What Does the 2014 Chevy Cruze Traction Control Light Mean?

The 2014 Chevy Cruze traction control light could be a sign that the system is working correctly, but it could also indicate a serious malfunction.
Written by Melanie Mergen
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze’s traction control or StabiliTrak light can mean several different things, depending on the context. It may be simply letting you know the system is actively engaged, reminding you the system is turned off, or telling you that there is a problem somewhere in the system and it needs to be serviced.
Your Chevrolet Cruze’s traction control light can be a bit mysterious. So what should you do when it turns on—do you need to make a beeline to the nearest
car repair
shop, or is it okay to keep driving? Here’s what to know about your 2014 Chevy Cruze traction control system and when it may be time to see a mechanic. 
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Why your 2014 Chevy Cruze traction control light turns on

Your 2014 Chevrolet Cruze has two closely related systems that help you maintain control of your vehicle amid challenging road conditions: traction control and StabiliTrak
The traction control system helps limit wheel spin, while StabiliTrak helps maintain directional control. Both systems are on and active as a default when you start your car.
But when your
traction control (TCS) light
or StabiliTrak light turns on, it can be a little perplexing since they can both imply different things. These lights could simply mean the systems are working and engaged, they could be reminding you the system is turned off, or they could be telling you there is a problem that has been detected and the system(s) need to be serviced.
While it’s generally recommended to leave both systems on in normal driving conditions—after all, you never know when slippery conditions could occur—both systems can also be turned off manually, which can be helpful in certain situations, like if you’re stuck in mud or snow:
  • To turn off traction control, you can press the “StabiliTrak OFF” button, which looks like a vehicle with swerving tire trails behind it and the word “OFF” below it. A traction off light will appear on your dashboard to remind you the system is off. This symbol has the letters “TC” inside a horseshoe shape with a slash running through it.
  • To turn off both traction control and Stablitrak, you can press and hold the same “StabiliTrak OFF” button. When both systems are off, you should see two lights appear on the instrument cluster: the traction off light and the StabiliTrak OFF light.
  • To turn both systems back on, simply press the “StabiliTrak OFF” button again, and the indicator lights should disappear.
The StabiliTrak symbol will also briefly appear for both systems with your other indicator lights when you initially start your car. 
If TCS and/or StabiliTrak are actively responding to road conditions while you’re driving, you might briefly see the StabiliTrak symbol flash, which simply means the system is working. 
However, if the light turns on and stays on, this can mean StabiliTrak or TCS may have a problem. Here’s how you can troubleshoot this:
  • Stop your vehicle where it’s safe to do so
  • Turn off your engine and wait about 15 seconds
  • Restart the engine and begin driving again
If the indicator light remains on, you might need to take your vehicle to a mechanic for an inspection.
For more information about how your 2014 Chevrolet Cruze’s traction control and StabiliTrak systems work, you can check your
owner’s manual
If you suspect your TCS may need to be serviced, here are some of the common factors that can lead to a
traction control malfunction

Temporary loss of traction

When your 2014 Chevrolet Cruze is responding to slippery or uneven road conditions, your StabiliTrak light may briefly flash to show you that the systems are working as intended. Once normal driving conditions resume, the light should turn off. If it remains on, however, it may be time to have StabiliTrak and/or the
TCS inspected

Faulty sensors

In order to work properly, the TCS needs to be able to monitor each wheel’s movement, which it does with the help of wheel speed sensors. But these sensors are exposed to a lot of wear and tear, which could lead to them failing over time. 
The same goes for steering angle sensors—if the system can’t monitor steering wheel movements, it can’t respond the way that it needs to.
A mechanic will be able to tell whether your sensors are working, and you could also use an
OBD-II scanner to check for error codes
relating to the sensors. 

Anti-lock braking system (ABS) malfunction

StabiliTrak, TCS, and the
anti-lock brake system (ABS)
are closely related, and on some vehicles, they can share wiring and even use the same control module. When certain problems arise with the ABS, they could trigger both the
ABS light
and the traction control light to turn on.

Wiring damage

Your traction control system needs to be in communication with a variety of sensors and other components to function correctly, which are all connected by a web of wires—but operating on the vehicle’s undercarriage can leave them exposed to a lot of rough conditions. 
If a connection has been lost somewhere in the system due to a wiring problem, the TCS light may turn on.

Traction control system turned off

Before you make the trip to see a mechanic, be sure to check for the easiest fix of all. Sometimes it’s possible to manually
turn off traction control
by pressing the “StabiliTrak OFF” button on accident. 
If the warning light goes away after pressing the StabiliTrak button, that’s one less car repair to worry about!

Can you drive with the traction control light on?

You can still drive your 2014 Chevrolet Cruze if the traction control light is on, but driving in challenging conditions could be more dangerous. 
Again, if your traction control light is only briefly flashing to tell you the system is on, you don’t have much to worry about. But if that light stays on continuously, your vehicle may not respond in slippery conditions the way you normally expect it to, which could put you at greater risk of getting into a crash.
To make sure you can still drive your Chevrolet Cruze safely, it’s best to get your vehicle into the auto shop for an inspection.
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