StabiliTrak is an advanced electronic stability control system in vehicles that provide drivers with maximum control and stability while driving. It’s a critical component in modern cars and plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety of drivers and passengers.
However, several factors can affect the performance of StabiliTrak in most GM cars. In this article, we’ll be answering the question, can a bad battery cause StabiliTrak warning light to appear on the dashboard? We’ll also look at the causes of StabiliTrak, how to fix StabiliTrak and the cost of fixing it.
Whether you’re a vehicle owner or a mechanic, this article will explain how bad batteries can manipulate the StabiliTrak in cars. But first, let’s see what defines a dead battery.
What defines a bad battery?
It may be difficult to say a battery is bad because a bad battery doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t use it again. The battery will display several issues before it finally gives up. Here are the various factors that define a battery.
Car batteries have lifespans, usually between three to five years. The closer they get to their lifespan, their power output decreases, especially if you use them in day-to-day activities.
Healthy batteries should be able to hold a charge for a long. If your battery can’t hold a charge for a reasonable amount of time, the battery is considered bad and needs to be repaired or replaced.
Batteries usually have three indicators that show the level of the electric juice in them. Batteries typically have a green, black, or red color. Normally, if the color is green, it means the battery is within 75%. If it’s showing black color, it means you have to charge the battery, and if the color is red, the battery is dead and needs to be replaced.
Can a dead battery cause StabiliTrak?
Yes, a bad battery can cause stability control issues, such as the StabiliTrak system not functioning properly. The StabiliTrak system relies on the battery to function properly. If the battery is weak or not holding a charge, it can cause fluctuations in the voltage that the system receives. This can result in the StabiliTrak system not functioning as intended and potentially causing issues with the vehicle’s stability and handling.
If you are experiencing stability control issues with your vehicle and you suspect it is related to a bad battery, I recommend you contact an experienced mechanic to check the battery and the stability control system. The service technician will diagnose the vehicle and determine the battery’s condition and whether it is the cause of the stability control issues. Plus, he’ll advise you on how to address the problems.
What causes StabiliTrak light to come on?
The StabiliTrak warning light coming on indicates that there is a problem with the vehicle’s stability control system. This system uses various sensors to monitor the vehicle’s traction and stability. It can apply brakes to individual wheels and adjust the engine power to help keep the car under control. Here are several reasons why the StabiliTrak light may come on:
ABS (Anti-lock Brake System) issue
As Explained earlier, the StabiliTrak system works with information from car sensors like the brakes. If there’s a problem with the ABS, it can cause the StabiliTrak light to come on.
Aside from the ABS, if any of the sensors that the system uses to monitor the vehicle’s stability and traction is not functioning correctly, the StabiliTrak light may come on.
Steering system problem
The steering system is used to control vehicle handling. If there is a problem with it, it can affect the stability control system and cause the StabiliTrak light to illuminate on the dashboard.
Low battery voltage
Of course, a dead battery is no exception. We have explained that a dead battery can cause the car computer to project the Stabilitrak light on the dashboard. Also, you can have a traction control light after dead battery.
Other possible causes include;
- Lousy yaw rate sensor
- Bad throttle position sensor
- Incorrect tire pressure
- Defective brake switch
- Defective throttle body module
- Use of E85 fuel
- Issues with the active fuel management (AFM) system.
If the StabiliTrak light comes on, Contact an experienced car mechanic as soon as possible to diagnose and determine the cause and prevent any potential safety issues.
What sensor controls the StabiliTrak?
StabiliTrak uses several car sensors to determine if the vehicle is deviating from its intended path and to adjust its trajectory as needed to maintain stability. One can call these sensors Stabilitrack sensors, but they have their various works. Here are some of the sensors that the Stabilitrak system works with.
Steering Angle Sensor
This sensor measures the angle of the steering wheel and the direction the driver is turning the wheel. It, however, works with the StabiliTrak system. If it goes bad or malfunctions, it could cause the car computer to display the StabiliTrack warning light on the dashboard.
Yaw Rate Sensor
This sensor measures the rotation of the vehicle about its vertical axis. The StabiliTrak uses the Yaw rate sensor reading to calculate the vehicle speed, and stability.
This sensor measures the vehicle’s lateral acceleration or the acceleration from side to side. The lateral accelerometer and the StabiliTrak system work in harmony to ensure the car maintains stability and runs smoothly on the road.
Brake Pedal Position Sensor
This sensor detects if the driver is applying the brakes. The Stability collects information from the brake pedal sensor to know when the driver applies the brake. This will prevent the system from thinking the vehicle is skidding or not running smoothly.
Wheel Speed Sensors
These sensors measure the rotational speed of each wheel and work in harmony with the StabiliTrak system.
Throttle Position Sensor
This sensor measures the position of the throttle or the amount of acceleration the driver is requesting. Since the StabiliTrak uses the brake pedal position sensor to know when the driver is applying the brakes, it uses the throttle position aware to see when the driver is accelerating the vehicle.
These sensors work together to provide the StabiliTrak system with information about the vehicle’s motion. The system then uses that information to make real-time adjustments to the vehicle’s trajectory to maintain stability.
How to fix Stabilitrak light on
The StabiliTrak warning light comes on when there’s a problem with the electronic stability control system. If you see the StabiliTrak engine light on your vehicle’s dashboard, here are some steps you can take to try and fix the problem:
Check the battery
A low battery voltage can cause the StabiliTrak system to malfunction. Try jumping the battery or replacing it with a new battery if necessary.
Check the tire pressure
Incorrect tire pressure can cause the StabiliTrak system to malfunction. Make sure the tire pressure is set to the manufacturer’s recommended level.
Check for loose or damaged sensors
The StabiliTrak system uses various sensors to monitor the vehicle’s movement. Check for any loose or damaged sensors, and replace or repair them as necessary.
Check for software updates
Sometimes a software update can resolve StabiliTrak issues. Check with your dealership to see if there’s a software update available for your vehicle.
Reset the system
It’s important to note that the StabiliTrak usually comes up when there’s an issue in the system. It could be a low battery, incorrect tire pressure, or the system needs an update. After checking these areas, you have to reset the system if the problem persists. It could be all you need to clear the warning light from the dashboard.
Contact a mechanic
If the above steps don’t fix the problem, contact an experienced mechanic to diagnose the vehicle and address the issue. The service technician will run a diagnostic test to determine what’s causing the warning light to come on and recommend the necessary repairs.
Is it expensive to fix StabiliTrak?
StabiliTrak repair cost varies depending on several factors, including the make and model of the vehicle, the severity of the issue, the root cause of the problem, and the labor costs at the repair shop.
Some common issues with StabiliTrak can be resolved by simply resetting the system, updating the software, or replacing simple car sensors. It can also require changing a dead battery to address it.
Luckily, the cost of fixing a StabiliTrak issue is between $80 to $200. It won’t dig a hole in your pocket.
At this point, you’ll no longer ask can a bad battery causes StabiliTrak light on the dashboard. The StabiliTrak system does not have a sensor. It uses several car sensors, modules, and the car battery to minute the vehicle’s handling and stability.
If the battery runs low or becomes worse, it can cause the system to trigger the StabiliTrak warning light on the dashboard. However, you don’t have to blame the battery whenever the service StabiliTrak warning light appears on the dash because other factors can cause it.
If you suspect the battery, borrow your neighbor’s battery and start your car. If that addresses the issue, you must recharge or replace the battery.