble code diagnosis protocol. The proper protocol should be complied with at all times, step by step, to make sure that all inspections and repairs are efficient.
It is common for the entire traction control module to be replaced, when a less seious error such as a defective ON/OFF switch or damaged electrical components was the only problem.
How serious is the P0886 code?
A vehicle with a detected P0886 trouble code will usually still be drivable. However, the traction control system likely won’t work, meaning the driver should avoid slippery road conditions. The transmission may also experience some issues that will impact the drivability, and could ultimately harm the transmission. For these reasons, the P0886 code should be addressed as soon as is possible.
What repairs can fix the P0886 code?
Some repairs for the P0886 trouble code include:
- Traction control system ON/OFF switch replacement
- Replacement of the wires in the traction control system
- Replacement of the electrical and sensor connectors in the traction control system
Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0886 code
The P0886 trouble code only relates to vehicles that have an electronic traction control system.
Need help with a P0886 code?
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This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as P0886 OBD-II Trouble Code: Traction Control Module (TCM) Power Relay Control Circuit Low and was authored by Brady Klopfer.