TCS – Traction Control System

A Traction Control System (TCS) can work in a number of different ways but the end goal is always the same – to stop a wheel (or wheels) from slipping unintentionally, helping the car to maintain grip.

Excessive wheel spin occurs when the power being delivered through the drivetrain is too much for one or more of the driving wheels to handle, causing them to lose traction and start to spin at a higher rate than the other wheels.

A traction control system detects when a wheel starts to spin significantly faster than the other wheels and applies corrective action to stop the wheel from spinning excessively, thereby maintaining grip with the road surface.

Things to be aware of:
  • Traction control is often (but not always) part of an <a href="/learn-to-speak-car/esc-electronic-stability-control/">Electronic Stability Control</a> (ESC) system. Traction control systems are not the same as ESC systems – a traction control system tends to monitor and correct wheels that spin excessively, while a stability control system is generally used to take corrective action in the event that a vehicle starts sliding while cornering.
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