How to Solve Traction Control Light and Brake Light on

Did you know that nearly 20% of vehicle maintenance issues reported annually involve the braking system or traction control?

When you notice both the traction control light and brake light illuminated on your dashboard, it’s not just a sign to be wary of but a call to action. These indicators could hint at a range of problems, from simple sensor malfunctions to more complex ABS issues.

You’re probably wondering what steps you can take to diagnose and address these warnings without heading straight to a mechanic. Well, the answer might be simpler than you think, but it requires a bit of insight into your car’s diagnostic system and a willingness to explore some DIY solutions.

Understanding the Warning Lights

When your vehicle’s dashboard lights up with the traction control and brake light warnings, it’s important to understand what these signals mean for your safety and your car’s functionality.

The traction control light indicates there’s an issue with your vehicle’s ability to maintain grip on the road. This system works hand-in-hand with the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) to prevent your wheels from losing contact with the pavement during acceleration or slick conditions.

The brake light, on the other hand, warns of potential problems within your braking system, including ABS malfunctions. These warning lights often illuminate together to signal a combined issue that could affect your vehicle’s safety and performance.

Recognizing and addressing these warnings promptly can prevent accidents and ensure your car operates at its best.

Common Causes Explored

Several factors, including low brake fluid levels and damaged wheel speed sensors, can trigger your vehicle’s traction control and brake light warnings. The ABS module, integral to your anti-lock braking and traction control systems, is vital for diagnosing these warning lights.

CauseComponent AffectedImpact on Vehicle
Low brake fluid levelsBrake systemReduced braking efficiency
Damaged wheel sensorsABS systemIncorrect traction control signals
ABS malfunctionABS moduleUnreliable braking response
Traction control offTraction control systemIncreased risk of skidding

Monitoring brake fluid levels, ensuring wheel speed sensors are intact, and addressing any ABS malfunctions promptly are essential steps. Avoid turning off your traction control to maintain optimal vehicle stability.

DIY Diagnostic Steps

To diagnose and address traction control and brake light issues yourself, use an OBD2 scan tool to read and clear any error codes. This initial step can pinpoint specific issues within the TCS and ABS systems.

Next, conduct a visual inspection of the wheel speed sensors. Look for any signs of damage or corrosion, as these can interfere with the sensors’ ability to accurately report speed to the TCS and ABS.

Additionally, check the brake fluid level. If it’s low, make sure to top it up, since insufficient fluid can trigger the lights. Make sure the TCS system isn’t accidentally deactivated, as this simple oversight could be the culprit.

Professional Assessment Options

If you’re facing traction control and brake light issues, opting for a professional assessment can streamline the diagnosis, ensuring you receive a detailed evaluation from certified technicians. Experienced mechanics utilize diagnostic scans to identify specific error codes, making it easier to pinpoint the root cause of the ABS light and traction control system malfunctions.

By seeking help from certified technicians, you’ve ensured an accurate diagnosis and appropriate repair solutions. Specialized auto shops may offer advanced diagnostic tools, important for evaluating complex system issues.

Professional assessments are important in determining the extent of repairs needed, effectively addressing the concerns related to your vehicle’s traction control and brake light. Trusting these assessments can save time and ensure your safety on the road.

Repair and Reset Procedures

Once you’ve identified the issue triggering your TCS or ABS light, the next steps involve precise repair actions tailored to the root cause.

You’ll need to reset the warning lights using an OBD2 scan tool or following manufacturer-specific procedures, ensuring your vehicle’s safety systems are fully operational.

If the light reappears, it’s important to consult a mechanic for a thorough diagnosis to prevent future complications.

Identifying the Issue

Begin by checking the status of the TCS button to make sure the system wasn’t inadvertently deactivated. This step is essential as it can save you time and effort before diving deeper into troubleshooting.

When your traction control lights and brake light are on, it indicates an issue that might involve the wheel sensors, ABS systems, or even a triggered check engine light.

Here’s a quick guide to identifying the issue:

  1. Consult your vehicle’s manual to understand the specifics of the ABS and Traction Control systems.
  2. Inspect wheel speed sensors for any signs of corrosion or damage.
  3. Don’t ignore the braking system’s role in this scenario.

These steps are designed to guide you through the initial process of diagnosing why both the traction control and brake lights are illuminated, leading you closer to pinpointing the cause without jumping straight into unnecessary repairs.

Necessary Repair Steps

To address traction control and brake light issues effectively, you’ll need to follow specific repair and reset procedures tailored to your vehicle’s system. Begin with inspecting wheel speed sensors for any damage or corrosion that might trigger the traction control warning light. If necessary, replace or repair these sensors.

1Scan ToolUse an OBD2 scan tool to connect to the DLC and clear ABS/TCS codes.
2Battery ReconnectionDrive the vehicle after reconnecting/installing a new battery to potentially turn off the light.
3Consult a MechanicIf the light reappears, seek professional help.
4Manufacturer-Specific ResetFollow specific procedures like pressing VSC, disconnecting the battery, or key sequences.

Resetting Warning Lights

After addressing the necessary repair steps for traction control and brake light issues, we’ll now explore how to reset these warning lights through specific repair and reset procedures. Here’s how:

  1. Use an OBD2 scan tool to connect to the DLC (Diagnostic Link Connector). Select the option to clear the code, effectively resetting the TCS/ABS warning lights.
  2. Drive your vehicle after reconnecting or installing a new battery. This simple action may turn off the traction control light without further intervention.
  3. If the TCS light reappears, consult a mechanic for a deeper diagnosis. The TCS, closely linked with the ABS, plays a vital role in stabilizing your vehicle during high-braking situations, ensuring your safety in slippery conditions.

Preventive Maintenance Tips

Ensuring your vehicle’s braking and traction control systems remain in peak condition starts with adhering to a few key preventive maintenance tips. Regularly inspect brake fluid levels to guarantee they’re within the recommended range, important for maintaining proper braking function.

Keep wheel speed sensors clean and free from debris to avoid false readings that could activate the traction control light. Following the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule is vital to address potential issues proactively.

Drive cautiously and avoid sudden braking to minimize stress on the traction control system and prevent warning lights from illuminating. Should any warning lights appear, address them promptly to avert further damage to your vehicle’s braking and traction control systems.


To sum up, tackling the issue with your traction control and brake lights requires a methodical approach. Start by diagnosing common causes, such as faulty sensors or ABS issues. Try DIY resets specific to your vehicle’s make.

If the problem persists, seek a professional’s expertise. Remember, successful repairs often involve precise resets. To avoid future issues, adhere to preventive maintenance schedules.

Addressing these lights promptly guarantees your vehicle’s performance and safety on the road.

Scroll to Top