What Does ESC Mean on a Car?

December 4, 2023

When the ESC light is flashing on your car, it means that this safety system is active. This is a good thing, as it helps to prevent your car from skidding and losing control in difficult situations. However, it can also indicate a problem with the ESC system itself.

The ESC is a computer-controlled system that monitors the speed of the wheels and other inputs like the steering angle. If it detects that the car is losing control, it will reduce engine power or even apply the brakes to help keep the vehicle under control. The ESC light will only come on if the system is actively trying to keep the car under control, and it should turn off once the vehicle has regained control.

Almost every modern car is fitted with this system, and it can be an invaluable asset in icy or snowy conditions. However, it is important to remember that this is not a substitute for safe driving. Always drive responsibly, no matter the weather or road conditions, and make sure you prioritize safe braking and acceleration.

If you have a newer car that has ESC, there is often a button that allows you to disable it when needed. If the ESC is enabled and you are experiencing problems with it, check the owner’s manual to see how to reset the system. You may also need to visit a garage for a full diagnosis of the problem.


Traffic Dave is on a mission to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram