Traction control is a system that prevents too much power going to the driving wheels on a car and causing the wheels to lose grip or “spin”. It helps the driver to maintain control in low grip situations such as loose gravel, snow or ice. Most cars now have traction control.
How it works
It works by using the wheel sensors ( the same as the ABS sensors) which identifies when one wheel is spinning more than the other wheels. It then takes action by slightly cutting the power of the car which is the same as the driver taking their foot off the accelerator but faster.
Newer cars will also have ESP, electronic control system, that will additionally apply the brake to the specific wheel. This stops it turning and transfers the power to the other wheels. If traction control system is in use then a warning will be displayed on your dashboard. A modern traction control system works so fast that you do not notice it!
It is recommended that you keep traction control on, even in normal road conditions because you never know when you might lose control of your car.
So, why do people turn it off?
There are some reasons as to why people turn off their traction control system. If you are stuck in snow or deep mud, traction control is not desirable as all wheels have lost grip. If the system is on then it may go into overdrive and kill the engines power.
Please note: if the warning light stays on then their may be an issue with the data received from the wheels.
It may need a reset so try turning the engine on and off again. If this doesn’t help, take it to your local garage and they will be able to fix the problem to avoid a failing your MOT.