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Thread: TCS lights stay on for no reason?

  1. #1
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    Question TCS lights stay on for no reason?

    I was driving home the other night and both of my Traction Control System (TCS) lights came on and stayed on. The two I'm referring to are the "TCS OFF" light (when you disable TCS) and the light that comes on when TCS is engaging (Car icon with the squiggly tire tracks).

    At first I though I bumped the TCS OFF button, but pushing it again did nothing. Shutting down and restarting the car turned the lights off, but it then came back later. It hasn't happened since.

    Any idea why this is happening? Is my PRO or transfer case faulty? It's a 2010 Touring AWD with only 2400 miles on it.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Registered Member ceric's Avatar

    2008 CX-9 GT AWD, 2014 Mazda3 sGT hatchback

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    Many reasons could trip the light.
    One common cause is the ABS sensor (which senses wheel lockup).

    The other light is for VSC (vehicle stability control) that prevent spinning out of control (i.e. maintain stability of your vehicle on the intended path of travel).
    Both TCS and VSC rely on ABS sensors to determine actions (to know which wheels lose traction),
    Therefore, it is a likely cause that the sensors went bad.

    Can you find a code scanner? Sometimes Kragen or Autozone can do this for customers for free.
    Once you have the code, you can google the code for explanantion/cause of error.
    2008 CX9 GT AWD + Assist Pkg + Moonroof Pkg + BSM
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    2014 Mazda3 sGT hatchback
    ....Soul Red Metallic / Almond

  3. #3
    Registered Member Antonio DiMarco's Avatar
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    Funny. I just spoke to dealer about this and it is supposedly a known issue. Mazda is currently aware of and working on a fix. It allegedly has to do with the system reinitializing for some reason. Try this next time is happens. Find a place to stop place the car in park put your foot on the brake and then turn the wheel lock to lock (all the way to the right and then all the way to the left then back to center). Start driving again the tcs and dsc lights should go out within a half mile. I am told that it isn't a safety issue more of a user interface issue and that Mazda is currently looking into a fix. It's happened to me about 6 times in the last month. But nothing bad has happened due to it.
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  4. #4
    Registered Member ceric's Avatar

    2008 CX-9 GT AWD, 2014 Mazda3 sGT hatchback

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    Maybe this is a 2010 bug.
    My 2008 never has this happened even once.
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  5. #5
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    2010 CX-9 AWD Touring

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    Same issue here...I have almost 12,000 miles and it has happened pretty regularly but not predictably. Made it difficult to explain circumstances to the dealer who was unaware of any issues. They tried to tell me the tire pressure was different among the tires and may have signaled an issue (my tire pressure light did happen to come on just before I took it in for service)...hole in that theory is that they have PM serviced the car twice already and they tell me they checked tire pressure, this has gone on nearly since I bought the car.

    I hope it is something they are truely working to fix. I've had them document my issue on the service paperwork twice now. Hate to say it but I do feel better knowing others have had the same issue!

  6. #6
    Registered Member Antonio DiMarco's Avatar
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    Try this to reproduce...drive along and then take a hard right while keeping the speed below 30mph. I'm not a 100% sure this is the failure mode but if memory serves it has always happened when I turn right. It happened tonight but then both warning lights went out about 30 seconds later. The best thing to do when you bring it to the dealer is to have them report it to the Mazda Tech line. That's what my dealer did and Mazda confirmed that they were aware of the issue. Supposedly they may replace the entire control module. My guess is that this is a supplier problem/software issue. The behavior smacks of some tolerance between sw and hardware. If the hardware module is not within spec the software maybe throwing some error/race condition at which point the system has to reinitialize. Supposedly turning the steering wheel hard right then left and then driving straight for a time resets the system.
    Last edited by Antonio DiMarco; 01-13-2011 at 09:20 PM.
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  7. #7
    Registered Member djc6's Avatar

    2010 CX-9 FWD Touring

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    This happened to me this weekend. Both the DSC and TSC OFF indicators came on. I pulled off the freeway, shut the car off/on - it came back on 30-60 seconds later.

    It only finally stayed off when I pulled over again later on the same road trip to fill up. I doubt its related, but after I filled up I haven't seen the light on again. I've got about 14K miles on the car (2010 model purchased January 2010).
    Last edited by djc6; 01-17-2011 at 05:32 PM.
    2010 CX-9 FWD Touring - Stormy Blue Mica / Sand

  8. #8
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    Huh mine just did this last week!! I have a '10 w/ 2,100 miles on it, this is the first time it has came on. I thought there was a issue with it also, b/c you can't turn the TSC off. I learned that you can't do this going over like 9 MPH? Why is this? I have never heard of a car you can't turn it off in!

  9. #9
    LETS GO BEARS!!!! blue08mz3hb's Avatar

    08 MZ3 S Touring Hatch

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    I've been having this problem for the last week. Ever since I turned the traction off to drive home last week in the snow, it's been off and on since. I don't notice anything different. Right now my check engine light is on, in which Advanced Auto said is a bad intake air temperature sensor. The traction light wasn't on when they did the code check, it came on right after. Add in that my battery light is off and on at start-up then goes off then comes back all within the same drive. Thank god I'm still under warranty. Taking mine to the local dealer Saturday morning for them to check it out.
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  10. #10
    Registered Member Antonio DiMarco's Avatar
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    Have not seen this in a while...Mentioned it to dealer again and they assured me Mazda is aware of it and working on a fix.
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  11. #11
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    Thumbs down My ABS and TCS lights both came on and stay on

    I have a 08 CX-9 purchased in Sept. of 07 and has about 51,000 mi. on it. before i had this problem i would say it has been a pretty good vehicle except for the paint on the vehicle isn't holding up very well at all. But back to my real issue is with the ABS and TCS light that came on and stays on now and is going to cost me $1340.00 to fix from the dealership. I was hoping when i took the car in yesterday that this was going to be a relay or solenoid that had failed but know it was the ABS hydraulic control unit that has some type of electronic failure that cannot be repaired and has to be replace at $1024.00. and 3 hrs of labor at $105.00 per hr.
    The good part was the service department was kind enough to think just like me and say this seems a little soon for this to happen and even though the car is out of warranty keep in mind the car is 3.5 yrs old and i know the miles being 15,000 over is a small concern and i did not purchased the extended warranty, thats a dice roll if you ask me because i believe new cars should should go 100,000 mi before having any real issues like this.
    But in this case i do not and so during yesterday visit the service dept advisor was kind enough to send an email to the District or Regional manager and ask for a little help basically to see if they would throw me a "small bone". Who knows maybe pick up the labor on it or something like sell me the part at cost, but the answer was there before i came back to pick of my vehicle with a big fat NO.
    So what was i to do? this part is a special order part and if i decided to just pay for the diagnosis it was going to cost $55.00 and then i still would have had to to see if i could get the part from a parts store which later i made calls to only find out they can't get that part and do not even carry this part. So yes i am stuck getting this repair done through the dealer.
    So got home and still was not a happy camper i decided to call customer assist and see if this avenue would maybe give me some satisfaction. Boy was i ever wrong, this person was able to pull up the entire history of my car and comments from the Regional or District manager from my area and i was told that there was not going to be any assistance because get this " I do not bring my car in for regular service {oil changes and tire rotation} i guess. That wasn't entirely true because i did in-fact have one oil filter change and vehicle safety check preform at 35926 mi and the only thing note was the tires were finally getting close to needed to be replace. But tell me who goes to the dealership to get there tires, i do not know anyone who does that.
    I can't believe that mazda position is that, because i do not spend my money on there oil changes and vehicle inspections which up until now the car has been pretty good as i said earlier. I also do my own oil changes because i prefer my oil and filter over there's and i can do this on my time in my garage.
    So i guess they would rather me shop for another car manufacture the next time i am going to by a new car, which by the way is next year for the wife and you can say for sure its NOT going to be a Mazda. As matter fact i am going to steer as many people away from Buying a mazda as i can, if this is there position. I am also going to make sure the manufacture offers a 5yr. 100,000 mi so i do not have to worry about rolling the dice and paying an extra $1700.00 for 2 yrs. of warranty
    I am completely blown away by that comment, when if you think about it if they would have thrown in the labor approx. $315.00 or maybe the part at cost is a couple of hundred dollars cheaper. The next time i am going to drop $40,000 on a new car you know for a fact i am NOT going to consider buying a mazda, so now they can kiss my butt where the sun don't shine!!!!(fuoops)

  12. #12
    Registered Member Antonio DiMarco's Avatar
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    New tsb for tcs/dsc issue

    I'm getting my 9 serviced today and brought up the tcs/dsc light issue again and the service guy said a new tsb just came out that directs them to replace the hydraulic control unit. This is a brand new tsb that just came out last Tuesday.

    Not sure what the tsb number is, but your dealer should be able to look it up easily.
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  13. #13
    Registered Member ceric's Avatar

    2008 CX-9 GT AWD, 2014 Mazda3 sGT hatchback

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    I feel your pain.
    Back when I had my '95 Accord, the ABS pump went bad. The cost? $2000 from Honda dealer.
    They kindly gave me a "discount" for $1800. The vehicle probably cost about $6000 at that time.
    Tough decision! The alternative is to ignore it, and keep driving w/o ABS.

    If perfectly reliability is a top priority for you, Honda/Toyota could be your best choice next time.
    Good luck.

    There is another venue you could have tried.
    There is a shop I used to know when I owned a BMW. The forum I visited had a guy who
    specialized in repairing the ABS control unit for about $200. Many happy BMW owners.
    You need to send the unit to him, he will send it back to you after repair. DIY installation.
    You know that BMW parts cost at least 2X more. Many loyal BMW owners DIY all the time
    to keep cost down. Anyway, that might be too much work for you.

    If I were you, I would be pissed also. I probably would have traded it in w/o fixing it.
    The vehicle will go thru auction, and someone will fix it eventually.
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  14. #14
    Registered Member Antonio DiMarco's Avatar
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    Ceric based on your own experience the Honda you had also wasn't perfect. ;-)

    Stuff like this happens and unfortunately it really depends on how good your dealer is. My dealer is and has always been AWESOME. They didn't blow me off when I said the lights were coming on and let me know about the TSB today. They have always been on top of all TSBs or at the very least look into it via Mazda's Tech line.
    Personally I believe that reliability across all the Japanese manufacturers is pretty consistent. The difference is mostly due to marketing and hype. Toyota and Honda used to be tops a decade or so ago but now they are largely coasting on their past reputation. Manufacturing processes are similar as are the parts suppliers. The only real difference is how the companies assemble and implement parts. Sometimes they may use a part that is marginal for the application, which means that it will probably prematurely fail. I've owned 6 Mazdas over th epast 20 years and have never had a reliability issue, some bugs and annoying issues like rattles but they have never required major repairs.

    Then again I'm a big believer in being loyal to my dealer. After-all they're in the business to make money. Those of us who believe they can jump from dealer to dealer and then expect a dealer to bend over backwards is kidding themselves. Loyalty goes both ways and whatever premium you believe your paying going to the dealer really balances out in the end when you need some help on a major repair. IMO
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antonio DiMarco View Post
    I'm getting my 9 serviced today and brought up the tcs/dsc light issue again and the service guy said a new tsb just came out that directs them to replace the hydraulic control unit. This is a brand new tsb that just came out last Tuesday.

    Not sure what the tsb number is, but your dealer should be able to look it up easily.
    On the drive home from the dealer, this morning, to fix the console armrest padding, I experienced this. If it's not too much trouble, would you be able to ask your dealership what the TSB number is? It would help greatly in avoiding the run around with the service advisors. Knowing the TSB number sends a message that the customer is not imagining the issue.

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