Slip Indicator Light Nissan Altima: What Does It Tell You?

Every Nissan Altima owner has experienced this at some point: You are driving in the cold winter when, suddenly, the car slips over some patches of hidden ice.

Immediately, the slip indicator light alerts us by flashing on the dashboard. The moment goes by, and it turns off again, waiting for the next sudden slide.

What a fantastic car component, isn’t it? In this article, I will take a closer look at the slip indicator light Nissan Altima and explain why this light would come on.

In addition, if the Nissan slip indicator light stays on without any reason, our car experts will give you a troubleshooting guide.

What Does A Slip Indicator Light Nissan Altima Mean? 

slip indicator light nissan altima

It is meant to help you regain traction when you drive on a slippery surface.

If it keeps flashing, there might be a problem in wheel sensors, ABS rings, ABS control unit, wiring, or steering angle sensor.

So what is a slip indicator light? When the traction control system detects a lack of traction on your tires, you can see the Nissan slip light on.

The slip indicator light Nissan Altima is right in the back of the driving wheel, near the gauges. Its sensors can be found on your vehicle’s wheel.

The signal is transferred to the powertrain control module (PCM).

When the PCM receives data, it will determine if the car has enough traction on all wheels.

Aside from triggering the light, this component also adjusts the engine power to the wheels to regain stability and restore traction.

Usually, the slip light only flashes for a moment until stability and traction are back to normal. If it keeps staying on, your car might be facing the problems below: 

Going Through A Slippery Road

As mentioned, the slip indicator light Nissan Altima will turn on when the sensor detects traction loss.

When you drive in harsh conditions, such as rainy or snowy weather, the roads will be slippery, making it more difficult for your vehicle to regain traction.

The light will flash longer than usual as a result.

Depending on the road and weather conditions, you don’t have to worry about the slip light staying on. It is just doing its job.

Faulty Wheel Sensors

What if the road condition is perfect, yet you still see the slip indicator light stays on Nissan? Well, then, some damaged wheel sensors may be the culprit.

There is a sensor on each wheel, also referred to as an ABS sensor. It is responsible for transferring information to the PCM.

When one of the sensors was damaged in my Nissan, it sent the wrong signal, and my car ended up with a failure in the traction control system.

In this case, most drivers will see the slip indicator light Nissan Altima flashing along with the ABS light.

Faulty ABS Rings

Aside from the ABS, the wheels on a Nissan Altima also come equipped with ABS rings. Thanks to these rings, the sensors can determine the wheels’ speed.

When one of the ABS rings is broken, the sensors receive inaccurate information about the moving speed.

This data is then transferred to the PCM, which causes the traction control system to malfunction.

If a poor ABS ring is the culprit, both the slip indicator light and the ABS light will stay on.

Defective ABS Control Unit 

Regarding the slip control system, there is still another component: The ABS control unit. Known as the operation’s brain, this part is in charge of the whole process.

Together with the ABS modulator, it controls the wheel sensors while monitoring the brake pressure.

When something is wrong with this vital part, both the slip indicator light and the ABS light will turn on.

It is difficult for you to tell which part of the slip control system is damaged, but a professional mechanic can quickly pinpoint the problem using a diagnostic scanner.

Damaged Wiring

The slip control system consists of various wires. In order to transmit correct data to the PCM, all of them must be in perfect shape.

If one of the wires becomes faulty, the ABS control unit and wheel sensors will malfunction, causing the slip light to flash.

The most common problem is a wire coming loose. You can fix this minor issue quickly by reconnecting it.

If you have a broken wire, it can be challenging to locate the faulty one among many wires. Taking your Nissan Altima to the auto repair shop is recommended.

Lousy Steering Angle Sensor

While the wheel sensors determine the speed, the steering angle sensors work to determine the steering wheels’ position.

They can be found in the steering columns. Several angle sensors are required to improve data redundancy and validation.

When a steering angle sensor malfunctions, the slip indicator light Nissan Altima turns on. In addition, I sometimes notice my steering wheel vibrates while turning at idle.

Turn Off Slip Indicator Light Nissan Altima: A Step-By-Step Guide 

nissan altima slip indicator light

Now that you’ve known about all the possible causes, let’s admit one thing: It is annoying to drive when the slip light Nissan Altima keeps flashing on the dashboard.

So, when the sensor, ABS ring, or wire malfunctions and this light stays on, how to reset slip indicator light and turn it off? 

Follow the three steps below: 

Step 1: Identify The Nissan Altima Slip Indicator Light 

In most vehicles, the slip indicator light will appear as a simple “SLIP” sign. However, the slip light on Nissan Altima comes in the form of a tiny car symbol followed by wavy lines.

It depicts a vehicle that’s sliding on a slippery surface. If you are new to this Nissan model, you might not be able to recognize it on the dashboard.

The slip indicator light will only function when both the car’s dynamic control (also known as VDC) and the traction control (also known as TRAC) are active.

Both systems are responsible for stabilizing the car and preventing it from sliding on slippery roads. If the slip indicator light stays on, the next step is to turn off the two systems.

Step 2: Press The “VDC ON” Or “TRAC OFF” Button

Here is a warning: This step should switch off the slip indicator light Nissan Altima, but it also shuts down the dynamic control system at the same time, so proceed at your own risk.

In your Nissan Altima, find the “TRAC OFF” and “VDC OFF” buttons on the dashboard. If you press these buttons and the light remains on, try holding them for a few seconds.

As a result, you will see the “TRAC OFF” and “VDC OFF” lights flashing on the dashboard.

If you have pressed both buttons yet nothing happens, one of the vehicle’s speed sensors or engine control units is probably broken.

Step 3: Reset The Nissan Slip Indicator Light

The last option is to reset your slip light. Only after you have tried other approaches above should you proceed with this step.

It also comes in handy if you own other car models without a “TRAC OFF” or “VDC OFF” button.

Open the car’s hood and unplug the battery’s positive terminal. This might require some tools.

To remove any remaining power from the car’s electrical system, press the brake pedal and hold it for a few seconds.

The vehicle’s electronic control unit will reset as a result. To restart the battery, plug in the positive terminal. Jumpstart the engine and see whether the slip light has turned off.

Step 4: Check The Wheel Sensors

What to do if the light flashes again? I always inspect the wheel sensors. They can be found on the wheel hubs, connected by wires.

You need to use a scanner to determine the troublesome sensors.

Once you have found the malfunctioning one, unplug the sensor’s electrical connector and try cleaning it. If it still doesn’t work, it’s time to get a new one.

Both step 3 and step 4 require specific tools, so if you have turned off the VDC and TRAC systems yet still see the slip indicator light flashing, it is best to visit the nearest auto repair shop and let professional mechanics take a look.

Can You Drive Your Nissan Altima With The Slip Indicator Light On? 

what is a slip indicator light

In fact, you can still drive with the slip indicator light Nissan Altima remaining on. It doesn’t affect the engine’s function. However, this light only flashes when the traction control system is doing its job.

A malfunctioning slip light warns you there might be problems with the Nissan’s stability.

Thus, it is best not to drive your vehicle for long. Get to the nearest garage and have the car checked as soon as possible. Don’t drive in bad weather conditions, and avoid slippery surfaces.

Operating a vehicle with the slip indicator light flashing makes it more prone to sliding and spinning.


How Do You Fix A Slip Indicator Light? 

If the light just turns on when you are driving in bad weather conditions or slippery roads, there’s no fix needed – the slip control system is working as it should.

If the slip indicator light Nissan Altima or slip indicator light Nissan Sentra keeps flashing without any reason, you can reset the slip control system or take your car to the auto repair shop.

Professional mechanics will check and determine whether you need to replace an ABS ring, wheel sensor, or steering angle sensor.

What Does The ABS And Slip Light Mean Together?

When you see both the ABS and slip light flashing together, there is a high chance your wheel sensors, ABS rings, or ABS control units are damaged.

Will Low Brake Fluid Cause A Slip Light? 

In some rare cases, a low brake fluid level can cause the slip indicator light to come on. It is essential to know how much brake fluid your car needs and top up accordingly.

The Bottom Line

The slip indicator light Nissan Altima is a beneficial auto part. It warns you about possible dangers along the way and keeps the car balanced in harsh weather conditions.

If you see this vital light flashing continuously, you know there is a serious problem to deal with.

You can try resetting the slip light using our instructions above for a quick fix. However, it is advisable to rely on a professional.

The slip control system is a crucial safety feature that always needs to be in good shape. Don’t risk it if you don’t want any trouble driving on slippery roads!

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