Question about 1996 Buick Riviera

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Traction light My traction light keep coming on and off. Why is this happening? When the light is on it says " traction off" the control button do not work neither.

Posted by ladyjet2 on

  • ladyjet2 Aug 15, 2008

    Thank you! I will have this checked out.

  • Anonymous Dec 26, 2008

    I have the same problem,,also the abs lite is on and ck engine lite...i replaced the eng ignition fuse today..after I discovered the starter wire was blowing it. Then the above mention lights came on. The car also seems to be stalling from a stop to accelerating



1 Answer

mike watson

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I would have a comp. check on the abs system to see whitch wheel is running faster or slower than the others.You may have a wheel bearing sensor that is going bad.This always seems to be the prob. seen as how the traction control gets it's info from the wheel speed.

Posted on Aug 15, 2008

  • mike watson
    mike watson Aug 15, 2008

    I am new to this site so I don't know if there is a respons section to know if my answer helped.If you could either let me know how to check for a respons or please e-mail me to let me know if it helped or not.


    I am a mechanic and have been for many years and known as watson here in new hampshire.([email protected])



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I keep getting a message service stabilitrak

StabiliTrak Indicator Light: If the warning light does not come on then, have it fixed so it will be ready to warn you if there is a problem. If it stays on, or comes on when you are driving, there may be a problem with your StabiliTrak system and your vehicle may need service. When this warning light is on, the system is off and will not limit wheel spin. Adjust your driving accordingly.

This light will also flash when the StabiliTrak system is active. If the StabiliTrak system warning light comes on and stays on for an extended period of time when the system is turned on, your vehicle needs service.

The traction control part of StabiliTrak can be turned off by pressing and releasing the StabiliTrak button if both systems (traction control and StabiliTrak) were previously on. To disable both traction control and StabiliTrak, press and hold the button for five seconds.

Traction control and StabiliTrak can be turned on by pressing and releasing the StabiliTrak button if not automatically shut off for any other reason.

When the TCS or StabiliTrak system is turned off, the StabiliTrak light and the appropriate TCS off or StabiliTrak off message will be displayed on the DIC to warn the driver. Your vehicle will still have brake-traction control when traction control is off, but will not be able to use the engine speed management system.

If the StabiliTrak and/or Traction Control are not operating properly, I encourage you to take your vehicle in for inspection. A certified technician will be able to offer a more accurate diagnosis.

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The traction control light comes on at weird times. And the sound (sort of whining, sort of grinding) that happens when traction control actually kicks in (like if we're driving on an icy surface)...

Just an opinion, but i would have a brake inspection done, by a qualified garage. If one of your wheels is not turning at the rate expected by the abs/traction control module, you will experience this symptom. Also, a faulty wheel speed sensor can cause this.

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What does the TCS Off button do?

TCS stands for Traction Control System.
The traction control system works in conjunction with your Antilock Brake System (ABS) and your Engine Control Module (ECM) or Powertrain Control Module (PCM) or Electronic Control Unit (ECU) (Note that ECM, ECU, and PCM all mean the computer that controls your engine, depending on make.)

Anyway, the traction control system can apply one or more of the brakes and control engine RPM in the event that a wheel slip has been detected by the traction control system.

Pushing the TCS button on most models will light a lamp in the instrument cluster that usually says "Trac Off" Pressing it a second time will turn this light back off.

When the "Trac Off" light is illuminated, the Traction Control System is disabled and will not work in the event of a wheel slip.

Also note that when the Traction Control System is working and a wheel slip is detected, The Traction Control Module will usually illuminate a light that says "Trac" as it is taking control of your brakes and engine. It can feel really strange when this occurs and some people think that their transmission is slipping or that their engine has a misfire problem.
The chances are that if it occurred on wet, slippery pavement, the Traction Control System may have just saved your life.

If this is happening on dry pavement and normal driving conditions (starting, stopping, or turning), there may be a problem with the system. "False Traction Control" can happen just like a bad wheel sensor causing "False Antilock Mode".

Also check your Owners Manual for more specific information pertaining to your particular vehicle.

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