Toyota Highlander Traction Control [Explained]

Toyota Highlander’s traction control system is an advanced security feature designed to prevent wheels from slipping and skidding. The traction control button in Toyota Highlanders is usually labeled as “TRAC” or “VSC”. Its location may differ depending on the year of the model. Also, you’ll find some warning lights in the instrument cluster regarding this system, and all of them have a distinct meaning. 

It’s a brief rundown, dive in for further specifics.

Traction Control On Toyota Highlander

Traction control on Toyota Highlander is an advanced safety and performance feature designed to help maintain stability and ensure traction on the road. As soon as the system detects excessive wheel slip, it activates to prevent the wheels from spinning and losing traction. 

This is achieved by reducing engine power and applying individual brakes to the wheels that are slipping. On slippery roads and in adverse weather conditions, this helps maintain traction and stability. By ensuring a more controlled and stable drive, traction control adds an additional layer of safety and security to the driving experience.

On Toyota Highlanders, the traction control button is typically labeled “TRAC” which stands for Traction Control. You may also find the button labeled Vehicle Stability System “VSC”.

However, some models of Toyota Highlander introduced another version of traction control known as ‘enhanced VSC”. This feature works collaboratively with  ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) TRAC, VSC (Vehicle Stability System), and electric power steering EPS. During slippery conditions, this advanced feature assists in maintaining directional stability.

Therefore, in adverse conditions or during tight cornering this feature can prevent skidding or sliding. 


The Toyota Highlander’s traction control reduced engine power and brakes to slipping wheels to improve stability and traction on the road. Its “enhanced VSC ” version provides additional directional stability during slippery conditions.

Toyota Highlander Traction Control Warning Lights 

The warning lights in the Toyota Highlander traction control systems have different meanings. The system has different warning lights that illuminate in different circumstances. 

Typically you’ll see the following warning lights with certain meanings.

  • TRAC OFF: When the “TRAC OFF” light illuminates, it means that the traction  control system is turned off. 
  • Slip Indicator: The slip indicator is a warning light on the dashboard of a car that typically illuminates when the vehicle’s traction control system detects a loss of traction, usually in slippery road conditions. When the slip indicator light blinks, it means that the system is currently active and attempting to regain traction.

However, if the slip indicator light stays on continuously, it could indicate a malfunction in the traction control system, and it’s recommended to have the vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic to diagnose and repair the issue.

  • VSC OFF: The VSC OFF indicator light indicates that the VSC (Vehicle Stability Control) is turned off. And that time, both the “VSC OFF” and “TRAC OFF” lights will come on. 

Toyota Highlander Traction Control Button Location

The traction control button in the Toyota Highlander is typically found in the center console below the storage shelf. The location of traction control systems, however, may vary from year to year and model to model.

Here is a table that shows you where your Toyota Highlander can be found.

Toyota Highlander Model YearButton SignButton Location
2020-2023Car with two wavy linesBelow the cup holder
2015-2019Car with two wavy linesIn front of the gear shift
2014TRACOn the center console below the storage shelf
2009-2013TRACLeft side of the steering wheel
2004-2008TRACStraight below the steering wheel
2003TRACLeft side of the steering wheel
2001-2002TRACIn front of the gear shifter

Now you can find out the traction control button in your Toyota Highlander quite easily by following this table.

How to Disable Traction Control On Toyota Highlander?

The process to disable the traction control on the Toyota Highlander is quite simple. When you turn the engine on the traction control system becomes enabled automatically. 

However, to disable the traction control, first, find out the traction control button. Then press and hold the TRAC or VSC button for around three seconds. With that, the “VSC OFF” and “TRAC OFF” warning/indicator lights will come on.

In reverse, if you want to turn the traction control system on, simply press on it, and with that, the traction control will be enabled

How To Reset The Traction Control On A Toyota Highlander?

Sometimes the traction control light on Toyota Highlander may illuminate due to software issues. In this case, you need to reset the traction control light

AS we already discussed the location, let’s discuss the process.

  1. Press and hold the VSC button for a few seconds until the light begins to flash.
  2. Press the button again to deactivate the system.
  3. If the light continues to flash, hold the button for a few more seconds and then release it.
  4. Turn off the vehicle, restart it, and check if the light has gone away.
  5. To verify that the system is functioning properly, activate and deactivate the system by pressing the button and observing the light.

For further discussion regarding the traction control reset procedure, you can check out how to reset the traction control on Toyota.


At What Speed Do Cars Lose Traction In Rain?

In heavy rain, a vehicle can lose traction with the road at around 50 mph. However, poorly worn or bald tires can cause traction loss at lower speeds. Also, the road condition and the overall circumstances can vary in this range.

What Are 3 Factors That Can Cause A Loss Of Traction?

The three factors that can cause a loss of traction are (1) Road conditions, such as ice, snow, or frost; (2) Vehicle conditions, such as worn tires or malfunctioning brakes; and (3) Driver actions, such as sudden braking or acceleration.

Does Traction Control Affect All-Wheel Drive?

Yes, traction control affects all-wheel drive vehicles as the system helps maintain stability by distributing power to the wheels with the most traction. All-wheel drive vehicles, especially on slippery surfaces, can benefit from traction control, which increases their performance and handling.


This was the bee’s knees when it comes to the Toyota Highlander Traction control system. Hopefully, you’ve got a 360-degree idea regarding this issue. Use all the safety features that are offered to your vehicle for the sake of safety. 

Be careful and stay safe on track!

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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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