How to Reset Traction Control Light? (3 Easy Ways)

In cars and vehicles, there are a lot more functions than just to ignite it and start driving. In fact, if you know the most about your vehicles it helps you in getting the most out if it’s proper and safe driving.  And one such feature is TCS aka, Traction Control System.

 The traction control has the purpose as its name says. When you see the traction control light come on our dashboard, it means the traction control system of your car has detected poor traction on the ground in one of the car wheels.

The loss of firm traction on the car wheel will be detected by the system and it will automatically apply the brake to main balance and avoid slipping.

It’s especially helpful in slippery conditions and roads. So when you drive on wet pavements, sharper curves or when driving around the roundabout, the traction control system instantly comes as a rescue.

Related: How Long Can You Drive With A Blinking Engine Light?

Now let’s find out more about TCS and the step by step process on how to reset traction control light.

Why Does Traction Control Light Come Out?

When you see the dashboard warning as TCS being lit, it means the car wheels no longer maintains the traction with ground. Therefore, the light will notify you about such a state.

The warning light about TCS disability or ABS disable will come on when your car system is having some issue. The purposes of TCS light are many, for instance it tells you about the running system. When you see the light flashes (on and off) it means the traction control is engaged now.

How to Reset Traction Control Light

  To reset the TCS light, you have to perform the following three simple steps:

  • Get an OBD-II scanner
  • Look for the diagnostic link connector (DLC) and plug it
  • Reset the TC light using scanner

1. Get an OBD-II scanner (purchase or rent)

First off, get the OBD-II scanner to reset the TCS light on your car. You can also rent it if you don’t want to purchase for that matter. Usually the OBD2 scanner can be purchased for $30 to $50.

Note that, if your car was manufactured before 1996 you should pick the original OBD device and not an OBD2. But any car manufactured afterwards (1996) will make use of OBD2.

2. Look for the diagnostic link connector (DLC) and plug it

Now locate the diagnostic link connector (DLC), you can take help of the car’s owner’s manual to find the OBD2 device connection port. Typically, the connector link is located on the left side beneath the steering wheel.

Depending on your car models, you may require to remove a panel from your dashboard to locate it. Mostly cars just have a cover so lift it up and connect the OBD2 directly to the DLC port.

3. Reset the traction control light with the scanner

Finally, on the OBD2 device, select “System” or “Control Unit”. That will give you the list of multiple vehicle systems. From there, find the TCS or ABS system so turn off or reset the TCS warning light. Select “Erase Codes” or “Reset Codes.”

Like said before, you may need a dedicated model-specific key to read the codes. You can also make sure of the “Auto Scan” function for automatic scanning of the issues, if any.


The traction control light is there to help your vehicles maintain the best traction in unavoidable and unfavorable slippery roads. Therefore, you should always keep this system well-maintained and functional. Take your vehicle to the repair and maintenance center often so that its functions always remain ready to perform.


Is it safe to drive with the TCS warning light on?

Typically, it’s safe to drive when your TCS light is on, but you should not continue to drive in such conditions. If you see the traction control light, anti-lock braking system light, and red brake-warning light illuminate are on, it will certainly affect the braking system of your car and can cause permanent failure.

What causes the traction control light to come on?

The most common and understood reasons to cause TCS light to come on are:

  • The TSC system is turned off
  • Malfunctioning Wheel speed sensors
  • Defective steering angle sensor
  • Poor or damaged wiring 
  • Problem in the ABS 

Does traction control slow down the car?

The traction control light will engage when one of the car wheels is spinning too fast. It will send notification to the car TCS system and it will automatically slow down the speed. Therefore, the car acquired traction. You may feel a jerk when the TCS activates but it tells you about the best working of the feature. Moreover, the traction control will cut back the fuel usage in your car. 

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