Every modern vehicle today comes with a traction and stability control system that helps to keep the car stable. Sometimes, it can malfunction and fail to do its job. In the Subaru, it takes the form of a slip indicator light on the dashboard, and it’s important to know how to turn it off.
The warning light is meant to tell the driver when the tires are slipping. If it starts to flash, it means that the system has kicked in to help stabilize the vehicle. Other times, it may turn on by mistake or due to an underlying problem such as a malfunctioning sensor.
How to turn off slip indicator light on Subaru
To turn off your slip indicator light in your Subaru, look for the ‘VDC OFF’ switch on your instrument cluster and press it. This turns off the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system. Not all Subaru models have this button.
The VDC OFF indicator light will turn on in the instrument cluster. Press the switch again to turn the VDC system back on. If this does not work, press and hold the VDC OFF switch for 4 seconds or more.
The system will detect any malfunction. If your Subaru does not have this button, reset the light. Disconnect the positive battery terminal then push and hold the brake pedal. Reconnect the positive terminal and start the car. The light should go off.
1. Identify slip indicator light
The slip indicator light in a Subaru takes the form of a car symbol with squiggly lines behind it. It represents a car that is swerving or sliding on the road. The light turns on for a few seconds when the engine is switched on and goes off.
It flashes when the Vehicle Dynamic System (VDC) and traction control are in operation. This means that it’s actively trying to stabilize the car to prevent it from skidding on a slippery surface.
Ideally, it cuts off power supply to some of the wheels while applying brake pressure to prevent wheel spin.
The slip indicator light shouldn’t stay on for too long. If it does, it means that there’s a malfunction in your traction control system or vehicle dynamic system (VDC). They may not be functioning correctly.
Read more: How to Reset the ESP Light on a Mercedes Benz
2. Press the ‘VDC OFF’ button
In your Subaru, look for the ‘VDC OFF’ button on the main console dash. Press it to turn off your slip indicator light and traction control. It will cause the ‘VDC OFF’ light to illuminate on your dashboard.
If this doesn’t work, press and hold the button for about 10 seconds. This should help detect any malfunction in the system. If the light remains on, there could be a problem with one of the car’s wheel speed sensors or the engine control unit (ECU).
The variable speed sensor is usually located near the transmission’s output shaft or on the wheel. It monitors the speed and rotation of the wheel and reports to the ECU when it starts to slide. It could be sending the wrong information or the ECU could be bad.
3. Reset slip indicator light
As a final resort, you can try resetting the slip indicator light to turn it off. This step should only be performed once you’ve tried the other method mentioned above. It’s also ideal where there’s no VDC OFF button in your Subaru model.
Pop the hood of your car and disconnect the positive battery terminal. You may need a few tools. Push and hold the brake pedal to drain any residual power that is in the vehicle’s electrical system.
This will reset the car’s electronic control unit. Reconnect the positive battery terminal to restore power. Start the engine and check to see if the slip indicator light will go off.
If the light pops back up, you’ll need to check the ABS or speed sensors and replace them. The sensors are usually located on each wheel hub. They have a wire connected to them. You’ll need an OBD-II scanner to identify which one is malfunctioning.
All you need to do is disconnect the electrical connector that goes to the sensor, unscrew the assembly from the wheel hub and clean the sensor using a good parts cleaner. If the sensor still doesn’t work, replace it.
In some cases, the car’s computer must be reset again using the same method once the new sensors are installed. If this doesn’t work, visit your nearest auto repair shop and have the car’s ABS and traction systems diagnosed.
Can you drive a car with the slip light on?
The slip indicator light flashes when the traction control or vehicle dynamic control is in action. It should go off once the system is done stabilizing the car. However, if it stays on, it means that the traction and vehicle dynamic control (VDC) systems are malfunctioning.
You can drive the vehicle, but not for long. Take it to the nearest auto repair shop and have it checked. Avoid any slippery surfaces or slopes. Driving a car with the slip on leaves it susceptible to spinning and sliding.
Why is my ABS and slip light on?
The Anti-lock braking system (ABS) helps to restore traction to your car’s tires when driving on a slippery or wet surface. It applies brake pressure to the wheels intermittently to prevent them from locking up and skidding.
This is all controlled by an ABS module with the help of ABS sensors. If there’s a break in the connection between the module and the sensors, an error will occur that can cause the ABS and slip light to turn on.
It could also be caused by a weak car battery or a brake light that is no longer functioning. The bulb may have burnt out causing the slip indicator light and ABS light to turn on in your Subaru.
You can diagnose the problem yourself using an OBD-II scanner. However, it’s recommended that you take the car to a certified mechanic for a diagnosis.
Why is my ABS brake light and traction control light on?
The ABS light and traction control light may illuminate if there is a problem with the brake system. It could be that the brake fluid is low or leaking, or that there is a bad electrical connection in your electrical brake system.
Sometimes, the ABS brake light and traction control light may come on to indicate it’s time to take the car for its scheduled maintenance. It could also be caused by an engaged parking brake so be sure to release it.
Can I drive with my ABS and brake light on?
No. With both the ABS light and brake light on, it means that the vehicle has a malfunctioning braking system and is no longer safe to drive. Driving a car in this condition can be dangerous.
The brakes can fail any time. In addition, a malfunctioning ABS system means that the car does not have anti-lock. It could skid on a slippery surface and cause an accident. To stay safe, it’s best to tow the vehicle to a repair shop.
What does TRAC OFF mean?
TRAC OFF or ‘Traction Control Turned Off’ is a message that pops up on your dashboard to notify you that the vehicle’s traction control system is non-operational or has been turned off.
You may have accidentally pushed the ‘TRAC OFF’ button. You’ll need to turn it back on by pressing the same button. If this does not work, you may have a malfunctioning ABS system or a bad engine control unit.
Should I drive with the traction control on or off?
Leave your traction control on when driving on wet, icy, and slippery roads. It will help stabilize the car and prevent it from skidding. You should always have traction on at all times when driving.
This is especially if you live in an area that has unpredictable weather. It is not safe to drive without traction control. If you turn it off, you may realize that the car handles and drives differently on slippery surfaces. It can leave it susceptible to slippage which is dangerous at high speeds.
Does traction control affect transmission?
Ideally, the traction control does not affect transmission in your car. However, some systems are designed to reduce the amount of engine power sent to the slipping wheel.
This is done with the help of several sensors, including the transmission speed sensors and differential and gear sensors in 4×4 vehicles. The vehicle is able to slow down long enough to allow the driver to take back control.
The idea is to limit power and in effect reduce acceleration. The spinning wheels experience force that helps them to slow down. This allows them to regain grip on the road.
How much does it cost to fix the traction control system?
The average cost for replacing a traction control switch ranges between $100 and $115. A mechanic will charge you between $45 and $60 for labor while parts will set you back an average of $56.
The cost varies depending on the type of vehicle you drive, your location, taxes, and any other additional fees. Be sure to check with your mechanic or dealership how much it costs to fix the traction control system.
Figuring out how to turn off the slip indicator light in your Subaru is easy. Simply locate and press the ‘VDC OFF’ switch.
This will turn off the vehicle dynamic system and traction control system as well as the light.
If it doesn’t work, reset the system using the method described in this article. Take the car in for servicing if all fails.