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What is Stability Control?

You may have noticed something called stability control on a list of safety features in your car, but what is it? Well, the system is a safety feature that stays on in the background. It helps the driver avoid skidding or lateral slides in the event of oversteer or understeer. To put it simply, it helps you keep your car on the road.

Let’s take a closer look at what stability control is, how it works, and how to use it.

What Does Stability Control Do?

Stability control is a safety feature found in modern cars. In the event of oversteer or understeer, the system kicks in to help modify the brakes and power delivery to keep the car safely on the road. If you’ve ever turned the steering wheel on a slippery road and the car didn’t turn, or if the car has ever turned without you turning the wheel, the stability system can help with that.

How Does Stability Control Work?

Stability control is a system of sensors all over the car that monitors things like roll, pitch, and yaw. When those sensors detect that the vehicle is moving in a different direction than the driver wants it to, it modifies the engine’s power delivery. It then applies the anti-lock brakes to the proper wheels to keep your car safely on the road.

Keep in mind, stability control isn’t magic, and it can’t overcome the laws of physics. It’s a safety feature that assists in keeping your car stable, but it doesn’t give you a pass to drive recklessly.

How to Use Stability Control

In just about every car with the system, you don’t need to do anything to use it. Unless you intentionally turn it off, stability control stays on in the background and automatically kicks in when needed. With a good stability control system, all you have to do is drive normally, and it helps keep you on the road.


  • Greater stability — The obvious benefit is improved stability. When the car starts skidding in an undesirable direction, the system takes over and helps keep you on the road.
  • Safety — The stability system has likely saved many lives by preventing potential accidents.
  • Fewer accidents — By avoiding accidents with better stability, you’re not only keeping yourself and your passengers safe, but you’re dodging potential costs in repairs and insurance.

Stability Control vs. Traction Control

Stability control and traction control aren’t quite the same thing. Traction control simply reduces power to the wheels when it detects one wheel moving faster than the other. This prevents the car from going sideways under hard acceleration on a slippery road.

Stability control monitors roll, pitch, yaw, and communicates with other safety systems in the car accordingly, one of them being traction control. It can also adjust the car’s anti-lock brakes for extra stability, which traction control can’t do by itself.


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Is stability control standard?

Stability control is a standard safety feature on almost all new cars

What does stability control do?

Stability control mitigates oversteer and understeer by monitoring the car’s roll, pitch, and yaw. It adjusts the brakes and acceleration when it detects a lack of stability to keep the car safely on the road.

Can You turn off stability control?

Yes, you can turn off stability control in most cars, but it’s best to keep it on for everyday driving.

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