Why Is My Check Engine And TRAC Off Light On?

Contemporarily vehicle drivers are terrified of the check engine light whenever it turns on. As it illuminates on the dashboard, your vehicle would begin to shake, making the situation more worrisome since this constitutes a misfiring engine. Although, the check engine light comes on basically whenever a problem emanates from high vehicle tailpipe emissions as regards a misfiring engine.

Why Is My Check Engine And TRAC Off Light On?

Howbeit, the TRAC Off light is also connected with the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system and stands for Traction Control system, which performs to prevent your vehicle’s wheels from losing grip or traction on the pathways. However, the TRAC Off light signifies that the traction control system is off manually, or it could indicate that the TCS on your vehicle is malfunctioning.

So far, if you’re wondering why your check engine light (CEL) and TRAC Off light are on, you have these problems such as defective wheel speed sensors, low tire pressure, bad weather conditions, and programming errors. These issues would store in the computer systems like PCM or ECU as trouble codes. They would require a scanner tool such as OBDII to read the specific problems to enable you, the driver, or your certified mechanic to proffer solutions.

Moreover, this guide will help you explore and tender solutions to these typical queries ranging from; does traction control make your car shake, does the TC have anything to do with transmission, does traction control affect speed, and does traction control reduced engine power.

A thorough study of this post would benefit you more!

Does Traction Control Make Your Car Shake?

Yes, traction control might make your vehicle shake but in rare circumstances. Although, a traction control light often occurs when the system is off. Hence, if the traction control eventually comes with shaking, the primary cause is the faulty wheel speed sensor. That said, malfunctioned wheel speed sensor-ABS sensor would trigger the traction control light, the ABS, and the check Guage light, as it sends wrong signals to the traction control system, ABS, and the electronic stability system. 

However, a wheel speed sensor attached to the wheels of your vehicle calculates the number of revolutions; gathers information from the wheels through the ECU to the ABS and the TRAC system. In essence, the ABS requires data on the speed level of the wheels to regulate the amount of pressure to apply when you want to stop the wheels as the brake is applied. 

On the other hand, the traction control light would not come on unless it is turned off by you, the driver. Perchance you didn’t turn off the system, and it didn’t come on; something might have gone wrong with the TCS. Remember that the traction control system regulates and ensures that the vehicle tires don’t lose traction on the pathway with the help of the wheel speed sensor. So, if you notice shaking when the traction control light illuminates, you should consult a certified mechanic immediately, as your vehicle isn’t safe to drive.

Does Traction Control Have Anything To Do With Transmission?

Yes, to some degree, the traction control could have something to do with the transmission but in rare cases. However, these two systems don’t relate, so if anything goes wrong with your vehicle, the entire system might malfunction due to a single fault from a specific component. Let’s look at what connects the traction control and the transmission.

Although a wheel speed sensor receives data from the wheel to the TCS and ABS as regards their speed, direction, and several revolutions to regulate the working mechanism of the wheel holding traction on the road, if the sensors become faulty, it would send the wrong signal to the ABS and TCS, and alongside cause transmission issues.

Similarly, programming errors could affect the TCS and cause a transmission problem. By research and experience, there have been complaints that the TC has something to do with transmission. For instance, a vehicle owner said he couldn’t drive his 2007 Jaguar X-Type unless the TC were off before the transmission would shift gear. If you are experiencing transmission slippage, it would be that you have a defective wheel speed sensor that is sending wrong signals to the ECU and, in addition, a system programming error. Howbeit, it is hard to say that the TC has nothing to do with the transmission!

Does Traction Control Affect Speed?

Of course, yes, traction affects the speed of any vehicle. Notwithstanding, the wheel speed sensor attached to the wheels relates information concerning speed, direction, and amount of rotation to the TCS and ABS via the ECU. 

So, if the wheel speed sensors are functional, the speed of the wheels/tires would be increased since the TCS is off, but if the wheel speed sensors are faulty, they will send incorrect data to the TCS and ABS via the ECU, and it would affect the speed negatively. 

So far, the TCS can affect the speed of any vehicle depending on the circumstance illustrated above. I recommend you reduce your speed as you take turns slowly when driving on a slippery path or in bad weather conditions.

Does Traction Control Reduced Engine Power?

Yes, traction control reduces engine power. When your vehicle loses traction or begins to slip due to terrible weather conditions, such as ice or rain on one of its wheels/tires, the affected tires spin faster than others. As a result, the traction control system applies the braking system to reduce the rotation of all tires and regulate the constant revolution. The TCS reduces engine power in handling the tires/wheels’ consistent rotation. 

The reduction of engine power by TCS is most beneficial to you to enable you to have a smoother ride as you stay in control of your vehicle in icy or rainy conditions.


Finally, the TCS is a safety feature in modern vehicles that always enhance and help to restore your vehicle’s traction on the pathways, especially on slippery ways.

If your check engine light and TRAC Off light come on, there is evidence of an issue with the VSC system. 

These safety features perform their function with the help of another related component, like the wheel speed sensor, to avoid the tires slipping. Regrettably, if the wheel speed sensor should go lousy, it would cause your vehicle to shake whenever the TCS kicks in. The shaking of your car would result from the wrong signal sent to the TCS and ABS via the ECU, as it would lead to conflict between the ABS and the TCS.

Moreover, when you observe these two lights, the TRAC Off and CEL on, ensure to pull over and contact a certified mechanic who will help to diagnose the system and tender a solution as necessary. Have a good and safe ride. Do like and share this informative guide on; why is my check engine and TRAC Off light on with others!

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Hi dear, I am Gift Dennis I have been working as a Radiographer for over 8 years, but I switch my profession to what I love which is auto body part repairs and I recently got my automotive diploma last August 2020 as an auto-body repair technician. I love fitness and everything about cars, so here is where I share my expertise and experiences with those who wish to hear about them.

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