Traction controls, also known as Stabilitrak, are completely safe for your car. It is an active vehicle safety system that tries to prevent the wheels from losing grip and skidding when the driver makes a dangerous maneuver or over-accelerates the vehicle, even if the ground is very slippery (e.g., ice), but often we are stuck in either mud or snow. This means you’ll have to learn how to turn off the StabiliTrak system.
In these kinds of tricky situations, if you don’t turn off StabiliTrak, the vehicle will gradually reduce power. And to get out of that situation, you’ll need an extra boost. Disabling StabiliTrak will help you cope with the situation.
Depending on the vehicle and model, the method to turn off the StabiliTrak service will vary but don’t worry, in this article, we will try to mention most of the possible vehicles.
What Is Stabilitrak?
StabiliTrak is the name of General Motors’ patented electronic stability control (ESC) system. GM’s StabiliTrak is an ESC system that stops the wheels from saving the vehicle from slipping and adjusts the vehicle’s trajectory.
Service StabiliTrak Chevy
The dynamic StabiliTrak technology offered by Chevrolet is activated when the sensor detects a difference in wheel location and steering reaction.
This system responds to oversteer or understeer conditions, improving safety for drivers less experienced in driving on slippery surfaces such as snow or ice.
Chevy’s StabiliTrak system can detect when the driver needs assistance and then apply the brakes or adjust power for a smoother ride.
Service StabiliTrak GM
GM’s StabiliTrak system, on the other hand, is amazing. It uses the brakes to prevent wheel slippage and change the vehicle’s trajectory, but it can do much more than that! StabiliTrak also identifies when a driver has completely lost control of their car by examining information such as steering angle or engine rpm.
What Does Service Stabilitrak Mean?
The Stabilitrak Service message means that some type of error has occurred in the Stabilitrak system, which is a traction control system (TCS) found in all standard safety-rated vehicles.
This Service Stabilitrack warning can be generated by a malfunctioning input sensor, a malfunctioning controller, or a miswired sensor.
How to Turn off Stabilitrak in Different Vehicles
One of the most common questions from vehicle owners is how to turn off StabiliTrak. We’ll show you how to turn off your vehicle’s traction control.
If you have a Ford or similar vehicle, you can use this process. However, the process will depend on your vehicle model, in these cases, you will need to find the location of the StabiliTrak sensor.
- To turn off the Stabilitrak, first press the traction control button on the steering wheel and release it immediately.
- Then press and hold the control button for a short period. The traction control will turn off as a result.
On other models it is necessary to find the location of the StabiliTrak sensor:
- To find the location of the Stabilitrak sensor: go to the car menu, and check the steering wheel controls under the instrument panel.
- Look at the left side of the steering wheel. Here you need to look for the black arrow and press it.
- Once you have completed the above steps, you will have to scroll down once again; all you have to do now is try to manage the settings.
- Once you have reached the settings, select accept. When you are done with this, you will immediately get more options than you saw before.
- From the new options, you should select DRIVER ASSIST. But in this option, remember to click the OK button again.
- Now the DRIVER CONTROL option will appear in front of you. Congratulations, you have completed the procedure. Now all you have to do is check the steering wheel and press OK, and you are ready to go.
If you own a Volkswagen or identical car, the process may be a little different. We will show you how to turn off your car’s traction control.
- You must convert your vehicle to accessory mode. Here, always be sure to keep the ignition in position, but do not start the engine.
- After you have done the above. You must go through the lights. Put your hands on the warning lights.
- If you don’t know which one it is, don’t worry, just find the triangle button and press it.
- After you press it, the warning lights will come on and you are ready to move on to the next step.
- Now you must press the accelerator pedals. Start slowly, press the accelerator pedal once, and then repeat the process 4 more times, for a total of 5 times.
- The vehicle will move forward as a result of pressing the accelerator pedal. It will move a few feet and then the TC will come back on. The vehicle will do this automatically.
Note: in most cases, some safety features will be disabled if you perform the process, all you need to do is reactivate them again to fully enjoy your car.
In this case, Toyota has an easier process, since it has a VSC button.
- Press and hold the button for a few seconds.
- Done, this will do the job for you; it will disable the VSC as well as the TRAC; after the procedure is complete, you will see a message that says VSC OFF, as well as the TRAC OFF message.
4. Chevrolet and GMC
In the particular case of GMC or Chevy, traction control and StabiliTrak can be activated as follows:
- Press the center button, pass through the button on the mainboard.
- Now all you have to do is press the button and hold it down for a few seconds to see the traction control activate.
- It will then display a DIC message. If you own a GMC Sierra, you will understand exactly what we mean.
- Well, now you just have to wait, the Stabilitrak in your car will turn on automatically.
- It will occur if your car reaches 56 km/h or more, and you should know that the traction control will also be deactivated.
5. FIAT, RAM, Dodge Jeep y Chrysler
With the vehicle stopped, but turned on, perform this process:
- Press the ESC button. Hold it there for about 6 seconds.
- You will now hear a buzzer,… Ready, in the instrument group you will see ESC OFF.
How To Reset Service Stabilitrak Light
The Stabilitrak warning light on the instrument panel usually comes on. This may be due to a software or computer failure, which you can resolve by pressing the Stabilitrak button or by following the procedure described above for your car, or it may be due to a system problem that needs to be resolved.
Before attempting to reset any warning light, it is recommended that you perform the appropriate diagnostic checks, as warning lights are your truck’s only means of communicating problems.
Follow this guide to reset StabiliTrak light after you have completed the diagnostic check.
Step to Reset Service Stabilitrak Light
Make sure the Stabilitrak button is not pressed manually; otherwise, the Stabilitrak system may be disabled due to current weather conditions. If none of these statements are true, read on to learn how to reset the system.
- Step 1: Turn the handwheel clockwise. (If it shuts off, the vehicle does not need service, otherwise, follow the other steps.)
- Step 2: Turn off the vehicle
- Step 3: Wait 15 seconds
- Step 4: Turn the vehicle on
If the DIC message disappears, the vehicle is no longer in need of repair. If the message persists, contact your local dealer or a professional repair shop for assistance.
What Would Cause The Stabilitrak Light To Come On?
When this warning indicator light comes on in the dashboard, it may mean that the system is not working properly, is receiving a bad signal, or has shut down.
If the traction service light is also on, there is a possibility that the StabiliTrak system has problems. Let’s look at the most common reasons:
1. Input Sensor
One of the most typical causes of Service StabiliTrak warning alerts appearing on the dashboard. These faulty sensors may be associated with wheel speed, steering angle, or rate of turn.
The problem should be resolved by promptly replacing the affected sensor with your model at your local service facility.
2. Faulty Controller
In this situation, a faulty powertrain control module (PCM) could be the culprit.
The StabiliTrak system is activated when the electronic sensor at each wheel communicates with the PCM about stability and steering performance.
This is particularly critical during extreme weather conditions.
3. Bad Connection
Damage to the GM-LAN communication line can sometimes fail the Service StabiliTrak connection. General Motors uses GM-LAN communication cables, which are wiring harnesses shielded by a plastic jacket that extends to the transmission mechanism.
To protect the wiring and critical gearbox components, the heat shield is mounted on the gearbox.
However, when the plastic coverages and is exposed to high temperatures over an extended period of time, it can become brittle and become detached.
As a result, the GM-LAN communication channel is vulnerable. A portion of the GM-LAN cable can also be pushed against the heat shield and partially melt the plastic cable jacket.
Grounding of the GM-LAN line can disrupt communications between the body control computers, including the StabiliTrak system.
Although there are other causes for the StabiliTrak service warning, wiring and grounding problems are another possibility.
How to fix StabiliTrak?
The Service StabiliTrak error message indicates that there is a problem. StabiliTrak can sometimes be repaired by cycling the basic engine ignition:
- Stop and turn off your vehicle.
- Let it sit for at least 20 seconds.
- When you start the standby vehicle, the notification should go away.
- If it does not, you should get assistance.
Stabilitrak And Traction Control Disabling Itself
Your engine starts to misfire, you have an engine light flashing, the computer turned off your stabilization and traction control, and if you let things go on too long you’re going to see service lights for your traction control and your Stabilitrak. Sounds like a catastrophic failure, but don’t worry, I’ll show you how to fix it.
A flashing engine light normally indicates a misfire, so why would a misfire cause the traction control and Stabilitrak to go out? both systems need reliable engine speed.
So GM programmed the vehicle to shut those systems off in the event of a misfire for safety reasons. The good news is that if you fix the misfire, both problems automatically go away.
Many things can cause a misfire, including a loose spark plug wire. So, it pays to go under the hood and check them. It’s free and easy.
But when that doesn’t work, and it probably won’t, you’re going to need a code reader and in this case, even the cheapest ones will suffice, since you just have to get the number from the computer.
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This is a very cheap OBD reader. It even comes with a little booklet that gives you all the code definitions in there. This one is a little more specific to trucks and GM vehicles. It comes with a manual as well.
It also allows you to repair your ABS and your passenger restraint and airbag systems. So it has a little bit more features than the others.
How Much Does It Cost to Fix the StabiliTrak?
Replacing the traction control system, or StabiliTrak, on a car typically costs between $80 and $190. This price includes labor costs, which can range from $30 to $50, depending on the manufacturer. At the same time, the cost of this work ranges from $20 to $40 per part.
Some vehicles that are experiencing problems with Service Stabilitrak warnings may require sensor replacement, which will cost between $250 and $400 per vehicle.
As a result of the Service StabiliTrak warning that there is no obvious reason, it is recommended that you investigate all possible causes before choosing what to do next.
If none of these options are successful, you should take your vehicle to the nearest shop for repair.
Can I Drive With Stabilitrak Light On?
It is only safe to drive with the Traction Control System (TCS)/StabiliTrak Light on if and only if the light appears when you are losing traction.
Turning off the Traction Control System (TCS)/StabiliTrak Light can cause your vehicle to skid and spin, which could cause problems on the road.
What causes traction control to malfunction?
ABS and traction control often cause problems because traction control sensors or anti-lock braking sensors are always exposed and can be disrupted by dirt or another build-up
Why are my StabiliTrak and ABS lights on?
ABS is failing
Traction control and ABS share the same control module and the same internal self-diagnostic system. Therefore, if a problem occurs in the ABS, it will turn on the traction control light. Because of this, both lights will be on.
Where is the StabiliTrak button?
The StabiliTrak button is located on the center console. If you do not have this button on your console, your vehicle does not have Stabilitrak.
StabiliTrak service messages are the vehicle’s way of telling you that it needs attention. StabiliTrak technology protects drivers from wheel slippage and prevents accidents on bumpy roads as a standard safety feature.
The most common reason for these alerts is that the input sensors are not functioning properly or that controller problem interfere with the transmission of power to the wheels preventing them from gripping surfaces effectively.
In an emergency situation where more traction is needed, such as when driving over rough terrain in a snowstorm, disabling StabiliTrak can increase the chances of successfully traversing tricky areas without risking damage to anything else, such as brakes or steering components; this varies depending on the type of vehicle you drive, so be sure you know how to do this before attempting any changes.
Now you know how to turn off Stabilitrak, we try to detail the process as simple as possible, you do not need more hands than yours to do it, but always keep in mind the safety measures.