How to reset the TCS light on Honda Accord

Your Honda comes equipped with a Traction Control System (TCS) that assists in low-speed low-traction conditions. This innovative technology helps your car maintain traction on slippery surfaces that offer limited traction. 

The TCS monitors the wheels’ speed, and when it senses that any front wheel is losing traction, it automatically applies breaks to it.

The system usually works with the anti-lock braking system (ABS). As such, you may experience that when the TCS light comes on and stays on, it can be accompanied by the ABS light illuminating. 

It is usual for the TCS light on the dashboard to illuminate. Ideally, the light should only flash when the TCS is activated. However, does the TCS light keep coming on? How can you fix any issue with the TCS light?

What causes the TCS light to come on?

The TCS light comes on or flashes in the following conditions: 

  • The TCS light illuminates when you turn on the car. Every time you ignite the engine of your Honda, the light comes on and then turns off when the engine is running. It usually indicates the TCS is engaged and working optimally.
  • It flashes when the TCS is operational. When driving, the TCS flashes to indicate the system regulates any wheelspin.
  • When you turn off the TCS, it will flash then the light goes off.
  • There’s an issue with the TCS. The light stays on when the car’s diagnostic system identifies a problem with the TCS.
  • Brake overheating also causes the TCS to illuminate. 

How to reset the TCS light on the Honda Accord?

If the TCS indicator illuminates and stays on for more than 10 minutes when driving, it shows a problem. Resetting the TCS may help clear the issue.

The easiest way to reset the TCS light is to safely park the car and turn the engine off. Once you reignite the car and the light still stays on longer than usual, try these other steps.

Manual reset

  1. Locate the 16-pin On-Board Diagnostic (OBD2) connector under the steering wheel
  2. Turn the ignition on (the engine is not running) and press the brake pedal
  3. Using a paper clip or strand of wire, connect the top right opening to the fourth from the left bottom opening
  4. Release the brake pedal. The TCS light should blink repeatedly
  5. After a minute, turn the ignition off and remove the wire or the paper clip
  6. The system should reset when the engine is turned on

Automatic reset

  1. Purchase or rent an OBD2 scanner
  2. Plug the scanner to the OBD2 under the steering wheel
  3. Turn on the ignition and perform a diagnostic check after entering your vehicle’s name and model on the scanner. You can also use the “auto-scan” option if available
  4. Navigate the scanner until you find the TCS/ABS
  5. Erase the error codes to clear the warning light

If the TCS indicator still illuminates and stays on for an extended time when the engine is running, consult a Honda dealer.

Is it bad to turn the TCS off on the Honda Accord?

Driving the car when the TCS is turned off is not ideal; regardless, it is not bad as it won’t harm your car. You can still drive the car; however, you won’t have traction control assistance.

For your safety and the passengers, it is recommended to have the traction control on. In circumstances where your car loses traction, the system may be necessary to bail you out of that dangerous situation.

The TCS On/Off switch is on the left side of the steering column, just below the side vent. Deactivate the TCS by pressing the button. The TCS indicator will blink. Pressing the switch again will reactivate the system.

Is it bad to drive a Honda with TCS on?

Your Honda will operate normally when the TCS light is on, but the car may have a nonfunctional TCS. In most driving scenarios, traction control is not utilized.

However, driving in conditions with limited traction, such as icy roads or gravel, may pose a challenge. It would be best to repair the system if the TCS light comes and stays on.

How much does it cost to fix the TCS light on Honda?

A new TCS sensor costs around $30. So, if you love some DIY, purchase the sensor and install it. However, if you can’t fix it yourself, the labor cost for professional assistance would range between $50 and $100.

Final Thoughts

The TCS plays a crucial role in your Honda. The indicator light comes on for a variety of reasons. However, when the light illuminates and stays on for more than 10 minutes when the engine is running, it usually indicates a fault in the system. Diagnose the problem or have a Honda dealer fix the issue.

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