C0242 Code: Traction Control Malfunction in GM Vehicles

Encountering the strange C0242 code while troubleshooting your vehicle can be a bit worrying. But don’t worry, I’m here to help. 

In a nutshell, the C0242 code signifies a traction control malfunction. However, understanding its meaning and how it affects your vehicle requires further exploration. Read on for more details!

C0242 Code: An Overview

Below are the key points about the C0242 code!

  • Definition: Engine Control Module/ Powertrain Control Module Indicated Traction Control Malfunction
  • Severity: Medium
  • DIY Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Continue To Drive?: No
  • Estimated Repair Cost: $100 – $500

What Does The C0242 Code Mean?

The C0242 code is a generic diagnostic trouble code (DTC) that commonly appears in General Motors (GM) vehicles, including Chevrolet (Silverado, Impala, Malibu, Tahoe, Traverse), Buick, Buick Enclave, Cadillac, and GMC (Acadia, Sierra, Yukon) models. This code specifically means that the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects a traction control malfunction.

The C0242 code indicates a TCS malfunction.
(Image credit: Reddit)

The key component related to this code is the Electronic Brake Control Module (EBCM), which is responsible for controlling the traction control system (TCS). The EBCM communicates with the ECM to monitor and regulate the vehicle’s traction control. When the ECM detects an anomaly or malfunction in the traction control system, it triggers the C0242 code. 

It’s important to note that the C0242 code is sometimes accompanied by other codes, such as P0641 and P2135, which help pinpoint specific problems related to the electronic throttle control (ETC) system or other related components.

How Serious Is The C0242 Code?

The C0242 code is considered to have a medium severity level. While it may not indicate an immediate danger, it should not be ignored. The code can affect the vehicle’s stability, traction control functionality, and overall handling. 

Continuing to drive with the C0242 code present is not recommended, as it may compromise the safety and performance of the vehicle. It is advisable to have the issue diagnosed and repaired promptly to restore the proper functioning of the traction control system. Ignoring the code may lead to potential safety risks and further damage to other related components.

Read more: GM OBD2 Codes List For FREE Download [Generic + Manufacturer-specific]

Warning Signs Of C0242 Code

The C0242 code typically presents with several noticeable symptoms, including:

Possible Causes Of C0242 Code

The C0242 code can arise due to several underlying causes, such as:

  • Poor electrical connections within the EBCM circuit
  • Open or shorted harness in the EBCM circuit
  • Faulty EBCM
  • Issues within the traction control system sensors:
    • ABS solenoid valve malfunction.
    • Loose or faulty connection at the wheel speed sensors.
    • Other related sensor issues.

Read more: C0035 Code: Understanding Wheel Speed Sensor Issues

C0242 Diagnosis And Repair: Step-by-Step Guide

Are you ready to diagnose and repair the C0242 code? Our comprehensive guide provides step-by-step instructions and valuable insights to deal with this code.

Essential Tools And Parts

To diagnose and repair the C0242 code, you may need the following tools and parts:

Step-by-step procedure

Step 1: Retrieve the code

Use an OBD-II scanner to retrieve OBD2 codes from the vehicle’s ECM. If there are any associated codes besides the C0242, address them first. 

Step 2: Visual inspection

Perform a visual inspection of the EBCM circuit and wiring harnesses. Inspect for damage, loose connections, or corrosion. Repair/replace as needed.

Step 3: Check electrical connections

Ensure that all electrical connections related to the EBCM and traction control system are secure. Clean any corroded terminals and ensure proper contact.

Step 4: Test related sensors 

Inspect the wheel speed sensors for loose connections, damage, or debris. Clean the sensor surfaces and check for proper alignment. 

Also, test the functionality of the ABS solenoid valve using a diagnostic tool or multimeter. Replace any faulty sensors or the ABS solenoid valve if needed.

Step 5: Inspect EBCM

If all other components check out, consider the possibility of a faulty EBCM. Consult the vehicle’s service manual for specific testing procedures to diagnose the EBCM. Replace the EBCM if necessary.

Step 6: Clear codes and test drive

After making any repairs or replacements, clear the codes using the OBD-II scanner. Take the vehicle for a test drive to ensure that the C0242 code does not reappear and that the traction control system is functioning properly.

Note: Handle wheel speed sensors carefully to avoid damage. Improper handling can cause more serious issues or damage other components.

Watch this video to learn how to repair the EBCM.

DIY Repair Level And Estimated Costs

The level of DIY repair for addressing the C0242 code can vary depending on your automotive knowledge, skills, and access to tools. Some steps, such as visual inspections, checking electrical connections, and clearing codes using an OBD-II scanner, can be performed by individuals with intermediate DIY experience.

However, when it comes to more intricate tasks like testing wheel speed sensors, diagnosing the ABS solenoid valve, inspecting the EBCM, or repairing wiring issues, it is recommended to seek the expertise of a professional mechanic. These tasks often require specialized equipment and technical knowledge to ensure accurate diagnosis and proper repairs.

Here is a general table outlining estimated costs for the main repair tasks associated with the C0242 code:

Repair TaskEstimated Cost
Wiring repair/replacement$100 – $500 
Wheel speed sensor replacement$100 – $200 
ABS solenoid valve replacement$150 – $300
EBCM replacement$300 – $600

Note: Repair cost can vary depending on factors such as labor rates, the vehicle make and model, and location. 

Final Thoughts

Now that you know what the C0242 code means and how to fix it. I hope you can keep your car running smoothly. 

Please share this information with your friends and family if you found it helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below.

Good luck with your diagnosis!

Reference Sources

  1. Kelley Blue Book, Traction Control System: How It Works and When To Use It
  2. YourMechanic, Bad Electronic Brake Control Module