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Q: ESC light is staying on.

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Within the past week, the ESC light was sporadically coming on- and then going off. It stayed off all day Monday, but was back on all day today. It has been sporadic off on on in between. We have had snowy weather, but this has happened on dry days as well. We thought my husbands aggressive car washing with the hose to remove salt may have been a factor, but it had done the on/off trick prior to the thorough cleaning. We have an appointment at the dealer and have been told it's ok to drive. We're planning a trip soon and wondered if this needed to be addressed beforehand? The trip is approximately 400 miles( 800 round trip)

My car has 92000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi There, Your ESC light represents the Electronic Stability Control system in your car, otherwise known as a form of traction control. As you may know, this system is controlled by a series of sensors located at each of the four wheels which monitor the movement of the vehicle relaying this information back to the computer which then uses this to make adjustments to the control of the vehicle. This is especially critical in snowy or icy conditions which is likely what triggered these lights to come on.

Your car is equipped with wheel speed sensors at each of the four wheels which monitor wheel speed while relaying this information constantly to the ABS and traction control system which are controlled by the car’s ECU. When the ECU senses an abnormal speed given specific conditions, it engages the ABS or traction control as needed to control the vehicle properly and safely. Occasionally, these sensors can fail or become faulty working intermittently sending inaccurate signals to the ECU. When this happens, you may experience the symptoms you have described. The ABS or traction control system may be inadvertently activated by these false or inaccurate signals. I would suggest having a professional from Your Mechanic come to your home to diagnose your ABS and traction control system.

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