Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Started running rough when ESC light came on

asked by on

The other day I was driving my 2011 Kia Soul and the ESC light came on on the dashboard. I didn’t think much of it until I stopped at a light and could barely accelerate when it turned green. Couldn’t believe it, in a car with 12,000 miles on it. I hit the ESC switch and it was pretty much fine. Is this problem isolated to the ESC system or is it a bigger electrical issue?

Thank you for writing in about this problem. The Electronic Stability Control system (ESC) could have been activated due to driving conditions (wet, dusty, etc.). However, the light should turn off when the conditions warrant (dry, no slip). Sometimes the ESC light will illuminate due to a loose or faulty connection at one of the wheel sensors. There could also be an issue with the steering angle sensor. If this sensor is faulty, it would cause symptoms similar to what you experienced. The lack of adequate acceleration means that the ESC system was active. The system works by reducing engine power and applying the brakes at the wheel where slip is sensed. If the ESC lamp stayed illuminated after the vehicle was turned off, then back on, it would indicate that a fault was stored in the computer. If that is the case, it would be a good idea to have a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, perform an ESC diagnosis on the vehicle.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: How do I lock the tailgate?

Locking the tailgate makes it so that your tailgate cannot be opened. To lock the tailgate, insert your vehicle’s keys into the lock on the tailgate, and turn.

Q: the seats won't heat up and the fuse looks good

The heated seat circuit includes wiring, terminations, the switch and possibly a relay. There is the resistive element (heater) in the seat as well. Basically, all of those components would be evaluated in any electrical diagnostic of the fault. If...

Q: What does the "Ready" blinking light on the dash mean on a sonata hybrid 2011?

Hi there. This warning light on a hybrid indicates an electrical glitch or error code has been triggered and stored in the ECU of your Hyundai Sonata. Sometimes it can occur after replacing a battery or battery cables. The solution...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...