How Traction Control Works

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Author's Note: How Traction Control Works

I live in the Pacific Northwest, where the snow mostly stays in the mountains. The valleys get a lot of rain, but the roads are sloped and we have pretty good drainage in my town. But the leaves! The wet leaves every fall engage my traction control system every year. The gutters fill with leaves and block the grates in the street, leaving piles of sopping wet leaves floating in inches of water. If I dare to park at the curb, I'm guaranteed to spin the wheels a bit when I pull away. It's funny that it took me awhile to learn to live in harmony with ABS -- I wanted to pump my brakes so badly -- but I came to rely on traction control pretty quickly. Easy on the gas pedal, wait for the system to kick in and the gutter-side tires to catch and then ease on out of the parking space. Fall is really the only season that my traction control system is ever used.

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