Chevy Malibu is a comfortable mid-size car model coming at an affordable cost. The 2012 Malibu boasts an ESC safety technology that helps it stay on the road.
But what should you do if the dashboard warning light for “Service ESC Chevy Malibu” comes on? This may indicate a system malfunction or even a risk of popping up.
From the moment this warning light turns on, you can still drive. But you should never leave the car unchecked for an extended time.
To find out exactly what it is, keep reading!
What Is Service ESC Chevy Malibu?
The electronic stability control system (ESC) involves the wheels’ computer-controlled braking to help drivers retain vehicle control in vital cases.
It hinders a vehicle from “plowing out” or “spinning out” due to slippage wheels and road traction loss.
ESC’s hi-tech helps drivers during hard-steering maneuvers. In particular, the safety feature keeps the tires on the road, reducing the risk of a rollover.
Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) are some other names for Chevy Malibu ESC.
How Does Electronic Stability Control Work?
No wonder many pose questions, such as “what does ESC off mean and on mean?”. To answer this, find out how it works first.
ESC runs when you start the vehicle. It adopts the steering wheel position’s sensors to compare with the car’s steering.
Once sensors detect the driver’s loss of traction or loss of control, ESC automatically adjusts for understeer and oversteer and engine torque or brakes to help the driver stay in control and keep safe.
It also eases or applies the wheel’s brakes to return the car to the intended route.
The system will manage the engine power and traction control system to lower engine speed in case of over-acceleration.
Some notes for ESC’s operation:
- It boosts braking pressure on one side to steer mildly. The outcome will depend on what it uses: rear or front brakes.
- It predicts skid direction and applies brakes asymmetrically to individual wheels to bring the vehicle back to the initial direction.
- It mitigates engine power or controls the automatic transmission to slow the automobile down.
Why Is Chevy Malibu ESC Service Important?
As mentioned, a car’s ESC system offers various advantages:
- Counteract car skidding in slippery cases.
- Offer corrective support in vital or urgent driving cases.
- Help level the driving agility, comfort, and safety.
- Assist drivers in retaining the car’s general driving control.
More than that, ESC could prevent further dangers and difficulties. For example, in an accident, it could stop your automobile from rolling over and save your and others’ lives.
ESC malfunctions put both the driver and his car in danger. Such problems may not be noticed until it’s too late. There is no way to test whether Malibu’s ESC still works.
However, checking whether your power steering is turning below 100% capacity is possible. If this is the case, your ESC may not function properly.
Contact Chevy center whenever you see anything wrong with the ESC on your car. The ESC should be back to regular work within a week.
What Causes Service ESC Light Chevy Malibu Comes On
Long answer short: there are 4 reasons for making an ESC light on, such as a faulty steering angle sensor, poor wheel speed sensors, the ESC system being deactivated, and electrical/wiring issues.
Defective Wheel Speed Sensors
The service ESC light on often stems from a faulty wheel speed sensor.
The stability control monitors the bad sensor signal and makes necessary brake adjustments to ensure a steady ride. Yet, if this wheel sensor functions incorrectly, the ESC Chevy Malibu will be influenced.
Faulty Steering Angle Sensor
The steering angle sensor is another suspect. This sensor and wheels work together to ensure the wheels turn at the right pace and in the proper direction.
Typically, the outside wheel spins quicker than the inside. The steering angle must inform the powertrain control module what’s happened.
Otherwise, the car’s built-in computer will think one wheel’s side is losing traction when the other is operating.
The ESC System Is Deactivated
Turning off the ESC system is a user-selectable option in most car models. Still, in most cases, you shouldn’t do this to avoid drifting.
And deactivating this system will make the stability control indicator light on.
If the sensors and powertrain control module have electrical difficulties, the Chevy Malibu ESC light will come on accordingly.
This case is likely to occur due to an opened or short wire on your wheel speed sensor.
Common Issues With ESC Chevy Malibu
Issues Involving The Anti-Lock Braking System
ESC performance may be impacted by issues with your anti-lock braking system, like dust/air in the brake fluid and worn brake linings.
Tires With Bad Tread
Tires with worn treads will reduce the efficiency of ESC.
A Poor Brake Light Switch
The ESC light may result from a broken brake light switch. Lucky you, a cheap replacement switch can quickly solve this common issue.
Steering Input Throughout High-Performance Driving
At high speeds, steering input might not always point in your desired direction. ESC may step into such situations unwantedly.
How To Fix Service ESC Chevy Malibu?
Turn On The ESC System
Check to see whether the system is off or if your car has any option of turning it on. It can be due to your child’s acts or a mistaken button presser.
Inspect Whether There Is Any Other Light On
Look around the dashboard to check for any additional lights. Other unnecessary lights may trigger the electrical stability control light as well. This situation is typical but simple to detect.
Change Poor Wheel Speed Sensors
How to fix ESC on Chevy Malibu having the wrong speed sensors? If the speed sensor light and the ESC warning light come on, your speed sensor is probably faulty.
Inspect this component and let off bad components in this emergency situation. You can change them in pairs. After that, the light will vanish after you drive a mile or two.
Adjust Your Steering Angle
A misaligned steering angle in your truck may cause the service ESC light to illuminate.
If the tires aren’t straight when you place your steering wheel in the center, that indicates an offset steering angle. Change it to resolve the issue.
Examine Your Fuses
Even though it may seem strange, this could be your savior. Sometimes, all the relevant fuses are in good condition. But until someone reinstalls them, the ESC light is gone.
Contact A Mechanic
Be bold and call an auto repair to identify the cause and provide fixes in case none of the above work.
Some serious matters regarding the broken ESC should be tackled professionally, as DIY methods can be challenging.
Not only with Chevy Malibu, a well-trained mechanic will easily tackle your Chevy Trax problems as well.
Is It Safe To Drive With The ESC Light On?
Yes. Some experts claim there’s no reason to turn off ESC if your car is neutral and has no other problems. When this system fails on today’s rough roads, turn it off and on again.
ESC saves lives in rollover accidents. The 2012 Malibu and later versions have this functionality, which should have been enabled by default while driving.
How Do You Know If Your Car Has Service ESC?
Cars with ESC available have the indicator light on their dashboard. The ESC indicator light switches on while driving.
As stated, the ESC system monitors vehicle speed and automatically applies engine brakes. ESC prevents sliding if the automobile accelerates fast when the computer can slow it timely.
ESC operates below 18 mph. When the automobile rolls over, the system shuts off the engine.
Does ESC Affect Transmission?
Yes. The ESC system can decrease engine power or operate your transmission to slow down the speed.
How Do I Get My ESC Light To Go Off?
Steering assistance from ESC is a crucial safety component. Only highly-experienced drivers should consider disabling the ESC system.
But if you must turn it off, press and hold the “ESC Off” button for about five seconds. An “ESC Off” notification will pop up on the odometer, illuminating the ESC warning light.
Does ESC Affect Gas Mileage?
The computer initiates a traction control light if any of the driven tires begin to spin. If the system is not activated, it does not affect gas mileage.
While improvements in technology and safety measures have decreased traffic accidents, these advancements can also be unsettling and irritating when things go wrong on the road.
Regardless of your difficulties, the Service ESC Chevy Malibu is not something you should give up on. Indeed, it makes sense to keep you safe.
This article has covered the meaning of the service ESC warning light on the dashboard and potential causes and solutions. If you are in this condition, adhere to the guidelines above strictly.
Once a measure here works for you, please share this article with others who may benefit.