What is Service ESC on Chevy Malibu?

what is service esc on chevy malibu

When you get into your car and turn on the engine, there are often warning lights that come on. One of the most important of these is ESC. When this light comes on, it means that the Electronic Stability Control is no longer working. Read further to know about what Service ESC on Chevy Malibu is.

This system is designed to help keep your car from spinning out of control in an emergency. The ESC will automatically activate when it senses unusual steering input or when you make a sudden turn, such as in a parking lot. 

And if you’ve ever had to deal with someone who was over-steering their car, you know how much easier it can be to handle situations when your Electronic Stability Control is activated.

What is ESC?

ESC uses the brakes to assist to keep the car from losing control when the driver goes out of control, under certain conditions. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is designed to assist the driver of a vehicle in controlling a skidding vehicle. 

This system can function independently or with the help of one of the following systems: Brake Assist System, Differential Brake Control, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) or Traction Control System.

 The ESC system gives a warning when the brakes may need to be applied. The system works to slow the vehicle down using the brakes on one of the tires if it detects the wheels are beginning to slip on the road. Electronic Stability Control is designed to work for the life of the vehicle.

Why is it important?

If ESC is not functioning, it means that driver and vehicle could be in some danger. If ESC was already out of commission, you may not notice anything wrong until it is too late. There is no easy way to check whether ESC is working on your Malibu.

 However, you can check if your power steering is turning at less than 100% capacity. If so, ESC may not be working. There are some more sophisticated methods, including diagnosing whether there is a problem, but they aren’t really on my mind at the moment. 

Hopefully, the ESC is still operable and nothing is seriously wrong. If you suspect that the ESC is not working properly, contact Chevrolet immediately. The ESC should start working again within a week.

How do you know if your car has it?

The ESC system is a safety feature that uses computers in the engine to monitor vehicle speed and then automatically triggers engine braking. If the car accelerates faster than the computer can slow the car down, the ESC system intervenes to avoid skidding. 

ESC only works at speeds below 18 miles an hour. The system also shuts off the engine if the car detects a roll-over accident. ENGINE ESC means the car’s Engine Control Module (ECM) is not receiving an ECM update. 

You could be driving a new Chevy Malibu, and have this safety feature turned on. A safety feature like ESC which is part of the ECM system is considered an issue if the car is not running properly, or if the ECM is not receiving an update.

How to fix service ESC warning lights?

The service ESC warning light isn’t necessarily a problem with your vehicle. However, the trouble is that GM is notorious for being notoriously late in reporting recalls. Because of that, customers may have forgotten about the warning, it may have been due to a malfunction, or it may have been forgotten about by GM itself. 

Regardless, now is the time to take care of it. If your service ESC warning light was just a problem with your ECM, it should have been fixed by now. If that’s not the case, call your local Chevrolet dealership.

 They should be able to tell you if it is an issue with your vehicle or not. If it is, they’ll be able to schedule you for service. If it’s an issue with the vehicle’s ESC system, that means that the ESC system may have been damaged in some way.

What are the consequences of a malfunctioning Stability Control System?

In a car that has a manual transmission, there is no need to look at a gauge, but instead, the car’s ESC will stop the car, allowing it to roll freely before automatically shifting into neutral. In a car with an automatic transmission, the car is still in neutral and the driver must press the brake to continue. 

While the car will continue to roll if ESC is activated, it will not have the traction it needs and will be easy to control. Since most people do not know how to react to a car in neutral, turning off the ESC System is usually the best way to avoid a roll. 

Some experts say that if your car is in neutral and there is no other problem with the car, there is no reason to turn off ESC. ESC helps keep drivers safe in today’s harsh roads, but if the ESC fails on your car, it is important to turn it off and turn it back on. 

In the event of a rollover accident, ESC could help in saving your life. This is one of the many features that the 2012 Malibu has to offer. ESC should have been on by default, but that did not occur. Drivers should know what ESC is in their vehicles and turn it off if it has been off for some time. 

There are other possible hazards and problems that ESC could solve. For example, if you or a loved one is injured in an accident, ESC could stop your car from rolling over and potentially saving your life. 


The 2012 Chevy Malibu starts with better fuel economy, which at first may seem like a given with the Chevy name on the car. However, if you look at all the specifications and weigh all the factors, there is more to the story. 

When you look at the rest of the midsize sedan’s base score and the fact that the 2012 Malibu has a larger front axle and does not offer any type of AWD, this is when you see that the Malibu is not a good fit for AWD SUVs and crossovers. 

So don’t fall into the trap of thinking that this car would be an AWD alternative. Since this is a vehicle that has nearly 10 years of reliability on it, and GM does support these cars with a strong service network, don’t expect to be on the receiving end of a quality recall if there is something wrong with your car.

Frequently asked questions

Question 1.) Does ESC need to be serviced? 

Answer- Essentially, no. Electronic Stability Control is designed to work for the life of the vehicle.

Question 2.) How can I check the ESC on my 2012 Chevy Malibu?

Answer- You can check if your power steering is turning at less than 100% capacity.

Question 3.) What does ENGINE ESC mean on the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu?

Answer- Engine ESC means the car’s Engine Control Module (ECM) is not receiving an ECM update.

Question 4.) Should I turn off the ESC system?

Answer- Since most people do not know how to react to a car in neutral, turning off the ESC system is usually the best way to avoid a roll.

What is Service ESC on Chevy Malibu?

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