How to Reset or Turn Off Service StabiliTrak Light on You Car

When you’re driving, the last thing you want to see is a warning light on your dashboard. One of the most common warning lights that drivers encounter is the Service StabiliTrak Light. This light indicates that there is an issue with the StabiliTrak system, which is responsible for keeping your vehicle stable and balanced. Ignoring this warning light can lead to unsafe driving conditions, so it’s important to address the issue promptly. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the reasons why the Service StabiliTrak Light may turn on, and we’ll provide you with steps to reset or turn off the light. We’ll also provide tips to prevent the light from turning on in the future.

What is StabiliTrak

StabiliTrak is the registered name of the patented electronic stability control (ESC) by General Motors. GM designed StabiliTrak to stop a vehicle’s wheels and stop it from slipping, skidding, or spinning. When making a dangerous maneuver, the system takes grip of the vehicle’s wheels and adjusts its trajectory.

For example, StabiliTrak detects the problem and restrains the engine when driving down a steep hill. It then reduces the power on wheels and makes the vehicle move slower. StabiliTrak is available in two main types, including the following:

1. Service StabiliTrak Chevy

Service StabiliTrak Chevy by Chevrolet is a dynamic technology that activates when it senses differences in wheel steering reaction and location. Its purpose is to respond to understeer or oversteer conditions and improve your safety if you are driving on slippery surfaces for the first time. It also detects when you need assistance and applies brakes or adjusts wheel power for a smoother ride.

2. Service StabiliTrak GM

If you aren’t using the Service StabiliTrak Chevy, your vehicle must have GM’s StabiliTrak system. By applying the brakes, it prevents your car from slipping and changes its trajectory. It also detects when you have entirely lost control of the vehicle using engine RPM and steering angle data.

Reasons for Service StabiliTrak Light to Turn On

There are several reasons why the Service StabiliTrak Light may turn on. Here are some of the most common reasons:

  1. Malfunction in the StabiliTrak system: The most common reason why the Service StabiliTrak Light turns on is due to a malfunction in the StabiliTrak system. This can be caused by a variety of issues, such as a faulty sensor or a problem with the electronic stability control module.
  2. Low battery voltage: Another reason why the Service StabiliTrak Light may turn on is due to low battery voltage. If the battery is not providing enough power, it can cause the StabiliTrak system to malfunction.
  3. Problems with the ABS system: The StabiliTrak system is closely tied to the anti-lock braking system (ABS). If there is an issue with the ABS system, it can cause the Service StabiliTrak Light to turn on.
  4. Issues with the wheel speed sensors: The StabiliTrak system uses wheel speed sensors to determine the speed of each wheel. If there is an issue with one or more of the sensors, it can cause the StabiliTrak system to malfunction and the Service StabiliTrak Light to turn on.

It’s important to note that the reasons why the Service StabiliTrak Light turns on may vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle. If you’re not sure what’s causing the issue, it’s best to take your vehicle to a qualified mechanic for diagnosis and repair.

Steps to Reset the Service StabiliTrak Light

If the Service StabiliTrak Light turns on and you want to try resetting it yourself, here are the steps you can take:

  1. Turn off the engine: The first step is to turn off the engine and remove the key from the ignition. This will ensure that the StabiliTrak system is completely powered off.
  2. Remove the negative cable from the battery terminal: Locate the negative cable (usually black) on the battery terminal and use a wrench to loosen and remove it. Be careful not to touch any metal parts of the car while you do this.
  3. Wait for a few minutes: Leave the cable disconnected for a few minutes. This will allow any residual electrical charges to dissipate.
  4. Reconnect the battery cable: Reconnect the negative cable to the battery terminal and tighten it with a wrench.
  5. Turn on the engine and check if the light is off: Start the engine and check the dashboard to see if the Service StabiliTrak Light is off. If the light is still on, it may be an indication of a more serious issue and you should take your vehicle to a qualified mechanic for diagnosis and repair.

It’s important to note that resetting the Service StabiliTrak Light does not fix the underlying issue. If the light turns on again, it’s important to address the issue promptly to ensure safe driving conditions.

Steps to Turn Off the Service StabiliTrak Light

Turning off the Service StabiliTrak Light may require different steps depending on the make and model of your vehicle. Here are some general steps you can follow:

  1. Check the owner’s manual for the specific procedure: The first step is to consult your owner’s manual to see if there is a specific procedure for turning off the Service StabiliTrak Light for your vehicle. This may involve pressing a combination of buttons on the dashboard or using a diagnostic tool.
  2. Take the vehicle to a qualified mechanic: If the owner’s manual does not provide a procedure for turning off the Service StabiliTrak Light, or if the light turns on again after you’ve tried resetting it, it’s best to take your vehicle to a qualified mechanic. They will have the necessary tools and expertise to diagnose and repair the issue.
  3. Diagnose and repair the issue: The mechanic will use diagnostic tools to identify the specific issue causing the Service StabiliTrak Light to turn on. They will then provide you with a repair estimate and carry out the necessary repairs to fix the problem.

It’s important not to ignore the Service StabiliTrak Light, as it can indicate a serious issue with the StabiliTrak system. Ignoring the warning light can lead to unsafe driving conditions and may cause further damage to your vehicle.

How to Turn Off StabiliTrak in Different Vehicles

Turning off your vehicle’s traction system may disable some safety features, which means you have to turn them back on when you need to enjoy them. The process of turning off StabiliTrak varies from one manufacturer to another. Most vehicles have a StabiliTrak On/Off button with a car picture and wavy parallel lines underneath. Here is how to turn off your traction control on your car, based on the manufacturer:

1. Ford

Owners of Ford or similar vehicles have a simple process they can use to turn off StabiliTrak. However, depending on your vehicle model, the StabiliTrak sensor might not be located in the same place. Once you identify the StabiliTrak sensor, you have to do the following:

  • Step 1: Start by pressing the StabiliTrak button (found on the steering wheel) once and release it immediately.
  • Step 2: Press and hold the traction control button for some time before releasing it. That simple process is enough to turn off the traction control.

The process might not be as simple as that on other vehicle models, including those from Ford. You must find the location of the StabiliTrak vehicle in your car. Here is the process you have to use:

  • Step 1: The first step is to find the location of the StabiliTrak sensor on your vehicle. You also have to check your vehicle’s menu for steering wheel controls in the instrument panel.
  • Step 2: On the left of the steering wheel, look for a button with a black arrow and press it.
  • Step 3: Now you have to scroll down again to manage the settings. Select Accept to see additional options on the menu.
  • Step 4: Select Driver Assist on the new menu followed by OK.
  • Step 5: That should expose the Driver Control option, which means you have turned off StabiliTrak. The only thing that remains is to press OK, and that’s it.

2. Chevrolet and GMC

If you drive a Chevrolet or GMC, the process of turning off StabiliTrak is slightly different from that of a Ford. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Step 1: Press the center button and wait for the mainboard button.
  • Step 2: Press and hold down the button on the mainboard for several seconds until you activate the traction control.
  • Step 3: Next, the vehicle displays a DIC message. If you drive a GMC Sierra, this should be clear to you.
  • Step 4: As you start driving the car, wait for some time for the StabiliTrak to turn on automatically. That usually happens once your vehicle reaches at least 56 km/h.

3. Volkswagen

For those who drive a Volkswagen or similar vehicle, the procedure might be slightly different. Here is the process of turning off the traction control.

  • Step 1: At this stage, you have to convert the vehicle to accessory mode. Remember to keep the ignition in place. However, you should avoid turning the engine on for the time being.
  • Step 2: Once you finish step 1, go through the lights until you reach the warning lights.
  • Step 3: If you have no idea which one is the warning light, look for one whose button has a triangle. Press the button.
  • Step 4: Once the warning lights come on, you can move to the next stage.
  • Step 5: Press the accelerator pedals, going through each pedal one at a time. Repeat the process four more times until you have gone through the cycle a total of five times.
  • Step 6: Pressing the accelerator pedal forces the vehicle to move forward for several feet. You should then be able to see the traction control come back on automatically.

4. Toyota

Toyota provides the most straightforward process for turning off the traction control. The vehicle comes with a VSC button, which you can use to turn off StabiliTrak by pressing and holding the button for several seconds. That simple action is enough to disable the VSC and TRAC. You can know that this is the case through a message that says VSC OFF and TRAC OFF.

5. Dodge Jeep Y Chrysler, Fiat, or RAM

Like Toyota, these three vehicle types provide the most uncomplicated procedure for turning off StabiliTrak. Here is how you can go about it:

  • Step 1: Press the ESC button and hold for six or more seconds.
  • Step 2: The sound of a buzzer indicates that the StabiliTrak is off. In the instrument group, you should see the ESC OFF message.

Tips to Prevent the Service StabiliTrak Light from Turning On

Here are some tips to help prevent the Service StabiliTrak Light from turning on:

  1. Regular maintenance of the StabiliTrak system: Make sure to follow the recommended maintenance schedule for your vehicle, which may include regular inspections of the StabiliTrak system. This will help to identify and address any issues before they turn into bigger problems.
  2. Proper care of the battery: A weak or dying battery can cause the StabiliTrak system to malfunction, so it’s important to keep the battery in good condition. This means keeping it clean, making sure the terminals are tight and corrosion-free, and replacing it when necessary.
  3. Promptly addressing any warning lights that turn on: If any warning lights turn on, including the Service StabiliTrak Light, it’s important to address the issue promptly. Ignoring warning lights can cause further damage and may lead to unsafe driving conditions.
  4. Safe driving practices: Avoid driving in a way that puts unnecessary stress on the StabiliTrak system, such as sudden or aggressive acceleration, hard braking, or taking turns too fast. This will help to prolong the life of the system and reduce the risk of malfunctions.
  5. Quality repairs: When it comes to repairs, make sure to use high-quality parts and work with a qualified mechanic who has experience with your specific make and model of vehicle. This will help to ensure that the repairs are effective and long-lasting.

By following these tips, you can help to prevent the Service StabiliTrak Light from turning on and keep your vehicle running smoothly and safely.

Stabilitrak and Traction Control Disabling Itself

The StabiliTrak and traction control often get turned off as a result of the engine misfiring. You can know that your engine has misfired when you see machine flashing lights. In the beginning, it isn’t much of a problem. However, letting things escalate for far too long may turn on service StabiliTrak lights.

A flashing light is a sign of misfiring in the engine. For StabiliTrak and traction control to work correctly, the engine speed should be reliable. So, a misfiring engine automatically turns off the two systems. Fixing the misfire resets the two systems automatically.

You only need to know and fix the reason for the engine misfire. For example, it could be due to a loose spark plug wire. If you cannot go under the hood to check for the problem, then have a qualified technician do it for you. If that doesn’t work, you must use a code reader to acquire a computer-generated number to fix the problem.

The Cost of Replacing the StabiliTrak System

You can replace your vehicle’s StabiliTrak or traction control system by paying anything between $80 and $190. The price includes labor costs ranging from $30 to $50, depending on the vehicle manufacturer.

Sometimes, your vehicle may experience Service StabiliTrak issues for a destroyed sensor. That may mean parting with anything between $250 and $400 to acquire a new sensor for your vehicle.

If a Service StabiliTrak warning light has no apparent cause, you should investigate thoroughly before choosing a course of action. Possibly, you may fail in bringing your vehicle back to speed. That would make it necessary to seek help from the nearest vehicle repair shop or dealer.


The purpose of StabiliTrak messages is to help you know when your vehicle needs attention. It protects you from accidents caused by wheel spinning, slippage, or skidding. One of the reasons to reset the service StabiliTrak light is malfunctioning input sensors. It could also be that a controller problem interferes with power transmission to the wheels, preventing perfect surface traction. However, there are instances when you may want to disable StabiliTrak, including driving on slippery surfaces. Ensure you remail alert!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I drive with the StabiliTrak light on?

You can drive with the StabiliTrak light on if it appears when you start losing traction. If you turn off the traction control system light, the vehicle may spin and skid, causing an accident. When the light turns on for any other reason, first turn it off before driving your car.

What causes traction control malfunction?

The main reason for traction control malfunction is the exposure of anti-lock and traction control sensors, resulting in disruption due to the build-up of dirt.

Why are my StabiliTrak and ABS lights on?

Your StabiliTrak and ABS lights are on because of failing ABS. That’s because ABS and traction controls share the same control module and internal self-diagnostic system. As such, problems in the ABS may cause the traction control light to turn on automatically. You can know that ABS is the problem when both lights turn on.

Where is the StabiliTrak button?

The location of the StabiliTrak button is on the center console. Any vehicle without the controller might not have StabiliTrak installed.

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