Every car features multiple sensors and systems that help you maintain driving control at all times. StabiliTrak is one such system and helps with keeping responsive steering and maneuverability.
Suppose you are familiar with the functions of similar systems, such as the Anti-lock Braking System and Traction Control systems. In that case, it won't take long to familiarize yourself with the StabiliTrak. Here is our guide to its purpose, how it works, and some common errors.
What Does The Service StabiliTrak Light Mean?
Service StabiliTrak works at all times to prevent any type of skidding or slipping on challenging road surfaces. When driving through a route that is either snowy, muddy, or wet, your tires lose some amount of stability and therefore become prone to skidding.
In such a case, your StabiliTrak system is alerted, which redirects the wheels to match the steering direction.
In simpler terms, it ensures that your wheels don't roll uncontrollably into a random direction and always stay on track. It does this with the help of wheel sensors and steering sensors that monitor the movement at all times.
Having your service StabiliTrak light illuminated means there is a fault in the system either due to a damaged component or other issues in the programming. In both cases, the light error message is an alert for immediate attention and should be resolved as soon as possible.
Not having it properly working can make your car more prone to accidents as you won't be getting the previously present protection. If your Service StabiliTrak light gets illuminated while driving, make sure to go more precautiously and avoid snowy or wet roads.
What Causes an illuminated Service StabiliTrak Light?
The StabiliTrak system works in conjunction with multiple systems within the car, and a problem in one can cause pain in the other. The main components involved with the system include the steering wheel, the braking system, and other stability control systems. Below are some common reasons that may be causing an issue:
- A damaged throttle position sensor
- Faulty Anti-braking system sensors
- Faulty steering wheel sensors
- Damaged fuel pump
- Tire sensors (detecting direction or pressure)
- The body control module, Brake switch, or E85 fuel.
These are only some of the reasons that may be causing the issue. It's best to check the possible reasons first, such as the sensors and E85 fuel. Many drivers report having their StabiliTrak automatically illuminated when they use E85 fuel, which may be causing the same problem for you.
A damaged fuel pump can also cause the problem. It is less likely and should be checked once the closer components are functioning correctly.
However, rather than chasing the typical reasons, it is wiser to look for signs and symptoms. Different problems that root from various components will also give symptoms of damage unique to them. Some common signs include:
- Excessive loss of power
- Car going to limp mode
- Random Trouble codes
- Hard shifting
Troubleshooting the StabiliTrak light isn't always straightforward due to the multiple mechanisms. The simplest solution is to turn off your engine for at least 30 seconds and let the system refresh. If any component was malfunctioning, this should reset it. However, a professional should only repair a more persistent problem to prevent further damage.