Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Yaw Rate Sensor

yaw rate sensor

One of the newest monitoring systems on cars, trucks, and SUVs sold in the US is the yaw rate sensor. This sensor ties into the vehicle's traction control, stability control and antilock braking system to produce an alert when the tilt of your vehicle (the yaw) is reaching an unsafe level. Once this happens, it makes adjustments to the vehicle’s traction and stability controls to compensate to reduce the yaw rate. When it works well, it can save you from having an accident. However, like any other electrical devices, it is prone to having problems occasionally.

The yaw rate sensor is an electrical component that is stored either in the vehicle's ECU or under the dashboard near the fuse box. It's not commonly subject to wear and tear, and most issues with this device are attributed to problems with one of the three individual sensors it monitors. The yaw rate monitor is designed to last the lifespan of your vehicle, however, when the yaw rate sensor begins to fail, there are a few warning signs you might recognize. If there is an issue with this component, you'll have to have a professional ASE certified mechanic inspect and replace the yaw rate sensor as it's a very delicate process.

Listed below are a few of the warning signs that a problem with your yaw rate sensor may exist.

1. Check Engine Light comes on

When the yaw rate sensor works correctly, the fault that it detects is electronically sent to the device that needs to receive the input. This process is automatic and does not require any motion or action from the driver. However, when an issue with the system exists, whether due to poor data collection or an interruption in the communication process, the Check Engine Light will illuminate to alert the driver that a problem exists.

Since the Check Engine Light illuminates with multiple potential problems, it is always best for you to contact a local ASE certified mechanic who has diagnostic tools available to download error codes from the ECU and properly interpret them to discover the problem and make appropriate adjustments.

2. Vehicle Stability or Traction Control Lights illuminate

Since the yaw rate sensor monitors the operation of both of these systems, a problem with the YRS might trigger one or both of these indicator lights to light up on your dashboard. The Vehicle Stability Light is an automatic system that can't be turned on or off by the driver. The traction control system is easily turned off and will illuminate when the system is not in operation. When you turn off the traction control system, by default, the yaw rate sensor will not work. It not recommended for drivers to turn off the traction control system for any reason by the manufacturer.

If you see either light active on your dashboard and have not turned off the traction control device on your car, truck, or SUV, contact a local mechanic to inspect the issue and determine what is damaged or if the yaw rate sensor needs replacement.

3. Stability Control Light flashes intermittently

On many vehicles sold in the US, the SCS Light will illuminate and flash on and off intermittently when there is a problem with the yaw rate sensor. Although this symptom may pop up due to multiple reasons, it is very commonly attributed to a fault in the yaw rate sensor. One quick item that any car owner can do when this light flickers is to stop the car, put it in park, turn off the vehicle, and restart. If the light stays on, and continues to flicker, contact a mechanic as soon as possible.

The yaw rate sensor is a great safety device, however, the best safety system for any vehicle is a driver that operates the car correctly. In theory, this device should never have to work, as it only comes on when unstable or unsafe driving situations occur. However, when it goes bad, it can create additional safety risks, which is why you should contact a professional mechanic to inspect this system and make any repairs as needed.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.

ASK A QUESTION

More related articles

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Flexible Clutch Hose
Common signs include difficulty shifting, low clutch fluid, and feeling no resistance at the clutch pedal.
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...


Related questions

Q: How do you use the AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™?

Your car’s traction and stability control system (AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™) is designed to help enhance your stability and control during certain types of driving. The system is automatically on, and will engage without you having to do anything...

Q: Check engine light on 1998 Audi A4

Any good mechanic can check them out. Here's the problem that you've got though--when there's a linking error, either the nanoport isn't working right because one of the pins is bent or there's wiring short somewhere in the computer system...

Q: Service ABS System, Traction Control System and Service Stability System

Hello. These systems are interconnected, since both of them can control individual wheel brake functions when operating. It is likely that one of the speed sensors are failing. To have this verified, have a qualified professional, like one from YourMechanic,...