What IS Electronic Stability Control (ESC)?

How Does Stability Control Work

WARNING:  Vehicle modifications involving braking system, aftermarket roof racks, suspension, steering system, tire construction and wheel and tire size may change the handling characteristics of your vehicle and may adversely affect the performance of the electronic stability control system. In addition, installing any stereo loudspeakers may interfere with and adversely affect the electronic stability control system. Install any aftermarket stereo loudspeaker as far as possible from the front center console, the tunnel, and the front seats in order to minimize the risk of interfering with the electronic stability control sensors. Reducing the effectiveness of the electronic stability control system could lead to an increased risk of loss of vehicle control, vehicle rollover, personal injury and death.

WARNING:  Remember that even advanced technology cannot defy the laws of physics. It's always possible to lose control of a vehicle due to inappropriate driver input for the conditions. Aggressive driving on any road condition can cause you to lose control of your vehicle increasing the risk of personal injury or property damage. Activation of the electronic stability control system is an indication that at least some of the tires have exceeded their ability to grip the road; this could reduce the operator's ability to control the vehicle potentially resulting in a loss of vehicle control, vehicle rollover, personal injury and death. If your electronic stability control system activates, SLOW DOWN.

If a driving condition activates either the stability control or the traction control system you may experience the following conditions:

  • The stability and traction control light flashes.
  • Your vehicle slows down.
  • Reduced engine power.

The stability control system has several features built into it to help you maintain control of your vehicle:

Electronic Stability Control
Electronic stability control enhances your vehicle’s ability to prevent skids or lateral slides by applying brakes to one or more of the wheels individually and, if necessary, reducing engine power.

Roll Stability Control
Roll stability control enhances your vehicle’s ability to prevent rollovers by detecting your vehicle’s roll motion and the rate at which it changes by applying the brakes to one or more wheels individually.

Curve Control
Curve control enhances your vehicle’s ability to follow the road when cornering severely or avoiding objects in the roadway. Curve control operates by reducing engine power and, if necessary, applying brakes to one or more of the wheels individually.

Traction Control
Traction control enhances your vehicle’s ability to maintain traction of the wheels by detecting and controlling wheel spin.   See   How Does Traction Control Work. 

Electronic Stability Program Diagram
 

A Vehicle without stability control skidding off its intended route.
B Vehicle with stability control maintaining control on a slippery surface.

Stability Control - Switching Stability Control On and Off

Stability Control turns on each time you switch the ignition on.
You can switch the stability control off by pressing and holding the stability and traction control button off for 5-15 seconds, or you can press the button again to switch the system on.
Shifting the transmission into reverse (R) will disable the system.
You can switch the traction control system off or on independently.  See   Switching Traction Control On and Off. 

Stability Control and Traction Control with Roll Stability Control

 Stability Control OFF Light Roll Stability Control3Electronic Stability Control3Traction Control System3
Default at start-upIlluminated during bulb checkEnabled  Enabled3Enabled 
Button pressed momentarilyIlluminatedEnabled  Enabled3Disabled1
Button pressed and held for 5 - 15 secondsIlluminatedEnabled  Disabled2Disabled1
Button not pressed and transfer case is switched to 4x4 Low or put into Rock Crawl ModeIlluminatedDisabled  DisabledDisabled1

1 The Traction Control system can still be enabled but with tighter or looser thresholds.
2 When you press and hold the button, a progress bar will display to show the button hold time progress.
3 Functions can vary depending on what selectable drive mode the vehicle is currently in.

Stability Control Indicator

Traction Control ON and OFF Button The system turns on each time you switch the ignition on. You can switch off the traction control portion of the system independently.  See   How Does Traction Control Work.

Stability Control – Information Messages

Service AdvanceTracDisplayed when the system has detected a condition that requires service. Contact your authorized dealer as soon as possible.  
AdvanceTrac Off OnThe traction control has been disabled or enabled by the driver.

Traction Control ON and OFF Button  The system turns on each time you switch the ignition on. You can switch off the traction control portion of the system independently.  See   How Does Traction Control Work.