Is It Safe to Drive With the ESC Light On?

Is It Safe to Drive With the ESC Light On?

ESC, or ‘Electronic Stability Control’ is a driver assist program that constantly monitors the stability of your vehicle. If ESC detects instability, it applies automatic braking to individual wheels to correct understeer or oversteer.

Is It Safe to Drive With the ESC Light On?

If you’re a safe driver and consistently drive within the limits of your vehicle, road and weather conditions, then yes it is safe to continue driving with the ESC warning light on.

ESC does not improve the handling characteristics of your vehicle. It’s there as a safety precaution if something goes wrong and even then, it’s limited in its capacity to correct a loss of vehicle control. The primary purpose of ESC is to correct minor driver inconsistencies that could have the potential to develop into something more serious.

Should I Have the ESC Warning Light Fixed?

Yes, even if you are a safe driver, there’s always the possibility of an unexpected situation that might catch you out. Having an active, fully operational Electronic Stability Control system can be the difference between a minor vehicle stability correction, or an accident.

How DO You Get the ESC Warning Light Fixed?

The ESC system is a combination of multiple driver assist system, any of which may trigger the ESC warning light. The following systems and sensors may cause the ESC warning light to go on:

  • Anti-lock braking system: A wheel speed sensor (one on each wheel) that has malfunctioned. This is commonly the fault.
  • Yaw rate sensor: This sensor monitors the vehicle’s its angle around its vertical axis
  • Steering wheel angle sensor: This sensor monitors the angle of the steering wheel
  • ESC module: This is the component that various sensors communicate with
  • ESC light can come on if different size tyres are fitted on the front compared to the rear
  • Change of battery: The system should reset after a short period of driving
  • Low battery: If your battery is low on charge it may not allow certain electrical systems to function properly. Either charging the battery or taking the car on a long run should sort the problem

The easiest way to get the ESC warning light fixed is to have diagnostics. This requires a diagnostic scanner to be connected to the OBD-II port. This device will scan for fault codes which will help to locate the fault.

More about Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
Link What ESC is in Cars
Link How Does ESC Work in Cars
Link ESC Warning Light Meaning
Link Is It Safe to Drive With the ESC Light On?
Link Do You Need Electronic Stability Control?

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