StabiliTrak is the name given to Electronic Stability Control (ESC) by the GM company that allows your Chevrolet car to react quickly and accurately when it detects a loss of control in adverse circumstances. So what exactly is StabiliTrak and what exactly does it do? It’s a mechanism that delivers power to the non-skid side of the vehicle to correct its trajectory.
Whether driving on roads in heavy rain or in other less-than-ideal situations, the system’s sensors can determine when a wheel is slipping. It activates the anti-lock brakes on that side when it detects slippage. The StabiliTrak driver-assist service, which comes standard on all new Chevy models, gives you more confidence on the road.
How Does StabiliTrak Work?
StabiliTrak (unless manually switched off) is permanently activated. Here, a microcomputer evaluates the sensor signals and checks 25 times per second whether the driver’s maneuvers at the wheel correspond to the actual movement of the vehicle. If the vehicle moves in a direction other than the desired one, the computer detects this critical situation and reacts immediately, independently of the driver.
ESC uses the braking system, independently decelerating each wheel to keep the vehicle’s trajectory stable. With this selective braking, the stability control generates the necessary opposing force, so that the vehicle obeys the driver. The system can also intervene in the engine to reduce engine power. In this way, always within the limits of physics, the vehicle safely maintains the desired trajectory.
What are its Components?
The Stability Control is composed of the Electronic Control Unit (ECU), actuators located in the brake system and a group of sensors. The latter can be:
- Steering angle sensors: informs from the steering column about any movement of the steering wheel.
- Steering speed sensors: These are common to the ABS system. Located in the tires, they can inform about any eventual blockage.
- Steering angle and transverse acceleration sensor: Indicates the true behavior of the car.
Once the StabiliTrak intervenes, the driver only has to mark the path to be followed so that the system detects it and correctly interprets the circumstances.
Importance of stability control
The importance of StabiliTrak lies in the protection it offers when driving is suffering from lack of grip or tire skidding. This system corrects the car’s trajectory if it is not correct, and also makes the vehicle go where it is told to go. It corrects oversteer and understeer, not miraculously, but following the laws of physics.
If you are in a curve and with the steering wheel, you tell the car to turn “so many” degrees, however, the car does not and turns less. In that case, StabiliTrak recognizes that the wheels are understeering. But if the car turns more, then the system recognizes that they are oversteering. At this precise moment, ESC will act to correct the trajectory through selective wheel braking.
Recommendations when using Stability Control
There is a basic point that every driver should keep in mind: The StabiliTrak will do everything possible to make the car go where the driver tells it to go.
In a car with StabiliTrak, the driver should not do anything extraordinary but only turn as much as is required to negotiate a curve. If you drive a car that has stability control, you as the driver are not required to do anything. Just point the steering wheel gently in the direction you want to go.
Stability control is a system that is always on the lookout to act as quickly as possible. It does this so quickly that it avoids accidents, reacting even faster than an ordinary driver. For this reason, Stability Control has become mandatory and should never be deactivated, for the safety of the driver and others on the road.