What does it mean when the esc light comes on?

If the ESC light stays on, it means that your vehicle is not under control. And if the ESC light stays on for an extended period of time, your ESC may be malfunctioning, or the system has been manually disabled. It is important to understand how your particular control system works because the ESC light on the dashboard can have multiple meanings. Generally, the light will come on when the computer is actively trying to maintain traction control.

This light will remain on only as long as the vehicle is not under control. If the light stays on constantly, it is likely that a malfunction has been detected or the system has been manually shut down. The most common cause of the ESC light is that the system is switched off or that the wheel speed sensors are faulty. But while these are the most common causes of an ESC light, they are not the only things to look out for.

Below we've highlighted the four most common reasons why your vehicle's ESC light might be on. If the stability control light is constantly on, it means that the system is either deactivated or not working properly. Like the anti-lock braking system, the ESC system controls wheel rotation speed and other parameters such as steering angle. Under normal operating conditions, the ESC light should only come on when the car is started for a couple of seconds and then go out.

If the ESC light flashes when driving typically, it means that the system is activated, and is trying to keep the vehicle under control. The second most common problem that triggers the stability control light is a faulty steering angle sensor. Electronic stability control (ESC) may also be referred to as electronic stability programme (ESP) or dynamic stability control (DSC). This is because the ESC system restores stability by activating the ABS and applying the brakes to each of the tyres, which means that as you drive down the road, the brakes can start to engage and disengage, even if you are doing 80 mph on the motorway.

So while you probably won't encounter any problems while driving if you have the ESC light on, the first time it comes on, it could end up causing a serious accident. However, if the ESC light comes on when it shouldn't or stays on all the time (when the system has not been turned off), it is not a safe driving condition. Your vehicle's ESC system works by monitoring each wheel speed sensor and then adjusting the brakes to accommodate any discrepancies it notices. If the light went on and off while driving on slippery roads or while skidding, then everything was working as it should, and you don't need to worry about anything.

Georgia Wolley
Georgia Wolley

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