In order to correct your vehicle’s movement and avoid an accident, the VSC system will instantly cut engine power to some wheels when it detects that your vehicle is losing traction. The importance of fixing your VSC system as soon as you notice a VSC light on your dashboard is due to the fact that VSC significantly reduces the likelihood of accidents in foggy, rainy, and snowy weather conditions.
Every time you notice a new light on your instrument panel, your heart starts to beat faster. Then you typically ask yourself a number of questions for which you have no answers, such as: Was this light on before, and I was just blind? Can I still drive? How can this be fixed? Will it cost a lot? The VSC OFF light is one that many Toyota owners notice is on pretty frequently.
Well, in this article, we’ll get to discuss the answers to the following questions:
- What is the VSC system?
- What does the VSC light mean?
- Which car models incorporate the VSC system?
- Can you drive with the VSC light on?
- What causes the VSC light to come on?
- How can you fix the VSC light?
Read more: Understanding TRAC OFF light
Okay, let’s Dive in!
What is the VSC system?
Technically, VSC is the abbreviation of “Vehicle Stability Control”. It is a stability control system used in Toyota and Lexus vehicles.” This stability control system reduces —or fully eliminates—the power provided to your wheels, assisting your car in maintaining traction and control. Additionally, this is achieved by applying brake pressure automatically to up to three wheels. The system’s main objective is to keep your car traveling in the direction of its wheels.
Since the 2012 model year, all new automobiles manufactured in the U.S. have been mandated by federal law to come standard with VSC/ESC, though the technology has been around in some form since the 1980s. It varies from traction control, which does not aim to enhance steering control but instead adjusts wheelspin to give improved traction.
What does the VSC light mean?
When the “VSC light” or “check VSC system” message appears on the dashboard, there’s a traction-related problem present in the vehicle. Anytime the light is illuminated, there’s also an issue with either the VSC or the ABS system.
Your vehicle stability control (VSC) system is most likely operating properly if your Toyota VSC light flashes on briefly. However, if it continues to illuminate or if other warning lights on your dashboard come on, it’s time to have your car checked.
ABS and other control modules work with the VSC system. The traction control is entirely deactivated if you notice the “VSC OFF” warning light on your dashboard, and it will not function if you begin to lose control. A “Check VSC system light” message in place of the standard VSC light may appear on your dashboard if your Toyota or Lexus is more recent.
If you inadvertently push the VSC button, the light will come on. This indicates that the VSC system is now off when you do it. However, the TRAC off light may also turn on.
Depending on the Toyota model, the location may vary, but it’s typically either on the dashboard just above your knees or close to the gear stick. The button may either have the words “VSC” or a depiction of a car slipping with the word “Off” beneath it written on it.
Which car models incorporate the VSC system?
Here’s a list of car models that incorporate the VSC system:
- Toyota Camry
- Lexus RX400H
- Toyota Avensis
- Lexus is250
- Toyota Verso
- Lexus is220d
- Toyota Sienna
Can you drive with the VSC light on?
While the VSC OFF light is on, it is safe to drive your Toyota, but we advise caution, especially in bad weather. Your Toyota or Lexus dashboard’s VSC warning light might signal a number of traction-related problems. The rotation speed sensor, the wheel speed sensors, or the steering angle sensor may all be at fault. If the steering rack is broken, that can potentially be the problem.
What causes the VSC light to come on?
Here are the most common reasons why your VSC light comes on:
The VSC Button was accidentally pressed
The majority of vehicle models with a VSC system also have a button to turn the system off. You should verify this again before drawing any conclusions because it’s always possible that you accidentally pressed this button. But if you press the button, you’ll probably get a VSC OFF light instead of the typical VSC warning light.
Issues with the engine are the most common cause of the VSC light to illuminate. This is especially true if your dashboard also displays a Check Engine light.
Modern engines include a wide range of sensors, actuators, and other components that might cause a check light, which, if you drive a Toyota or Lexus, can also cause a VSC light. As a result, it won’t be able to simply speculate about its origin.
There will be a fault code stored in the engine control module when your dashboard’s check engine and VSC lights come on. In order to determine what is triggering the warning lights, you must read this issue code.
Defective ABS Sensor
Each wheel on your car has an ABS sensor that measures wheel speed. Other significant control modules, such as the ECM and TCM, as well as the ABS control module, make use of this data. These ABS sensors are vulnerable to failure because they are situated at the hubs of the wheel spindle, where they are frequently exposed to moisture, rust, and dirt.
The VSC light will appear on your dashboard if there is an issue with an ABS sensor because the VSC system makes use of this data. Another possibility is that the ABS reluctor rings, which are used by the sensors to gauge speed, are having an issue.
The sensors and the ABS control module may also have faulty wiring. The steering angle sensor is used by the ABS and VSC systems as well, and if it sends the incorrect signal to these control modules, the VSC light will illuminate.
There are several electronics in modern cars, and wiring is required for each and every one of them. Additionally, because of this, wiring issues are becoming a pretty prevalent issue with contemporary vehicle models.
Unfortunately, without the necessary expertise and understanding, wiring issues can be rather challenging to identify. So if you believe there is a wiring issue with your car after checking everything else, it could be a good idea to consult a professional.
How can you fix the VSC light?
Here’s how to fix/turn off the VSC light in a quick and simple way:
- Be sure to come to a complete stop in a very secure area. Ideally, put the vehicle in park.
- Locate the VSC button. Depending on the model year of the Toyota, the button will either be on the dashboard just above your knees or close to the gear stick.
- Press and hold the VSC button for a few seconds.
- Both the TRAC OFF and VSC OFF indicator lights will turn on. Now, both systems are off.
- Once again, press the VSC button. The systems have now been reengaged and both lights will go off.
The VSC light ought to go off as a result of the above process. However, if it persists, it is likely that there is an underlying problem with the vehicle that needs to be attended to. So it’s recommended that you visit a certified mechanic shop.
In conclusion, Toyota and Lexus cars have a vital safety feature called the VSC (Vehicle Stability Control) light. When this light is on, it is an important indication that the traction control or vehicle stability system may have recognized a potential problem.
It may be necessary to reset the VSC light in order to turn off the warning signal, but it’s vital to remember that this should not take the place of properly identifying and fixing the underlying issue. The VSC system must be properly maintained and repaired on schedule by skilled mechanics in order for the vehicle to be more stable and safe when driving.
Driving will be safer and more secure if you prioritize vehicle safety through routine maintenance and take care of any VSC-related concerns right away, regardless of whether you drive a Toyota or a Lexus. Keep in mind that in unsafe driving situations, the VSC system is essential for keeping control and averting accidents.