Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Check Traction Control

A message on my 2002 Windstar SEL has been appearing on my dash - “Check traction control”. A couple of other icons light up on the dash also." The message will go away when I press CLEAR, but I have to shut the car ignition of and turn on again to get all the dash lights back to normal. My manual provides very little help, except take to dealer for repair. What could be the problem causing this?

Would those other icons that are lighting up on the dash be the ABS and Check Engine lights? If so, the problem could be as simple as dirty ABS wheel speed sensors and tone rings. As these are one of many inputs to the Traction/Stability Control system. Have these components inspected for accumulation of debris and cleaned if any is found with sensor safe brake parts cleaner. If that doesn’t fix the problem, then it’s time to plug in a scanner that can retrieve the DTC’s for these various systems.


Yes, the ABS is one of them, but there is at least another. The Check Engine light has been on solid for at least a year and a half. I just don’t recall what the other icon was. Thank you for your response.

Do you know why the check engine light is on?

Don’t you think it would be important to find out what the car is trying to tell you? “The Check Engine light has been on solid for at least a year and a half.” Your car has other issues, and is trying to tell you what they are. And they could also be related. Get the codes read. Many auto parts stores do it for free.

get down to AutoZone or Advance Auto and have those codes read.
If you’ve owned this car since new, the owner’s manual should tell you what those icons really mean.

Guy’s! The auto parts stores have code readers for only the engine management system. These code readers are unable to pull DTC’s for the ABS and Traction/Stability Control systems.


We know that, Tester, but his CEL has been on for 1-1/2 years! There may be a connection, like a VSS problem, that can be fixed cheaper.

You’re correct. The VSS is one of the inputs to the T/S Control system. But if that were the problem when the Check Engine light initially came on, the ABS and T/S Control warning lights would have also come on. So the Check Engine light is on because of some unrelated issue with the ABS/T/S Control systems.


Have The Wheel Bearings Checked For Excessive Play, Also.


Yes, I had the codes read at an Advanced Auto store. The result was that two banks were running lean. I concluded that I was still getting good gas mileage, then and now, after now having 106,000 miles on the van. I bought it with 5,600 miles. I sure appreciate all the response to my request.

Was the cause of the lean condition determined? And what are the other warning indicators on your dash? It seems to that your vehicle has multiple problems. It’s unlikely the problems will fix themselves. Ignoring warning lights is a good way ensure hefty repair bills down the road.