TCS Traction Control System

The TCS traction control system is used to prevent wheel spin and loss of traction. These systems help prevent the tires from breaking loose during sudden acceleration on slick surfaces. They're usually an add on to the ESC electronic stability control system to control and restore traction on slippery surfaces.

The ABS, ESC and TCS systems share the same wheel speed sensors. The TCS program requires two additional solenoids in the hydraulic modulator assembly. These solenoids isolate the brake circuits to the drive wheels from the non-drive wheels during wheel spin. An electric pump and accumulator are used to apply the wheel brake on the wheel that has lost its traction. If one of the wheels were to break loose and lose traction, the pressurized fluid is used to apply the brakes on the wheel that is spinning.

TCS traction control components.

These systems use an actuator to reduce power at speeds above 30 mph. This is accomplished by closing the throttle on vehicle's with electronic throttle controls, retarding timing, or decreasing fuel injector pulse width. This not only helps the vehicle regain traction but also helps to prevent damage and overheating of the brake system. They require four channel ABS wheel speed sensor systems. This just means that there's a wheel speed sensor for each wheel.

The system includes an indicator light that flashes while the system is active or the vehicle is loosing traction. In most systems, the flashing amber light is a normal response. It's used to inform the driver the system is active. These systems react so fast the driver is often unaware the wheel is beginning to spin and vehicle is losing traction. If the ABS and traction control light illuminates continuously, then the system should be scanned for codes. Most of these system's have a deactivation switch if traction control is not desired, for instance in deep snow.