What Does Service StabiliTrak Mean? Fix it before you drive!

Service StabiliTrak message means there’s an issue with your vehicle’s stability control system that you need to fix. One of the sensors, such as the wheel speed/power steering sensor or the stability control module (SCM), might have a problem. It is best not to drive it until the issues are resolved.

You’re about to drive your car, and suddenly, you notice a warning that says “Service StabiliTrak.” Is there any significance to this? Is there anything you need to do?

So, today I’ll explain what does service StabiliTrak mean.

Alright, now let’s move on to the discussion of what StabiliTrak actually means.

What Does StabiliTrak Mean?

StabiliTrak is an electronic stability control system that helps drivers control their cars in demanding driving situations. It uses sensors to detect wheel slip and adjust the engine power and braking to keep the vehicle in a straight line. 

This can help prevent the vehicle from losing control or skidding in hazardous driving conditions such as wet or icy roads. Additionally, the system can reduce the risk of accidents and improve overall vehicle handling and traction control.


StabiliTrak helps drivers maintain control of their cars in hazardous driving conditions by adjusting the engine power and braking to maintain stability and traction.

What Does Service StabiliTrak Mean?

Service StabiliTrak Mean

Source: YouTube

So, what does it mean to service StabiliTrak?

Service StabiliTrak simply means there’s a malfunction in your StabiliTrak or electronic traction control system which you need to fix. The StabiliTrak light will come on when there’s a problem with the sensors or Electronic Brake Control Module (EBCM) relays.

Other reasons regarding the service StabiliTrak light error messages include connection problems, the alternator failing, or other issues causing RPMs to fluctuate. If the StabiliTrak system detects inconsistent RPMs, it will automatically disable the StabiliTrak traction control system until fixed.


The Service StabiliTrak warning appears when the StabiliTrak or electronic traction control system malfunctions. The common issues include connection problems, faulty sensors, or inconsistent RPMs.

What Does Stabilitrak Off Mean?

Stabilitrak off meaning is the driver has manually turned off the stability control system in a vehicle. As you’ve already known, Stabilitrak is an advanced system used in cars to help the driver maintain control and stability of the vehicle on the road. 

As a result, when the Stabilitrak system is turned off, the driver’s access to the vehicle’s stability, handling, anti-skid system, and vehicle control capabilities is limited.

What Does Service StabiliTrak Mean On Chevy & GMC?

The StabiliTrak system is a Chevrolet and GMC vehicle feature that is part of the vehicle’s stability control system. Service StabiliTrak on your Chevy can mean various issues regarding the StabiliTrak system malfunction.

When you see the service StabiliTrak dialogue on the screen, look for error codes such as the P0121 (Pedal position sensor) or P0521 (Engine oil pressure sensor). If no error code is displayed, consult a mechanic who can diagnose the car to find what caused the service StabiliTrak malfunction.

Please refer to the table below for additional information regarding StabiliTrak on Chevy and GMC vehicles.

Service StabiliTrak MeaningDiagnosis
1. Issues with the StabiliTrak malfunction itself.
2. Issues with the Electron Braking Control System.
3. (EBCM) Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) faults.
4. Wheel speed sensor issues.Steering wheel sensor problems.
1. Diagnose the Anti-locking Braking System (ABS) 
2. Diagnose the Traction Control System (TCS)
3. Diagnose other components that cause inconsistent RPM.
4. Diagnose the steering system sensor and the wheel speed sensor. 

Ask the mechanic to check and diagnose the StabiliTrak system and other components that may be causing the issue. After performing a full diagnosis of the StabiliTrak system, the problem can be identified. 

Can You Drive With Service Stabilitrak Light On?

Service Stabilitrak Light On

Source: cargurus.com

Yes, you can drive with the Service Stabilitrak light on, but it is not recommended. Having the Stabilitrak Control light on means that the system isn’t functioning correctly, putting you at risk of an accident. Service the vehicle immediately to get the system back in working order.

How Does StabiliTrak Work?

The StabiliTrak automatic traction control system uses sensors to monitor the driver’s inputs and the vehicle’s movement and then applies selective braking and throttle control to help the driver maintain control of the vehicle.

StabiliTrak comprises several components, including sensors, a computer module, and an actuator. Sensors determine the direction and rotation of the vehicle’s wheels. Then the computer module determines if the car is going in the desired direction.

Suppose the computer module detects that the vehicle is not going in the intended direction. To help bring the car back on track, a signal is sent to the actuator, which applies brakes to one or more wheels or reduces the engine’s power.

Furthermore, StabiliTrak can be used in conjunction with the traction control system to offer improved grip in slippery conditions. When StabiliTrak detects a wheel slipping. To maximize traction and grip, it reduces engine power and applies brakes.

StabiliTrak has different names for different vehicles. For instance, in BMW cars, it is known as Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), while in Honda, it’s known as Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA). Whatever the name is, the purpose is the same, to control the stability and traction of the cars.

What Type of Sensors Does StabiliTrak Use?

The service stability system uses several sensors to monitor the vehicle’s movement and the driver’s inputs. Here goes the list of the sensors.

  • Steering Wheel Angle Sensor: This sensor detects the steering wheel’s position and rotation rate. It also uses this information to determine the driver’s intended direction of travel.
  • Yaw Rate Sensor: It detects the vehicle’s rotation around its vertical axis and uses this information to determine the vehicle’s actual direction of travel.
  • Lateral Accelerometer: Lateral accelerometer detects the side-to-side acceleration of the vehicle and uses this information to determine whether the vehicle is sliding or spinning.
  • Wheel Speed Sensors: This particular sensor detects the rotational speed of each wheel and uses this information to determine whether the vehicle is oversteering, understeering or if there’s a wheel losing traction
  • Throttle Position Sensor: It measures the position of the throttle and how much power the engine is delivering to the wheels.


StabiliTrak comprises sensors, a computer module, and an actuator. The actuator applies brakes to one or more wheels or reduces the engine’s power to help the car get back on track.

StabiliTrak: What Causes the Light to Come On?

There are several reasons why the “Service Stabilitrak” warning light may come on in a vehicle equipped with the StabiliTrak system. Here are a few common reasons for what causes StabiliTrak.

Reason 1: Faulty Input/Output Sensor

The input and output sensors are responsible for receiving the critical data from traction control. The data then gets delivered to the ECU and ABS braking systems. The StabiliTrak warning light comes on When one of these sensors malfunctions. 

Reason 2: Faulty Power Steering Sensor

The Vehicle Stability Control Module receives information from the power steering sensor and input sensor about how much assistance is being provided by the power steering system while driving. The sensor would not be able to communicate the level of assistance to the vehicle if it malfunctioned.

Reason 3: Stability Control Module Problems

All vehicle systems are monitored by the Stability Control Module to ensure the vehicle stays stable on the road. As a result, If the controller malfunctions, it may not be able to accurately monitor the car’s systems.

Reason 4: ABS System Malfunction

The StabiliTrak system controls the ABS modules to adjust brakes when the car is out of control automatically. In case of a malfunction of the ABS Module, it may be unable to properly control the brake system, leading to potential loss of control over the vehicle.

Reason 5: Bad or Faulty Connection

When a GM-LAN communication line is damaged, the Service StabiliTrak warning light illuminates. The GM-LAN communication line is a bundle of wires encased in plastic and runs toward the transmission. 

To safeguard the wiring and transmission parts, a heat shield is securely attached to the transmission. A break in the communication line can cause the warning light to activate.

Reason 6: SCM Module Inconsistency

The SCM module controls the vehicle’s stability and traction control system. It automatically controls all the sensors and the data to improve the stability and traction of the vehicle in extreme driving situations. If the module malfunctions, the service stabiliTrak message will appear. Expert diagnosis and an immediate fix are a must.


The “Service Stabilitrak” warning light may come on due to issues with sensors, the stability control module, the ABS system, or communication lines.

How to Fix Service StabiliTrak?

There are several ways to fix the Service StabiliTrak warning light, depending on the underlying cause of the issue. Also, the repair procedure may vary depending on the type of vehicle. So, let’s check out the common reset and turning-off method to fix this.

How to Reset Service StabiliTrak?

There are a few ways to reset the Stabilitrak warning light, depending on the specific vehicle and the reason for the warning light coming on in the first place. These are

  1. Simply turn off the engine, wait 30 seconds and turn it back on.
  2. You can access the OBD system using a scanning tool. Use it to scan and clear any error codes stored in the vehicle’s computer and reset the Stabilitrak system.
  3. Disconnect the battery, wait for a couple of seconds and connect it again. (Disconnecting the battery will reset personal settings and radio codes)
  4. Some vehicles have a button on the dash; use the button to reset the Stabilitrak system. (The button’s location or the StabiliTrak sensor location and function vary by make and model; refer to the owner’s manual.)
  5. Before attempting to reset the Stabilitrak warning light, diagnose the cause correctly. Get the help of a technician who can identify the issue and fix it before resetting the light.

That’s the quick guide on resetting the service StabiliTrak warning light. For a complete guide and detailed procedure consider reading how to reset service StabiliTrak light.

[Note: The warning light will come back if the underlying problem is not fixed. So, you must diagnose the cause of the warning light and fix it rather than just resetting it.]

Summary: Methods to reset the Service Stabilitrak warning light include restarting the engine, using a diagnostic scanner, disconnecting the battery, using a reset button, and addressing the underlying issue causing the warning

Alternative Method to Turn the Service StabiliTrak Warning Off

Turning off the service StabiliTrak warning light procedure varies from vehicle to vehicle. Follow the user manual to turn off the StabiliTrak warning light properly.

Some cars come with a StabiliTrak traction control button, and you can simply use the button to turn the StabiliTrak system on or off. However, if you can’t find any StabiliTrak button proceed as follows:

  1. First, turn off your vehicle and let it sit for a few minutes.
  2. Next, insert the key into the ignition and turn it to the “On” position, but do not start the engine.
  3. Within a five-second window, press the gas pedal five times.
  4. After these steps, the warning lights on the driver information center should turn off, indicating that the system has been reset.”

You can successfully turn off the Service StabiliTrak warning message by following the above steps. Do not worry about reactivating the StabiliTrak manually since GMC and Chevrolet’s vehicles automatically enable it when the car exceeds 34.79 mph.

What’s the Repair Cost of StabiliTrak?

It is difficult to estimate the StabiliTrak service cost accurately without an experienced technician’s diagnosis. Also, the repair cost can vary widely depending on the severity of the problem and the vehicle type. However, the StabiliTrak repair cost typically ranges between $80 to $200. 


Can Low Transmission Fluid Cause Stabilitrak Problems?

Yes, If the transmission fluid is low, it can lead to potential problems, including with the StabiliTrak system. It’s because the system needs a certain level of fluid pressure in order to function correctly. If the pressure is too low, it won’t be able to detect and correct the vehicle’s stability and traction.

Where are StabiliTrak Sensors Located?

StabiliTrak sensors are located on the vehicle’s suspension, brakes, and other powertrain parts. The sensors measure parameters such as wheel speed, steering angle, lateral acceleration, yaw rate, and brake pressure. It applies the brakes and reduces engine power to correct a problem detected by the StabiliTrak system.

Is Stabilitrak Service Expensive?

StabiliTrak service repairs should cost you between $80-$200 including the labor cost. The cost may vary depending on where you live, the vat/tax, and the service center. You should immediately diagnose and repair the service StabiliTrak error without ignoring the potential symptoms. Otherwise, it can lead to safety issues and expensive repairs.

The Bottom Line

Thank you for your patience till now. Hopefully, you got all the answers to your query on what does service StabiliTrak mean. One personal suggestion, do not ignore the “Service StabiliTrak” warning light and error codes.

Ignoring the potential warning signs can lead to severe consequences and costly repairs. Hence, you should contact a mechanic right away for diagnosis and repair.

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William Baldwin

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

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Talha Atta

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