How to use Traction Control?

The traction control system (TCS) is an important active safety feature in cars that helps prevent wheels from losing traction on the road. It applies the brakes or reduces engine power to affected wheels. TCS sensors measure the rotational speed of driven wheels and compare it to undriven wheels for better cornering. The TC/TCS button on car dashboards symbolizes this technology.Here, we provide an overview of how to use traction control functions and its stability control comparison.

What is its purpose?

The internal system known as traction control prevents a car’s tires from skidding when it speeds. Typically, it is a secondary function of the vehicle’s electronic stability control (ESC). When attempting to speed on a road with little available traction, a car’s driver is most likely to activate traction control. This is most likely a result of the weather, particularly if there is rain, ice, or snow.

How to apply it?

The wheel-speed sensors used by the TC and antilock braking systems are frequently the same. The feature analyses the rotational speed of each wheel to see whether any of the wheels receiving power are performing in a way that signals they don’t have enough grip to match the power being delivered without slipping.

In the absence of TC, drivers can prevent this by gently padding the accelerator to increase speed without losing traction. During acceleration, TC that identifies an excessively gripped wheel rapidly applies the brakes to that wheel, slowing the car down and altering how it handles.

When and How to use it?

Every time you drive a car with TC, which is a typical safety function, it normally activates automatically. When a scenario arises that it can help with, it will intervene and offer support.

Any car, regardless of its engine capacity, can benefit from TC, but vehicles that concentrate a lot of power on their back wheels are more likely to experience wheel spinning without it.

Stability control vs. traction control

Some drivers mistakenly think that either TC and electronic stability control are the same thing or that you can only have one or the other. Despite being independent systems, traction control and stability control are brake-based and frequently found in the same car.

While electronic stability control is essentially an upgraded version of TC, traction control concentrates on the task of stopping your wheels from spinning. The primary goal of stability control is to maintain the vehicle’s intended direction of travel. To maintain the desired direction of travel, the ESC can adjust the power to the engine, as well as the power to numerous wheels. The fact that ESC performs additional tasks—all of which are essential—explains why TC is now frequently viewed as a supporting role to the vehicle’s stability control.

 General Setting: 

  • Minimum Driven Wheel Speed


Establishes the speed at which TCl must be used. The engine would stall, lose forward thrust, and bog down if it was set too low.

  • Rate of Ramp Out


They are used only when PID Control From Vehicle Speeds is selected as the TC Type. When Percentage Cut is used, it has no effect if it is not used.

  • Cut Approach


Choose between cutting fuel or ignition. While ignition moves faster, it may burn extra fuel, releasing it into the exhaust. Though slightly slower, fuel cut minimizes gasoline wash into the engine or pooling in the exhaust.

How do we find out if it’s working?

Similar to other safety systems, there is a dashboard warning light that briefly illuminates when the system is activated to confirm that it is working. Once the engine starts, the light should switch off. However, if it remains lit, it indicates that there is a systemic problem that requires professional attention. Moreover, if you notice that the traction control warning light stays on, it is a sign that your vehicle may fail the MoT test.

What happens if the TC is not engaged?

An illustration of traction control:  You will need to raise your foot off the accelerator to control tire slippage if traction control is disconnected. When road dust or trash covers the wheel-speed sensors, the warning light may suddenly blink.

Does TC have an impact on speed?

Traction control actually impacts acceleration, but you go slower rather than quicker. Some individuals mistakenly believe that the additional traction allows you to floor it. They presume that your traction control system can keep your wheels on the ground.

What time should I turn off my traction control?

As a smart driver, the ONLY TIME you would want to disable traction control is when you’re climbing a gentle slope when the road feels slick from mud and stones, OR when you’re attempting to free your car from mud.

Does TC decrease engine power?

The traction control system prevents the car from sliding by slowing the engine and selecting which wheel to apply braking pressure to. Together, the traction control system and the anti-lock braking system maintain the vehicle’s stability.

Does TC cause your car to shake?

The traction control system may send incorrect signals, which in turn are causing the car to shake when it attempts to fix a problem based on those indications.

Does using TC speed you up or slow you down?

The purpose of traction control is to enable slower, more controlled vehicle acceleration. To keep the wheels from spinning up, the system restricts the power output to them. You slow down on the racetrack because there isn’t enough power going to the wheels.

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