What to do if the esc light comes on?

Under normal operating conditions, the ESC light should only be on when the car is started for a couple of seconds and then goes out. If the ESC light flashes when you drive normally, that means that the system is engaged, and is trying to keep the vehicle under control. In some cases, the ESC light comes on if your car is actively trying to maintain traction control. If the ESC light stays on, it means 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. The most common cause of an 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 for. Below we've highlighted the four most common reasons why your vehicle's ESC light might be on.

While electronic stability control can help you maintain control of your vehicle, it can't do everything for you. Try to keep the light off as much as possible. If you are driving in slippery conditions and the light is still on, reduce speed to make the car easier to control. Any problems that prevent the stability control from working should also be resolved as soon as possible.

There are occasions when it is necessary to turn stability control off, but you can leave it on in most cases. It is important to understand how your particular control system works because the ESC light on the dashboard could 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 turned off. The ESP has a specific warning light on the instrument panel, which is a yellow car with two skid marks underneath, as shown in the picture above. If the light comes on and stays on, it indicates that the ESP system has a fault or has been switched off, so you will need to have the system checked at a workshop or have it switched back on. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) works in conjunction with the traction control system, comparing data from the wheel speed sensor along with the steering wheel angle sensor and yaw sensor.

Ultimately, ESC is a useful technology, but safe driving must always be prioritised, regardless of road or weather conditions. ESC helps to prevent the car from "spinning" or "spinning out" due to loss of traction on the road. Since electronic stability control is essentially an extension of ABS and TCS, it is normally safe to drive a vehicle that has a malfunctioning ESC. But announcements are also the way to keep the garage doors open and the lights on here at Autoblog - and keep our stories free for you and everyone else.

And if you're dealing with an ESC defect, you should take your car to a shop to correct the problem as soon as possible. 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 have to worry about anything. But if there is a problem in the system, the light will stay on and you are unlikely to notice anything, although the system could activate at any time depending on the fault. ESC automatically applies the brakes to each of your car's wheels, preventing your vehicle from spinning or rolling away.

Georgia Wolley
Georgia Wolley

Subtly charming tv scholar. Proud social media expert. Lifelong beeraholic. Typical pop culture guru. Incurable social media fan. Total internet maven.