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It means there is something wrong with the StabiliTRak. It can, for example, mean the system has an internal malfunctioning or it’s not getting a signal from the sensors or even simply the StabiliTrak has been turned off.
Usually, the problem can be easily solved by turning the car off for a few minutes and turning it back on.
What is StabiliTrak?
The StabiliTrak helps to keep your car properly aligned on slippery roads. Essentially it has sensors on the steering wheel to help determine the difference in the wheel’s position and the actual steering response.
If something is amiss, the StabiliTrak instantly makes small adjustments to get the car back in line to prevent an accident. This can include adjustments to the break or engine torque.
Is it safe to drive with Service StabiliTrak?
Yes! It should, at worst, force you to be a bit more road wary as your safety net isn’t there to keep you straight on a difficult road anymore. If you’re used to driving with StabiliTrak just take it easy and drive a little slower until you get it fixed, especially on slippery roads.
What are the symptoms of a malfunctioning StabiliTrak?
To make sure the StabiliTrak itself is truly malfunctioning, look out for these signs:
- Cruise Control has also been disabled – Cruise control cannot be turned on without StabiliTrak. The two systems use the same sensors, so if StabiliTrak is malfunctioning, then Cruise Control won’t turn on.
- Traction control is not working – Traction control keeps the wheels from spinning. To do so it uses the same sensors as the StabiliTtrak so that it can monitor the traction of the wheels. If your traction control is not working, it is very possible you StabiliTrak is also out of whack.
What causes a Service StabiliTrak?
Because it’s electronics, just about anything can go wrong. But there are a few key things which can cause it:
- Wrong tyre size – the sensors have been calibrated to a very specific wheel. If your wheels are the incorrect size your sensors will not be able to effectively monitor them and the Service light will blink on.
- Bad wheel sensor – all the wheels need to give information simultaneously for the StabiliTrak to work. If one sensor is out the information is incomplete and the car won’t know if all wheels are aligned.
How do you reset a StabiliTrak system?
The quickest way is to try and turn the car off for 15 minutes and then turn it back on. This does work sometimes, but oftentimes the problems are a bit more complicated than that.
This can include but is not limited to, broken or damaged sensors, (which will need to be replaced), tyre problems or alignment issues.
Is it expensive to fix StabiliTrak?
Because the problem usually comes from a speed sensor that’s gone bust, the chances are good you’re going to have to replace it. These sensors can range from $180-$400.
But sometimes the problem is really just a broken traction control switch, this is a little less pricey and can cost you around $80 – $95 if you add labour you would be looking at around $120 in total.
What should I do if I slip on the ice?
If you’re driving without your StabiliTrak, you’re going to need to know what to do should the car get out of control on the ice. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Don’t panic!
If you panic you’re going to do something stupid like wrench the wheel or even hit the breaks, all things you should not do. If you feel the car begin to slide, take a firm grip on the steering wheel and take the following steps:
- Get your foot off the accelerator
Hitting the gas will spin the wheels and the car will be out of control. Get your foot off that gas pedal and move it over to the brakes.
- Don’t hit the brakes just yet!
Hitting them on ice will only serve in locking the wheels and worsening the skid. Rather pump the breaks slowly and get the car to slow down evenly.
- Steer in the opposite direction of the skid
Turn the wheel against the direction your car is turning. Don’t yank the steering wheel, just ease into it and gently get your car back on track.
- Don’t oversteer.
If you panic and yank the wheel wildly the skid will worsen and your car will get out of control. Keep a cool head and help your car get its bearings again with slow deliberate movements
Howdy! I’m John Robinson from Levittown, New York. I am a mechanical engineer for 15 years and already had an established car repair company. I developed a personal relationship with cars since I was a kid. I always love the sounds and smell emitted by a car or truck and even at construction machinery. Since then I have been married but my love for cars only grew.