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Tech Talk | Traction Control

Traction control is brought up frequently with automotive enthusiasts, but what does it really mean and why do some drivers frown upon it?

Traction Control works most commonly by sensing the difference in wheel speeds from the four-separate tires. This difference in wheel speeds tells the car that one wheel is starting to spin faster than the others – that is, it has essentially lost traction. To counteract this spinning wheel, the car either cuts power or applies the brake to that wheel to keep the driver from exacerbating the loss of traction.

This intervention is why many enthusiasts are not fond of systems like traction control. The technology was initially intended to help when drivers lose control, however, sometimes the driver is intentionally trying to spin the tires to do something ‘fun’ that the car’s system deems unsafe.