Traction Control (TCS) is an option that is often found on vehicles equipped with antilock brake systems (ABS). Traction control is essentially an “add-on” feature to ABS that improves traction when the vehicle is accelerating on a wet or slick surface, or is accelerating too quickly for the tires to maintain their grip. Traction control prevents wheel spin by applying the brakes on the drive wheel that is losing traction, and/or momentarily reducing engine torque by various methods. The main difference between ABS and TCS, therefore, is that ABS only comes into play when braking while TCS only comes into play while accelerating.
When traction control is needed, it applies the brakes on the drive wheel(s) that is losing traction. Slowing the wheel allows it to regain traction. At the same time, torque is shifted through the open differential to the opposite wheel that still has traction.