Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

This system enhances directional control and stability of the vehicle under various driving conditions. ESC corrects for over/under steering of the vehicle by applying the brake of the appropriate wheel to assist in counteracting the over/under steer condition. Engine power may also be reduced to help the vehicle maintain the desired path. ESC uses sensors in the vehicle to determine the vehicle path intended by the driver and compares it to the actual path of the vehicle. When the actual path does not match the intended path, ESC applies the brake of the appropriate wheel to assist in counteracting the oversteer or understeer condition
• Over-steer - when the vehicle is turning more than appropriate for the steering wheel position.
• Under-steer - when the vehicle is turning less than appropriate for the steering wheel position.

Electronic Stability Control (ESC) cannot prevent the natural laws of physics from acting on the vehicle, nor can it increase the traction afforded by prevailing road conditions. ESC cannot prevent accidents, including those resulting from excessive speed in turns, driving on very slippery surfaces, or hydroplaning.

ESC also cannot prevent accidents resulting from loss of vehicle control due to inappropriate driver input for the conditions. Only a safe, attentive, and skillful driver can prevent accidents. The capabilities of an ESC equipped vehicle must never be exploited in a reckless or dangerous manner which could jeopardize the user’s safety or the safety of others.

ESC Operating Modes

All ESC equipped vehicles can choose the following ESC operating modes:


This is the normal operating mode for ESC. Whenever the vehicle is started the ESC system will be in this mode.

This mode should be used for almost all driving situations.

ESC should only be turned to “Partial Off” for specific reasons as noted below.

Partial ESC Mode

This mode is entered by momentarily pressing the “ESC Off” switch (located in the lower switch bank below the heater/air conditioning controls). When in “Partial Off” mode, the TCS portion of ESC, except for the limited slip feature described in the TCS section, has been disabled and the “ESC Activation/Malfunction Indicator Light” will be illuminated. All other stability features of ESC function normally, with the exception of engine power reduction. This mode is intended to be used if the vehicle is in deep snow, sand, or gravel conditions and more wheel spin than ESC would normally allow is required to gain traction.

ESC Off Switch
ESC Off Switch

To turn ESC on again, momentarily press the “ESC Off” switch. This will restore the normal “ESC On” mode of operation.

In partial ESC mode, the engine power reduction feature of ESC is disabled. Therefore, enhanced vehicle stability offered by the ESC system is reduced.

To improve the vehicle’s traction when driving with snow chains, or starting off in deep snow, sand or gravel, it may be desirable to switch to the “Partial Off” mode by pressing the “ESC Off” switch. Once the situation requiring ESC to be switched to the “Partial Off” mode is overcome, turn ESC on again by momentarily pressing the “ESC Off” switch. This may be done while the vehicle is in motion.

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