Have you encountered the service StabiliTrak warning light on your dashboard? The service StabiliTrak warning light is standard in some vehicles, including Chevrolet, Toyota, and Volkswagens.
Any warning lights on your dashboard can be a cause for concern; however, there is generally a simple explanation and an easy fix to resolve the service StabiliTrak warning light problem.
The service StabiliTrak warning light is activated when there is a problem with the steering wheel, traction control, or brake system. Faulty sensors in these systems usually trigger this standard warning light. The best way to fix faulty sensors is to find the cause or reset the StabiliTrak system.
GM designed the StabiliTrak system as its electronic stability control. This system helps with traction and uses a computer and wheel sensors to apply brakes to one or more of the vehicle’s wheels when driving.
It’s a system that keeps the driver safe and offers more emergency control. But what happens when this light keeps appearing on your dashboard?
What Causes The Service StabiliTrak Warning Light To Appear?
Several sensors control the StabiliTrak system, and when one of these sensors is faulty or relaying information incorrectly, you’re likely to see the service StabiliTrak warning light. Besides this, a few other reasons may cause the light to come on.
The StabiliTrak system is built for safety, and if anything related to a vehicle’s performance is slightly off, it can trigger this warning light.
Here are a few common causes for the StabiliTrak warning light:
A defective or failing alternator can set off the StabiliTrak warning light. In addition, if your alternator is failing, you may notice its voltage dropping, which can also cause the battery warning light to appear.
Trouble starting your vehicle, the smell of burning rubber, and noises from under the hood can indicate that the alternator is failing.
Several sensors form part of the StabiliTrak system. Each of these sensors works together to send information to the computer communicating everything in the car is working as it should. When there is a faulty sensor, it can activate the StabiliTrak warning light.
A faulty sensor is the most common reason the StabiliTrak warning light is activated. Sensors that may be faulty include the Tire pressure monitor sensors, ABS sensors, and throttle position sensors.
If there is loose wiring or wires are accidentally disconnected, it may cause the StabiliTrak warning light to come on.
The best way to resolve this is to make sure all the connections are plugged in; if there are loose connections, these also get plugged in.
Ignition Or Fuel Safety Feature
Some vehicles have specific ignition and fuel safety features. These help alert drivers if anything is malfunctioning with these systems, and if there is a problem, the service StabiliTrak light may come on.
Defective Fuel Pump
A defective fuel pump may not always set the service StabiliTrak warning light on, but in some cases, it’s good to check the fuel pump to rule it out as the cause.
A defective fuel pump can also affect how the car drives, which could be why the service StabiliTrak light is displayed.
An engine misfire can occur when the engine turns on and when it is idling. When an engine misfires, your motor may lose speed, which is usually the result of a faulty spark plug.
An engine misfire can also set off the service StabiliTrak warning light; to correct this, you’ll need to replace the spark plug causing the misfire.
Some people have reported using E85 fuel sets off the StabiliTrak warning light. If this is the case, it’s best to avoid using this fuel and opt for regular gasoline.
A faulty system controller can cause many issues, including intermittent throttle control, changes in the car’s fuel economy, and throttle hesitation.
This problem can set off the service StabiliTrak warning light, and the best way to fix the controller is to take it to your local repair center, mechanic, or dealership to get it fixed.
How Can You Fix The Service StabiliTrak Warning Light?
Sometimes the service StabiliTrak warning light needs to be reset, or it’s one of the sensors that are faulty. If your StabiliTrak issue is due to a malfunction, you could try resetting the system and see if the warning light switches off.
To fix the service StabiliTrak warning light, follow these steps:
- Take notice of the StabiliTrak warning light. It’s best to start the reset process as soon as you notice the StabiliTrak light come on. When you see the light come on, park and turn off your car’s engine.
- Leave the engine off. Once you’ve turned off the engine, you can leave it off for 30 seconds and start it again.
- Check the StabiliTrak warning light. The StabiliTrak warning light should be turned off. If this reset process has not turned it off, then you may need to contact a professional to diagnose the cause of the StabiliTrak warning light.
How Do You Know If Your Vehicle Has StabiliTrak Issues?
If you suspect that your vehicle has StabiliTrak issues due to the warning light appearing on your dashboard, but you aren’t sure if your car needs to be reprogrammed or reset, there are a few indicators that it is a StabiliTrak issue.
- Loss of power, the vehicle going into limp mode
- Trouble codes appearing on your dash
- StabiliTrak warning light
- The car has less traction and glides on slippery surfaces
- Transmission is effected
- Erratic steering
- Strange noises while driving
- Rough idling
- Hard shifting
Can You Turn Off The Service StabiliTrak Warning Light?
Turning off the service StabiliTrak warning light is possible, but it’s not recommended. Turning it off may not be the same for all vehicles, but you could follow these steps to turn off your StabiliTrak warning light:
- Look for the traction control button. Next, look for the traction control button on your car’s steering wheel. Once located, press it.
- Find the control button. Once you find the control button, hold it down for a few seconds to reset the StabiliTrak warning light. After that, you should see the warning light turn off.
Driving With The Service StabiliTrak Warning Light On
It is safe to drive with the Service StabiliTrak warning light on. You could opt to have the StabiliTrak warning light switched off and continue driving as you usually would; however, your vehicle will have no traction control, which can be dangerous in certain conditions.
If you’ve turned off the StabiliTrak due to a fault, it’s essential to get it resolved, as most vehicles with this system were not designed to drive with it switched off.
In addition, if there are other issues with the engine that are causing the StabiliTrak warning light to appear, these may only get worse if not resolved.
Can You Reset The Service StabiliTrak Warning Light?
When the service StabiliTrak warning light appears, you may need to reset your StabiliTrak control module. This is usually carried out by doing a reset on your car.
To reset the service StabiliTrak system, follow the below steps:
- Switch off your car
- After 15-25 minutes, turn the ignition on, but don’t start the car
- Push on the gas pedal five times in automatic vehicles and on the clutch in manual cars
- The StabiliTrak light should be reset
Will The StabiliTrak Warning Light Affect Transmission?
Generally, when there is a problem with the StabiliTrak, car owners may experience a hesitant transmission and hard shifting. There can also be slipping when changing gears. This is a noticeable change compared to how the vehicle drives regularly.
If the StabiliTrak warning light is on and your transmission is affected, it’s advisable to get the transmission repaired as soon as you can. Problems with the transmission will only worsen over time and may cost more to repair.
What Is The Cost Of Repairing The Service StabiliTrak?
The cost of repairing the Service StabiliTrak varies depending on where you take your vehicle to get fixed. In most cases, it can cost between $100 and $350 depending on the cause of the service Stabilitrak warning light.
Labor costs and travel costs may also be additional costs to budget for. If the warning light is due to a sensor, it may be a quick and easy repair, but if there is a more severe issue, it can be costly and take longer to fix the problem.
What If You Don’t Fix The Service StabiliTrak Warning Light?
Depending on what’s causing the service StabiliTrak warning light to come on, your vehicle may not drive as smoothly if you don’t get it fixed.
Your car will also have no traction control, and whatever is prompting the StabiliTrak warning light to come on could become more damaged, and your vehicle may be left requiring extensive repairs.
It’s best to diagnose the cause of the service StabiliTrak warning light and get it fixed as soon as possible.
A few things, including faulty sensors, E85 fuel, or a defective fuel pump and the alternator, may prompt the service StabiliTrak warning light.
While some of the causes of this warning light are simple to solve, others can be more challenging to repair. Sometimes the StabiliTrak system needs to be reset to work effectively again.
If you own a Ford vehicle, another common warning light is the “Service AdvanceTrac”, I listed the common causes and fixes in this article.