Toyota vehicles usually have a VSC light and VSC button. The acronym VSC simply mean Vehicle Stability Control, and Toyota developed this feature to help drivers be in control of the vehicle even when they find themselves in difficult situations.
For example, if a person drives during heavy rainfall, snow, or any other slippery terrain, the VSC helps keep the vehicle under control.
This article examines the VSC in general, what it is, how it works, what happens when the VSC light comes on, and things to do if the light does not go off. So reading this article will broaden your knowledge about Vehicle Stability Control.
What Does the VSC Light Mean?
If the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) indicator comes on, it is a sign that the traction control system (TCS) has a problem, and this will cause the ABS and VSC not to work, although for a while. VSC means vehicle stability control, which is how Toyota vehicles handle traction control. The traction or stability control helps the vehicle maintain traction by decreasing the power received by the tires.
The VSC and the ABS work together. So, for example, if a vehicle is to drive when it is freezing, the snow may have its toll on the anti-lock braking system sensors, which will trigger the check VSC light to show.
The vehicle’s dashboard may also have a “VSC OFF” sign which means the traction or stability control is not working at all, and the stability control will not function if traction is lost.
Recent vehicles do not come with VSC lights. Instead, a “Check VSC system Light” is displayed on the dashboard.
What does it mean when the VSC light comes on?
Several owners of Toyota vehicles discover that when the vehicle’s “Check Engine and VSC lights” are triggered, this is just an indication that something has gone wrong with the 02 sensors or gas cap.
Replacing the gas cap or tightening it may fix this problem. However, if this does not change anything, drive into an auto repair store and have it checked or serviced if necessary.
Also Read: Service Stability System (Meaning, Causes & Solution)
How Does VSC Work?
The vehicle stability control in Lexus and Toyota vehicles is a system that generally helps the vehicle maintain stability or traction when turning or driving. Another system, called traction control, stabilizes the car while accelerating. These two terms are most times interchanged.
They may mean different things, based on the manufacturer’s discretion. However, they are used interchangeably for Toyota. Traction control and the VSC work by regulating the vehicle’s engine speed and the brakes when necessary.
Sometimes, It also regulates a vehicle’s differential when such vehicle has a mechanical locking differential.
So, how does a VSC work exactly?
Lexus or Toyota vehicles with VSC usually have a sensor attached to each wheel. These sensors relate to what Toyota calls the Powertrain Control Module (PCM).
The Powertrain Control Module combines two control units, the Transmission Control Unit and the Engine Control Unit (ECU). The ECU regulates the engine and ensures it works to its best in every condition.
On its part, the transmission control unit decides the changing of gears and when to change them for the best performance. Then, it combines with the anti-lock braking system working to regulate the brakes to control tire rotation.
If a tire’s sensor detects that it may slip or is slipping, it informs the ABS and PCM systems to adjust the engine, brakes, or transmission, to reduce slipping.
For instance, assuming one of the front wheels of a vehicle is slipping, the PCM kicks in and reduces the engine speed to slow down the wheel. It also applies extra braking power on such a tire, as it is seriously needed to slow it down.
To summarize the whole point, the VSC helps a vehicle remain controlled and stable under challenging situations. This is done by modulating the engine, brakes, and transmission when necessary.
What Causes the Check VSC System Light?
Since the Vehicle Stability Control system is linked with the brake and engine control systems to help control a vehicle’s traction, several things may fail and trigger the VSC system light.
A failing component usually triggers the VSC system light. The most popular reason this light may come on is when any of the accelerator pedals, ABS sensors, mass airflow sensor, or the throttle body becomes faulty.
To easily know why the VSC light of a vehicle comes on, diagnostic scanners can be used to read through the trouble code memory of the vehicle.
Which models are affected?
The Vehicle Stability Control system is the traction system for Toyota vehicles. However, a lot of Lexus vehicles also have this feature. A few vehicle models that have a vehicle stability control system include:
- Toyota Camry
- Toyota Sienna
- Toyota Verso
- Toyota Avensis
- Lexus is250
- Lexus is220d
- Lexus RX400H
How to Reset the VSC Light Toyota?
There is a way to easily fix or try to reset a vehicle’s VSC light. For example, it could be a simple intermittent issue responsible for triggering the VSC indicator. To reset the VSC light, follow these steps:
- Stop the vehicle and change its gear to Park.
- Find the stability control button. It is usually located close to the gear stick. However, it may be found at the steering wheel or just behind it, although all these depend on the vehicle’s model.
- Push the stability control button, and hold the same for a few seconds.
- The above instruction should make the VSC OFF and TRAC OFF lights come on. This means the VSC and traction system have been turned off.
- Press the stability control button again but for just a second this time. This should make the VSC and TRAC lights go off, which means both systems have been re-engaged.
If the problem persists after this has been done, there may be the need to go through the vehicle’s trouble codes and then carry out proper troubleshooting to discover the problem. The vehicle should be taken to an auto repair shop if the vehicle owner has little or no idea of what should be done.
Also Read: Traction Control Light Won’t Turn Off? (Causes & How to Fix)
Can You Turn VSC off Toyota?
Absolutely. Disengaging the VSC is possible. Most vehicle experts believe that it should be left on alongside the traction control most times while on the road, as it is a mere safety feature. However, both systems come in handy when a driver is caught up in bad weather such as snow, ice, or rain.
Both systems usually help gain extra traction required to navigate a vehicle in bad weather when the wheels are slipping.
Nonetheless, at times turning off both systems can be beneficial.
The best time to switch off the TRAC and VSC systems is when the front wheels get stuck in the snow, mud, or other things. This is because when this happens, the vehicle will become stationary if these two systems stay on and stop the vehicle from leaving its position.
Notwithstanding, a stuck vehicle can still be taken out of such a situation by driving forward and backward after the TRAC and VSC systems must have been turned off. However, ensure they are switched on immediately after the vehicle is back on a clear road.
Is It Safe to Drive With the VSC Light On?
Driving when the stability control light is on is not forbidden. However, remember when the light comes on, it is an indication that the Stability control system has been disengaged.
This makes it risky to drive the vehicle in terrible weather conditions such as snow, ice, or a heavy downpour because there will be no stability or traction to assist in controlling the vehicle.
Finding out what triggered the light immediately after the opportunity arises is highly recommended.
How Much Does It Cost to Fix a VSC System?
Estimating the cost of fixing a stability control system is quite difficult because the particular issue determines a major part of the cost.
However, the estimated cost of fixing a VSC system range from $300 – $800 or could cost even more to solve a problem related to the stability control system.
These problems include the O2 sensor or the ABS. The cost could get high if they have to be replaced or fixed.
VSC Light Toyota Highlander
The medium-sized Toyota Highlander is a sports car with features like an automatic transmission, three-row seat choices, and four-wheel drive. This vehicle is also known for having high safety standards that require the airbags, tire pressure, and VSC system to be checked regularly.
A fault or malfunction in this vehicle could interfere with the VSC system and trigger the stability control light to show up on the vehicle’s dashboard. If this happens, follow the procedure below for guidance on how to reset the vehicle stability control warning light. Now let’s go into the details of things to do to reset the VSC light of a Toyota Highlander.
Toyota VSC Light Reset: How to Reset VSC Light Toyota Highlander?
To reset a Toyota Highlander’s VSC warning indicator on the vehicle’s dashboard, follow these simple steps:
For a start, shut down the vehicle’s engine and the handbrake to enable the vehicle to maintain a position for safety reasons.
Now, lift the vehicle’s hood and closely inspect the engine compartment. Locate the air filter box at the left vehicle’s engine. Its outer body is black, large, and has the shape of a square and ribbed intake pipe.
Then check each one of the small black hoses close to the filter box for any problems. If a disconnection is found anywhere, reconnect it. If loose hoses are found, reconnect them and ensure they are tightened properly.
Now, get back into the car and start the engine. Then, drive the vehicle so the stability control warning light can go off. Where the light stays on even after driving for some minutes, then carry out the next instructions.
Turn off the vehicle’s engine after locating a safe parking space, and apply the hand brake.
Now, lift the vehicle’s hood, then use the appropriate socket to remove the battery’s negative wire for about 10 – 15 seconds.
This should reset the whole computer system of the vehicle and, as a result, clear the stability control warning light.
This is how to fix the VSC Light in Toyota Highlander vehicles. It is not so complex.
Here is a list of equipment needed to undertake these tasks.
Items you will need
- Socket set.
Check out this video for more tips on how to reset the VSC light in Toyota
VSC Light Toyota Camry
The stability control light in Toyota Camry is not so different from the stability control found in other vehicles. However, some people may mix up the traction control system with the stability control system of the Toyota Camry, which should not be the case.
The VSC in a Toyota Camry means vehicle stability control (VSC), and its duty is to prevent the vehicle’s wheels from skidding. In contrast, traction control (TC) helps in maintaining the vehicle’s wheels from rotating on slippery grounds or surfaces, as explained earlier.
Also, certain Toyota Camry models are made with control switches that can be used to switch off the traction control if the vehicle gets stuck in mud or ice.
Meanwhile, no switch is provided for disengaging the stability control system when needed.
Also Read: Service Electronic Throttle Control (Meaning, Causes & Solutions)
How to Disable VSC in a Camry
Try following these steps in less than 30 seconds after starting the vehicle to reset the stability control system’s light.
It is required that the procedure have to be repeated every time the vehicle’s engine is ignited.
For a start, turn off the vehicle. Ensure that the vehicle’s gear has been changed to Park, and also ensure not to apply the hand brake. Then, ignite the vehicle’s engine. Immediately after the vehicle’s engine starts, apply the hand brake control.
Now press down the brake lever completely, then release the same. After this, disengage the vehicle’s hand brake.
Then press the brake lever down completely again, but this time hold it down for some seconds. Then apply the hand brake and disengage while the brake lever is still held down.
Repeat this procedure.
After this, take your foot off the brake lever and apply the hand brake. After this, press down the brake lever fully, then release it.
Carry out this step again. And the problem should be solved.
As earlier stated, this whole process can be concluded in 30secs or even less.
VSC Light Toyota Rav4: How to Disable VSC Light in Toyota Rav4
Switching off the stability control light in a Toyota Rav4 can be done with little difficulty, which is an advantage. All it takes is to press a button, and the VSC light of a Toyota Rav 4 will go off or come on. The traction control of a Toyota Rav4 can also be switched on and off with the click of a button.
How to Disable VSC Light in Toyota Rav4
To switch off the stability control light, just press and hold down the button after the vehicle has been parked, which will disengage both the TRAC and VSC systems.
If the stability control is on before using the button, the VSC OFF and TRAC OFF indicators should come on. Then, just press the button again to engage the system and switch them on.
Frequently Asked Questions – VSC Light Toyota
Can I drive with the VSC light on?
If a vehicle’s VSC light comes on, it does not mean such a vehicle cannot be driven anymore. It simply means extra care and caution must be taken when driving because the light indicates that the stability control system is not engaged. For safety reasons, it is not advisable to drive a vehicle with its stability control off, especially in bad weather like heavy rain or snow.
What causes check engine light and VSC light on?
This light could be triggered by a worn-out cap or an improper installation of the cap. The C1201 code informs the car to switch on the check engine indicator and disengage the VSC and traction. If the two other codes start showing, this one indicates that something has gone wrong.
How much does it cost to fix the VSC?
Vehicle lights such as the TRAC OFF, VSC OFF, and the Check Engine started showing on a Saturday afternoon. The engine overheated while driving the vehicle to an auto repair shop on Monday (two days later). After getting the engine destroyed, it damaged the radiator. Replacing the vehicle’s engine costs around $5,500 – $6,000.
What does VSC mean on my Toyota?
When it is discovered that the vehicle can not be moved, disengage both the Vehicle stability control (VSC) and Traction Control (TRAC).
What does VSC on my dashboard mean?
VSC means vehicle stability control. It is an electronic system made to keep a vehicle stable and under control by observing the direction of the tires and that of the vehicle and engaging the brakes, and sometimes reducing power on certain wheels while trying to prevent the vehicle from skidding.
Conclusion – VSC Light Toyota
The stability control system protects the driver and the vehicle by helping prevent the car from moving off the road. It is essential when driving a vehicle in terrible weather conditions or rough terrain. No vehicle owner should ignore the stability control light when it comes on because it could indicate that something serious has gone wrong with any of the sensors, brakes, or traction.
However, a simple solution can take care of this problem until the driver gets to a place where he has enough time to give proper attention to checking the system. Ensure to allow a mechanic to inspect other possibilities that may be responsible for this, such as the sensors and brakes, and not just the stability control system