tc symbol on chevy cruze

Chevy Cruze Traction Control Light [What it Means & How to Turn it Off]

Key points to highlight:

  • The Chevy Cruze Traction Control (TC) light indicates when traction control is activated.
  • It typically appears intermittently and switches off shortly after, except in extreme conditions like driving on snow, ice, or mud.
  • Traction control helps prevent wheel slippage by pulsing the ABS system, improving traction in slippery conditions.
  • You can deactivate traction control by pressing and holding down the TC button, but it’s generally safer to leave it on in challenging driving conditions.
  • If your TC is still illuminated, you’ll need to use an OBDII scanner to understand the root cause. 

What does the Chevy Cruze Traction Control (TC) light mean and is there a need for concern if it appears? Well, we are going to be exploring this topic in this article so that you not only understand what it means but also know what you need to do when you see it.

The fact is that our vehicles are becoming more and more complex with the passing of time. As new features are added, it seems a different warning signal is also added with it.

Though most people will understand the basic warning lights and codes, not all of us will. The TC light is one of these things and I want to help you understand what exactly it means and how you can navigate it.

What Does the TC Light Mean on a Chevy Cruze?

In short, The TC light in a Chevy Cruze stands for “Traction Control “and will appear when traction control is activated. The light will only appear intermittently and switch off within a short span. The only time it will light up consistently is when you are driving on snow, ice, mud or when your battery has low power.

The TC light, as stated in the summary above, stands for traction control. When you are driving on a slippery, wet or muddy road, one or several wheels may lose traction.

It will start spinning or slipping. In order to give it better traction, the ABS system will pulse on the wheel that is lacking traction. Simply put, it will hold and release in pulses. This gives the wheel a better chance to gain traction in slippery conditions.

It comes in very handy in situations when you need it. Traction control can be engaged and disengaged on your Chevy Cruze. I will talk about this in more depth later on. The TC light only comes on when traction control is active at that particular moment and will switch off once it is no longer in use.

Traction control is initiated via sensors located on all your wheels that signal to the ECU that there is a lack of traction thereby activating it on that particular wheel. Once the sensor picks up that traction has been restored, the TC light switches off.

Why is the Traction Control Light Staying On and How to Fix it?

If your TC light is always on, there are several reasons why this would be the case. If you are driving in wet, snowy, icy, or muddy situations, you would want to have traction control because these are the specific conditions for which it was designed.

If the conditions are extreme, the TC light will remain on because your wheel sensors are consistently sending out “cries for help” to your ECU meaning that TC is active on all wheels at that particular point in time.

If you are driving in normal conditions or stationery and the TC light is on, then there are other possible reasons for it. A possible cause is that you have low battery power which tends to cause all the warning lights to come on at times. In that case, you need to have it looked at to establish if that’s actually the case.

If your battery is fine, you will need to hook up an OBDII scan tool to establish what the real issue could be. The one that I like to use and recommend is the Foxwell NT530 OBD2 Diagnostic Scanner.

OBD2 Scanner for Chevy

How Do you Turn off the TC Light on a Chevy Cruze?

In order for you to switch off the TC light on Chevy Cruze, you simply need to deactivate traction control. To do this, you simply press and hold down the TC button.

Can I Drive my Chevy with the Traction Control Light On?

The answer to this question is dependent on whether there is a need for traction control in your particular situation and if the light is consistently on or switching on and off intermittently as it is supposed to.

Again, if you are in difficult driving situations that can potentially lead to your Chevy Cruze slipping or veering out of control, it is a good idea to have traction control activated at that particular point in time. It is very safe to do so under those circumstances as long as you are driving within safe speed limits.

Can Traction Control Affect Acceleration?

To understand this issue better, you need to understand that traction control actually works by limiting power to your wheels. Effectively, this means that your Cruze will actually go slower instead of faster.

If you are in a situation where you need to go faster, you then also need to disengage traction control which allows you to go at any speed your Chevy Cruze will allow.

Just make sure you don’t disengage traction control when you really need it just because you need to go faster. It’s better to actually reach your destination instead of trying to get there faster with increased risk.


Simply put, the TC light on a Chevy Cruze simply indicates that traction control is activated on your vehicle and actively engaged at that particular moment. The light should appear intermittently though unless you are in extreme conditions where it is constantly required.


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