What causes the VSC light of your car to come on and how to fix it?


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VSC light is very common in Toyota and Lexus cars while Honda uses VSA. Read on to discover its causes and how to fix it!

Every regular car needs an adequate maintenance routine in Nigeria, I mean the common Toyota, Lexus and Honda. However, they all have a common disturbing orange/red light that pops up on the dashboard caused by bad roads reading VSC or a slippery sign meaning there is a problem with the VSC system of the car.


This is what the VSC check light looks like

What causes the VSC light to come on and how to fix it will be covered in this article.

What is VSC in a car?

VSC is one of the not so new automotive technologies meaning Vehicle Stability Control is placed in a car to keep the car stable at high speeds and during an emergency. It is an automatic assist that helps you get your car back in control once it notices any abnormal imbalance from any angle of the car. In Honda cars, it is known as the VSA system.


This sort of imbalance will definitely trigger the VSC light 

The vehicle stability control (VSC) system helps with the traction of a vehicle in harsh climatic conditions. It works with the anti-lock braking system (ABS) to prevent the car from sliding by applying brakes on all wheels to stop the car from skidding further. The VSC check light comes on when there is a problem with the VSC or ABS.

The vehicle stability control system also helps with the traction when driving a vehicle in harsh weather or road conditions. It works with the anti brake locking system to prevent the car from slipping/sliding by applying brakes on all wheels in the right way to prevent the car from sliding further and developing brake issues.


When a car slides in the mud like this, the VSC light comes on 

Whenever you notice the VSC light is on is when there is a problem with either the VSC or the ABS of your car. Some cars have ABS light that comes up independently, which also shows that the ABS is faulty.

Faults with the VSC on Lexus, Toyota and Honda are very common dashboard lights with cars driven daily in Nigeria but there is nothing to fear. 

The mechanism behind VSC explained 

The mechanism behind the VSC in cars is very easy to understand. Each wheel has a sensor that communicates with the Powertrain control module on matters concerning the car's stability and steering performance in bad road conditions.

The sensors get information when there are issues with traction. Then they pass on the information to the ECU aka brain box. The ECU analyzes the information to determine the action needed to control the car's traction with the VSC and ABS.

What Triggers the VSC system?

The VSC warning light on your dashboard is triggered when there are issues related to traction. All the things we would mention here are kind of highly technical but we would break it down with pictures so you can work together with your mechanic to tackle the issue.

So it could be a faulty steering angle sensor which is located under the steering wheel neck. It could be a faulty Speed sensor which is located on the wheel calliper area. A bad steering rack could also be a problem so it is important that your mechanic checks the VSC and ABS components when you see a VSC light on.


This is where the speed sensor is located

In some cases, the light comes on because it needs reprogramming. This is a simple problem that you can solve without breaking a sweat.

The error code that often comes up for VSC light is the ‘C1201’ engine error code. Make sure your mechanic does not clear the error code when scanning the car. This is why you should know how to use the OBD scanner for your car.

Sometimes the light comes on when your car slips and it goes off when the road condition gets pretty normal. We have a lot of muddy roads in Nigeria and when you drive over them at certain speeds, the car's brainbox senses a malfunctioning VSC system.

A secret method of taking away the VSC light

To manually put the VSC off, follow these steps:

1. Make sure you are completely stopped. Put the car in park if you can.
2. Press and hold the VSC button for a few seconds.
3. The TRAC OFF and VSC OFF indicator light will come on. Both systems are now off.
4. Press the VSC button again. Both lights will turn off and the systems are now reengaged.

If the light stays on or returns after a while, the car may have bad sensors or steering rack mentioned above. You should consult a mechanic for this problem and replace the sensors or components, as required.


That is the VSC button, it varies from car to car

We call this secret because we want you to feel like a car guru to people that don't read our articles, but don't hoard knowledge, always show people because the automotive industry of land vehicles grows every day and there could be so much everyone has to learn to keep up.

Other Stability Control Systems you should know about 

1. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) System

This is common in Toyota and Lexus cars and its purpose is to assess the resistance between the wheels and the road. It works automatically and steps in whenever the vehicle’s control needs to be regained.

This technology provides impressive performance on a variety of slippery grounds. You can always rely on the electronic stability program when driving on slippery roads and frozen water bodies. It works with a button in the car that reads ESC

2. Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) System

DSC is another system that does a wonderful job of keeping a car stable on the road. It is automatically activated depending on the friction between the tires and the ground. This system works by enhancing the traction of some wheels and letting others slip.

3. Acceleration Slip Regulation (ASR) System

Another effective accident-reducing technology used with the VSC system is ASR. It works together with the electronic accelerator and ABS system. 


Knowing how to use the OBD scanner is very important these days 

It sends signals to the ECUs when any tire loses traction during driving the car. The brainbox takes action by reducing power to the wheels so they cannot skid further.


Now that you know what causes the VSC light to come on and how to fix it, you should be warier when the light comes on your dashboard.

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Crank - the head of content for 234DRIVE is a mechanic/car enthusiast/car vlogger that writes and creates relatable motoring experiences. Whenever he lays his hands on any car, he reviews them in depth. He calls himself the 'Educative Car Guy'.

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