What Are The Benefits Of Turning Traction Control Off?

Are there any benefits of turning traction control off? Let’s follow along with Car From Japan! What keeps a car spinning out of control and smashing into something when the driver turns around corners at a high speed? A traction control. 

By reducing unwanted drifting and wheel spins, this safety option makes it safer and easier to drive on slippery surfaces and around tight corners. 

What Is Traction Control?

Traction control is an automobile safety feature that helps a car to make use of all available traction on the surface in certain conditions. The feature kicks in when your car struggles to speed up on slippery or low-friction road surfaces. 

The system has wheel speed sensors for monitoring the rotation speed of all front wheels and a hydraulic modulator that pumps the brakes.

When the sensors detect wheel slippage during acceleration, they send information to the electronic control unit (ECU). The ECU also continuously monitors the rotation speed of the wheels to check if they are losing traction. 

If that is the case, it commands the hydraulic modulator to pump the brake, which involves applying and releasing the brake in quick succession, to the affected wheel.

traction control benefits
Traction control helps when turning around corners (Photo: Moto arc)


The traction control applies the brakes to slow the car down until it gains sufficient traction. In some vehicles, the system decreases engine power to the wheels experiencing traction loss.

How Does Traction Control Work?

Before knowing the benefits of turning traction control off, you should have a clear idea about its functions and how it helps in certain conditions.

This system is completely dependent on the traction control sensor or sensors. Due to the fact that there are four of these sensors, one on each wheel. Wheel speed sensors are another name for these sensors.

They are intended to measure the speed of the wheel. A tone ring on each wheel revolves as the wheel rotates around the axle. This tone ring also has grooves on it.

The tone ring detects the motion of the tone ring as the wheel rotates and records the input. This data is then sent to the powertrain control module.

The throttle actuator receives input from the powertrain control module. The engine then does its magic. 

It either reduces the gasoline to the engine, forcing it to slow down, or it slightly delays the ignition timing, causing the engine to slow down but the wheels not to spin. This system employs more ways, although these are the most prevalent.

This procedure begins instantly when the wheel sensors detect even a tiny loss of traction.

They will not enable your automobile to sway even slightly. This method will keep you on the road and prevent you from getting into a risky scenario and maybe injuring yourself.

Benefits Of Turning Traction Control Off

Why turn off traction control? You need the feature only in certain conditions, especially when the road is slippery. 

The conditions where this off-mode traction control will come in handy are:

When your car gets stuck, turning off traction control can assist.

While traction control can assist in keeping your automobile going in a straight path in rain or snow, it can also prevent your car from moving forward if it becomes stuck in the snow or sand. If your car becomes stuck in the snow, chances are one of the wheels is spinning.

While logic suggests that leaving traction control on may assist, because it cuts power to the wheel that keeps spinning, it may actually cut power altogether, which will exacerbate the condition. 

In such an instance, switch off the traction control system so you may utilize the “rocking” approach to ultimately get the car out (reverse the car a few inches, then advance a few inches).

traction control assist
When your car gets stuck, turning off traction control can assist. (Photo: The Sun)

Driving or speeding up on an uphill road where the surface feels loose because of gravels and stones or slippery.

Another instance where traction control might be problematic is when driving up a long and steep snowy hill. 

Again, you would believe that traction control can help in this circumstance, but it may not since it might cause the wheels to slip and stop power to them entirely.

While driving up a steep and slick hill, the system limiting power to the wheels might force you to go nowhere fast. It can be hazardous sometimes. 

In this scenario, switch off the traction control and drive gently up the slope, which will be made simpler if your vehicle is equipped with snow tires, chains, or cables.

Accelerating on an icy road when you are at a green traffic light with cars lining behind you.

In this situation, turning off traction control can have potential benefits, but it also comes with significant risks like increased chance of loss of control or difficulty in stopping

Traction control is designed to limit wheel slip and improve stability during acceleration, especially on slippery surfaces like ice. However, there are scenarios where temporarily disabling traction control might be advantageous:

  • Controlled wheel spin: By turning off traction control, you gain the ability to modulate the amount of wheel spin manually. Gentle wheel spin can help you maintain forward momentum on an icy surface where tires might otherwise struggle to find traction.
  • More predictable acceleration: Traction control can sometimes be overly sensitive on extremely slippery surfaces, leading to abrupt cuts in power and unpredictable vehicle behavior. Disabling it allows you to have more predictable and smoother acceleration.

Given the risks involved, it is generally safer to keep traction control when driving on icy roads, especially in situations where other vehicles are around you.

When the wheels lose traction due to hitting a muddy patch on a road.

In this scenario, turning off traction control might provide some benefits:

  • Regain momentum: In some cases, when your wheels lose traction due to a muddy patch, turning off traction control may allow the tires to spin more freely. This increased wheel spin could help clear the mud from the tire treads and potentially obtain forward momentum.
  • Easier maneuvering: On some off-road or unpaved surfaces, like muddy trails, turning off traction control might allow for easier maneuvering by letting the wheels slip and adapt to the uneven terrain.
why turn off traction control
Turning off the system increases fuel-economy (Photo: Cars)

Disadvantages of Turning Traction Control Off

Aside from the benefits of turning traction control off, there are several disadvantages or risks associated with turning off the traction control on cars.

Assume it is pouring outside and the roads are extremely slick. You’re driving your rear-wheel-drive automobile along the road when you abruptly lose control, with no warning or awareness that anything like this may happen.

In this position, you may collide with anything sideways and end up in a tree or a wall. Or even take part in a rollover. These scenarios have the potential to take your life.

This is why you must have traction control activated on a rear-wheel-drive vehicle. You simply cannot operate a rear-wheel-drive vehicle without traction control.

Not to mention that the life of your tires will be greatly reduced, and you will have difficulty driving the car. 

FAQs on Turning Traction Control Off

  1. What causes the abs and traction control lights to turn on?

Most of the time, this problem is caused by a lack of braking fluid or a problem with the master cylinder. Wheel speed sensor issues or a faulty ABS module. These are the most often encountered problems.

  1. How do you know traction control is functioning properly?

Traction control is something you won’t realize is operating until you need it. Even if it’s turned on, you won’t notice it on your daily commute. 

When you lose traction and the traction control comes in, the light will flash momentarily to signal that it is striving to restore traction.

  1. How do traction and stability control differ?

A lesser-known safety function is stability control. But it’s still there, and it’s assisting you in staying safe while driving.

While traction and stability control are not the same thing, they work in tandem to provide a safe driving experience. They employ the same sensors in all four wheels, as well as the ABS that is already in your vehicle. 

Similarly to how traction control provides brakes to a wheel that is spinning too rapidly, the stability control system will apply brakes to a wheel that is not performing the correct movement.

  1. Is traction control more fuel-efficient?

Traction control has little influence on fuel economy. It is rarely utilized, and even when it is, it has no effect on your gasoline.

Check out this video from Helpful DIY for more information about traction control!

Final Words

Wrapping up our notices on benefits of turning traction control off, remember that not having traction control does not affect the safety standard of a vehicle unless you are driving on slippery roads or turning corners at high speeds.

The truth is no person in their right mind would try to drive that fast around corners.

Another thing every driver should keep in mind is that safe driving practices are the best way to reap the benefits of traction control. Avoid aggressive driving, including unnecessary speeding, acceleration around highway curves, and tailgating.