Ford Explorer Traction Control Problems (All The Quick Fixes)

Ford explorers are a household name in the car scene. It’s also famous for some of its recurring problems.

The traction control problem is certainly one of them. No one likes seeing a flashing light on their dashboard all the time.

So, what can be done about ford explorer traction control problems?

Traction control is responsible for delivering engine power and applying brakes. In your tires when it needs to get better grip and control. Mainly the sensor located on the areas of the tires gets damaged and an error occurs. It can also be caused by ABS problems as they use the same sensors.

That’s the basic idea. But surely, you’d need more information to pinpoint what’s wrong. And we have an article just for that!

So let’s get right into it!

Why Is Traction Control Important?

Image source:

Traction control is a system implemented in your car that helps gain control on slippery roads. Since 2012 all cars and light trucks need to have this according to the law.

Before that many cars had an anti-braking system or the ABS that worked in a similar fashion. And from 2012 cars come equipped with both traction control and ABS. Like the force fusion traction control or the ford edge traction control light.

They both use the same sensor placed near the car tires. So most times if any one of them encounters an error, they show together.

On slippery roads, your car’s rpm might be high enough to lose traction. That can cause dangerous scenarios like rollover & skidding.

The traction control senses the car’s RPMs and matches them according to acceleration. The sensors can reduce the rpm of the tires individually and balance out slipping. Also, it delivers less engine power when the road is slippery.

This helps in gaining more control over your vehicle. And makes driving in the rainy or winter season much safer and easier.

Common Problems In Traction Control Systems

Image source:

Ford explorers much like any other cars come equipped with ABS and traction control systems.

The traction control system and ABS sensors and wiring are placed near the tires. And that’s the place where the car endures the most punishment.

Whether rain, snow, or road debris, the tire area has to endure the most difficulty while running. So the sensors placed there are also more vulnerable to damage.

The wires and sensors located at each wheel have to endure snow, potholes, water, and much more. They take quite a lot of beating and can get damaged easily.

Thus there can be a failure of the traction control system quite often. However, in normal weather there’s nothing to worry about.

Most times drivers will manually turn off the traction control system. While driving in dry weather. Because then you have more control over the speed and handling of your car.

And if your tires get stuck in mud or snow. The traction control system will not allow you to use your full potential to come out of it.

So you need to turn it off yourself. In that case, you have to know how to turn off traction control ford explorer or other models which you own. And use the age-old method of rocking back and forth to move along.

Mainly, if there is something wrong with your traction control system. You will see a light blinking or shining on your display.

The sign might be different. But it usually depicts a car losing control.

If you see that sign, you can’t be sure though. Because if there is something wrong with the ABS. That can trigger this signal too.

Also, you should be seeing a traction control light turning on if you’re running on slippery roads. That means that your traction control is actually working and doing its job properly.

But if you’re driving on a perfectly fine road, the light is still on. Then that could mean there is something wrong with your traction control as well.

So, what can be the causes behind the 2012 ford explorer traction control problems? Let’s check them out!

What Causes the Problems & What Can You Do About It?

Image source:

We’ve seen that the traction control working light, and problem light both can be indicating problems. So now we’re gonna talk about what can cause that problem.

1. ABS Malfunction

ABS or anti-braking system is also an important system that ensures the proper control of the car. The anti-braking system can sense your tire’s speed and apply brakes according to the need.

Anti braking system or ABS indeed stops your car faster. But the main goal that it has is to stop skidding and avoid accidents.

In some models, the ABS system and the traction control have individual sensors for the tires.

But in most cars, it uses the same sensors that traction control uses.

They share the same control module and the same self-diagnostic system. So if there is anything wrong with the ABS. Both the ABS signal and traction control light in the dashboard might light up.

2. Damaged Wheel Speed Sensors

The electronic sensors that the traction light works on are placed near the four tires. And these are the places that withstand the most roughness.

All the dirt from the road, potholes, residue, and all that can damage those sensors pretty easily. And a damaged sensor will send corrupted data.

But sometimes they need a quick software update. Which you can get for free in most car repair workshops.

3. Traction Control Module Problems

The traction control module might get damaged too. The wires connecting them could suffer and not be able to send signals.

If that’s what causes the error, you need to replace it. And you should leave it at the hand of a professional.

Now that you know about what could be the causes behind the problems. Let’s explore the solutions for them too.

Solutions to Traction Control Problems

Images ource:

Well, there isn’t much that you can do. Because if something is malfunctioning then you need to get it fixed or replaced. And that is the job of professionals.

You can however check if you turned the traction control off or not. Because sometimes in dry weather you might’ve turned it off to get more power.

So first look if you turned it off in the first place. If that’s the case you should turn it on as it makes driving safer.

You will have a ford explorer traction control button for that. If that’s the case the dashboard light will be gone.

And you can try cleaning the debris off your car. But that doesn’t do much to solve the problem. But it keeps dirt and debris from building up.

The smart thing to do is to take it to professionals. There they have the OBD2 scanner. Which can show the error codes.

The error codes can precisely tell where the problem is originating from. And then they would take necessary actions to fix that.

Or if you have moderate knowledge about cars, the OBD2 scanner or any automotive scanner isn’t a bad purchase. It’ll let you know where the problem is generating from. And sometimes can save you from an unnecessary visit to the mechanics.

Here are some of the automotive scanners that you can get for yourself:

Hopefully, it makes your shopping more convenient. And the scanner helps you out in real-life scenarios.

Well, that’s all we had on this topic. And it should be enough for you to understand if your car needs to get checked or not. But it’s good practice to take your car for regular maintenance.

Image source:


Should You Turn On Traction Control All The Time?

It’s ideal to keep traction control above 90 percent at all times. But sometimes that can be a problem. If you are stuck in snow or mud, then traction control will give you less power to overcome that. So in those scenarios, you can lower your traction control.

Does ABS Stop Your Car Faster?

Yes ABS helps stop your car faster than non-ABS-equipped vehicles. But that’s not what the ABS is mainly intended to do. Its main goal is to make your car more controlled and avoid skidding and sliding. ABS also reduces braking distance. But braking distance gets increased if the road is graveled.

Does It Cost A Lot To Replace Traction Control Switch?

No, it’s not that costly. The traction control switch replacement costs around 110 dollars to 150 dollars. The switch costs around 80-90 dollars. And the rest goes to labor mainly. But if you scan the error code sometimes there won’t be much to fix. Most times they will do the minor work for free.

Are there any recalls or known issues related to traction control in Ford Explorers?

Ford Motor Company occasionally issues recalls for various vehicle models, including Ford Explorers, to address safety or performance concerns. Checking with Ford or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) can help you determine if your vehicle is affected by any recalls related to traction control.

What is the process for resetting the traction control system after a quick fix?

If you’ve performed a quick fix, such as checking tire pressure or clearing debris, you can reset the traction control system by turning off the vehicle, disconnecting the battery for a few minutes, and then reconnecting it. This clears any stored error codes and may turn off the traction control light.

Wrapping Up

In summary, addressing Ford Explorer traction control problems necessitates a systematic approach and understanding of potential causes. Quick fixes often revolve around checking the wheel speed sensors and the ABS system for any malfunctions, ensuring proper tire inflation, and inspecting the vehicle’s alignment and suspension components.

Additionally, examining the traction control module and the vehicle’s computer system for any error codes can provide valuable insights into the issue. Regular maintenance, including cleaning sensors and ensuring all electrical connections are secure, can prevent recurring problems. By implementing these quick fixes, Explorer owners can enhance the vehicle’s stability, safety, and overall driving experience, promoting a worry-free journey on the road.

Now that we reached the end, your ford explorer traction control problems should be solved. And it’s really important to take your car for regular maintenance. So that further problems don’t get unnoticed and get built up.

You surely wouldn’t want your car to stop in the middle of nowhere. So for that, as a responsible petrolhead, take care of your vehicle.

Until next time, stay happy and healthy!

Read also: Ford F150 PCV Valve Problems

Rob Dahm

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *