Seeing warning lights on the car’s dashboard is pretty common, but let’s be honest here: no matter how common these lights are, you can never get used to them. One such warning light is the ESC light, and if you are seeing the service ESC light on your car’s dashboard for the first time, you might wonder what it means.
If you find dashboard warnings and lights pretty annoying but know that you can’t really do without them, this guide is for you.
In this write-up, I will take you through a brief introduction to the Service ESC light. I will also explore some reasons for the appearance of this warning light on your dashboard and will provide you with a couple of fixes to turn it off.
Note: If the low washer fluid light on your car’s dashboard isn’t turning off, you can check out the guide explaining its reasons and fixes.
What Is the Meaning of Service ESC Light?
When it comes to dashboard warnings and warning lights, the best way for you to figure out the issue with your car on seeing them is to develop an understanding of their meaning first.
As far as the ESC light is concerned, it is the light showing the status of the Electronic Stability Control of your car. The ESC system of the car keeps the vehicle from losing control or skidding when the steering receives too much input.
This system also gets activated when you take a sudden turn, and there are chances for your car to lose control. The ESC system can be activated on its own when the vehicle is expected to lose control or skid, or you can activate it manually when you suspect some problem with handling your car.
The best part about the Electronic Stability Control system in a vehicle is that it can function independently as well as in coordination with other traction control systems in your car, such as Tire Pressure monitoring system (TPMS), Traction Control System (TCS), and Brake Assist System (BAS).
Why Does the Service ESC Light Appear?
Now that you are familiar with the significance of the Service ESC light appearing on any of your cars like Chevy Silverado, Malibu, Blazer, Equinox, GMC Terrain, Vauxhall Corsa, Jeep Compass be it from 2008, 2009, or any other later model, let me now help you explore some of the reasons as to why you see this light flashing on your car’s dashboard.
1. Problems with the Wheel Speed Sensors
One of the primary reasons for the ESC light to appear on your car’s dashboard is the problems with your vehicle’s wheel speed sensors. Most of these stability control systems of the car, including the traction control system, brake assist system, etc., rely on different sensors.
In the case of the ESC system, it relies on the wheel speed sensors to understand when there is a chance of your vehicle losing control and getting activated to stop this. If any of these sensors get damaged, this could affect the working of the Electronic stability control system of your car.
When this happens, the ESC system won’t be able to detect any upcoming issues, and you might eventually see the ESC light appearing on your car’s dashboard.
2. Faulty Steering Angle Sensors
In addition to the wheel speed sensors, the ESC relies on the steering angle sensors, as it is responsible for keeping your car stable when there is an unwanted or unnoticed steering moment.
If the steering angle sensors of your car stop working or get damaged for some reason, the ESC light might appear on your Chevy, GMC, Vauxhall, or Jeep dashboard, pointing towards a problem with the electronic stability control system of your vehicle.
3. Connection or Wiring Problems
Another thing that could be the reason behind the appearance of the ESC light on your car’s dashboard is connection or wiring problems. If the wires responsible for the connections related to the electronic stability control system of your vehicle are damaged or broken, the ESC system won’t be able to function properly.
When this happens, you will see the ESC light flashing on the dashboard of your car, pointing towards a problem with it. This can also occur when one of the wires responsible for the ESC system’s working gets disconnected.
4. Faulty ABS Module
The Antilock Braking System is also crucial for the efficient functioning of the ESC system. If this module gets into a problem or starts malfunctioning for different reasons, this could trigger the Service ESC light.
Note: The brake pedal is stiff and the car won’t start. You can head to this guide to learn why this happens.
5. Poor Wheel Alignment
For the ESC system to work correctly, the wheel alignment of your car needs to be appropriate, and there should be no problem with it. If you haven’t gotten your wheel alignment checked for a long time, there might have been some problem with it.
In this case, the electronic stability control system of your car won’t be able to work properly in determining whether your car is about to lose balance or not. When this happens, the ESC light flashes on your car’s dashboard, a sign for you to get your wheels aligned.
Note: To understand the wheel alignment of your car in detail, check out the video below.
6. Problems with the Electronic Control Module
The Electronic Control Module (ECM) is the module in your car responsible for managing the ESC system. If this module gets into some problem, your car’s electronic stability control system won’t be able to function properly, resulting in the appearance of the ESC light on your car’s dashboard.
How To Fix Service ESC Light?
Though understanding the reasons behind the appearance of the service ESC light on your car’s dashboard is crucial, this information would be useless if you don’t try to fix the ESC light.
Here are some of the possible fixes you can try to get rid of the ESC light from your car’s dashboard.
- Perform a Diagnostic Scan
Start with performing a diagnostic scan of your vehicle to figure out the actual problem. For this, you can use an OBD-II scanner or get it scanned professionally. This way, you can understand the problem with the electronic stability control system of your car better with the help of error codes.
- Clean, Repair, or Replace Wheel Speed Sensors
After running the diagnostic scan, perform a thorough clean-up of the wheel speed sensors to remove any dirt or debris trapped inside them. The trapped dirt or debris could affect their working the sensors’ functioning. If cleaning doesn’t fix the issue, consider repairing the sensors or replacing them with new ones if the problem persists.
- Check Steering Angle Sensors
As mentioned above, faulty steering angle sensors could be the reason behind the ESC system malfunctioning, thus turning the ESC light on. To fix the problem, you can simply fix or replace these sensors with new ones.
- Inspect the ABS and EMC Modules
Another thing you need to inspect to resolve any issues with your car’s electronic stability control system is the ABS and EMC modules. Any fault or damage to these modules calls for a repair or replacement.
- Check and Repair the Wiring
Damaged wires or broken connections can also affect the working or functioning of the ESC system. You can fix the problem simply by checking the wires for any damages or broken connections and repairing the connections where needed. Doing so is the answer to how to reset the ESC light you have been looking for.
Conclusion – What Does Service ESC Mean?
It could be a shocker to see the Service ESC light on your Chevy Malibu, Silverado, and Blazer especially if you don’t know what it means.
In this guide, I have not only explained the meaning of the ESC light to you but also provided you with a list of all the possible reasons for you to see this light flashing on your Chevy’s dashboard. I also took you through some fixes to reset this light.
Hopefully, seeing the Service ESC light on your Chevy, GMC, Vauxhall, and Jeep won’t trigger panic in you from now on, and you can figure out exactly how to fix it.