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?

A: Thank you for writing in about this problem...

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

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: How do you reinstall a head restraint?

If you’ve had to remove your head restraints to fold your second row seats down or to haul cargo, you’ll eventually need to reinstall them to use the seats to carry passengers. Here’s how to reinstall your active head restraints:...

Q: Satellite Uconnect

Hello. Yes the new version of Uconnect is much better. The update patches up inconsistent bluetooth and satellite signal communications. Updating the radio with the new firmware should greatly improve if not resolve your issue. If you still run into...

Q: My air is blowing cold-hot-cold-hot-cold-hot...

It is possible that you have a leak in the AC system. There are pressure switches that will turn off the compressor if the pressure is too high or too low. The low refrigerant level could cause the AC compressor...

Related articles

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 to Renew Your Car Registration in Oklahoma(DELETED)
Having your car registered with the Oklahoma Tax Commission is an important part of driving legally in this state. You will need to do this within 30 days of moving to Oklahoma...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...