Understanding TRAC OFF light

What does the TRAC OFF light actually mean? Well, read more to know. There are several warning lights on your Toyota dashboard that will illuminate when something is wrong. The TRAC OFF light can be alarming, but it doesn’t have to be.

TRAC off-light

Toyota vehicles are renowned for their superior quality and longevity. Unfortunately, even the best vehicles can have issues. It’s crucial to understand what the TRAC OFF light mean if you have a Toyota and they turn on while you’re driving, as well as the best action to take.

Well, in this article, the answers to the following questions will be discussed:

  • What does the TRAC OFF light mean?
  • What causes the TRAC OFF light to come on?
  • Is it safe to drive with the TRAC OFF light on?
  • When should the TRAC be turned off?
  • How can you fix the TRAC OFF light?
  • Read more: Everything you need to know about a car SRS light

Ok, Let’s get to it.


What does the TRAC OFF light mean?

The TRAC OFF light on your Toyota vehicle indicates that the Traction Control system is off. So, what is a traction control system? A traction control system, also referred to as an ASR, is typically a supplementary function of the electronic stability control on production vehicles and is intended to prevent loss of traction of the driven road wheels.

Depending on the model of the vehicle you drive, the TRAC OFF light may look different. On the dashboard, you may sometimes see the letters “TRAC OFF.” Alternately, there might be a picture of a car with lines bending in the opposite direction of the tires.

The light can sometimes indicate that you manually turned off the system, whereas other times it might mean that there is a problem with the traction control.

The VSC (vehicle stability control) light might also be visible if you activated the traction control system. The Check Engine Light or other MILs may also illuminate on the dashboard during a malfunction, further revealing what the issue may be.

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What causes the TRAC off light to come on?

Below are the main things that causes the TRAC off light to come on:

The TRAC off light was manually turned off

You accidentally turning the system off is the main cause of the TRAC OFF light turning on. The traction system can be activated or deactivated by pressing the button.

The dashboard will let you know when it’s off, so you’ll know it needs to be turned back on. All that’s required to turn it back on is to push the switch.

The vehicle stability control frequently deactivates when the traction control system is manually turned off. The VSC light might also be displayed on the dashboard, along with a graphic of a car sliding on the road and the words “OFF.”

An issue with your traction control or engine control system may be present if your dashboard displays both the Trac Off and Check Engine lights.

Unstable road traction

If your car’s traction control light is blinking on the dashboard, you may be driving on a slippery surface, and the vehicle may be skidding. If this is the case, the light won’t turn on permanently until the situation on the road changes.

Snow or ice is the most frequent cause of this condition. However, even a moderate amount of rain might cause reduced traction, which causes a temporary failure.

Brakes have been replaced recently

If your brakes have recently been replaced, that could be one cause for the TRAC Off light turning on. The Toyota anti-lock braking system (ABS) may not work with the new brakes, which could turn on the warning light.

The traction control system’s sensors are very close to the brakes, so if they are malfunctioning, they may also cause the light to come on.

Faulty wheel speed sensor

A common cause of the TRAC Off light turning on is a problem with the wheel speed sensor. The sensors are found inside each wheel, and they aid the ABS in determining the speed of each wheel’s rotation. The TRAC Off light may turn on if one of the sensors isn’t functioning properly.

Wheel speed sensors in your car provide data to the traction control system and engine control unit. These sensors are in charge of determining the rotational speed of each wheel. The system can receive data that appears to be inaccurate if the sensor malfunctions.

Read more: Reasons a Car’s RPM Fluctuate While Driving

Failure of the steering rack system

Pumping hydraulic fluid into the steering rack allows you to easily turn the wheels while driving. Controlled steering is crucial to maintaining traction. In order for modern steering systems to work properly, a variety of sensors are also used.

You might lose traction control capabilities if the steering rack or any of the sensors, like the steering angle sensor, malfunction. To maintain safety, the traction control system will remain off until the issue is fixed.

Read more: Understanding clock spring

ECU Malfunction

The TRAC Off light can also turn on due to a broken ECU. All of the vehicle’s electronic systems are under the control of the ECU. It may cause the light to turn on if it isn’t functioning properly.

ABS Malfunction

Your on-road handling is also greatly influenced by your anti-lock brake. The traction system may also be turned off if the ABS isn’t working properly. The ABS controller may be involved in the issue. But in addition to the ABS system that we previously covered, the wheel speed sensors are also a part of it.

Read more:

ABS control module issue

The TRAC Off light may also turn on if the ABS control module is broken. The module is in charge of managing the ABS. It may cause the light to turn on if it isn’t functioning properly.

Computer malfunction

Modern automobiles are equipped with a variety of computers, each of which performs a unique set of tasks. The traction control system might act up and shut off on its own if there is a computer malfunction.

Typically, a computer error doesn’t only impact one system. This makes it one of the least likely possibilities on the list, but it’s also the one that stands out the most because a number of other symptoms ought to be present at the same time.

Read more: Lists of the best car head-up display (HUD)

Brake light switch issues

Brake light switch issues are another frequent cause of the TRAC Off light coming on. When you press the brake pedal, the brake lights are triggered by the brake light switch, which is situated close to the pedal. The TRAC Off light could turn on if the switch is broken.

Read more: Understanding automotive braking system

Is it safe to drive with the TRAC off light on?

The traction control feature of your vehicle will not function if the TRAC Off light is on while you are driving. Being unfamiliar with driving without traction control can lead to issues and perhaps major accidents if you are not completely aware of it.

While driving with the traction control light on is usually safe, there are several situations where it is not. Your entire braking system could be impacted if the traction control, anti-lock braking system, and red brake warning lights are illuminated.

Read more: Is it safe to drive a car with the SRS airbag light on?

When should the TRAC be turned off?

You might need to turn off TRAC or VSC if your Toyota becomes stuck in mud or snow. When you’re stuck, the systems could reduce the amount of power going from the engine to the wheels, which is not ideal.

TRAC off light

It may be easier to rock your car out of the mud or snow if the systems are disabled. You only need to press the TRAC OFF button to turn it off. When the TRAC OFF indicator appears on your dashboard, you will know you were successful. Just press the button once more to turn it back on.

How can you fix the TRAC off light?

It’s easy to fix the problem if you mistakenly turn off the traction control system. To restart the traction control, all you have to do is push the button. In most Toyota vehicles, the TRAC OFF button is often located to the left of the steering wheel. Try pressing the button once again to see if it fixes the issue.

You can turn off the engine and restart it, just like you would with a computer that was acting up. If the traction light stays off, the issue has been fixed on its own, and you don’t need to be worried. If not, you can read DTCs with a scanner.

You should use your scanner to read the diagnostic trouble codes if the other solutions haven’t worked or if there are other dashboard lights. If the Check Engine light and TRAC OFF light both illuminate, you must immediately take this action.

You should be able to identify the problem more clearly with the code scanner. Before spending too much time worrying about the Trac Off light, we recommend fixing anything that appears. There is a chance that the solution will fix the traction control system issue.

Reach out to a professional if you’re not sure what the trouble codes mean or if you’re having problems identifying the issue. It’s possible that a more complicated problem is developing that you won’t be able to fix.

Even though hiring a professional will cost more than doing the repair yourself, you can be sure it will be done. You have two options for this diagnosis: either spend a little more to go to your nearby dealership or hire an independent mechanic.


What causes the “Trac Off” light to come on?

If the TRAC OFF light appears on your Toyota dashboard, you have likely pressed the TRAC OFF button, which is most likely found on the left side of the steering wheel.

Can I drive my car if the “Trac Off” light is on?

While driving with the traction control light on is usually safe, there are several situations where it is not. Your entire braking system could be impacted if the traction control, anti-lock braking system, and red brake warning lights are illuminated.

How do you fix a trac off light?

Be sure to come to a complete stop. Put the car in park. Hold down the VSC button for a few seconds,
The indicator lights for TRAC OFF and VSC OFF will turn on. Now, neither system is operating.
Once more, press the VSC button. As soon as both lights go out, the systems are back in operation.

Why won’t my trac off light turn off?

When the warning indicator light on the dashboard illuminates, there may be a number of problems present, including faulty steering angle sensors, faulty rotational speed sensors, and faulty wheel speed sensors, as well as a steering rack issue.

How do you fix TRAC off on a Toyota?

To avoid wheelspin and additional downshifting, the traction control is turned on and off by the TRAC system. Press and release the button quickly to turn off the TRAC system. The TRAC OFF indicator should activate. To restart the system, press the switch once again.

Can low tire pressure cause the traction control light to come on?

These inaccurate or imprecise signals may inadvertently activate the traction control or ABS systems. The change in tire pressure may have also resulted in the ABS light turning on, depending on the signal sent from the wheel speed sensors to the ABS system.

Is the traction control light serious?

By maintaining traction on a slippery surface, the traction-control light typically indicates that your car is in good working order, but it can also indicate that some sensors or wires are damaged. At the first sign of difficulty, take your car to a reputable auto repair shop to keep yourself and others safe on the road.

How much does it cost to fix the traction control?

Switch for the traction control system: Replacing the switch could cost between $111 and $125. Included in this are labor costs ($56–$71) and replacement parts ($54). Wheel speed sensor: The estimated cost of replacing a wheel speed sensor is $208 to $250, which includes labor expenses of $62 to $78 and parts costs of $147 to $177.

What happens if you drive with the traction control off?

When driving in bad weather without traction control, your car may spin out and veer off the road. Make sure your traction control is turned on if you are driving on a slippery road in order to maintain your vehicle’s stability.

What causes traction control to malfunction?

Wheel speed sensors are most frequently affected by issues with traction control or ABS. These sensors are slightly sensitive because of their mild exposure to the weather. Dirt or other buildups may prevent the magnetic performance of the traction control sensors or anti-lock braking sensors.

Does traction control affect steering?

Traction control, unlike ESC, is not intended to assist in steering and instead maintains traction under acceleration by providing individual wheel brakes and throttle.

Does traction control reduce engine power?

The traction control system of the car is related to the Stability Track light. In an effort to limit further damage and ensure the safety of the passengers, the computer frequently switches the car into a reduced power phase when it detects a problem with this system.

That is all for this article, where we discussed the answers to the following questions:

  • What does the TRAC off-light mean?
  • What causes the TRAC off light to come on?
  • Is it safe to drive with the TRAC off light on?
  • When should the TRAC be turned off?
  • How can you fix the TRAC off-light?

I hope you learn a lot from the reading. If you do, kindly share it with others. Thanks for reading; see you around!