Service StabiliTrak Light Error Messages: Meaning, Causes and Fixes

The StabiliTrak system is a vital function like the traction control system (TCS) that helps to ensure your safety as you drive, especially on a slippery road. However, many people do not understand its operation and what the service StabiliTrak light means when it automatically comes on from the vehicle’s dashboard.

As a safety measure light, you must not ignore its appearance; because doing so may endanger your life as you continue to drive without paying attention to it.

Suppose you are wondering what the StabiliTrak system means, how it works, and the meaning of the StabiliTrak warning light in case it comes on. In that case, the relevant information is available here for your consumption.

What Does The Service StabiliTrak Light Mean And How It Works?

service stabilitrak car wont start

StabiliTrak is an electronic stability control system that similitude to the traction control system (TCS) of a car; however, it performs a different function compared to the traction control system.

While traction control system helps to limit the degree of power distributed to the various wheels of your car to ensure that none of the wheels spins, StabiliTrak enables your vehicle to move in a straight line as you drive, irrespective of what may come against it as an obstacle.

The StabiliTrak system works by using sensors to ascertain the position of your car’s steering wheels and the tires, comparing them to the direction in which the vehicle is moving towards. 

For instance, if you are driving on a slippery (snowy) road and your car begins to fishtail, the StabiliTrak system will help correct the vehicle’s direction so that it heads towards the actual path. It is a maneuver system.

If your car enters a place where it begins to fishtail and moves towards the left, and your car’s steering wheel and tires are pointing towards the right, StabiliTrak will engage the brake on the car’s outside front tire to help straighten the car back on track.

However, it is better to turn off stability control and traction control at times, especially when you are in the middle of a situation where your car is stuck, such as driving on a muddy hill or a snowstorm.

StabiliTrak reduces power, which may not be ideal when your car is stuck and needs help. Hence, your car would need more energy to scale through the obstacle.

Service StabiliTrak means that one or more of the related components involved in the proper functioning of the system is defective and needs immediate attention.

What Causes The Service StabiliTrak Light To Come On?

Although the StabiliTrak system involves a car’s steering wheel, the brake systems, and the traction system, there are several challenges outside the areas that relate to its functionality that cause the service StabiliTrak light to come on. These are some reasons why your car’s StabiliTrak light may come on.

The above-listed issues are some of the challenges that cause the service StabiliTrak light to come on. Some people confirmed that their vehicle’s StabiliTrak light comes on when they use E85 fuel but automatically disappears once they run their tank dry on the fuel and refill with the typical gasoline. Always ensure to pay attention to fuel indication signs.

Also, a bad fuel pump may not always lead to your car’s StabiliTrak light turning on, although it does at times. Therefore, you must endeavor to keep an eye on your car’s StabiliTrak light whenever it comes on and check out any of the possible causes that have been outlined above.

Meanwhile, when there is a StabiliTrak issue in your car, there will always be symptoms to project the problem. You must endeavor to pay attention to the service traction control and StabiliTrak service notifications.

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Service StabiliTrak Chevy

The StabiliTrak of a Chevy operates by engaging a steering wheel position sensor. The sensor works by comparing the vehicle’s wheel’s position to its actual steering response for correcting the car’s movement in the right direction. Therefore, a malfunction projected by the service StabiliTrak of a Chevy Cruze may alter this function.

 You can hit the road with an assurance of maintaining control over your vehicle’s movement because your Chevrolet’s StabiliTrak system allows for the adjustment of brake or engine torque in correlation to what the StabiliTrak system detects as it functions.

This can help prevent you from an accident because the brake stops the wheel slip and alters Chevy’s trajectory completely.

Symptoms Of Service StabiliTrak Issue

There are several obvious symptoms that you cannot ignore when your car has a StabiliTrak issue. Some of the symptoms are:

  • A StabiliTrak warning light appears.
  • Hard shifting
  • Loss of power/limp mode
  • Trouble codes appear randomly, such as P0121 (Pedal position sensor), P0011 (Camshaft positioning A), P0521 (Engine oil pressure sensor), and C0561 (ABS disabled). However, there could be a projection of service StabiliTrak with no codes displayed.

How To Fix Service StabiliTrak Issue

Once you notice that your car’s service StabiliTrak warning light is on, it is time to pay careful attention to the issue and find out what could be wrong, as well as a possible way to curb the challenge. Since the StabiliTrak warning light is a sign of a malfunction, the following steps will help you rectify the issue.

Step 1: Pullover

Immediately you find your vehicle’s StabiliTrak warning light on, the first thing you must do is find a suitable location and pullover. 

Step 2: Turn off the engine

After getting a good place to pull over, turn off your car’s engine for about 20 to 30 seconds; this will ensure that all systems can refresh.

Step 3: Start the engine.

Start the car after the recommended period. The warning light should disappear after you do this. However, if it still appears, you may have to consult a professional auto mechanic to carefully diagnose the component that may be defective, which relates to the StabiliTrak system, thereby projecting the warning light.


Q: How much does it cost to fix the service StabiliTrak?

A car’s service StabiliTrak cost is estimated at around $80 to $90; this includes labor costs of about $30 to $50 and parts costs of about $20 to $40, respectively. There may be some variation in prices from one location or service center to another.

Some parts sellers may include shipping costs if they have to ship the parts to you in another location. Maybe you could find out the price from the service center near you.

Q: Can I drive with the StabiliTrak light on?

It depends. If you are considering whether it is safe to drive while your car’s TCS or StabiliTrak light is on, it could be safe to drive with your car’s StabiliTrak light on if it comes on when it seems your vehicle is losing traction. It is a sign that the TCS is engaging quite alright.

When you drive without your car’s traction control, the vehicle would be susceptible to sliding around or spinning out on the road. Therefore, you must ensure that the system is in good condition.

Q: How do I turn off service StabiliTrak?

If your car’s service StabiliTrak light comes on automatically and you need to turn it off, follow these simple steps:

  • First of all, press the traction control system (TCS) button on your car’s steering wheel; then, rerelease it.
  • After that, press and hold on to the control button for a few seconds; then, the service StabiliTrak light will turn off.

However, this process may not be the same for every car; hence, you must endeavor to check your car’s manufacturer’s manual to ascertain where to find your car’s traction control button. You will usually locate it close to the steering wheel on the left side.

Q: Can StabiliTrak cause a car to stall?

StabiliTrak can actually make your car stall when the stability control system malfunctions in a situation where your car is fishtailing, and the system cannot remedy the problem. When this happens, the vehicle may not have enough power to get through the obstacle; hence, it could stall, and the engine may go off.

Q: What is the difference between stability control and traction control?

Stability control is different from traction control. Stability control involves cutting power and brake wheels to enable a car to move in the direction the driver points to. It helps to maneuver a vehicle from the wrong path, especially when driving on a snowy road.

Meanwhile, traction control limits the vehicle’s wheels from spinning. It may not necessarily help the vehicle maneuver back to the direction the driver points to. All stability control involves traction control, but all traction control does not include stability control. However, both functionalities are vital for you to enjoy a fair ride.

Final Words

Since your car’s StabiliTrak system helps ensure your safety as you drive, it would be helpful to keep an eye on the service StabiliTrak warning light if it pops up.

If you ever discover the warning light on, it is not the time to manage your car driving around until you think it is convenient to check it out. Ensure to pull over and try out the quick fix way recommended in this article.

However, if the light remains on persistently, you may have to seek the attention of an expert auto mechanic to help you remedy the situation.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a seasoned automotive technician for the past 9 years, and a technical writer. He loves writing about auto professional repair guides, DIY repair guides, and buyer’s guide. After spending six years in the automotive workshop, he decided to impact his knowledge to people aside his domain, and he has achieved this by centering his Automotive writing skills on REPAIRS.

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