How Does Electronic Stability Control (ESC) Work

Posted on: November 29th, 2017 by Accurate Auto Body Denver No Comments

What is ESC There are a lot of features in every car that helps make it safer without our even knowing half the time. With winter on the horizon, a lot of drivers’ minds turn to what can keep them safe when the roads get slick. 4-wheel drive and winter tires are a couple of the more well-known ones, but Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and traction control are two important safety features that most cars come equipped with that work hard to keep you as safe as possible in low-traction conditions. But what the heck are they, and how do they really work? As your auto body repair shop, we decided to take a closer look.

What Is ESC

ESC is a computerized technology that detects loss of steering control and works to reduce traction loss. When ESC detects an issue, it will apply the brakes individually to help “steer” the car where the driver intends it to go. The technology isn’t intended to improve a vehicle’s cornering performance, simply to decrease loss of control.

Is it Important?

ESC is an extremely important safety feature. In fact, according to safety experts, ESC is the most important factor since the seatbelt in preventing auto accident fatalities. It’s so effective that the government stepped in to mandate stability control be included in all vehicles after 2012. In some cases, ESC may even cut power in order to steer the car in an intended direction when traction loss is severe, but for the most part the goal is to slow spinning tires in order to give them a better chance at “grabbing” ground or “biting” into a surface to help your vehicle regain traction.

What’s the Difference between ESC and Traction Control?

Though they serve similar functions and have similar approaches to your safety and accident-avoidance, ESC and traction control are actually different systems within your vehicle. Traction control uses the brake systems in your car to force power to a wheel that needs it. It’s the thing that sounds like a ratchet when it’s activated and you’re slipping and sliding. Whereas stability control uses the brakes to actually control the direction of your vehicle.

If you’re driving a 2012 or newer, your vehicle definitely has these systems in place, automatically working to keep you and those around you safe on the road. If you’re driving a car that was made before 2012, you very well may still have these systems, but it’s a good idea to check and see if a) you have them and b) if they are activated. If, despite these safety features, you find yourself in an accident and need auto body repair, we’re here to help with fair prices and expert staff. Give us a call at 303-344-2212.

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