Service Esc Light (Meaning, Causes & Fix)

Are you noticing that your car’s service ESC light keeps flashing on and off or constantly stays on? Do you wonder what this could mean and what you should do when this occurs? Then, look no further because your answers are right here.

Your vehicle’s service ESC light could be illuminated if its system is turned off, you have faulty wheel speed or steering angle sensors, or there are faulty wiring/electrical problems. The ESC system can be turned off by holding the “ESC Off” switch for five seconds.

This article will provide you with the major reasons your service ESC light comes on, the next steps you should take, and how to fix the service ESC light.

Let’s get started!

You will notice if everything is functioning properly. For example, your car will apply brakes to the individual wheels, and your service light will flash rather than stay on.

However, if the system has a fault, the service ESC light will remain on, and you probably won’t notice anything, even though the system may kick on at any time, depending on the issue.

Also Read: What Does Esc off Mean?

What does the ESC Light Mean?

Service ESC

The service ESC light may mean multiple things when it appears on the dashboard; therefore, it is essential to understand how your specific control system operates.

Usually, when the system actively tries to maintain traction control, the service light will be illuminated. Of course, the light will remain lit only if the car isn’t under control. If this light never goes out, a fault has probably been identified, or the control system was manually shut off.

To distinguish between a fault and the vehicle’s system being turned off, most cars with a button that activates the electronic stability control also have the word “off” printed beneath the symbol.

The control system will temporarily be deactivated if a fault is detected until the problem is remedied. You should also ask a competent technician to check your vehicle’s computer system for codes to identify the exact problem.

What Causes the Service ESC Light to Come On?

The system is switched off, or defective wheel speed sensors are the two most frequent causes of the service ESC light. Although these are the most typical reasons for an ESC light, there are other things to watch out for. The four major causes of your vehicle’s ESC light being on are highlighted below.

1. The ESC System Is Turned Off

Are you aware that the ESC system in most cars can be turned off? Although you shouldn’t do so unless attempting to drift, you can turn it off. The light will be turned on when your electronic service control system is turned off.

Before taking your car to a repair shop, check out how the system is turned off and on and try it out. It would surprise you how frequently this resolves the issue and prevents needless headaches.

2. Faulty Wheel Speed Sensors

Defective wheel speed sensors are almost always the root cause when the system has a problem. The ESC system in your vehicle monitors each wheel speed sensor and adjusts the car breaks to accommodate any disparities it notices.

However, if one wheel speed sensor is completely unresponsive or provides inaccurate readings, the electronic stability control system will experience issues. You can make sure that each wheel speed sensor is operating correctly by monitoring the speed readings of each sensor using a scan tool while on the road.

Service ESC

3. Faulty Steering Angle Sensor

The steering angle sensor is another sensor that controls the ESC system. The sensor works together with the car’s wheel speed sensors to ensure that each of the wheels spins at a suitable speed depending on your direction.

This is because as your vehicle turns, its outside wheels will spin more quickly than its inside wheels. Although this is quite normal, if the steering angle sensor isn’t communicating with the ECM, it will look like one side of the wheels has excellent traction, but the other is slipping.

4. Faulty Wiring/Electrical Problems

Although the vehicle’s sensors may be working ideally, nothing will function correctly if there is a disconnection in the electrical wiring between your vehicle’s ECM and sensor. Even though this is not common, it is possible, especially where the vehicle’s electrical wiring is not concealed near the car’s wheel speed sensors.

Finally, when checking the sensors, always check the battery and power. A mechanic once wasted several hours troubleshooting a vehicle’s ESC system, which errantly turned on at very high speeds, before realizing the issue was simply a flat battery.

The stability control system experienced problems as a result, although the car still started. I’m still unsure of why or how that happened, so please verify the battery of the vehicle.

Also Read: Service Stability System (Meaning, Causes & Solution)

Is It Safe to Drive With the Service ESC Light?

Service ESC

It’s dangerous to drive while the service ESC light is on. However, while driving, it doesn’t necessarily imply that your vehicle has a problem just because the light turns on.

For example, if the service ESC light flashes on and then off when driving on a slippery road or skidding, everything is functioning properly, and there is no cause for alarm.

However, if the electronic stability control light is constantly staying on (when you have not turned off the system) or turns on when it’s not supposed to, this isn’t safe to drive in.

This is because the ESC system of your vehicle recovers stability by activating your ABS, then applying brakes to the individual tires. This means that your car’s brakes may begin to pump at intervals while driving on the road, even if you are traveling at 80 mph down the freeway.

Therefore, even though you’ll probably have no issues driving while your ESC light is on, the initial time it malfunctions, it could result in a major accident.

Also Read: Traction Control Light Won’t Turn Off? (Causes & How to Fix)

Frequently Asked Questions – Service ESC

What causes service ESC?

A defective wheel speed sensor is the common cause of the service ESC light. The ESC system in your vehicle monitors each of the wheel speed sensors and then adjusts the car brakes to accommodate any disparities it identifies.

Is it safe to drive with the ESC light on?

If your ESC light illuminates, you can continue driving, but you must take precautions like slowing down. You also need to get a qualified technician to address any electronic stability control-related issues whenever you can. If your vehicle needs an ESC repair, don’t hesitate to call our automobile repair shop today!

How do you fix the ESC light?

You can turn off your ESC system when necessary by holding down the car’s “ESC Off” button for a five-second period.

What does it mean if the ESC light comes on while driving?

The electronic stability control light illuminates to notify the driver of the system’s activation and that the vehicle is getting close to its handling constraints. Unfortunately, although it is an effective driver aid, once a car’s traction limits are exceeded, it can’t save the vehicle.

How much does it cost to fix an ESC on a Chevy Malibu?

Replacement of the traction control switch on a Chevy Malibu typically costs around $66 to $78. In addition, the estimated labor cost is around $44 to $56, and $22 is the cost of parts.

Where is the ESC located?

The electronic stability control system can be found around the vehicle’s wheels. Its objective is to ensure your car goes the way you intend it to.

What does it mean when my 2020 Chevy Malibu says service ESC?

The service ESC light indicates a malfunctioning Electronic Stability Control. The system is intended to prevent your vehicle from spinning out of control whenever an emergency occurs.

Conclusion – Service ESC

The service ESC light indicates issues in your vehicle’s electronic stability control system. It also alerts you when the ESC is inactive. When this occurs, it could mean that there is a fault somewhere in your vehicle’s ESC system or that everything is operating properly and preventing your car from skidding when driving.

Hope this post was helpful to you! Please feel free to check out our other blog posts if you’re looking for more tips on car troubleshooting and how to prevent car troubles.

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