What Does Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) On/Off Indicator Mean?

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    And how do I reset it?


    The VSC or vehicle stability control system is usually installed in front-drive cars to ensure that the response of your driving wheels remains equal. In other words, if you are driving along on a sandy stretch of road and you find that your VSC light suddenly blinks for a second or two, you will feel the VSC system kick in as your front wheels shift power back and forth until they equalize and the light goes out.

    It is one of the many systems now required by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards maintained by the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA).

    If the system clicks on and there is no response from the driving wheels, it indicates there is a problem somewhere, usually an air leak. You will find that when you run and OBD-II diagnostic that the error codes that are returned can range from 120 to P0455, P0446, P0441, P0505. Generally, the error codes point to the air link. Now you can run all the added scans you would like, however, it is likely the codes will be the same. It requires visual and aural checks to see where the problem is.

    By and large, you will find that there is a central culprit in this issue is usually the gas cap. Many people don’t think they need to tighten the cap down until it is a bit beyond finger-tight. However, the cap has to be tightened until there is no possibility of air getting into the the engine. It’s a fairly quick cure but no one ever thinks of the obvious when there is a vehicle issue. It always seems to be the worst-case scenario. Now, it could be that it is worst-case, but if you are like me who usually starts with the easy and relatively obvious solutions, then I think it will be a quick fix if the VSC lights go on because the easy is usually the one that actually goes.

    Now, how do you reset the VSC code if you see the indicator lit and nothing is happening? As I have noted it usually indicates there is an air leak somewhere in the system. Most likely, the cause is something simple like a loose gas cap.

    Once you have fixed the system, you have to reset it.The way to do this is driving the car until the light goes out, if you are not associated with a brand dealership working on this problem, then use the method that is described in their service manual.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by mstern001. Reason: adding end piece on reset
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