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It has been snowing in our city (Memphis) for almost a week with slick roads and icy conditions. Today, with calmer weather, my Check Engine light and the Slip/VSC Indicator came on simultaneously when I started the car. It is not due for an oil change or anything like that and I did let my car warm up before driving. It made a kind of "cranky/rough/grinding" sound when I initially cranked it up. Any idea as to why my car is suddenly doing this? Thanks.

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Jessica Howe, Automotive Expert & Coach at


Due to the large number of problems that cant trigger both the Check Engine and Slip/VSC lights, it is impossible to tell what the actual issue may be. You must gather more information first, or hire a technician. 

The check engine light is what you need to be concerned with. The slip/vsc light can illuminate for many reasons, from letting you know the traction control system is actively working, to informing you the traction control systems are having a problem, to letting you know it is not working due to another issue. The check engine light is more likely to pertain to whatever is wrong.

You need to have the car "scanned", which can be done by a mechanic or by most automotive parts stores (for free). Scanning the vehicle will give you a code(s), which will stand for whatever problem(s) the car's computer is detecting. Once you have the diagnostic codes, you or a mechanic can confirm the issue and make a repair if needed.

The weather may or may not be part of the problem. The vehicle may be having an issue with a number of different systems or components, some of which can trigger the traction control systems to turn off. This is likely why you are seeing both lights. If there is a problem with something other than the traction control system, once you solve that problem, the traction control systems should automatically return to normal. 

Good luck!


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