Does StabiliTrak Affect Transmission? Traction Control Explained!

Yes, the StabiliTrak system can affect the transmission’s functionality and other critical components if it malfunctions. Common problems include strange shifting sounds, hard shifting between the gears, jerking or shaking, hesitated transmissions, etc. Get a mechanic if you see one of these symptoms in your car.

Have you ever wondered whether StabiliTrak affects transmission? StabiliTrak is one of your car’s most crucial safety features. It can affect a wide range of other components if it fails. Consequently, you must understand this properly.

So, today, I’ll be discussing does StabiliTrak affect transmission.

Next, let’s talk about how StabiliTrak affects transmission and what to do when it occurs.

Is StabiliTrak Related to Transmission?

StabiliTrak is a safety feature that helps the driver maintain control of the car but is not directly related to the transmission. It works independently of the transmission and uses sensors to detect when a vehicle is out of control. Afterwards, it applies brakes to individual wheels or reduced engine power to keep the car on track.

Does StabiliTrak Affect Transmission?

The StabiliTrak system can malfunction and affect the transmission and other components. If the StabiliTrak system fails to correctly sense the car responding to the driver’s input, it will intervene and make wrong adjustments resulting in total loss of control.

To understand how the StabiliTrak system works to provide safety for your vehicle, you must know its technical aspects. StabiliTrak is simply an advanced traction control system (TCS) that uses sensors to receive critical data and an actuator to activate the system. 

When it malfunctions, it will show the service StabiliTrak warning; see here what does StabiliTrak mean. Now, let’s find out how StabiliTrak affects transmission.


The StabiliTrak system works in conjunction with the transmission to control the vehicle’s speed and trajectory. If the system malfunctions, there’s a chance it may affect the transmission controls as well.

How Does StabiliTrak Affect Transmission?

Stabilitrak works by automatically applying the brakes to individual wheels and reducing engine power when it detects that the vehicle is starting to skid or slide. Reducing engine power helps the transmission to shift more smoothly and prevents the engine from revving up too much. The vehicle becomes more stable and efficient as a result.

To make it easier to understand, suppose the Stabilitrak system detects that the wheels are slipping or that the vehicle is not responding to steering inputs. To help regain control, it will engage the brakes on specific wheels automatically. 

This can lead to hard transmission shifting if the Stabilitrak system engages the brakes too frequently or too long, resulting in hard shifting. Additionally, if the Stabilitrak system is malfunctioning or has a problem with its sensors, the brakes may not be engaged correctly, resulting in hard shifts. 

The Impact of StabiliTrak on Transmission 

You’ll face some symptoms if the StabiliTrak malfunctions and impacts your transmission system. Some of the most common ones are given below.

Reduced Engine Power

StabiliTrak automatically reduces engine throttle and applies brakes to improve control and prevent accidents. If there’s a problem with one of the sensors that control the engine throttle and braking system, it might misbehave.

This can lead to reduced stability and increased wear and tear on the transmission components. As a result, you’ll get reduced engine power while driving.

Reduced Responsiveness

If the sensors or the system software malfunctions, it can cause the system to fail to detect and correct stability issues. This can lead to reduced stability and handling, making the vehicle less responsive to driver inputs. 

Additionally, if the StabiliTrak system is malfunctioning, it may activate unexpectedly even when the vehicle is not experiencing stability issues. Hence, it can also cause a reduction in the responsiveness of the vehicle.

Hesitated Transmission

StabiliTrak issues can lead to hesitate transmission. Hesitation in a transmission refers to a delay or lag in the transmission’s ability to engage or shift gears. This can manifest as a delay in acceleration, a feeling of slipping between gears, or a general lack of power when attempting to accelerate.

Common hesitated transmission symptoms include slow or delayed acceleration, engine noises, jerking, reduced power, etc. These symptoms indicate you have a hesitated transmission that needs to be diagnosed and fixed immediately.


If the StabiliTrak affects the functionality of the transmission, it primarily causes rugged shifting/slipping gears, reduced responsiveness, and reduced engine power. These symptoms indicate that the transmission got affected.


How to Turn Off StabiliTrak?

To turn off the StabiliTrak, first, locate the button that says “StabiliTrak” and press the button for a couple of seconds. When the turned-off dialogue appears, release the button, and you’re done. Remember that StabiliTrak turning off process, including the button location, may vary depending on the vehicle model and type.

Does StabiliTrak Affect Cruise Control?

No, StabiliTrak doesn’t directly affect the cruise control system. It can, however, cause issues with the vehicle’s handling and stability, eventually affecting cruise control. For instance, if the StabiliTrak system applies the brakes unexpectedly, it can cause the vehicle to slow down, causing the cruise control to disengage.

What Happens When StabiliTrak Fails?

If the StabiliTrak fails, it can cause reduced stability, reduced traction, reduced braking control, warning lights, and in some cases, reduced engine power. This makes it harder to control the vehicle and increases the risk of accidents. So, it’s recommended to get the vehicle inspected by a technician as soon as possible.

Can You Drive With a Broken StabiliTrak?

Yes, you can drive with a broken StabiliTrak, but driving with a broken or faulty StabiliTrak system is not recommended. It’s designed to improve the stability and handling of the vehicle. So broken StabiliTrak means the vehicle will be difficult to control in extreme driving conditions.


That was everything on your query on does StabiliTrak affect transmission. Hopefully, you got the answers, and better understood the topic. Always keep the StabiliTrak feature on your vehicle to avoid unexpected consequences.

Wear your seatbelts, follow the traffic rules and drive safely. Until next time!

Leave a Comment

Written By

Photo of author

William Baldwin

This Is William Baldwin, The Founder & Managing Editor of this website. Me and my team share automotive tips, tricks, and news

Fact Checked And Mechanically Reviewed By


Talha Atta

Talha Atta, a Mechanical Engineer and experienced technical content writer and editor at with a passion for the automotive industry.