StabiliTrak is an innovative feature in many vehicles that improves traction control. However, there are instances when it isn’t necessary, such as when driving on an icy hill or muddy terrain. In these instances, you should know how to turn off StabiliTrak.
Turning off StabiliTrak depends on the vehicle manufacturer and model. In most cases, there is a button that you must press and hold to deactivate StabiliTrak automatically. Others, meanwhile, will require pressing several buttons and navigating the menu to turn off such a feature.
Read on to learn more about how to turn off StabiliTrak, which can be different from one vehicle brand and model to another.
How to Turn Off StabiliTrak
While StabiliTrak does the same thing across different car brands and models, turning it off can vary. Below, we’ll talk about how you can deactivate this feature in some of the most popular vehicles:
Turning off StabiliTrak in Ford is as simple as pushing the traction control button. The specific location can vary depending on the Ford model.
Most of the time, it is on the steering wheel. After an initial press, release it immediately. Hold it again; this time, you need to wait several seconds. This will immediately deactivate StabiliTrak.
Nonetheless, there are also instances when you need to navigate the vehicle’s menu instead of pressing a single button. On the steering wheel’s left side, press the black arrow. Scroll down and look for Settings.
Once you find the latter, press OK. In turn, you will find more options, and you must choose Driver Assist. Check the steering wheel, and if everything is good, press OK.
The first thing to do is to put your Volkswagen into accessory mode. When doing this, see that the vehicle’s ignition is turned on, but the engine isn’t running. Next, turn the warning light on. In most models, you can press the red triangle button.
After this, step on the pedal accelerator five times. The vehicle will gradually move. After moving at least five feet, hit the brake.
On average, the process will take about five minutes. If you want to turn the StabiliTrak feature on, you must repeat the process.
Locate the center button in your Chevrolet. You will find it in the center stack. It often has wiggly lines. Hold it for several seconds, and wait for the traction control light.
With the light on, keep your eyes on the instrument lister. The display will show DIC. After showing this message, the StabiliTrak feature will disable automatically within a few seconds.
Look for the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC). Press it tightly and hold a few seconds before releasing your hand.
You will now see a message in the display saying that the traction control has been turned off. This is one of the simplest procedures out of all the brands discussed in this article.
Turning off StabiliTrak in a Jeep is easy. Turn on the engine, but the car should not be moving. Press the ESC button, which you will often find in the middle of a console. Hold at least five seconds until you hear a chime. Release the button, and StabiliTrak is now off.
Turning off StabiliTrak in Chrysler is similar to a Jeep. Find the ESC button and hold it for at least six seconds. You will hear a whistle or any other audible warning sound, turning off ESC and deactivating StabiliTrak.
Look for the StabiliTrak or Traction Control button if you have a GM vehicle. You will need to hold the button for at least five seconds.
The data information center will then show that the feature is disabled. There is also an option to use a plug-and-play harness that will let you disable the StabiliTrak with a flip of the switch.
What Is StabiliTrak?
StabiliTrak is a part of a vehicle’s safety system. It guarantees proper steering, regardless of the environmental conditions.
By turning on this feature, the sensors will detect the positions of the tire and steering wheel and match them to the direction in which you are driving. As soon as you swerve or encounter slippery terrains, StabiliTrak automatically corrects the vehicle’s position.
Upon activating StabiliTrak, pressure is applied on the anti-lock brakes. This will control the slipping wheels on ice and mud, among other poor driving conditions. It reduces slippage while also distributing power to balance the slipping and non-slipping wheels.
While it is a common safety feature of many vehicles, it is most popular in GM. It is also called Electronic Safety Control and is often confused with Traction Control System.
Why Should You Turn Off StabiliTrak?
Manufacturers incorporate StabiliTrak in their vehicles because of its numerous benefits, especially in allowing you to gain better control of the steering wheel and the tires. Nonetheless, there are also instances when such is unnecessary, so you are better off turning off such a feature:
1. Vehicle Is Stuck in Mud or Snow
One of the best times to turn off StabiliTrak is when your vehicle is stuck, especially in snow or mud. When the latter happens, there is a high chance that one of the wheels will spin. Some might think that turning traction control on is helpful since it will cut power.
However, turning it off is better to “rock” your vehicle. This happens when it reverses and moves forward a few inches to get out of being stuck.
2. Turn off the Traction Control When Climbing a Steep Hill
When climbing a steep hill and a slippery terrain, you have another good reason to turn off your vehicle’s StabiliTrak. The wheels will slip and can end up cutting power.
This can cause you to skid, increasing the chances of an accident. Aside from turning StabiliTrak off, you should also go slowly to ensure your safety.
Aside from getting off a difficult situation, another reason to turn off StabiliTrak is to improve gas mileage. This will minimize the strain on the engine and the power that it needs to exert for the car to run, which makes the car more fuel-efficient.
More so, turning off StabiliTrak also helps in slowing down tire wear. This way, your tires can last longer.
3. Drifting Is Easier
Lastly, you may also want to turn it off if you want to have fun on the road. Turning off traction control helps in situations like drifting.
Why Does StabiliTrak Turns Off on Its Own
At times, StabiliTrak may turn off without you doing anything. This should not happen unless you manually turn a button off or go through the procedures earlier mentioned.
If it deactivates without you doing anything, then this means that something is wrong with your traction control system. This is also a sign that you need to take your vehicle to a mechanic or dealer for immediate professional attention before it can compromise your safety:
1. Rear Wheel Alignment
Among others, one of the issues is the rear wheel alignment. Any issue with the latter can send wrong information on your vehicle’s computer, making the StabiliTrak feature turn on even without manually doing so. It must align with the front tires for stability.
2. Rear Suspension
The rear suspension can also be the culprit. It breaks when you hit a bad curb or when anything else is in contact that can cause damage. A bent bar or faulty bearing in the suspension can trigger the StabiliTrak feature, making it turn off on its own.
3. Wheel Speed Sensor
Another potential suspect is the wheel speed sensor. The latter detects the speed of the wheels and will trigger the traction control feature of your vehicle. Hence, when it is not working as it should, StabiliTrak can turn off even if you are not deactivating such.
4. ABS Cables
You will also need to look at the ABS cables. Over time, the cables can rip or cut, resulting in disabled StabiliTrak.
Again, how to turn off StabiliTrak? Turn off the StabiliTrak by pressing your car’s traction control button. Immediately release the button afterward. Next, press and hold the same button for a while.
Should You Turn Off StabiliTrak When Racing
No doubt, StabiliTrak is a great safety feature. However, if speed is your concern, turning it off is beneficial for improving performance. This is especially true for racing. StabiliTrak can limit your acceleration, hurting your speed.
StabiliTrak is designed to make acceleration slower and more controlled. It prevents spinning, but it also limits the wheel’s power output. In turn, it will slow you down on the track. Additionally, turning off StabiliTrak counteracts understeering when running on slow corners.
You are gaining more control by turning off the traction control system. It is difficult, but such won’t be a problem for skillful racers.
Nonetheless, it comes with risks, specifically for your safety. It can result in an accident since you can lose control of your vehicle. However, experienced racers will know such consequences are well aware of preventing the hazards.
When to Use StabiliTrak
Now that we talked about when you should turn StabiliTrak off, let’s also discuss why you need it. Carmakers won’t incorporate such in their vehicles if they do not deem it a necessary feature that will improve your overall driving experience.
One of the best instances to use StabiliTrak is driving on curves when raining. It will prevent your car from skidding on slippery surfaces. With traction control, you will find it easier to stay in your lane, controlling the movement of a vehicle.
If you have a car with massive horsepower, you will benefit from StabiliTrak. At the same time, it is also best for instances when you are driving on poorly-maintained roads. When you are accelerating uphill in a terrain with a not-so-desirable condition, this feature also comes in handy.
Service StabiliTrak – What Does It Mean?
Learning the meaning of Service StabiliTrak will help you make the most of StabiliTrak, ensuring that it is always working as it should.
When the Service StabiliTrak warning light turns on, it does not instantly mean that you should turn off such a feature, especially if you are in an environment that requires it. Instead, you should look at the potential causes, including the following:
1. Problematic Input Sensor
One of the first things to look at is the input sensor. It might not be a direct issue with traction control, but it might have to do with the wheel speed sensor or turning angle.
If the input sensor is the problem, you will need to replace such to avoid it from interfering in the normal functioning of StabiliTrak.
2. Faulty Connection
Having a loose connection can also activate the Service StabiliTrak warning light. Any damage in the communication line will impede the flow of information, transmitting unreliable data from your vehicle’s computer to the dashboard.
3. Issues with the Controller
Another component that might have an issue is the powertrain control module. Every wheel has an electronic sensor that must communicate with the latter.
Especially when you are driving in extreme weather conditions, the module can be prone to problems, prompting the StabiliTrak service light to turn on.
How to Reset the StabiliTrak on Your Vehicle
If you cannot turn StabiliTrak off, or if it is experiencing problems, the best thing you can do is reset it.
The procedure can vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle, but generally speaking, here’s how to fix StabiliTrak if you want to reset the feature:
- Turn off your vehicle’s ignition before you start. This is important for your safety.
- Find the diagnostic port. The location will vary from one model to another. One of the most common places where you can see such is under the dashboard.
- Connect the scanner to the diagnostic port.
- Turn the ignition on. Otherwise, you won’t get a reading on your scanner.
- The scanner will now display different car models. Pick the one that matches your vehicle.
- Select Control Units then choose Anti-Brake Lock System (ABS).
- Take note of the fault codes that show up on the screen of the scanner. Check for the description and do the necessary fix depending on the problem.
FAQs- Turning Off StabiliTrak
Why Should I Turn off StabiliTrak?
You must turn off StabiliTrak to help you get rid of getting stuck. By deactivating this feature, you are cutting power to the wheels. As a result, it will not spin. Otherwise, the wheels will keep spinning, which will not help you get out.
When Should I Turn off StabiliTrak?
Turn off StabiliTrak when you are in deep mud or snow. Doing so will help create a rocking motion, which will get the wheels out faster. More so, turning off such a feature is also necessary when you are driving in a location that requires tires to have snow chains.
Is StabiliTrak the Same as Traction Control System?
While they are useful in maintaining optimal traction, StabiliTrak is not the same as a vehicle Traction Control System.
The Traction Control System helps regain traction, especially on slippery surfaces. Nonetheless, it only works if you are stationary and want to move. Meanwhile, StabiliTrak works when you are moving.
What Happens If You Turn off StabiliTrak?
Turning off StabiliTrak can deliver multiple benefits, such as getting you out of deep mud or snow when the wheels are stuck. It can also improve gas mileage, minimize tire wear, and simplify drifting.
What Happens If You Turn on StabiliTrak?
Turning StabiliTrak on would slow down tire spin. This will prevent you from skidding on slippery surfaces, such as when raining. Also, controlling how your wheels spin makes it easier to stay in your lane.
Is It Safe to Drive with StabiliTrak Off?
It is safe to drive with StabiliTrak off. However, it depends on the specific condition. Under normal circumstances, you will need to turn on this feature to prevent spinning and sliding.
However, while it is a standard safety feature in many modern vehicles, it is acceptable to disable such when you are stuck on deep snow or mud.
Should I Turn off StabiliTrak in the Rain?
You should not turn off StabiliTrak in the rain under normal terrain or road conditions. Nonetheless, the only instance when you should deactivate this feature when it is raining is when you are stuck in mud or snow.
Conclusion – How to Turn Off StabiliTrak
It is not enough that you know what StabiliTrak is. To make the most of this feature, you should know how to turn it off. As noted above, the process depends on the make and model of your vehicle. There is a dedicated button that you must push and hold in most cases.
Meanwhile, you might also need to navigate through the in-dash menu using buttons in the steering wheel to deactivate this function.
Aside from knowing how to turn it off, you must also know when to do so. You will not need traction control when stuck in mud or snow.
The wheel will keep spinning and won’t move if it is on. Turning it off will reduce traction loss while ensuring that your vehicle remains on the line.