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Traction control was first fitted to cars in the 1970’s but has been compulsory since 2011. You probably haven’t ever noticed your traction control working but it plays an incredibly important role in keeping you safe, especially if conditions are dodgy.
Traction control is an electronic system which uses wheel sensors to notice when one wheel is spinning more than the others. It can then step in to limit the engine’s power, allowing the wheel to regain control. It limits oversteer and understeer by stopping wheel slip when there is a limited amount of grip on the road. No matter how good you think your driving is, traction control can always react faster than you can.
Traction control is great at keeping you in control of your car but there are a few situations where it is worth turning it off. Under normal driving conditions, it’s much safer to have your traction control active but if you’re stuck in snow or mud or driving on ice, allowing a little bit of wheel spin can help pull you free. With traction control switched on, it could cut the engine on these surfaces, leaving you stuck. To switch your traction control off, press the button marked ESP, ESC, ASR or TSC on your central console or dashboard.
If your traction control develops a problem, you’ll see a yellow warning light on the dashboard. This switches on whenever your traction control kicks in to give you a boost of grip, but it should switch off again quite quickly. If you switch the engine off and back on and the light doesn’t switch off, your traction control system could be broken or confused about the data it’s receiving from the road.
If you notice a problem with your system, book an appointment with Central Autopoint in Corby as soon as possible. Your traction control is an invaluable safety device, so it pays to get it fixed straight away. What’s more, it counts as a failure on your MOT test! If you think there’s a problem with your traction control system, book online today!