What Does The Car With Skid Marks Light Means?

All cars are equipped with warning lights that serve as notifications for the driver. These lights also inform which one is urgent and needs attention immediately. If you’ve wondered what does the car with skid marks light mean on your dashboard? This is called the Traction Control System (TCS).

In this article, we’ll be discussing this light in detail. Let’s get started.

What Does The Car With Skid Marks Light Mean?

The Traction-control light is usually a sign that your vehicle is working properly by maintaining traction on a slippery road, but it can also mean that your car has some damaged sensors or wires.

The Traction Control System (TCS) is designed to detect when your car is losing traction on the drive wheels. This warning light is important during icy winter and rainy conditions, as it detects when your car’s tires lose contact with the road during icy, rainy, or windy conditions. Without the TCS, your car may skid off the road.

When the tires slip, your traction-control system turns on to shift the power from the tire that’s slipping to the tires that are still successfully gripping the road. This transfer of power allows you to safely continue driving in the right direction. Without the traction-control system, you would run the risk of hydroplaning or skidding off the road.

Why Is My Traction-Control Light On?

If you’re driving in inclement weather and the TCL turns on. It means that your system is working to keep your wheels in contact with the road. It may turn on and off briefly or begin to flicker. But this indicates that the system is working as it should while you are on slippery roads.

Having the illuminated traction light on means that the system is working properly. If the light is turned on steadily, this means that the system is inactive. You might have to reactivate it if you are driving in bad weather conditions.

If, however, your car with skid marks light turns on while you’re driving in good weather conditions, there is an issue with the system. If the light blinks on and off intermittently, it can mean that the system is “hardcoded” or beginning to deteriorate.

This issue can be caused by faulty wheel-speed sensors which alert your car’s computer to a potential loss of traction or there could be a problem with the traction-control system’s computer.

A blinking TCL could also mean that the system isn’t fully functional, so it’s important to be careful in poor weather if you see this.

Common Reasons For The Traction Control Light To Come On?

1. Faulty Wheel Speed Sensors:-

A faulty wheel speed sensor can cause it to malfunction. Since they’re in charge of alerting the system when a loss of traction has occurred, if one is not working correctly, it’s likely to cause the TCS light to appear.

2. ABS System Malfunctioning:-

Many times, the ABS and TCS systems share a lot of the same working parts. For this reason, if there’s an issue with your ABS, it may cause the traction control light to appear. In this case, you will likely not only see a TCS light but an ABS light as well.

3. TCS Needs To Be Reprogrammed:-

If your traction control light keeps coming on when it’s not supposed to, it might just need to be reprogrammed. There’s no specific reason this occurs, chalk it up to chance.

Therefore, these are some basic reasons for the car with skid marks light to come on the dashboard.

Can You Drive With The Traction Control Light On?

It is normally safe to drive with the traction control light on, but blinking TCS lights is normal when you are driving on a muddy or slippy road. This keeps you informed that the system is activated and is cautioning that the road may cause wheelspin.

However, when driving on a normal road and weather and the TCS light continues to blink, this means that there is a need for checking. This may indicate that there is an issue with the TCS.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Traction Control Light?

Most likely, this issue stems from either a faulty wheel speed sensor or a bad ABS control module. Again, using an OBD2 scanner, you can determine which is acting up. If it is the control module, you can either take it to a mechanic for a cost of around $1,000 or replace it yourself for about $800.

How Do I Turn Off The Traction Control System Light?

If your TCL comes on during good weather, there’s no need to panic. Here are some steps through which you can try fixing the TCS.

Step 1: Drive Your Car For A Few Minutes

After changing the battery, you may get the stability light warning on. That is just a self-check of your car system.

It is a normal situation so do not panic. You just need to drive the car for a few minutes and do some left turns and right turns. Having done with checking, the system will reset the stability light automatically.

Step 2: Turn The Traction Control System On

There is always an ESC button to turn the stability control on and off. The traction control light also stays on when your stability control system is deactivated. So if your light is on, you may have accidentally pressed an ESC button.

All you need to do is just start the car and find the switch. The switch may have the word “ESC”, “ESP” or “DSC”. Click and hold it for about 3–5 seconds and then check the dashboard again.

Step 3: Make Sure That All The Tires Have The Same Type And Same Size

The wheel–speed sensors are able to detect if a drive wheel is spinning faster than other wheels. And different types and sizes of the tires, of course, affect the spinning speed.

Having different tire sizes on the front and the back also means that you cause the ESC to malfunction. And the light will surely be on.

Step 4: Do Not Drive Too Fast

Sometimes, the traction control light flashes to warn that you are driving too fast and you need to slow down. The stability program is trying to keep the car under control. When everything is okay, the program will turn the light off.

Make sure that you respect the speed limit. The traction control system may help you avoid getting into accidents but it does not mean that you can drive too fast.

Step 5: Do A System Scan

Sometimes the traction control light is on because the stability system is malfunctioning. You should bring your car to a qualified car repair shop to scan your car thoroughly. And then your problem will be solved completely.


So, what does the car with skid marks light mean? The traction system sensors are specially designed to keep your car from sliding when the wheels are over spinning when you physically unnoticed it. This will prevent your car from crashing or getting into an accident.

The dashboard lights are not there to frighten you. Thus, these lights remind and notify you for specific reasons. These also help you maintain your car well and keep you safe while driving. It tells you which part of the car needs attention. Ignoring these lights may lead you to massive repairs or engine breakdowns.

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