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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Trying to help sister who lives 1400 miles away. Says the squiggle tires dash light comes on, after driving through deep puddles. Stays on for 2 days.

Please point me in right direction - what does this dash light mean? And why would driving through a puddle cause it to light up? What are likely fixes?

Thanks!
 

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Some sensor probably got some puddle mud on it but if the light goes out it probably cleared itself. Just please stay out of those puddles before permanent damage it done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just please stay out of those puddles before permanent damage it done.
With the car being in South West Florida, staying out of puddles would be just about impossible.

Anyone know specifically which sensors and where located?

Will there be a diagnostic code stored in the cars computer?
 

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In general I believe the way it works is the car is monitoring how each wheel rotates according to the others and then based on factors like what speed the engine and transmission are turning, steering angle, g forces, if you're on a hill/flat ground/downhill etc. it tries to make an assumption about if it's normal driving or if you've gotten into an unsafe situation and needs to be activated.


My guess is the same as Dr. Dyno. I believe on our Ravs there are turning sensors at each wheel near the disc brake (these are also part of the ABS system), they tell the car how much that wheel is turning in real time and then use those to figure out if everything is turning in unison or if there's a big difference somewhere (like one wheel all of a sudden slipping and moving faster than the others given the other inputs). Your sister might have knocked one of these off a bit or somehow it's malfunctioning which is then reporting incorrectly to the traction control computer who is lighting the dash light to say "hey something is wrong here with your traction". It's probably lighting to notify you of a problem, like a bad sensor at one of the wheels.

What I would recommend first is to go to an auto parts store and see if they would be willing to plug in an OBD reader to see if there are any error codes. If none are by you then I would recommend purchasing a hand held reader or even better yet a reader that works with a smartphone so you can download various apps. They usually start about $40 but that is seriously money well spent to know the problem right away and not have to pay a mechanic or a dealership to diagnose.

Having the code is extremely helpful (if there is one, sounds like there will be) because it will tell you exactly what the issue is or what is going on at least in general if not down to a specific sensor. If the traction control light is lighting up but then going away I would think something is either off angle (like sensor loose or knocked out of alignment) or is broken for a minute and then works for a few days and then broken again. Either way it should be addressed as soon as possible as without it your traction control could be disabled by the car which means you'd lose accident avoidance, stability control, possibly even aspect of the ABS (automatic braking system) since it won't know what is going on with one or more wheels enough to calculate what to do in that accident.

If you do get the code you can come back here or Google it and read what others have done to address the problem.
 

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She would need to go to an auto parts store that uses a high-end code reader that can read Toyota ABS codes from the traction control "anti-skid" ECU. Most code readers only read engine or emission system codes.
 
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