When the Service Stabilitrak, Service Traction Control, and Check Engine lights illuminate on your vehicle’s dashboard, it indicates a problem with one or more of the vehicle’s safety and performance systems. When these warning lights come on, it’s important to identify the root cause of this trio of warning signals.
If you lack knowledge about these lights, there’s no need to panic. In this guide, we will explain the meanings of these warning lights and the common causes behind them and also provide solutions for effectively addressing these concerns.
1: What does Service Stabilitrak, Service Traction Control, and Check Engine light mean?
1.1: Service Stabilitrak Light
The Stabilitrak system is an electronic stability control system that helps to keep your vehicle from skidding or losing control. The system uses a variety of sensors to monitor the vehicle’s speed, steering wheel angle, and yaw rate. When the system detects that the vehicle is losing control, it applies the brakes to individual wheels and/or reduces engine power to help regain control.
1.2: Service Traction Control Light
The traction control system helps to prevent the wheels from spinning when accelerating on slippery surfaces. The system works by monitoring the speed of each wheel and applying the brakes to individual wheels if one wheel starts to spin.
1.3: Check Engine Light
The check engine light, also known as the malfunction indicator lamp (MIL), is a warning light on your vehicle’s dashboard that indicates a problem with the engine or emissions control system. It is typically yellow or orange in color and has the shape of an engine.
2: Common Causes for Stabilitrak, Service Traction Control, and Check Engine Lights:
Below are given the Common Causes for Stabilitrak, Service Traction Control, and Check Engine Lights:
2.1: Wheel Speed Sensor Problems:
Wheel speed sensors are responsible for monitoring the rotational speed of each wheel. When any wheel spins at a different rate than the others, it can signal potential loss of traction or stability.
Impact: Issues with wheel speed sensors can affect the functionality of both the ABS and traction control systems.
Solution: Inspect the wheel speed sensors for damage or corrosion.
- Clean the wheel speed sensors with an electrical contact cleaner.
- Check the wiring to the wheel speed sensors for damage or corrosion.
- Replace the wheel speed sensors if they are damaged or not working properly.
2.2: ABS System Problems:
The Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) is designed to prevent wheel lockup during hard braking, enhancing control and stability during braking.
Impact: Problems with the ABS system can result in decreased braking performance and may trigger stability control and traction control warnings.
- Check the ABS fluid level and add fluid if necessary.
- Check the ABS wheel speed sensors for damage or corrosion.
- Check the ABS wiring for damage or corrosion.
- Test the ABS system using a diagnostic scanner.
- Replace the ABS pump or other components if necessary.
2.3: Traction Control System Problems:
Traction control systems help manage wheel spin and prevent the wheels from losing grip during acceleration.
Impact: If the traction control system malfunctions, it may affect your vehicle’s ability to maintain traction on slippery surfaces, resulting in reduced stability.
- Check the traction control system fuses and relays.
- Check the traction control system wiring for damage or corrosion.
- Test the traction control system using a diagnostic scanner.
- Repair or replace the traction control system components as necessary.
2.4: Engine Powertrain Control Module Problems:
The powertrain control module (PCM) is the vehicle’s “brain.” It controls the engine and transmission functions, ensuring they work in harmony.
Impact: A faulty PCM can cause engine performance issues, including poor fuel efficiency and rough idling, and can trigger the check engine light.
- Update the PCM software to the latest version.
- Repair or replace the PCM if it is faulty.
2.5: Steering Wheel Position Sensor Problems:
The steering wheel position sensor monitors the angle and position of the steering wheel. It’s essential for various safety and stability systems.
Impact: If the sensor is malfunctioning, it can lead to incorrect steering angle data, affecting stability control and other safety features.
- Inspect the steering wheel position sensor for damage or corrosion.
- Clean the steering wheel position sensor with an electrical contact cleaner.
- Check the wiring to the steering wheel position sensor for damage or corrosion.
- Replace the steering wheel position sensor if it is damaged or not working properly.
2.6: Yaw Rate Sensor Problems:
The yaw rate sensor measures the vehicle’s rotational movement or “yaw” during turns, helping with stability control.
Impact: A malfunctioning yaw rate sensor can lead to incorrect stability control adjustments, potentially causing handling issues during turns.
- Inspect the yaw rate sensor for damage or corrosion.
- Clean the yaw rate sensor with an electrical contact cleaner.
- Check the wiring to the yaw rate sensor for damage or corrosion.
- Replace the yaw rate sensor if it is damaged or not working properly.
2.7: Electrical Problems:
Electrical problems in a vehicle can encompass a range of issues, including faulty wiring, sensors, or connectors.
Impact: Electrical problems can affect the operation of multiple systems in the vehicle, leading to a variety of warning lights, including those for stability control, traction control, and the check engine light.
- Inspect the vehicle’s wiring harness for damage or corrosion.
- Repair or replace any damaged or corroded wiring.
- Check the vehicle’s grounds for proper continuity.
- Repair or replace any faulty grounds.
2.8: Engine Problems:
Engine issues can encompass a wide range of problems, including mechanical failures, sensor malfunctions, or issues with air and fuel delivery.
Impact: Engine problems can lead to a reduction in power rough running and may trigger the check engine light if there’s a problem with emissions control.
Diagnose the engine problem and repair it according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
2.9: Emissions Control System Problems:
The emissions control system is responsible for reducing harmful emissions from the vehicle’s exhaust.
Impact: Issues with emissions control components can trigger the check engine light, potentially leading to increased emissions and decreased fuel efficiency.
Diagnose the emissions control system problem and repair it according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
2.10: Fuel System Problems:
The fuel system includes components such as the fuel pump, fuel injectors, and fuel lines.
Impact: Fuel system issues can lead to poor engine performance reduced power, and may trigger the check engine light.
Diagnose the fuel system problem and repair it according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
2.11: Transmission Problems:
Transmission issues can encompass problems with the gearbox, torque converter, or related sensors.
Impact: Transmission problems can result in poor shifting and reduced power and may trigger the check engine light.
Diagnose the transmission problem and repair it according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
3: Why is the service Stabilitrak and check engine lights flashing?
A flashing check engine light and service stabilitrak light indicate a serious problem with your vehicle. It is important to have the vehicle diagnosed by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible.
Some of the possible causes of a flashing check engine light and service stabilitrak light include:
- Engine misfire
- Faulty ignition coil
- Faulty spark plugs
- Air fuel ratio imbalance
- Exhaust leak
- Catalytic converter failure
- Transmission problems
- Wheel speed sensor problems
- ABS system problems
- Traction control system problems
- Yaw rate sensor problems
- Steering wheel position sensor problems
- Electrical problems
Driving a vehicle with a flashing check engine light and service stabilitrak light can be dangerous. The vehicle may lose power, acceleration may be reduced, and handling may be affected. In some cases, the engine may even stall.
If you see the service stabilitrak, service traction control, and check engine lights come on, it is important to have your vehicle diagnosed by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible. Driving a vehicle with these systems disabled can be dangerous.
Here are some tips for effectively addressing the service stabilitrak, service traction control, and check engine lights:
- Have your vehicle diagnosed by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible.
- Be prepared to provide the mechanic with a detailed description of the problem, including when the lights came on, what you were doing at the time, and if you noticed any other symptoms.
- Be patient and allow the mechanic enough time to diagnose the problem and recommend repairs.
- Follow the mechanic’s recommendations for repairs.
By following these tips, you can help to ensure that your vehicle is safe to drive and that the service stabilitrak, service traction control, and check engine lights are resolved.
If you want to learn more about Service Stabilitrak, Service Traction Control, and Check Engine lights in your vehicle, you can read the below FAQs.
Q: How can I fix the Service Stabilitrak, Service Traction Control, and Check Engine lights in my Chevy?
You can fix the Service Stabilitrak, Service Traction Control, and Check Engine lights in a Chevy by following the steps below:
- Check for Loose Gas Cap:
- Sometimes, a loose gas cap can trigger these lights. Make sure the cap is securely fastened.
- Inspect Sensors:
- Inspect the vehicle’s sensors and connections for any damage or corrosion.
- Scan for Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs):
- Use an OBD-II scanner to read DTCs. These codes can pinpoint the specific issue that triggered the lights.
- Address DTCs:
- Based on the DTCs, diagnose and repair the specific problem. This might involve fixing sensor issues, replacing components, or resolving engine-related problems.
- Reset the Warning Lights:
- After fixing the underlying issue, you may need to clear the warning lights using the OBD-II scanner. Follow your vehicle’s manual for specific steps.
- Regular Maintenance:
- Preventive maintenance can help avoid these issues. Follow your vehicle’s maintenance schedule, keep the engine and emissions systems well-maintained, and ensure sensors are clean and functioning.
- Professional Help:
- If you’re not confident in diagnosing or repairing the issue, consult a mechanic or dealership. They have the expertise and tools to handle complex problems.
Q: Why does the message “Engine Power is Reduced” appear?
A: This message typically appears when the vehicle’s computer detects a significant issue that could affect safety. To protect the engine and transmission, the system reduces power, limiting your ability to accelerate.