Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Mustang Traction Control Issue

I have a 2011 mustang with a TCM problem. Recently, the traction control has been acting odd. Sometimes it will work (when it feels like it) and sometimes the TC warning light will come on saying TC is disabled. If I turn the car off and restart the engine when this happens, it will usually start working again. It seems completely random as to when I can turn it on. However I can always turn it off if it’s on to begin with.

However yesterday I was driving with traction control ON and when on the highway, it randomly turned off and the TC warning light came on. This caused the engine to stall and the vehicle to not accelerate (it was as though the car was in neutral when this happened. The engine would revv but there was no power to the wheels and the car was freely rolling.) This was extremely dangerous as there were people behind me and it nearly caused an accident. Fortunately I was able to get over to the side of the road using the little momentum I already had, despite having no power to the wheels.

I was aware the traction control was finnicky but I had no idea that if it did happen to be working and it was ON and then if it turned off WHILE driving that it would cause the engine to stall. This is extremely dangerous and common sense would not suggest this at all. Is this normal?

My main question is: In the meantime can I just make sure traction control is turned off everytime I get in my car until I get it fixed? Logically speaking, it seems it only stalls when it’s on and then the TCM light comes on and turns it off. If I already made sure it was off when I first start the car before driving, then I should be ok to drive it until I can get it fixed? Based on the issue, it seems unlikely that the car would randomly turn it ON if I had it off to begin with, it only seems to either not work sometimes when I first turn the car on OR randomly disable it and turn it off when I have it on but not the other way around

Normally it won’t do that. Ford did not design it that way.

You don’t have a traction control problem, you have a traction control warning because the car thinks it has a TCS problem.

You need the car scanned by a device that can check error codes stored in the ABS controller as well as the ECU. Scannng the car while you try to trigger the TC light will allow the mechanic to identify this transient problem.

You can certainly try turning TC off everytime but I doubt that will keep the problem away. It won’t hurt anything if that is your concern.

You say the engine stalled and revved at the same time. That makes no sense. Please clarify which actually happened.


One problem that can cause this is a bad signal from one of the ABS sensors. It could be very intermittent at first but usually causes an ABS light and Brake light as well. The most common cause of the ABS sensor issue is a bad wheel bearing. I’d start there. A scanner will tell you which hub is the problem.