Steps of How To Turn Traction Control On

To turn the traction control on, find the traction control button. It should be near the dashboard or the gear selector. Press it and check the dashboard. You can also turn your traction control on using DIC control and the display panel. Go through the display menu and find the traction settings option. Select the traction on and then exit. 

Traction control system helps your tires to get the proper grip while driving through muddy terrain or wherever you need traction. But what if you turn off the traction control system accidentally? How to turn traction control on? 

But is there any other method? Besides, do you even need to keep it on every time? How to turn it off then? So many questions, read to find out more. 

How To Turn Traction Control On?

Before you get to know the process, usually traction control starts by default whenever you start your engine. Usually, you only need to turn on the traction separately if it is turned off by mistake or on purpose. 

So, how to turn traction control on? You have to press the traction control button. Typically, in cars like Toyota Camry, Toyota Corolla, and Highlander, it is quite easy to find.

How To Turn Traction Control On With Button?

Applicable to: 

  1. Chevy Cruze (2008-2016)
  2. Chevy Tahoe 2016
  3. Dodge Ram 1500 (2019 – Present)
  4. Ford f150
  5. Honda Civic
  6. Toyota Corolla
  7. Toyota Camry
  8. Toyota Highlander

Following are the steps of turning the traction control on:

  • Find the traction control button. It is in your center console (GMC Yukon 2017, Audi Q5 2017- Present) or near the gear shift (BMW x3 Series, GMC Acadia 2018). We have added how it will look in the picture below. If you can’t find it, check your user manual. 
  • Press the button. You can either press it once or for 03-05 seconds.
  • Check the dashboard to see if the traction message is still there.

This is what the button looks like

The Traction Control button is the one in the center with the car symbol. 

In a few other models, it is addressed by other names such as

Electronic Stabilization Program ESP in Audi A4 B6 (2000 – 2006) and Dynamic Traction Control DTC in BMW 1 Series but the overall process is the same. 

How To Turn Traction Control On With Driver Information Center DIC Control?

Applicable to: 

  • Chevy Equinox 2020
  • Ford Focus (2012-2019)

The process slightly varies based on the model but the overall gist is similar. Let’s see examples of two such models. 

Following are the steps to turning traction control on Chevy Equinox 2020 with DIC button

Step 1: Click the ‘Check’ button (identified by a tick mark) in your DIC control at the steering wheel and keep an eye on the display panel in front of you. 

Step 2: After that, keep pressing the left arrow button in the DIC Control until you stumble across the display with Info and Options.

Step 3: Go to the Options and then press the ‘Check’ button. 

Step 4: You will find the Traction Control Option in the display. Press the right arrow button.

Step 5: Then if you want to turn your traction control on, press the down arrow and then select it.

Step 6: Next you click on Exit and then the left arrow button and then Info. This will bring you back to the main menu.

Following are the steps of turning traction control on Ford Focus (2012-2019)

Step 1: Press OK in the DIC Control at your steering wheel. 

Step 2: Look at the display panel and you will find the information center. Hit the left arrow button and you will find the Menu.

Step 3: Then press the lower arrow button and you will find the Information and then Settings.

Step 4: Then hit OK to the Driver Assist and finally on Traction Control.

Step 5: Make necessary adjustments on your traction system (press ok to turn it off or back on) and then exit. 

How To Turn Traction Control On With Car Information Display?

Applicable to: 

  • Volkswagen Golf

This is the how you turn on the traction system on Volkswagen Golf VII

Step 1: Go to the car information display and press the CAR button.

Step 2: Go to the settings.

Step 3: Enter ‘ESC System’ and press ‘Activated’.

Therefore, as you can see, turning on the traction control is easy. You can do it by yourself and do not require technical expertise.  

How To Know If the Traction Control Is On?

The traction control light illuminates for a few seconds after you start your engine. If the light turns off almost immediately, it means your traction control system is working just fine.

Also, if it starts blinking while you are driving through a slippery or muddy road, you don’t need to worry. It shows that your traction control system is engaged and the wheel is getting the proper grip.

But if the traction control light stays on without blinking then there is a problem. It means either your traction control system is turned off or there is a fault in the system itself. 

So, can you drive with the traction control light on? Yes, you can but get it fixed as soon as possible and drive carefully where there’s a chance of losing traction. 


In short, you can either check it through looking at the car’s dashboard while starting the engine or while driving the car. If the traction control light is on without blinking, you need to get the traction control system fixed.  

Should You Turn Traction Control Off?

Yes, there are a few cases where you should turn off the traction control for better performance.

Despite what we discussed up to this point, there are benefits of turning traction control off. In certain cases, your traction control will make it harder for you to drive the car. So what are such cases?

Stuck In Mud/snow 

If your traction control system stays on, it will prevent your car from moving while stuck in deep mud or snow. Turn off your traction control for better maneuverability. However, turn the traction control back on once you’re out of the mud/snow. 

Driving in Steep Hill

While going up a steep hill, you need more spinning from your wheels. So for better control you should turn off the traction control

Recreational Purposes

We don’t recommend you do it but let’s say you wanna make donuts in the snow or in the parking lot. You need to spin your wheels a lot for that. Yes, you need to turn off the traction control to make that donut. 

Using Tire Chain 

Tire chains are necessary for icy conditions. Now, if you are using a tire chain to drive through a snowy road you should turn off the traction control for better traction of the wheels.

How to Turn Off Traction Control?

To turn the traction control off, follow the procedure we’ve mentioned above just make the traction control off rather than off.

If your car has a traction control off button, pressing that button again will turn the traction control off.

If you need to do it from the DIC control or from the information display, select “OFF” to turn the traction control off.

With that pointed out, now you should know how to both turn on and off the traction control. More importantly, in what situations you may need to turn off the traction control. 


Is Traction Control the Same As Stability Control? 

No, they are not the same. Traction control helps to tighten the grip of your tire on the roads. It does that by controlling the wheel spinning on slippery or bumpy roads. Stability control provides stability by avoiding oversteering or understeering. 

Does Traction Control Take More Engine Power?

Traction Control itself does not need more gas. But its key function is to reduce spinning of the wheel. It does that by limiting power flow to the wheel. So, even though it can manipulate the power flow it does not require more engine power for itself. 

Does Turning On Traction Control Turn the ESC On As Well?

Yes, turning on the Traction control system, turns on the ESC.. For the safety of your car, both TCS and ESC should work properly. Now, whenever the traction control system is working it means that the ESC is working as well. 


With the steps discussed here, we hope that you know how to turn traction control on. The best part is how easy it is and does not require any professional help. However, always make sure to go through your car’s user manual for any details.

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William Baldwin

This Is William Baldwin, The Founder & Managing Editor of this website. Me and my team share automotive tips, tricks, and news

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Talha Atta

Talha Atta, a Mechanical Engineer and experienced technical content writer and editor at with a passion for the automotive industry.