A “Service StabiliTrak” is a common problem on most Buick vehicles I personally worked on, whether you own a Buick Enclave, Verano, Lacross, or Regal the service Stabilitrak light can come on at any time, with no apparent reason for the warning, in some cases, a traction control light follows it.
This article will explain what this warning means and how to fix it. let’s get to it.
What is a Stabilitrak System on a Buick?
Before we get to the possible causes for a “service StabiliTrak” fault message on a Buick, let’s take a look at what the StabiliTrak system is and how it works.
Simply put, StabiliTrak is an advanced safety feature that is designed to enhance the stability and control of the vehicle.
It utilizes a network of sensors that constantly monitor the position of the steering wheel, tires, and the direction of your Buick.
If the system detects any inconsistencies, it will take corrective action by adjusting the power steering or applying engine torque to keep the vehicle on the intended course.
Additionally, it also assists the driver to maintain the wheel pointed straight while braking, which can help prevent over-correction and skids.
What Causes “Service Stabilitrak” on a Buick
From my experience, there are many things that can cause this warning to come on, but most times it will be one of two issues. Here are the most common “Service Stabilitrak” causes:
1. Bad Wheel (Hub) Bearings:
A bad wheel bearing can cause a multitude of problems, but one of the most common is it will make your car shake, vibrate or pull when you drive down the road. This shaking can cause your traction control light to come on and the “service stabiltrak”.
Other signs of a bad hub bearing include
- Humming Sound when accelerating
- Grinding Noise when Turning
- Buick pulls to one side
2. Worn/Dirty Wheel Speed Sensors
Another common cause for a service stabiltrak fault message on a Buick is damaged or dirty front wheel speed sensors.
Wheel Speed sensors are responsible for sensing the rotational speed of each wheel. They send this information to the ABS module and help control your car’s traction on slippery surfaces.
If they are damaged or dirty, they will not be able to send accurate signals which can cause problems with your traction control system as a result a stabiltrak fault will come on.
3. Faulty Brake Pedal Position Sensor:
A Brake pedal position sensor is responsible for sending information regarding the position of your brake pedal to the ABS module and the brake light switch.
This helps it determine whether or not you are applying pressure to it and how much. If this sensor is faulty, then your Stabilitrak system will not be able to function properly.
Fortunately, these are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace. you can get one for anywhere between $20-40 each.
4. Poor Wheel Alignment
Wheel alignment is often overlooked by most car owners, but it’s an important factor when it comes to stabilizing your vehicle. If your wheels are out of alignment, they can cause a “service StabiliTrak” to come on your Buick.
I had one client who replaced almost every suspension component you can think of, but he still couldn’t get his Stabilitrak light to go off. After taking a closer look at the vehicle and checking for worn control arms.
I noticed that the wheels were out of alignment by about an inch on each side. Once the car went for alignment the message, went off straight away.
Buick recommends checking your wheel alignment every 6-12 months.
5. Faulty MAF Sensor/ Bad Spark Plugs
Sometimes the “Service Stabilitrak” fault message can be caused by things that are not related to the stability control system (Very common on GM vehicles).
The first thing to check is the Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor. If it’s faulty or there’s a code for it, then it needs to be replaced. The second thing that can cause this issue is bad spark plugs.
If you are 100% certain that your suspension and wheel alignment are fine, then I would advise you to look at the plugs and MAF sensor.
How to Fix a Buick “Service Stabilitrak” Error Message?
I recommend that you look at the most common causes which I mentioned above. If it is not any of those, then you will need to take your vehicle to any Buick dealership or the nearest qualified auto repair shop.