Service StabiliTrak: What Does it Mean and How To Fix it

Published: January 3, 2023
Last updated: March 29, 2023

The StabiliTrak system, like the traction control system (TCS) that is standard on all vehicles, is critical in ensuring your safety while driving. A Service StabiliTrak message on your dashboard indicates a problem which could be caused by a faulty input sensor, a flawed controller, or a bad connection.

If you encounter this warning light on your vehicle, it is imperative to act swiftly to diagnose the problem. Continuing to drive your car while ignoring the Service StabiliTrak message may endanger your life.

How Does The StabiliTrak System Work?

StabiliTrak is a premium electronic stability control system that is standard on General Motors (GM) vehicles. It is one of the most modern electronic stability control systems (ESC) on the market today. Electronic stability control systems are designed to assist a vehicle in maintaining its path by stabilizing brakes and engine power as needed.

StabiliTrak is a vehicle stability control system that monitors the vehicle's speed, rotational speed, and steering angle. The module then identifies whether corrective action is required to keep the path straight. This assists the driver in regaining control and stability following a high-speed emergency action to prevent a crash or avoid skidding further.

It is composed of speed sensors mounted on each wheel, a central rotational sensor, a steering wheel angle sensor, and a control unit that regulate how the system engages. Additionally, the system aids in the prevention of vehicle overturning in vehicles with a high center of gravity.

What Does Service StabiliTrak Mean?

The Service StabiliTrak notification suggests that the StabiliTrak System has encountered an error. Additionally, the light may be accompanied by warning lights for TRAC (traction control), STAB (another light for stabilitrak), or ABS (anti-lock braking system). If those signals are illuminated, the systems are disabled, so proceed with caution.

These unresolved issues and the StabiliTrak System's on-and-off processes may differ between cars. Among the possible causes are the following:

Faulty Input Sensor

The StabiliTrak system's input sensor measures the steering angle and yaw rate of your vehicle. If the input sensor fails, it may be unable to relay reliable data to the Vehicle Stability Control Module.

Defective Power Steering Wheel Sensor

The power steering sensor and the input sensor work hand in hand. This is because it informs the Vehicle Stability Control Module about the amount of assistance provided by your car's power steering system while driving. If this sensor fails, your car may be unable to determine when additional or less assistance is required.

Malfunctioning Output Sensor

The output sensor communicates with the Vehicle Stability Control Module to determine the amount of torque transmitted to each wheel. If this sensor fails, it may be unable to provide precise data about the engine power of your vehicle.

Misbehaving Stability Control Module

The Stability Control Module is in charge of monitoring the operation of all of your vehicle's systems to keep it on track and stable on the road. If the controller fails, there is a possibility that it will be unable to accurately monitor all of your vehicle's systems.

Defective ABS Module

The ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) senses when your vehicle's wheels are skidding and rises across the brake discs to regain control. A faulty ABS Module may be unable to regulate your vehicle's braking system.

Defective Controller

The controller is in charge of analyzing all of the data collected by your car's sensors and providing feedback on how to best control your vehicle. If this controller fails, it may be unable to deliver you with the type of feedback necessary to maintain control of your vehicle.

How To Fix Service StabiliTrak

System issues are often complicated. What appears to be a minor issue can quickly escalate into a disaster that can affect safety and drivability. Never disregard the Service StabiliTrak Warning.  Attempting to fix the Service StabiliTrak warning is a little more challenging because it could be the result of a variety of factors.

You can resolve this issue by inspecting your vehicle's engine to determine if the fuel injector is plugged up or if the fuel line or fuel filter are faulty. In some instances, replacing a faulty spark plug may also work.

Additionally, you can reboot the computer in your vehicle. To do so, unplug the battery cables and  disconnect the negative cable. Following that, you should reconnect everything before starting your car.

If the Service StabiliTrak message continues to appear after completing all of the steps above, you may need to consult a licensed mechanic or visit an auto repair shop. Fixing a car without a vehicle repair insurance might tear a hole in your pocket, that’s why a reliable mechanic can help you in estimating repair costs.


As with any other warning message, the Service StabiliTrak should never be ignored. This is a sure sign that your vehicle's Stability Control System is malfunctioning. Without caution, it can spiral out of control.  Consult your car mechanics immediately to repair the problem.

For more recommendations on auto repair and maintenance, head over to Keep driving today

Principal Analyst A mechanical engineer by trade, Bobby previously spent over 20 years at automakers giants, where he spent most of his time leading core technology design and operations and the development of new automotive models. He now devotes most of his time to be our go-to guy and Principal Analyst in Keep Driving.
Copyright © 2024 Keep Driving. All Rights Reserved.
DMCA.com Protection Status