What is Chevy Service StabiliTrak? (And What to Do)
Today’s cars come with sophisticated systems that enhance the drive, such as StabiliTrak. Although this electronic stability control system was specifically developed for GM vehicles, similar systems are available for other manufacturers. How do you respond to the Service StabiliTrak warning?
This guide will show you how to turn on the lights when they come on. The guide also discusses how to turn off the lights when necessary.
- What's StabiliTrak?
- What Does “Service StabiliTrak” Mean?
- Possible causes of the Service StabiliTrak light
- Reset Service StabiliTrak Light
- With the StabiliTrak light on, can I drive?
- StabiliTrak FAQs
GM's electronic stability control (ESC), system was patented as StabiliTrak. The ESC system prevents wheels from slipping in low-traction conditions.
Other automakers have an identical system, but with a different name. Even though there won’t be a StabiliTrak warning on a vehicle outside of the GM lineup, many of the same principles exist across the board.
What Does “Service StabiliTrak” Mean?
GM sends an alert to the driver when the StabiliTrak technology isn’t working as intended. This is usually when there are issues with steering response or wheel location. When everything is working as it should, then the system will react to any understeering or oversteering automatically.
When it’s working correctly, safety is improved for occupants, especially when traveling on slippery surfaces. If a sensor fails, you will receive an alert that there’s a fault. Although the alert is lit up, it is still a sign that the traction control isn't working as expected. This isn’t a dangerous situation in most cases, but you still want to have the fault repaired.
Possible causes of the Service StabiliTrak light
StabiliTrak runs through the brake parts, traction control systems and steering wheels. There are other factors that can cause malfunctions. The problem may be due to one of the components listed in the Service StabiliTrak indicator.
These are just some of the problems that can cause the StabiliTrak to light up. The most common complaints have to do with a bad sensor, where the system can’t receive the information it needs, so it shuts down. You can use a code scanner to quickly determine what sensor is failing so that you can fix the problem.
The most unusual problem is the use of E85 fuel, but it’s been noted many times by drivers. When conventional gasoline is added back into the tank, the StabiliTrak light seems to go off by itself, so it’s always something to consider, especially if you just visited the gas pump and there are no obvious trouble codes present.
It’s also possible that a bad fuel pump is causing the issue, even though the StabiliTrak isn’t part of the fuel system. For this reason, it’s important to monitor all of the symptoms that the car is exhibiting to make a proper diagnosis. It will make it easier to diagnose if there are multiple problems.
Reset Service StabiliTrak Light
If the Service StabiliTrak light has come on the dashboard, you should take heed that there’s something wrong with the system. The system could have a software glitch or computer malfunction that causes it to turn off.
You should first run the diagnostics to determine the cause of the malfunction before turning off the warning lamp. Warning lights alert you when there is danger.
You can reset your warning light once you have completed the diagnostics and know the solution. Below are some guidelines:
- Make sure you check the StabiliTrak button. It will still turn on even if the button has been manually pressed.
- Take into account the road and weather conditions. If there’s a reason for the system to be disabled automatically, that could be why the warning light is on.
- Turn the steering wheel counterclockwise. If the light turns off, there’s probably nothing wrong with the StabiliTrak system. Continue with these steps if the light is still on.
- Then, turn off your vehicle. Take a break and go do something for around 15 minutes. It gives your system time to recover.
- Start the car. If the message is gone, you don’t need to service the vehicle. Otherwise, it’s time for complete diagnostics.
Service StabiliTrak may continue to warn you that there are possible system faults. A malfunctioning controller or defective input sensor could cause it. However, it’s also possible that there is simply a bad connection in the system that needs to be re-established.
You could spend, on average, $200 to $550 to repair a Service StabiliTrak warning, depending on what’s causing the fault. If you aren’t sure how to proceed, get the car diagnosed through a mechanic that understands the GM technology.
With the StabiliTrak light on, can I drive?
If you’ve chosen to turn StabiliTrak off, then there’s nothing wrong with the system and you are free to drive as needed. You should be aware, however that the system will not provide traction control. This could cause your tires to spin and skid in slippery conditions. You can avoid accidents by driving accordingly.
If StabiliTrak has been disabled due to a fault you should have it checked. Once the problem codes have been identified, you can determine whether driving is safe. In certain situations, it is possible to wait until the problem has been resolved so long as you feel safe driving with no traction control.
Some causes can lead to more problems. If the reason the StabiliTrak is malfunctioning is also causing other concerns, it’s best to have the fault repaired.
Does StabiliTrak affect transmission?
Yes. StabiliTrak may affect the transmission. The system applies force to the wheels to keep it stable when activated. Drag and resistance can result in the wheels not turning as smoothly and the car moving less efficiently.
Are there any signs that a StabiliTrak system is failing?
StabiliTrak problems can send a StabiliTrak message to your dashboard. It can also cause the car's steering wheel to become distorted or cause it skid on slippery roads. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to take your car in for service right away.
StabiliTrak is covered by warranty
StabiliTrak usually is not covered by warranty. However, it really depends on your car’s make and model as well as the type of warranty you have. So it’s always best to check with your manufacturer or dealer to see what exactly is covered under your warranty.
StabiliTrak can keep the car running until it starts?
Your car should start regardless of whether the StabiliTrak is installed. It could also be an electronic issue with the car, which is likely to cause both problems starting and StabiliTrak.
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