Ever wondered how safe your car is during extreme steering maneuvers! Know the importance of ESC in cars and get the best deal on auto parts at PartsAvatar!!
No one enjoys the sinking feeling which occurs when control of the car is lost. Whether you are thinking of buying a new car or a used one, make sure it has ESC system in it! - Brought to you by PartsAvatar Auto Lightings and Accessories.
We often check mileage, looks and luxurious features of a car while buying it. What comes at last is the car safety, which is often ignored. One of these safety features, which is must for your safety on road is- ESC!
Electronic stability control system is designed to prevent you from losing control in circumstances like bad weather, accident or fishtailing.
What is ESC?
Esc or electronic stability control is designed to assist the drivers in maintaining control of their vehicles during extreme steering maneuvers. ESC senses when a vehicle is starting to spin out (oversteer) or plow out (understeer) and it automatically applies brake to a single wheel.
It is intended to reduce the occurrence of crashes in which vehicle veer off the road and strike curbs, soft shoulders and other objects that initiate roll over.
As we read above, it happens mainly in two circumstances: understeer and oversteer.
Understeer happens when the car’s front wheels lose grip through a corner due to excessive speed. This causes the front end to push towards the outside of the corner and for the steering to become useless.
Understeer occurs when the front tires start slipping. This is usually caused when the front tires are instructed to turn while managing braking and speed simultaneously. High speed always initiates trouble. If you are zooming in high speed and braking and trying to turn the wheel, the extra momentum may cause the front tires to slip in the direction you are travelling and the car ploughs straight on.
In the ESC equipped vehicles, it detects the situation and applies brake to alter the direction of the vehicle back to correct direction.
Over steer’s circumstances are quite similar to that of understeer, but they affect the back of the car. You turn your steering wheel and road conditions cause your tires to turn sharply. This can result in spin out.
Oversteer normally occurs on cars that drive the rear wheels and it happens when the car is turning and driver applies more power than the tires can deal with. This makes the tires slip and try to push in the opposite direction to the turn, kicking the back end of the car out.
Remember drifts? Ever watched Top Gear or Fast and Furious? Well, oversteer is performed by drivers to perform drifts but this fun is not meant for public roads!
How does ESC work?
ESC works by using number of intelligent sensors that detect any loss of control and automatically apply the brake to the relevant wheel, putting your car back to the intended path.
ESC helps a driver in following conditions:
1. Improving traction of slippery or icy roads
2. Stabilising the car during sudden maneuvers.
3. Correcting oversteer or understeer.
4. Enhancing handling on gravel patches.
ESC has been seen as the optimized level of ABS. The stability control program monitors the rotational speed of the wheels and other parameters such as steering angle. If the computer detects a loss of steering control or traction, the computer can reduce the engine power or engage the brakes to try and retain control of the vehicle.
It deploys braking on certain wheels to slow down its speed and regain control. Not all ESCs are identical. Though the hardware is similar but there may be variations in programming.
ESC is addressed by different name by different auto giants.
Dynamic stability control- Ford, Mazda, Jaguar
Vehicle stability control- Suzuki, Toyota
Electronic stability program- Hyundai, Kia, Audi and Volkswagen
Vehicle stability assist- Honda
ESC light illuminates!
Lights on dash are very important to understand. The ESC light will illuminate when the computer is trying to gain the control of the car. If after gaining control, the light stays on, there might be some problem with the system which needs to be checked. If the malfunction has been detected the system will be deactivated temporarily until it is remedied. Call a pro to scan the car’s computer for codes to help identify the problem.
If ESC button has been pressed accidently, don’t worry it can be manually turned off. But if the problem still persists, and you notice check engine light illuminating, you may have a big problem in your hands.
You can also use OBD II EOBD Scan tool of car or better let your technician figure out the problem.
Causes of malfunctioning ESC
A defective brake light switch can trigger the ESC light. Car Brake light switch is easy to replace and inexpensive.
Sometimes, malfunctioning ABS sensors can cause the ESC light to go off. Replace the Car's ABS sensor and it can be found on any online auto parts store at cheap rates.
Steering angle sensor in need of calibration can also trigger the ESC light.
Sometimes, ESC light stays on, after the battery has been replaced. No need to panic, drive the car for few minutes and make several turns. System will self check and reset ESC light on its own.
If ESC doesn’t work, make sure you drive in a limited speed. Reckless driving is itself an invitation to trouble. If you yourself can’t figure out the cause, call a professional or a technician.
It is not like you can’t drive without ESC, but there is no guarantee that you can control the vehicle on your own! ESC can also fail at high speeds sometimes depending on various conditions. Speed kills!
So, don’t drive too fast. ESC is meant to avoid accidents but it will not be able to prevent all of them. Drive according to road conditions and follow speed limits.
So, safety is first. It is better to practise safe driving techniques especially for certain road conditions.
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