Traction Control Light On After Changing Tires- [Explained!!]

The TCS light might come on after changing tires if they’re the wrong size or for improper tire pressure. Also, if the wheel speed sensor gets damaged during the tire installation, the TCS light will come on.

Just after you’ve changed the tires, the traction control system TCS light came on. This is a quite common problem for car owners. 

So, you want to know why the traction control light on after changing tires?

But, this is just a short summary. Thus, we’ve tried to explain the topic more throughout the article.

TCS Light On after Changing Tires- Reasons and Solutions

The TCS light is a warning light for the traction loss of your vehicle. If there is something wrong with your vehicle’s tires, you’re bound to experience it. So, we’ve listed the tire issues that might generate this problem:

Wrong Size TiresMatch all tires with original tire size
Improper tire pressureAdjust tire pressure
Damaged Wheel Speed SensorReplace wheel speed sensors

Now, let’s explain them in detail.

Reason 1: Wrong Size Tires

If the tire size is wrong (meaning the tires you have put on your car, have size different from what the tire size your car ECU knows) the TCS system will think that the wheels are moving at different speeds. 

If the height or can say diameter of the tires is wrong/different, then the center of gravity changes. Thus, your vehicle will try to move towards one side. 

A misconception to talk about here is tread depth. New tires might have a different tread depth than the other tires. Thus, the wheel speeds may vary a bit. But, a certain amount of tolerance is built into the wheel speed sensors. So, this shouldn’t be a problem. 

These problems will be detected by the TCS system. Thus, the TCS light will come on. 

Solution: Match with Original Tire Size

The solution is to always use tires which match the dimensions of your original tire. Also, make sure that all the tires are of the same size. Or, the vehicle will feel unstable while riding.

You can find the correct tire size in your car’s door jamb or in the owner’s manual.

Reason 2: Improper Tire Pressure

If the tire is installed with improper tire pressure, you’ll hear a flapping sound while driving. You won’t be able to smoothly turn your vehicle. The stopping distance will be greater due to lower traction. 

Also, due to improperly inflated tires, the TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) light will come on along with the TCS light. Because the TPMS sensor will detect low tire pressure.  

Solution: Adjust Tire Pressure

Adjusting the tire pressure should solve your problem. You can take your car to the nearest service station. They should have an air pump where you can set the desired pressure. 

You can find the right tire pressure for your vehicle on the door jamb or in the owner’s manual. Now, there’s one additional step.  If your TPMS sensor isn’t built into your wheel speed sensor, you’ll have to reset it. So, how to reset the TPMS sensor?

First, turn on the ignition key but don’t start your car. Keep on holding the TPMS reset button, until the TPMS light blinks three times. Usually, you’ll find the TPMS reset button under the steering wheel. If not, refer to your owner’s manual for the exact location.

Then, start the car and keep it that way for approximately 20 minutes. This will refresh the sensor’s memory. With that, the TPMS sensor is reset and the light will also go away.

Reason 3: Damaged Wheel Speed Sensor

The wheel speed sensor analyzes the rotational speed of each wheel and sends it to the ECU. The ECU uses this information to adjust your wheel speed by reducing torque and/or applying brakes to the respective wheels. The TCS system also works using this information. 

While installing new tires, these sensors might get damaged. It might also be loosely attached and not work properly. So, the whole process breaks down and the TCS and ABS light illuminates. 

Solution: Replace Wheel Speed Sensor

A damaged wheel speed sensor needs to be replaced. You’ll be able to find it on the side of the rear brake assembly. Remove it and detach the sensor’s cable from the vehicle’s frame. Unplug the connector of the sensor and take the sensor off. 

Now, you’ll have to get a new wheel speed sensor according to your vehicle’s model. Replace it with the older one and you’re done. For demonstration, you can watch this video: How to Replace ABS Wheel Speed Sensor – EASY!

And, if the sensor is just loose, tighten it. That should fix your problem.

How to Reset TCS Light?

Even after solving the problems, the TCS light may stay on. In that case, You simply have to reset it. 

In different car models, the TCS light can be reset differently. But, generally, you can use an OBD2 scanner to reset the TCS light on your vehicle. Here’s how you can do it: 

Step 1: Take your OBD2 scanner and connect it to your car’s OBD port. You’ll find the port under your car’s dash. 

Step 2: Keeping the engine off, turn the ignition key on.

Step 3: From the scanner, select the model of your car.

Step 4: If you have a smart key, select it. If you don’t, go with the regular option. Then, choose ‘other’ from the options.

Step 5: Now, select ‘control unit’. Now, you can read codes for different parts of your vehicle. Be sure to select the option which includes TCS in it. The TCS system can also be written as TRC or ASR. Read your owner’s manual for any other abbreviations.

Step 6: Now, press “erase codes” and select “yes” when the scanner shows a warning. Press “Ok” to complete the process. 

This process can be different if you are using a different scanner. We have used a MaxiPRO scanner to reset the light. 

Before you start to diagnose the internal problem of your vehicle, reset it first. If the problem is temporary, it’ll go away with this reset. If not, you’ll be able to take action to fix the problem. Here you should know if you can drive with the TCS light on or not.


How Much Does It Cost to Replace TCS switch?

The cost for traction control switch replacement is about $102-$114. The labor cost for the replacement will be around $56-$71. On the other hand, the switch itself costs approximately $56. This range is applicable to almost all vehicle models. But, it doesn’t include taxes or other fees.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace A Tire?

The standard cost to replace a tire is approximately $50-$200. Although, it depends on the tire’s model and quality. For larger vehicles or SUVs, it can be up to $350. The cost will go up depending on how many times you want to replace. Normally, you should change all your tires together.

Does Traction Control Help Acceleration?

Yes, traction control can help acceleration on slippery terrains. With traction control on, you’ll have faster acceleration while starting from a stopped position. It also helps to accelerate in inclined terrains.

Bottom Line!!

We hope you got to know everything about traction control light on after changing tires. Still, we have a parting tip for you. If the TCS, ABS, and red-brake warning lights are on together, immediately diagnose your vehicle. Thanks, for sticking with us till the end.

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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.