How To Reset Traction Control Light?


Modern vehicles like the RAM 1500 pickup and Jeep Wrangler SUV come equipped with important safety systems like traction control and anti-lock brakes (ABS). Traction control works to prevent wheel slip when accelerating on slick roads, while ABS prevents wheels from locking up under hard braking.


When issues arise with these systems, warning lights illuminate on the dashboard to alert the driver. Knowing how to properly reset the traction control and ABS warning lights in your RAM 1500 or Jeep is important for resolving problems and ensuring these vital systems are functioning properly.

The traction control and ABS reset process is straightforward using your vehicle’s onboard diagnostics port. This article provides a step-by-step walkthrough on how to locate the diagnostic port and use an OBD2 scanner tool to reset dashboard warning lights related to the traction control and ABS.

How To Reset Traction Control Light And ABS In RAM 1500 And Jeep Wrangler?

How To Reset Traction Control Light



For RAM 1500 trucks, you’ll also learn how to conduct a manual reset using center console buttons. And Jeep Wrangler owners can reset lights simply using hand motions like lock-to-lock turns of the steering wheel.

Correctly resetting traction and stability control lights may resolve an underlying software glitch, while the persistence of warnings after a reset indicates larger mechanical faults needing professional service.

How Important Is Resetting the Traction Control and ABS Warning Lights?

It’s critical to address and reset the traction control and ABS warning lights when they appear. Here’s why:

  • The traction control system works closely with the anti-lock braking system (ABS) to maintain control and stability on slick roads.
  • The traction control light warns you of possible traction loss so you can take preventative action and avoid skids or spins.
  • ABS prevents wheel lockup during emergency braking situations, helping you retain steering control.
  • These warning lights may indicate a minor fault or more serious mechanical issues in the braking and stability control systems.

Resetting the lights is the first troubleshooting step to determine if the problem persists. If the lights come back on shortly after a reset, it signals a need for professional diagnosis and repairs. Ignoring the warnings may compromise vehicle safety.


Diagnosing the Issue: Troubleshooting Steps

Follow these basic troubleshooting steps when the traction control light appears unexpectedly:

  • Check road conditions – Slippery surfaces like snow, ice, gravel, or water can trigger traction control activation.
  • Inspect tires – Improper tire pressure, tread wear, or damage may cause wheel slip.
  • Review recent maintenance – Suspension, wheel, transmission, or engine repairs may have affected the traction control system.
  • Try resetting the light – Sometimes a basic light reset fixes the issue.
  • Scan for codes – Use an OBD2 scanner tool to check for diagnostic trouble codes pointing to specific problems.

Resetting the light is easy to try as an initial step. But if the warning returns quickly, further diagnosis and repairs are needed.

5 Steps: How to Reset Traction Control and ABS Warning Lights

Use these 5 steps to safely reset the traction control and ABS dashboard warnings:

  1. Park your vehicle on a level surface and engage the parking brake.
  2. Locate the OBD2 port, typically under the dash near the steering column.
  3. Connect an OBD2 automotive scanner tool and turn the vehicle to “accessory” power mode without starting the engine.
  4. Use the scanner’s menu to find the option to reset or clear the ABS and traction control lights. This process communicates with the vehicle computer to turn the warnings off.
  5. After the reset process finishes, start the vehicle and verify the ABS and traction control lights stay off.

Note: The warning light reset procedure does not fix underlying mechanical faults. Schedule professional diagnosis if the lights reappear right away.


How to Reset Traction Control Light in a RAM 1500 Truck?

Resetting the traction control light is crucial for RAM 1500 operation and safety. Follow these steps:

  1. Turn the ignition to the “On” position without starting the engine.
  2. Press and hold the center console “ESC Off” button for 5 seconds until the light turns off.
  3. Some models may require you to press both the “ESC Off” and “Traction Control Disable” buttons. Refer to your owner’s manual.
  4. The system will reset, turning off the traction control warning light.

These actions should successfully reset the RAM 1500 traction control system. Schedule service immediately if the light returns.

Step-by-Step: Resetting Jeep Wrangler Traction Control Light

Use this sequence to reset the pesky traction control warning in your Jeep Wrangler:

  1. Start the Wrangler’s engine to power the vehicle systems.
  2. Rotate the steering wheel to the right stop and hold for 5 seconds.
  3. Turn the steering wheel all the way left and hold for 5 seconds.
  4. Press and hold the traction control button on the dash for 3 seconds.

Tip: Newer Jeep Wrangler models have a dedicated traction control light reset button.


These actions should reset the traction program. However, if the light persists, there may be issues with sensors, wheel alignment, or the vehicle computer requiring diagnosis. Schedule service to address any underlying problems.

Safety First! Precautions for Traction/ABS Light Resets

While the reset process seems simple, take safety precautions:

  • Park safely away from traffic on a level, stable surface before beginning.
  • Disconnect the battery only after shutting off the vehicle, avoiding potential electrical issues.
  • Wear insulated gloves when handling battery cables.
  • Never touch electrical connections right after the battery disconnects.
  • If warning lights return after resetting, have the vehicle serviced to fix problems and ensure safety system integrity.

Professional Diagnosis: When Do You Need It?

While many drivers reset their traction and stability control lights themselves, when should you have an expert technician handle it?

  • New battery, fuses, computer resets – If a new battery or fuse replacement caused the warning light, the vehicle computer may require resets best performed by professionals.
  • Steering, suspension, or sensor damage – Mechanical damage or loose connections to steering, and suspension position sensors will necessitate repairs only technicians can accurately diagnose and fix.
  • Wiring faults or computer errors – Electrical issues like frayed wires or faulty traction control module programming often demand professional assessment.
  • Multiple resets don’t solve it – If you’ve reset the warning multiple times without success, there are likely deeper problems needing attention from a qualified mechanic.

In these cases, trusted professional diagnoses and repairs can get your car’s traction and stability control systems back to safe functional order.


Does Resetting the Light Fix All Potential Issues?

When drivers ask “How to reset the traction control light?”, they sometimes assume it resolves every problem. However, since traction control interacts with various other vehicle systems, resetting the warning may uncover issues elsewhere:

  • The traction control module connects to the anti-lock brake system (ABS) to limit wheel slip when braking. Any ABS problems can activate the traction control light.
  • It also communicates with the powertrain control module (PCM) governing acceleration. Engine or transmission issues may trigger traction control.
  • Wheel speed sensors feed data to both ABS and traction control computers. Faulty speed sensors will illuminate dashboard warnings.

Resetting the light checks if these interconnected systems are communicating properly. But you’ll still need to fix the mechanical or electrical issue causing the initial problem.

Maintaining Your Traction Control System

Since traction control plays a major role in vehicle stability and control, proper maintenance is essential:

1. Regular Inspections

Check the traction control light regularly and schedule service immediately if it stays illuminated after the engine starts. Have technicians inspect all stability systems during routine maintenance.


2. Using an OBD2 Scanner

Connect an OBD2 scanner tool to read engine diagnostic codes whenever you see traction control warnings. This helps accurately identify issues needing repair.

3. Check the ABS System

The anti-lock brakes directly impact traction control operation. Ensure ABS remains in excellent working order through regular service.

4. Quality Tires Matter

Traction relies on proper tire tread depth, inflation pressure, balance, and rotation. Check tires often and replace them in full sets when worn.

5. Follow Recommended Service Intervals

Routine maintenance checks of alignment, suspension, steering, driveline, and electrical systems help prevent traction control problems before they happen.


6. Reset the Light When Required

If the dashboard traction control light illuminates unexpectedly, try resetting it using an OBD2 scan tool. Just keep in mind – a reset alone won’t cure mechanical problems if the light returns.

Regular service and light reset procedures when required will help maximize traction control system lifespan, safety, and performance.

FAQs: Reset Your Vehicle’s Traction Control Light

Still have questions about dealing with that pesky traction control warning light? Here are answers to 10 frequently asked questions:

  • What does the traction control light indicate?

The light signals a potential issue with the traction control system, which uses throttle and brake controls to avoid wheel slippage during acceleration. It could be a minor glitch or more serious failure.

  • Why is it important to reset the light?

Resetting verifies if the problem causing the initial warning has been resolved. Leaving the light on may hide an issue compromising vehicle stability.

  • How does ABS affect the traction control light?

The ABS and traction systems interconnect, monitoring individual wheel speeds and braking/throttle as needed. If ABS isn’t working correctly, you may see the traction control warning.

  • What typically causes the traction control light?
  • Slippery road conditions
  • Faulty wheel speed sensors
  • Problems with ABS
  • Engine or transmission issues
  • Traction control system electrical faults
  • How can I diagnose the issue before a reset?

Check road conditions, tires, and sensors, scan for codes, and review recent maintenance/repairs to help determine the cause before just resetting the light.

  • How do I reset the system in a RAM 1500 pickup?

Turn the ignition on, allow the light to illuminate, drive at 30+ mph, turn the truck fully off then on again. Try pressing the ESC and traction control buttons too.

  • Does resetting the light require technical skill?

While some basic automotive knowledge helps, the reset process is straightforward. Check your owner’s manual or an expert if you have questions.

  • Can a simple reset fix other potential problems?

A reset alone won’t repair mechanical or electrical faults in the traction system. However, it may reveal problems with related systems like ABS needing attention.

  • How often should I reset the traction control light?

Only when necessary, like addressing a specific issue causing it to activate. Frequent resets likely mean an underlying problem needs diagnosis and repair.

  • What prevents frequent traction control light warnings?

Proper tire condition, cautious driving on slick surfaces, scheduled maintenance, and immediate response to dash warnings help minimize traction control activation.


Carefully maintaining your vehicle’s traction control system and timely response when the warning light does trigger reduces the need for frequent resets. However, knowing how to perform the simple reset procedure helps restore proper system function.

The Bottom Line

While modern vehicle traction and stability control systems enhance driving safety, they need proper maintenance and responsiveness from owners when warnings appear.

Learn how to safely diagnose problems triggering your car’s traction control light, attempt resets to restore normal operation, and discern when to seek expert assistance. Addressing issues promptly reduces risk on the road.


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