What Is StabiliTrak & How Does It Works–Everything to Know!

Simply put, the StabiliTrak is an important safety feature for your vehicle that controls, adjusts, and monitors the truck’s steer, brake, and grip so you ride in a close-to-straight line. It saves you from accidents while driving in a dangerous situation.

Having a new car is a great experience for literally anyone. But suddenly when you find out about the StabiliTrak system, it might feel a little out of the place at first. The first question you may ask is- What is StabiliTrak? How does it work?

However, this is not all of it. Let’s get to the article to know the details about what is stabilitrak & how does it works, what the StabiliTrak service message means, and everything you might ask about it.

What Is StabiliTrak?

So, what is the StabiliTrak? What is StabiliTrak on a car?

It’s an ESC (Electronic Stability Control) system that controls the engine torque and brake pressure so that you can drive safely during low-traction situations.

StabiliTrak technology is a type of traction module system. To simplify, a traction module system is one of the automotive systems that help you maintain maximum control over your car. It monitors not only the driver input but also unsafe driving conditions throughout the journey.

If you’ve heard about the ABS (anti-lock braking system), StabiliTrak is just an extension of the ABS technology. What makes the difference between them is that ABS applies the brake only when it can sense wheel slippage but StabiliTrak can control each wheel individually.

And, there are StabiliTrak sensors to detect the state of your steering wheel and tires. The whole system of StabiliTrak analyses the riding path so that your direction is always set in a straight line by monitoring the truck moving direction.

The Working Process Of StabiliTrak System

Here’s the answer to your question- What does stabilitrak do? How does StabiliTrak work?

As I have said earlier, this system uses sensors, the following details will be helpful for you to understand the system better.

Know different trucks and vehicles may have different types of sensors and modes for their stability control systems. Below are some general sensors that work together to control StabiliTrak:

  • Speed Sensor (On Vehicle)– Measure the speed up and down rate.
  • Angle Sensor (On Steering Wheel)– Track the angle of the steering wheel and measure.
  • YAW (Rotation Speed) Sensor– Detect the YAW rate by measuring the truck’s rotation speed.

Also, different modes of StabiliTrak help this system to operate. These are:

  • StabiliTrak ON – Default mode where no message or ECU signal will pop up every time the driver turns on the truck.
  • StabiliTrak OFF – Hold for 5 seconds to activate this mode. It’ll turn this system off while popping the blue light on the display.
  • Traction Control On – Special mode that tunes if you hold the StabiliTrak button instantly from the handle.

Benefits of StabiliTrak

Now that you have a slight idea of the StabiliTrak, I’ll explain why it’s an important system that really helps a beginner driver.

  • Stability: Since the system boosts stability and control, it eventually helps to avoid collisions. You’ll notice smooth stability while changing lanes suddenly or passing other obstacles.
  • Safety: It is essential for ensuring safety by helping you to get rid of collisions or crashes in harsh road conditions.
  • Ground Support: You’ll find excellent ground support with the StabiliTrak system when you don’t have as much traction. It will help you drive safely on snow, ice, loose dirt, or uneven pavement.

What Is a StabiliTrak Service Message?

Simply, a stabiliTrak service message indicates that the system has an error. Usually, it occurs when one of the sensors detects issues with the reaction to steering or issues with the wheel location.

You can easily recognize the message because some clear signals will be illuminated.

You’ll see a warning light when the system is disabled, meaning you won’t have access to StabiliTrak when you need it. Eventually, you’ll be at high risk while driving because there will be no assistance during unsafe driving conditions.

It can also pop up if the truck’s EBC (Electronic Brake Control) module is facing the issue. To stop the message from the dashboard screen, you might need to enable the StabiliTrak system or change it.

What Causes the Service Stabilitrak Light?

The shortest and simplest answer to this question is that the StabiliTrak system is damaged. Problems like bad wiring, faulty sensors, or faulty powertrain control modules can lead to an unwanted situation.

Here’s the information in a bit of detail.

  • Faulty power steering wheel sensor: If the power steering sensor fails, your vehicle can not determine when and what type of assistance it requires. This sensor informs the stability control module of your vehicle about what amount of assistance is needed while driving. So, you can guess how important the sensor is.
  • Defective input sensor: The input system of your StabiliTrak system measures the YAW rate and steering angle of your truck. So, when the sensor doesn’t work, it cannot pass the necessary data to the vehicle stability control module.
  • Damaged ABS module: The ABS module regulates the braking system of your vehicle. It senses when the wheels rise across the brake discs for regaining control. So, things will not be okay if the ABS module is faulty.
  • Malfunctioning stability control module: You may already know that the stability control module is what controls ad monitors the operation of all the systems of your vehicle so it stays on track. When the sensor malfunctions, it will not provide accurate data about your vehicle’s engine power.

So, these are the common reasons why you can get the service StabiliTrak notifications. Don’t worry, we’ll share what to do in such cases.

Symptoms of Service StabiliTrak

Among many symptoms of times when the StabiliTrak light comes on, below we’ll share the most common ones.

  • Limp mode or loss of power
  • Misfires
  • Warning lights turning on
  • Rough idling
  • Difficult shifting

Find Out How to Turn Off StabiliTrak!

The StabiliTrak system is on the most popular vehicles like Ford, RAM, Dodge, Toyota, and so on. In this section, I’ll present the turning-off method based on the truck type.    


  • Turn off the StabiliTrak by hitting the button on the steering wheel and releasing it instantly.
  • Press the traction control button but release it after 4 – 5 seconds. If that doesn’t work turn it off, then go to the next step.
  • Locate the StabiliTrak sensor.
  • Press the black arrow button (left side of the steering wheel).
  • Scroll to the end and manage all the stuff.
  • Click on the accept button.
  • Additional details will unlock. Select Driver Assist from the new options (that unlock now). Hit the OK button again.
  • You’ll see the Driver Control option on the screen. It’s a sign of success to turn off the StabiliTrak.
  • Go inspect the steering wheel to click OK and start the drive.


Start by holding the StabiliTrak button for around 5 to 6 seconds. It will disable the VSC and TRAC. You’ll see the short message that is ‘VSC OFF’ and ‘TRAC OFF’ on the screen. Done!

Chevrolet & GMC

  1. Click on the middle button and pass through it to the mainboard.
  2. Similarly, press and hold the traction control button for 5 seconds.
  3. Wait for a few seconds.
  4. Drive the car by reaching the speed of 56 km/h to ensure the StabiliTrak is turned off.

FIAT, Dodge RAM, Jeep, & Chrysler

Hit the ESC button and be like that for around 4 – 6 seconds. You’ll hear a weird noise quite similar to a buzz. It indicates the instrument group is turning off causing the StabiliTrak to shut down.

  • After doing the above steps (based on your vehicle type), it’s time to complete the task. Switch off the truck and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Insert the key on the ignition key and keep the truck in the ON position but don’t start the vehicle.
  • Click on the gas pedal down button 5 times. It should take more than 5 seconds. For trucks with a manual transmission, you should use the clutch.
  • You’ll see the light is turning off. If that’s not happening, then turn off the truck and rest it for 10 – 12 seconds to try the steps again.
  • Keep on doing the whole steps and ensure the light is turned off.

Can You Drive with Service StabiliTrak Light On?

Since the appearance of the warning light indicates an issue with the stability control system of your vehicle, it’s best to avoid driving when it’s illuminated.

StabiliTrak is what saves you in dangerous driving situations. So, driving when the system is malfunctioning can raise the possibility of road accidents since you’ll feel it more challenging to control your car.

Although the car is still drivable, it’s best that you contact a qualified mechanic and fix the issue in no time.

StabiliTrak Everything to Know Infographic

Ending Notes

Discovering unknown mechanisms can make new drivers overwhelmed especially when warning messages popping on the dashboard. Now that you know what is StabiliTrak and its mechanism, I hope you’ll fix it without worrying over it too much.

However, don’t delay the fix thinking it’s just a simple error that happens. And, if you ask about the StabiliTrak service cost, a faulty StabiliTrak repair cost is around $80-$200. If you’d like to replace the sensors of the system, the expenditure will be around $200-$400. So, try to minimize the damage when you face any issue with the StabiliTrak.

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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.