car mechanic, Repair. maintenance
Written by Jessica Golden

How Traction Control Makes Your Car Safer

Since 2012 the federal government has required that all cars have the traction control (TC) safety feature. Sensor-driven, this control system is capable of detecting how fast every wheel of a car is moving. TC helps drivers maintain control and stability of the vehicle during bad weather or instances when it has to stop suddenly.


Traction control is computerized management of the speed of every wheel through electronic sensors, providing information to the Power Control Module (PCM). If a wheel is moving faster than the others, TC directs the braking system to act and the wheel’s brake will decrease that wheel’s speed. It can also reduce engine power to the wheels. This lets power transferred from a wheel or wheels that are slipping to those which are not, resulting in maintaining or regaining control and stability.

Hydroplaning and Handling

Traction control technology has many advancements which increase driving safety. Hydroplaning presents a serious danger when road are covered with heavy rain or snow. TC decreases this hazard because of its ability to manage each wheel as it moves. The likelihood that a vehicle will begin sliding sideways from hydroplaning is significantly decreased.

The effects from wheels slipping during acceleration are also minimized by traction control. For many drivers, maintaining traction while cornering can be a challenge on slippery roads when they take a turn too fast. In these instances, TC will help maintain or regain traction and stability.

Traction Control Costs

Safety features aren’t free as traction control does make a vehicle more expensive to purchase and maintain. However, costs can be mitigated somewhat by lower insurance rates. When a TC system needs to be repaired, the expense can be quite significant. Some car buyers opt for an anti-lock brake system instead to save money.


A warning light will activate when the traction control becomes faulty. Issues may arise from the traction control’s sensors and electrical system. Although the owner can continue driving, it would be wiser to bring the car to a reputable service center and get diagnostics performed by a professional technician as soon as possible.

For Great Service Chesapeake Import has provided reputable and trusted automotive services to Annapolis and the surrounding areas since 1991. Call us for an appointment today at (410) 267-8411. We will be very happy to see you.