Skip to main content

Chevy Service StabiliTrak Warning Message

Service StabiliTrak warning comes on when the stability control function on a Chevy vehicle most commonly due to a bad ABS wheel speed sensor. 

Chevy Service StabiliTrak Warning Message
ESTIMATED TIME 30 min - 2 hr
DIY COST $25-$550
DIFFICULTY Intermediate

​Service StabiliTrak warning can affect several GM vehicles, including Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC. 

Stabilitrak System Failure Symptoms

Service Stabilitrak

When the StabilitTrack system fails, the first thing that happens is that Service Stabilitrak light and a warning message come on.

A driver may notice one or more of the following symptoms: 

  • Engine power may be reduced.

  • StabiliTrak, traction control, and ABS lights come on

  • Service ESC warning light comes on the dashboard

  • Stabilitrak Off shows on the instrument cluster

  • Stabilitrak Initializing message

  • Check engine light on and service StabiliTrak

  • Transmission may go in limp mode

  • Transmission may get stuck in one gear

  • Loss of engine power, poor throttle response. 

  • StabiliTrak comes on when accelerating from a stop

  • StabiliTrak not ready may display on the cluster

  • Traction control light on, Service traction control 

  • ABS light comes on

  • Service StabiliTrak light always on

  • Engine light flashing

When Chevy's StabiliTrak system fails you will get a number of warning lights to come on. The exact warning lights that come on depends on the vehicle model but traction control light is very common.

While a faulty ABS wheel speed sensor is one of the most common reasons, why ServiceStabiliTrak warnings come up with other problems, including: 

  • Faulty input sensor
  • Defective StabiliTrak module
  • Steering angle sensor needing calibration
  • Weak or defective car battery

These problems are explained in detail in the next section. 

What does Service StabiliTrak mean? 

what does service stabilitrak mean

When the StablikTrak Service message comes on, it means that the Stabilitrak system is malfunctioning. The most common problem that the Service StabiliTrak comes on is due to the failure of one of the ABS wheel speed sensors. This warning does not affect the engine operation but it can cause the vehicle to lose traction control system functions.

abs vs stabilitrak on chevyStabiliTrak system is the General Motors (GM) term for the electronic stability control system. Under critical conditions, the StabiliTrak system can reduce engine power and apply the brakes until vehicle control is regained.

In technical terms, StabiliTrak system warnings appear on the dashboard when there is a problem with the Electronic Brake Control Module (EBCM). A simple problem such as a damaged ABS wheel speed sensor that disables the ABS and StabiliTrak system. 

Service Stabilitrak

If the StabiliTrak message appears or the traction control light stays on, the EBCM module will not intervene to keep the vehicle on course if you lose traction. The braking distance may be longer when the service StabiliTrak message is active.

Keep in mind that there is a difference between traction control systems such as ABS brakes and stability control systems (StabiliTrak system). Both the StabiliTrak system and ABS will stop working when an ABS sensor fails.

Traction control generally refers to Anti-lock Brake SystemBrake System (ABS), which prevents wheel spin or skid. 

What does the StabiliTrak traction control system do?

A traction control system (StabiliTrak) detects if there is a loss of traction between the tires and the road. The StabiliTrak system identifies a wheel that is losing grip on the road, the system automatically applies the brakes to that individual tire or reduces engine power to the slipping wheel.

StabiliTrak system can apply the brakes to stop loss of traction and intervene to keep the vehicle in the intended path.

Can a dirty ABS speed sensor cause the service StabiliTrak light to come on?

dirty abs wheel speed sensor

When there is a problem with any wheel speed sensor, both StabilityTrak and ABS get disabled even though the problem is due to the failure of only one component. That's because StabiliTrak and Anti-lock Brake System both depend on input from ABS wheel speed sensorsBrake System both depend on input from ABS wheel speed sensors to operate.

 Other car manufacturers may refer to their electronic stability control as ESC, ESP, or DSC.

What to do when the Service StabiliTrak message comes on? 

If you are getting a service StabiliTrak warning message on the instrument cluster for the first time, pull over as soon as it is safe to do so and park in a safe spot. 

Turn off the ignition remove the key from the ignition. Keep the car offer for at least ten seconds, then restart the engine.

Restarting the engine will in many cases reset the stability track system and allow it to function properly.

Which Chevy vehicles have the StabiliTrak system? 

StabiliTrak system has become more common on 2015 and newer GM vehicles, including GMC, Buick, Cadillac, or Chevy vehicles such as: 

  • Tahoe,

  • Cruze,

  • Equinox,

  • Malibu,

  • Silverado,

  • Traverse,

  • Trailblazer

  • Suburban

  • Yukon

  • Acadia, etc.

Can I Keep Driving with the Stabilitrak Light On?

drive with stabilitrak light on

With the StabilitTrack or stability control system disabled, you may notice that your vehicle handles differently than you are used to, especially when braking on slippery surfaces.

A vehicle might skid when braking, especially on wet pavement, or it will not correct itself if you lose traction while cornering. 

Despite the fact that the vehicle may still be able to be driven when the Stabilitrak light comes on, it is important to realize that the vehicle's stability control has been disabled. In other words, if you lose traction while driving, the vehicle won't attempt to maintain its direction. 

How to Reset Service StabiliTrak

To fix the service StabiliTrak messages and light on a GMC, Buick, Cadillac, Chevy vehicle, you must read the fault codes from the Electronic Brake Control Module (EBCM) to determine why the light is on. 

  1. Locate the diagnostic port under the dashboard. 

    Service Stabilitrak diagnostic port obd2 location

     

     

  2. Plug in a scanner such as Launch CRP123 or Innova 6100P capable of reading and clearing Chevy ABS Fault Codes. Here is a list of scanners that work on GM vehicles. 

    reset chevy service stabilitrak

  3. Turn on the ignition and wait for the scanner to turn on. 

    chevy abs stabili trak light on

     

  4. Select your vehicle model. 

     

  5. Select Control Units, then go to Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) or Electronic Brake Control ModuBrake System (ABS) or Electronic Brake Control Module (EBCM). 

    diagnose electronic brake module chevy

     

  6. Select read fault codes in each module and write down all the codes and the descriptions shown.

    read dtc chevy

    Most likely, you will get two to three codes that point to the same problem. The most common issue, for example, is a faulty ABS wheel speed sensor. All cars have four ABS sensors. The fault code description will identify which ABS sensor is faulty. For example, the code may be: Right front ABS wheel speed sensor input plausible. This means that the passenger side sensor at the front wheel is not sending a signal. 

  7. Fix the problem, then reconnect the scanner and select Clear Fault codes or Clear DTCs. Keep in mind; you can not reset the service StabiliTrak warning without fixing the issue you found in the previous step.  

  8. Once the code is cleared, turn off the ignition for twenty seconds, then turn it back on. Service StabiliTrak light should be turned off. If the StabiliTrak is still on, you reread the fault codes to find out which fault code prevents you from resetting the ABS / StabilitTrack light. 

To turn off the service StabiliTrak warning message, you will need to read the fault codes from Electronic Brake Control Module (EBCM), fix that problem then use the scanner to clear the StabiliTrak fault codes. 

Common Problems that Trigger Service Stabilitrak Light

Common problems trigger the service StabiliTrak light or service traction control warning light on Chevy, GMC, Buick, and Cadillac vehicles. 

  • ABS wheel speed sensor

  • Defective Throttle Body Assembly

  • Bad Steering Wheel Position Sensor

  • Faulty Electronic Brake Control Module (EBCM)

  • Brake Switch

  • Bad ABS Pump

  • Engines Misfires

  • Bad Fuel

  • Weak Fuel Pump

  • Dirty fuel filter

  • Parking brake locking up

  • Damaged wheel hub

  • Battery issue

  • Corroded connection or ground

  • Yaw sensor

Do not replace parts based on this list.

Let's explain why some of the most common problems trigger the service StabiliTrak warning on Chevy and other GM vehicles. 

ABS Wheel Speed Sensor

 

Service Stabilitrak due to bad abs wheel speed sensor

One of the main reasons why service StabilitTrak comes on is because one of the wheel speed sensors is bad. These are also known as ABS wheel speed sensors. There is an ABS wheel speed sensor mounted at each wheel. 

GMC, Chevy, or Cadillac vehicles have four-wheel speed sensors. First, you will need to read the fault codes from the Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) to find out which sensor Brake System (ABS) to find out which sensor is faulty. 

Replacing an ABS wheel speed sensor on a Chevy or GMC vehicle is an easy and simple procedure that can be performed at home with basic tools. 

Steering Wheel Position Sensor 

 

STABILI TRAC ON SERVICE STEERING WHEEL POSITION

 

 DTC C0455 and/or C0710 may be caused by increased resistance in the circuits connecting the steering position sensor and the electronic brake control module (EBCM) due to corrosion on the connector terminals.

The steering wheel position sensor is mounted right below the steering wheel and does exactly what the name says. It determines if you have turned the steering wheel in degrees. In turn, the steering wheel's position is used to determine which direction the wheel is going. 

The direction of the front wheels is used to determine where the vehicle is heading. Steering wheel position, wheel rotation data received by the ABS wheel speed sensor, and acceleration from the YAW sensor are used to determine if the vehicle is driving as intended or if the vehicle has lost traction. 

The steering wheel position sensor can get out of calibration and, in turn, trigger fault codes and service StabiliTrak warning light. 

The following procedure can sometimes fix StabiliTrak problems:

  1. Disconnect the battery negative terminal for at least five minutes.

  2. Reconnect the battery. 

  3. Start the engine. 

  4. Turn the steering wheel all the way left and right twice. 

  5. Then drive for a minute. 

This simple procedure will usually reset the steering wheel position sensor. If the steps don't work, you will need to use a Chevy Full System Scanner to carry out the steering angle calibration procedure. 

Traction Control System Failure

faulty abs pump ebcm module

The ABS module can fail to trigger the StabiliTrak warning to come and, in some cases, may also trigger the ABS light to come on. The ABS module may also be called EBCM or TCS in GM terms. 

Related symptoms include:

  • Illumination of ABS,

  • The brake light comes on 

  • TCS indicator lights

  • Loss of communication with the module.

  • Loss of one or more wheel sensor inputs.

  •  Intermittent functionality.

In many cases, these lights come on intermittently and may flash or turn on briefly when driving over bumps.

For example, a common problem with COrveteces, Cadillac Deville, and Seville is DTC C1214 indicating a solenoid valve relay contactor coil circuit open.

Replacing the EBCM module at the dealership can be very expensive and cost between $900 and $1500. A more affordable alternative is removing your faulty model and shipping it for repair to a specialist who repairs them. Several companies offer EBCM repair services on eBay. 

Engine Misfire

engine misfire

It is not uncommon for service StabiliTrak to come on along with the check engine light. This can happen for several reasons ranging from:

When the engine misfires, it can shut off the stability and traction control. 

To find out, you read the fault codes. It is recommended to read the codes from the EBCM  and powertrain control module (PCM), where check engine codes are stored. Address the check engine light first, as in many cases that will reset the service StabiliTrak warning. 

Most auto part stores can scan the check engine light for free. The codes stored in the PCM should be enough to determine why the check engine light and service StabiliTrak are on. 

Can I drive with the Service Stabilitrak warning light?

You may continue to drive only if the engine has not lost power or the engine light is not flashing.

In most cases, vehicles can be driven as long as no other system such as the brakes is disabled. The vehicle will operate without StabiliTrak (stability control). While stability control systems have become more common on newer vehicles, 2010 and older vehicles typically do not have stability control. 

If you decide to continue driving with the Stabilittrak light on, you should drive at a safely reduced speed, minimize quick acceleration, or take turns too fast. 

Do not drive if the BRAKE light comes on. If StabiliTrak and BRAKE light come on, the vehicle may lose all braking functionality or do so while driving. This can be dangerous and can lead to an accident. For more help, consult your auto mechanic or dealer. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I drive my car if it says service Stabilitrak?

It is possible to drive with the service StabiliTrak light on. The problem that you will experience is that vehicle will not intervene and keep your vehicle on the intended path if tires lose traction with the road surface.

If the service StabiliTrak light is on, drive carefully and don't exceed the speed limit. Reduce speed if road conditions are poor. Call your auto mechanic for advice.

How to Turn Off StabilitiTrack Off? 

The following steps will allow you to disable the StabilitTrack manually. If the service StabiliTrak light always stays on, see the steps in the next section on how to learn how to read and clear StabiliTrak fault codes. 

  1. Locate the TCS button on the dashboard. 

  2. Press and hold the TCS button pressed until the StabiliTrak Off or Traction Control symbol shows off. 

How much does it cost to fix StabiliTrak?

To troubleshoot the service StabiliTrak message that comes up on the DIC, most owners spend between $115-$150 in diagnostic alone. The diagnostic procedure basically reads the fault codes from the ABS module and makes sense of those codes. 

Once the codes are read, you may be looking from $180 to $1500 to fix a StabiliTrak problem. The most common problem is a faulty ABS wheel speed sensor, which is probably the cheapest repair you can easily perform yourself. ABS wheel speed sensor replacement at the dealership or auto repair shop can range between $250-$400. 

Steering angle sensor replacement which is also a problem that can trigger StabiliTrak can cost between $550-$900 at a repair shop. 

ABS module failure is the most expensive repair and can range between $850 and 1500. Consider investing in a GM Diagnostic Scanner so that you can at least read the fault codes. Most likely, the problem is a bad ABS wheel speed sensor which you can replace yourself for under $100.

Can OBD2 scanners read service StabiliTrak light and ABS codes?

Generic OBD-II scanners will not be able to read ABS fault codes on GM vehicles. To diagnose the service StabiliTrak light you will need a more advanced scanner.

Here is a list of multi-system scanners that can read fault codes on GM vehicles.

Stabilitrak System Fault Codes

List of possible fault codes that can trigger service StabilitTrak error. 

  • C0561 - ABS Disabled

  • P0121 - Pedal Position Sensor

  • C0035 - Left Front Wheel Speed Sensor Circuit 

  • C0036 - Left Front Wheel Speed Sensor Circuit Range/Performance

  • C0037 - Left Front Wheel Speed Sensor Circuit Low 

  • C0040 - Right Front Wheel Speed Sensor Circuit

  • C0265 - Engine Code: EBCM Relay Circuit

  • C0041 - Right Front Wheel Speed Sensor Circuit Range/Performance 

  • C0042 - Right Front Wheel Speed Sensor Circuit Low

  • C0045 - Left Rear Wheel Speed Sensor Circuit

  • C0046 - Left Rear Wheel Speed Sensor Circuit Range/Performance

  • C0047 - Left Rear Wheel Speed Sensor Circuit Low

  • C0050 - Right Rear Wheel Speed Sensor Circuit

  • C0051 -Right Rear Wheel Speed Sensor Circuit Range/Performance

  • C0052 Right Rear Wheel Speed Sensor Circuit Low

  • B0790 B0706 - transfer case neutral range indicator control circuit low voltage/open.

There may be other fault codes related to StabiliTrak failure. 

Stabilitrak System Recalls

​Additional Resources

 

Comments

Add new comment

Plain text

Notes

Safety Tips

Auto Repair Safety Notes