Jeep Traction Control Light On – [8 Reasons Why?]

Jeep traction control light on; what does it mean? It means when one or more wheels lose traction and start slipping.

A traction control system is standard on all Jeeps produced after 2012. The traction control system limits wheel spin so that it can help to gain traction and control.

A Jeep traction control light can be on due to a faulty wheel speed sensor. Other common causes include a faulty steering angle sensor, a faulty steering rack, a faulty yaw sensor, a faulty anti-lock braking system, a faulty module, wiring damage, bad road conditions, or TCS needs reprogramming.

What Does Jeep Traction Control Light Mean

The traction control system uses wheel speed sensors and activates an anti-lock brake system (ABS). The wheel speed sensor measures the rotational wheel speed, and the ABS limits wheel spin when one drive wheel spins faster than the others.

The ECU reduces the engine torque, which helps the ABS system apply the brakes, slowing down the slipping wheel. And when it gripped the road again, the brake on that wheel released.

When one or more tires on your Jeep lose grip on the road, at that very moment, the traction control system light (TCS light) is flashing and acts accordingly to correct the problem. This flashing or blinking is not caused for concern.

But if there is a problem with the Jeep traction control system, the light will remain on, and it is time to take action to correct the issue.

Why causes the Jeep Traction Control light on

There are several reasons for the Jeep traction control light. We listed some common causes for the TCS light to be on.

1. Faulty Wheel Speed Sensor

The wheel speed sensor constantly dectect the rotation wheel speed and transmits signals to the traction control system and engine control unit (ECU).

Each wheel has its own wheel speed sensor. When the wheel speed sensor detects unusual wheel spin, it notifies the traction control system.

But if the wheel speed sensor is not working, it will transmit the wrong signals, which turn the Jeep traction control light on and also trigger the ABS light.

2. Faulty Steering Angle Sensor

The steering angle sensor measures the steering wheel position angle and the rate at which it turns. It is installed in the steering column to precisely measure the position angle and rate of turn.

When the steering angle sensor goes bad, the vehicle has no idea in which direction it is moving. This cause the Jeep traction control light.

Normally, this sensor is used by the stability control system to detect in which direction the driver intends to go.

3. Faulty Steering Rack

The steering rack lets your wheel rotate when you turn the steering wheel. It is a critical component of the steering system. 

For good traction, you need smooth steering to be easy to control. When the steering rack gose bad it is harder to steer your Jeep on rough terrain.

This will possibly turn your Jeep’s traction control light on.

4. Faulty Yaw Sensor

The yaw sensor accurately records the angle at which vehicles tilt concerning the vehicle’s vertical axis. For this purpose, it is close to the Jeep’s center of gravity.

A yaw sensor is essential for vehicle stability control. Without or with a faulty yaw sensor, your Jeep would lean and almost tip over when trying to take steep curves. The yaw sensor failure causes the Jeep traction control light to come on.

5. Faulty Module

There is occasionally a problem with the traction control module, which causes the traction control light to illuminate. 

The problem with the TCS module arises much less frequently than the other problems we listed in this post.

6. Faulty Anti-Lock Brake System

An anti-lock brack system is a safety anti-skid braking system.

Both the anti-lock brake system (ABS) and traction control system (TCS) are interconnected with each other.

So, if their is problem with ABS system both ABS and TCS light come on.

7. TCS requires Reprogramming.

It may be as simple as just resetting the traction control system. This can happen because a system error or glitch can easily throw off your traction control system settings and turn the TCS light on.

The cost of traction control reprogramming varies depending on the mechanic you visit. 

8. Wiring Damage

The Jeep Traction Control light comes on when there is a wiring problem. Because the wires are so close together in a vehicle chase, this problem occurs more frequently.

There is no estimated cost for repair. It depends on how complex it is.

How to fix the Jeep traction control light

First, if the traction control light is on due to wheel slippage or lack of traction, you do not need to worry about it because it will turn off when the wheel grips the road again.

If this is not the case, following these steps will help you to turn the TCS light off.

Step #1: Reset the Jeep traction control system. The resetting procedure is different for different vehicles. If the traction control light does not turn off after resetting, there is a problem with either the wheel speed sensor or another integrated module.

Step #2: Diagnose the issue with an OBD-2 scanner to determine the exact cause of the traction control light being on.

Step #3: Sometimes the wheel alignment will also cause the light to be on because the wheel speed sensor will not give the correct wheel rotation reading.

How to reset the Jeep traction control light

OBD II scanner: You can quickly reset your Jeep traction control light with an OBD II scanner. Follow these steps:

Step #1: Plug the OBD II scanner into the vehicle’s diagnostic link connector (DLC). The DLC is under the steering wheel.

Step #2: Power on the scanner. Enter your vehicle’s make and model, or use auto-scan. Erase and reset the codes so it will clear the TCS light.

Manufacturer-specific reset method: Besides using the OBD II scanning tool, there are also manufacturer-specific reset methods. Every vehicle has its reset method, depending on the make and model. To reset the Jeep traction control light, follow these steps:

Step #1: Get into your Jeep and turn the key on, but do not start the engine.

Step #2: Do three quick presses on your gas pedal and wait a few moments.

Step #3: Start the engine, and from there, the reset process is complete.

Hopefully, this reset will turn your TCS light off. If the reset does not turn the light off, go to the mechanic.

FAQs – Jeep Traction Control Light On

Can you still drive with traction control light on?

If the traction control light is on due to loss of traction or wheel slippage, then there is no problem driving the vehicle.
But if the traction control light is on due to a faulty wheel speed sensor, a faulty TCS module, or any other reason we discussed earlier, don’t drive. Go to a mechanic to diagnose and fix the problem; otherwise, it will cause damage.

How much does it cost to fix traction control?

The traction control system switches replacement cost is around $110–$130. The traction control system consists of various sensors and components. The repair cost might depend on the defective component.

Conclusion – Jeep Traction Control Light On

Jeep Traction Control Light might be on due to many reasons we discussed above, but the most common one is a bad wheel speed sensor. So if there is a problem with TCS, check the wheel speed sensor and also make sure that the wheel is aligned.

If the traction control light is on, reset the system; if it is not working, go to the expert mechanic before it gets worse and you have to pay more money.


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