This Is How Traction Control Works

The ABS system provides support to the traction control system.


Imagine you’re driving on a slippery surface like snow or on a road with loose gravel, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Probably, ‘wheel slip’! Slippery and snowy roads can cause wheels to slip, as there is less friction and the grip is not too strong. Traction control in such situations can help drivers gain proper surface grip and maintain balance.

What is Traction Control?

Traction control is an important safety feature in modern automobiles that provides necessary traction on the driving surface allowing the vehicle to remain steady and accelerate even on slippery and uneven roads. Without traction control, your vehicle would simply slip on a low-friction road as you try to accelerate. This happens due to the wheel slip that reduces the surface grip leading to tires spinning further causing the vehicle to slow down or lose balance. Traction system gets active when the sensors in the vehicle sense a wheel-slip allowing for maximum traction the vehicle can get from the surface.

Where is it Useful or Essential?

You would require traction system when driving on wet, icy, snowy or uneven surfaces including roads that are unkempt or gravelly. It is also useful when you are driving on slushy or muddy surfaces where the friction is not too high and also during moving up/down a hilly track. Traction control, however, does not work on surfaces that are entirely frictionless, so this feature would only be active on surfaces that have some amount of friction on them.

How Traction Control Actually Works

Modern high-end vehicles come equipped with traction control systems that work in conjunction with multiple electric solenoids and sensors to keep a check on the transmission output, wheel speed, and units that have an impact on the application of engine power to the wheels and suspension systems. The aim of any good traction control system is to minimize the wheel spin and keep the vehicle stable.

Modern vehicles make use of electronic traction control systems that are an integral part of the ABS system (Anti-locking Brakes System). This type of traction control uses sensors such as transmission speed sensors and wheel sensors amongst others embedded in the ABS that monitor wheel speed and gauge the wheel’s capacity to maintain friction. The feature is automatically activated or engaged as soon as the sensors feel that a specific wheel has lost friction or is turning faster than the others. The engine power to that particular wheel is regulated or reduced temporarily in such a situation to optimize wheel spin.

Traction Control is An Essential Part of The ABS System

The ABS system provides support to the system allowing it to effectively make use of all the friction available on a surface and provide wheel spin control. The traction control feature in this regard is an essential part of the ABS system. As opposed to the ABS that triggers when you need to stop your car, traction control activates when the vehicle is pushed to accelerate. It reduces the speed of the tires in order to provide them a better grip on a low-friction surface. This stops the wheel-spin enabling your vehicle to move forward on the slippery surface without slipping. Traction control hence must be turned on at all times for your vehicle to avoid skidding or slippage and enjoy a safe ride on a snowy and wet surface.

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