StabiliTrak is a stability control system that helps to keep the vehicle on the road. It uses sensors to detect when the car is losing control, applies the brakes, and reduces engine power to help keep you in your lane. In an emergency, StabiliTrak can help maintain control of your vehicle by automatically applying brakes, reducing engine power, or both if necessary.
The Service StabiliTrak light comes on when the vehicle needs service. The system uses sensors to determine how stable your vehicle is when it’s being driven. If your car is driving erratically, it could indicate a malfunctioning or missing sensor needs to be replaced as soon as possible.
Furthermore, StabiliTrak prevents you from losing control of your vehicle on slippery roads or in emergencies, such as when you must avoid hitting an animal crossing the road. It also keeps your car level when driving on rough terrain by sensing when the vehicle starts to tip over and taking action to keep it upright, even if you don’t apply any brakes or turn the wheel.
As good and beneficial as Stabilitrak are, it can expose the driver to a lot of danger once damaged. When there is a Service Stabilitrak indicator light on your dashboard, know there is a problem around your Stabilitrak.
Table of contents
- What Causes The Service StabiliTrak Light To Come On?
- What To Always Check For If You Keep Seeing A Service StabiliTrak Light On Your Dash
- How To Reset Service StabiliTrak Light
What Causes The Service StabiliTrak Light To Come On?
Stabilitrak doesn’t just break down or malfunction. Here are a few common causes and reasons why the Service Stabilitrak light comes on:
1. A Faulty Throttle Position Sensor
A faulty throttle position sensor is a device that measures the amount of air entering an engine and sends a signal to the engine control unit (ECU). Once it is tampered with, it will result in several issues on your StabiliTrak. These issues can cause:
- Reduced acceleration
- Low idle speeds
- Poor performance
2. Defective Steering Wheel Position Sensor
The steering wheel position sensor sends information about the steering wheel’s position to the body control module. The body control module uses this information to control the StabiliTrak system. A defective steering wheel position sensor can cause:
- Unwarranted activation of StabiliTrak when driving over rough road surfaces, such as gravel roads or unpaved roads, at speeds above 20 mph (30 km/h)
- A “Service Stabilitrak” message on your Vehicle Information Center (trip odometer)
3. Tire Pressure Monitor Sensors
The tire pressure monitor system is a safety feature that monitors the air pressure in your tires and warns you when it drops below a safe level. The system includes four small sensing devices called sensors: one mounted on each wheel of the vehicle, one inside each fuel tank, and one inside each rear door sill.
If it has an effect, the StabiliTrak light on your dashboard will light on. The sensors transmit information to your instrument cluster, which can alert you to low tire pressure with a warning light on its display screen and audio signals.
4. Defective Fuel Pump
A defective fuel pump can cause this problem. A clogged or broken fuel filter screens out dirt and rust before reaching the pump; if it becomes clogged or breaks down, it will not work correctly. This could lead to a defective fuel pump.
Diesel engines require higher pressure in their lines than gasoline engines, about 35 psi compared with 12 psi. Diesel pumps tend to be larger than gas ones.
If either engine gets too high pressure in its lines, the resulting forces could break something in the system and cause a malfunctioning pump. This will cause the Stabilitrak light to turn on.
5. ABS Sensors
The ABS is designed to help you maintain vehicle control in extreme conditions. If a wheel locks up, the ABS sensor sends a signal to the module, which then applies the brakes at that wheel to prevent it from skidding. The pump will also provide extra fluid pressure when needed.
The most common reason for your ABS light is a faulty sensor. This can also trigger the Service StabiliTrak dashboard light.
Other reasons why the Stabilitrak light may be on are:
- A faulty ABS module (the computer)
- A faulty pump (supplies hydraulic pressure)
- A bad connection in the wiring harness or between parts of the system
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6. Body Control Module
The body control module is a computer that controls the various electronic systems in your car. The body control module receives information from various sensors, including the ABS sensors, throttle position sensor, steering wheel position sensor, fuel pump, and more.
The body control module (BCM) should also be checked during this process because some BCMs fail without warning due to age or general wear and tear on their parts. This failure could cause erratic behavior from Stabilitrak sensors, which could make false alarms about stability issues within our vehicle’s frame/suspension system when there is none.
7. Brake Switch
A common cause for Stabilitrak malfunctions is a faulty brake switch; if yours is not working properly, then you may need to replace it with an OEM-quality replacement part.
The brake switch is a safety switch used to stop the car. The brake pedal is connected to the accelerator pedal with an internal rod.
This allows you to simultaneously step on the accelerator and apply pressure to your foot on both pedals.
This rod is connected to two switches: one for applying the parking brake and another for applying an emergency brake (in case of an accident). When you press your foot against both pedals, it activates these switches.
The process also works in reverse – if one of these switches detects something isn’t right, whether it be too much pressure being applied or not, It will engage its respective mechanism to ensure everything stays safe for you and everyone else on board. But the moment the switch gets damaged, it will turn on the Stabilistrak light automatically.
What To Always Check For If You Keep Seeing A Service StabiliTrak Light On Your Dash
- Check the fluid levels in your vehicle if they are up to date. If they’re low, fill them with more fluid and recheck the warning light.
- Check the wheels for damaged or missing wheel sensors or brake components like calipers and rotors. This will cause an ABS failure which may result in a Service StabiliTrak warning light on your dashboard display if not addressed promptly by a professional mechanic.
- Check tire pressure levels regularly, too (every month), so there’s less chance of blowouts leading up to needing replacement tires sooner than expected.
- Check any loose or damaged ignition coils. They’ll often have an “I” stamped on their top cover and ensure that the contacts inside are clean and free of corrosion (if needed, use sandpaper to clear out buildup).
- Check all of your ignition coils’ wires. If they feel stiff or brittle in any way (or have little cracks), replace them ASAP since they’re easy to damage when changing out other parts like spark plugs or fuel injectors.
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How To Reset Service StabiliTrak Light
1. Pull Over To A Safe Location
If you can do so safely, pull over and check the tire pressure of all four tires. If it’s low, inflate them at a gas station or other service station before continuing on your journey.
2. Turn Off The Engine
Turn off the engine for like 20 to 30 seconds before you do anything else. This includes turning off the ignition and removing the key. If you cannot turn off your car, it’s best to wait for a professional to help.
3. Restart The Engine
You’ll know you’ve successfully started the engine if it turns over and makes a few clanks and hums. After turning on the ignition, wait for your car to start.
If your car doesn’t start after a few moments, try again later or take your vehicle in for service. If the Service StabiliTrak light is on and you can’t fix it yourself, take it to your dealership or mechanic immediately.
StabiliTrak is a system that helps prevent rollovers in the event of a skid. This feature is essential to work because it can save lives. You can get to know that you are in danger once the Service Stabilitrak light shows on your dashboard.
This may be caused by a defective fuel pump, bad switch, body control module, Abs sensors, Tire pressure monitor sensors, a faulty throttle position sensor, and a defective sterling wheel sensor.
To fix and reset this, check your fluid levels, the tire pressure sensors, the ignition coils’ wire, and any loose or damaged ignition coils. Once you can diagnose the cause of the issue, you can reset the dashboard light by pulling over your car to a safe location (if it occurs while on a journey), then turning off the engine for like 20 to 40 seconds. Afterward, restart your engine. By then, the light should have gone off, but if it persists, you may have to visit a professional for a proper diagnosis.
Ugo is a passionate car enthusiast with a Bachelor of Electrical and Electronics Engineering degree and hands-on experience in troubleshooting and fixing automobiles.
I combine my electrical and mechanical engineering knowledge with practical skills to address car-related issues.
My love for cars and dedication to educating others led to the creation of Fixandtroubleshoot.com!