VSC Light – What Does It Mean When This Turns On?

by Conner Mckay

If you drive a Toyota or a Lexus, then you might notice that your car has a VSC button and a VSC light. VSC is short for Vehicle Stability Control, which is Toyota’s system that helps drivers maintain control of the car under difficult conditions.

When you’re driving in heavy rain, snow, or other slippery terrains, VSC helps to keep your car in control. We’ll discuss more on how VSC works, what VSC light means, and what to do if it won’t turn off. However, there’s more to this guide than just the VSC light, or how to reset and turn off the VSC light.

Here, we’ll be discussing the VSC system with as much as possible, such as explaining some of the causes of why the VSC light turns on. Beyond that, we’ll even discuss other odd warning lights that you might see. These can include the TRAC OFF and VSC OFF lights, as well as the CHECK VSC SYSTEM issue, and its fixes.

VSC Light Toyota

The VSC is the system in your Toyota or Lexus that’s responsible for keeping the car stable when driving and cornering. There is also a system called traction control, which is responsible for your car’s stability during acceleration. Actually, the two terms are often interchangeable.

The definition may vary between manufacturers, but this is how Toyota defines it. Anyway, VSC and traction control work by modulating the car’s brake and engine speed when necessary. It will sometimes also adjust your car’s differential if it has a mechanical locking differential.

So, how does it work exactly? Well, if your Toyota or Lexus has VSC then it will usually have sensors on all four wheels (fun fact, check out our guide on how many wheels are there in the world and are there more doors than wheels, as well as how many wheels are in the world, in addition to are there more doors or wheels in the world).

Vehicle Stability Control

These sensors then communicate with what Toyota calls a Powertrain Control Module or PCM. The PCM is a combined control unit consisting of the Engine Control Unit (ECU) and the Transmission Control Unit.

The ECU controls the engine to ensure optimal performance in all conditions. Meanwhile, the transmission control unit determines when and which gears to change for optimal performance. It also works with the ABS system to modulate the brakes to control wheel rotation.

If the sensors on those wheels detect that a wheel is going to or is slipping, it will then tell the PCM and ABS system to modulate either the engine, the transmission, or the brakes in order to reduce the slip.

For example, if the front left wheel is slipping, then the PCM will reduce engine speeds to slow it down. It will also apply more braking power to that wheel as it needs it the most to slow down.

Traction Control Light

Speaking of the VSC (vehicle stability control) system, it comes standard on most Toyota and Lexus models.

Among the Toyota line-up, here are some cars that feature VSC:

  • Camry
  • Corolla
  • Avalon
  • Sienna
  • Highlander
  • RAV4
  • 4Runner
  • Sequoia
  • Land Cruiser
  • Tacoma
  • Tundra
  • C-HR
  • Prius
  • Yaris
  • Venza

Meanwhile, with its more luxurious Lexus sibling, cars that include VSC include:

  • ES
  • IS
  • GS
  • LS
  • UX
  • NX
  • RX
  • GX
  • LX
  • RC
  • LC
  • LFA

In summary, VSC helps to keep your car under control in difficult conditions. It does this by automatically modulating the engine, transmission, and brakes when necessary. But, what about the traction control light (you can learn more in our guide on what is traction control on a car)? How does this differ from the VSC light?

Good question. In principle, traction control works the same way as the VSC: by modulating the engine speed and the brakes to control slippage. The difference is that traction control helps to keep the car under control during acceleration, not while cornering. So, there isn’t much difference in the way they work, it’s merely about WHEN they work.

What Causes VSC Light To Come On

If you’re wondering why the VSC light is lit up in the first place, here are some of the most common causes & reasons why the VSC light gets triggered…

Identifying the specific cause of a VSC light can be a complex task given the wide range of potential triggers. However, understanding these key causes can be a useful starting point in diagnosing and resolving the issue.

Whether it’s an inadvertent press of the VSC button, engine malfunctions, defective ABS sensors, a faulty brake light switch, or wiring problems, taking appropriate action can help maintain the optimal functioning of your vehicle’s VSC system and ensure your safety on the road.

VSC Light, Causes #1: Unintentionally Pressing the VSC Button

In numerous vehicle models equipped with a Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system, there’s a button for disabling this function. On occasion, this button could be inadvertently pressed, which might result in a VSC light popping up on your dashboard.

Generally, this triggers a VSC OFF light, not the standard VSC warning light. Remember, deactivating the VSC system can potentially affect the vehicle’s traction control, so it’s crucial to ensure it’s turned back on for optimal safety.

Symptoms and Diagnosis: Unintentionally Pressing the VSC Button

If you’ve inadvertently pressed the VSC button, the immediate symptom you’ll notice is the illumination of the VSC light on your dashboard.

This usually appears as a VSC OFF light. It’s easy to overlook this since the light might not cause any discernible change in your vehicle’s performance. However, the absence of the VSC could make the vehicle harder to control in certain driving conditions.

Diagnosing this issue is relatively straightforward. First, locate the VSC button in your vehicle. It’s usually found on the dashboard, but the location might vary depending on the vehicle model. Once located, check whether it’s in the ON or OFF position. If it’s in the OFF position, this is likely why the VSC light is on.

Repair, Replacement, and Costs: Unintentionally Pressing the VSC Button

In this case, the solution is simple: press the VSC button again to reactivate the system. You should see the VSC OFF light disappear from your dashboard. If the light doesn’t turn off immediately, try driving your car a short distance – some models require the vehicle to be in motion for the VSC system to reactivate fully.

In general, there’s no repair or replacement cost associated with this issue as it doesn’t involve any mechanical or electrical faults. However, if pressing the VSC button doesn’t solve the problem, there might be a more serious issue at hand, in which case you should consult with a professional mechanic.

The cost for this type of diagnostic service varies, but it generally falls in the range of $50 to $100.

VSC Light, Causes #2: Engine Malfunctions

Engine-related issues are a prevalent reason why the VSC light might illuminate. Modern engines incorporate a host of sensors and actuators, any of which could cause an engine check light and subsequently a VSC light, particularly in Toyota and Lexus models.

The engine control module stores a fault code when these lights appear, so it’s necessary to read this code to discern the root cause.

Problems like a faulty Mass Airflow (MAF) Sensor, Oxygen (O2) Sensor issues, loose gas cap, defective accelerator pedal, or malfunctioning crankshaft and camshaft position sensors are common engine issues that could trigger the VSC light.

However, since the engine is a complex component with many parts, diagnosing the precise issue requires a comprehensive examination using a scanner.

Symptoms and Diagnosis: Engine Malfunctions

Symptoms of engine malfunctions vary greatly depending on the specific issue, but some common signs include a decrease in fuel efficiency, loss of power, irregular acceleration, or a rough idle. Along with these performance issues, you’ll notice the VSC light on your dashboard, often accompanied by the Check Engine light.

Diagnosing engine issues requires a code reader or scanner. When the Check Engine light illuminates, the engine control module (ECM) records a corresponding trouble code. This code gives a clue as to which sensor or system is causing the issue.

To read this code, you’ll need to connect a code reader to your car’s onboard diagnostic (OBD) port and follow the instructions provided by the tool.

Repair, Replacement, and Costs: Engine Malfunctions

Once you’ve diagnosed the problem, the solution might involve replacing or repairing the faulty part. If the issue is a loose gas cap, for example, the fix is as simple as tightening it or replacing it with a new one, which typically costs less than $20.

If the problem is a faulty sensor, such as the MAF or O2 sensor, these can often be replaced relatively easily. Depending on the vehicle model, the cost of a new MAF sensor varies between $100 to $300, and an O2 sensor can range from $50 to $250, excluding labor costs.

Issues with the accelerator pedal, crankshaft, or camshaft position sensors may require professional assistance due to their complexity. These repairs can range from $100 to $500, including parts and labor.

However, keep in mind that prices can vary based on your location, the specific problem, and the make and model of your vehicle. Always consult with a professional mechanic for accurate diagnosis and cost estimates.

VSC Light, Causes #3: Defective ABS Sensor

Each of your car’s wheels houses an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) sensor that measures wheel speed. Vital control modules like the Engine Control Module (ECM) and the Transmission Control Module (TCM) rely on this data. ABS sensors, often exposed to water, rust, and dirt due to their location at the wheel spindle hubs, are prone to failure.

An ABS sensor issue may trigger the VSC light since the VSC system uses the same information. Problems with the ABS reluctor rings, which the sensors used to measure speed, or wiring issues between the sensors and the ABS control module, could also result in the VSC light appearing.

The steering angle sensor, which both the ABS and VSC systems use, could illuminate the VSC light if it sends incorrect signals to these control modules.

Symptoms and Diagnosis: Defective ABS Sensor

Symptoms of a defective ABS sensor often include the VSC light and ABS warning light illuminating your dashboard.

You might also experience unanticipated changes in the braking behavior of your car, such as longer stopping distances or a pulsating brake pedal. In extreme cases, your vehicle may skid or slide when braking, particularly on wet or slippery surfaces.

To diagnose a defective ABS sensor, a scan tool or code reader is often employed. It reads the diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) stored in the ABS module, which can pinpoint which wheel’s ABS sensor is causing the issue. Also, a multimeter can be used to test the ABS sensors directly for any inconsistencies in their readings.

Repair, Replacement, and Costs: Defective ABS Sensor

The typical solution to a faulty ABS sensor is to replace it. Given their exposure to the elements and propensity for physical damage, repairs are rarely feasible or cost-effective. The replacement process involves removing the wheel, detaching the old sensor, and installing the new one.

The cost for an ABS sensor replacement depends on the make and model of your vehicle but generally falls in the range of $100 to $300 per sensor, including parts and labor. If the reluctor rings or the wiring to the sensor are faulty, the cost could increase.

Keep in mind, though, that prices can vary based on your location and the exact problem with the ABS system. Always consult with a professional mechanic for accurate diagnosis and cost estimates.

VSC Light, Causes #4: Faulty Brake Light Switch

The brake light switch, located on your brake pedal, serves multiple purposes. Besides activating your brake lights when the pedal is pressed, it also provides data to several control modules. The VSC system is one such system that relies on this information.

Therefore, if the brake light switch malfunctions, it may result in a VSC light appearing on your dashboard. If the brake light switch is faulty, the brake lights may not function correctly, creating a potential safety hazard.

Symptoms and Diagnosis: Faulty Brake Light Switch

When a brake light switch is faulty, you’ll notice symptoms beyond just the VSC light illuminating on your dashboard. A significant telltale sign is if your brake lights either don’t light up when you depress the pedal, or they remain on even when the pedal is not being pressed.

This malfunction could lead to safety issues, as it prevents other drivers from knowing when you’re slowing down or stopping. Diagnosing a faulty brake light switch often begins with a visual inspection. If your brake lights aren’t responding correctly, examine the switch, usually found towards the top of the brake pedal assembly.

In many cases, the switch might be loose or damaged. You can also use a multimeter to check if the switch is functioning correctly by testing for continuity when the brake pedal is pressed and released.

Repair, Replacement, and Costs: Faulty Brake Light Switch

Repairing a faulty brake light switch usually involves replacing it, as these switches are generally not repairable. The process typically involves disconnecting the wiring from the old switch, removing the old switch from its position, and then installing and connecting the new one.

The cost of replacing a brake light switch can vary based on the make and model of your vehicle, but it is generally a relatively inexpensive repair. The parts cost usually falls in the range of $20 to $50, with labor costs adding an additional $50 to $100, depending on the mechanic’s rates and the complexity of the switch’s location.

Remember, prices can vary based on your location and the specifics of your vehicle, so it’s always a good idea to get a quote from a professional mechanic.

VSC Light, Causes #5: Wiring Problems

With an abundance of electronics in modern vehicles, there’s an increased likelihood of encountering wiring issues. Faulty or damaged wiring can lead to an array of problems, including the illumination of the VSC light.

Diagnosing and fixing wiring issues can be challenging without the necessary knowledge and expertise. If you’ve examined all other potential causes and suspect a wiring problem, it’s advisable to consult a professional.

Symptoms and Diagnosis: Wiring Problems

Symptoms of wiring problems can be varied and subtle, depending on which circuits are affected. Besides the VSC light coming on, you might notice other malfunctioning lights on your dashboard, intermittent operation of certain car functions, or even complete failure of some systems.

Electrical components that don’t seem to be working properly, such as erratic radio, lighting, or HVAC operation, can be signs of wiring problems. Diagnosing wiring issues can be complex, as it often requires a comprehensive understanding of the car’s electrical system and the use of specialized diagnostic tools.

A basic inspection can be conducted by checking for visible signs of damaged, frayed, or exposed wires, particularly in areas where they might be subject to wear and tear, such as near hinges or connectors. However, many wiring issues are hidden and require tools like multimeters or diagnostic scanners to identify.

Repair, Replacement, and Costs: Wiring Problems

Repairing wiring issues usually involves finding and repairing or replacing faulty wires or connectors. This could be a simple task, such as replacing a frayed wire, or a complex one, such as tracing a fault to an internal issue in an important control module.

The costs associated with repairing wiring problems can vary widely depending on the complexity of the issue. For a simple fix, such as replacing a frayed wire or a broken connector, the cost might range from $100 to $200 for parts and labor.

However, if the problem is complex and requires extensive diagnostics or major disassembly to reach the wiring, the cost could escalate to several hundred or even over a thousand dollars. It’s crucial to get a proper diagnosis from a qualified mechanic, as the exact cost can vary greatly based on the specifics of the problem and your vehicle.

How To Turn Off VSC Light

Your VSC light may turn on simply because you’ve accidentally pushed the VSC button. When you do, this means that the VSC system is currently off.  To turn it on again (and to turn off the light), locate your VSC button first.

The placement may vary depending on your Toyota model, but it’s often located either on the dashboard just above your knees or near the gear stick. The button may also either have “VSC” written on it or a picture of a car slipping with the word “Off” below it.

Once you’ve located the button, it’s ideal that you do this while you’re at a complete stop. Next, press and hold the VSC button, you may see TRAC OFF and VSC OFF lights come on on your dashboard. This means that both systems are currently off. Next, press the VSC button once more and the light should come off. If it’s off, that means both systems are working normally again.

If the light won’t turn off, then that means you have a problem with the VSC system. This won’t necessarily mean your VSC system is faulty, there might be something else wrong with your car that prevents the VSC system from turning on, thus the VSC OFF light won’t turn off.

VSC Light On Car

There might be a few reasons why your VSC light won’t turn itself off, which are:

ABS And VSC Light Is On

As mentioned, the VSC system works together with your ABS (Antilock Braking System). The ABS measures your tire speeds as you drive along and transfers that information to the PCM. If the system detects wheel slippage, the PCM then will decide the best course of action to keep the car under control.

If your ABS light is on, then that means your car is experiencing an issue with the ABS system. Since the ABS system isn’t able to work properly, your VSC won’t be able to work as well. Which leads to both warning lights turning on.

There are several reasons why your ABS light is on, including low brake fluid and damage to the ABS sensors. You can also check if the ABS fuse is blown, if it is, then it would be wise to check why it’s blown in the first place.

If you can’t identify the issue, then you should take your car to a mechanic to diagnose the problem. It’s generally still safe to drive your Toyota even if the ABS and VSC light is on. However, we advise you to be extra careful, especially when it’s raining or snowing. No ABS and VSC mean there is no safety net that prevents wheel slippage as you drive along.

Check Engine Light And VSC Light Is On

VSC Light

It’s quite common to find the check engine light to turn on alongside the VSC and ABS light in a Toyota or a Lexus. The check engine light indicates that there is an issue related to the engine. Sometimes, the issue may prevent the VSC system from working properly, leading your dashboard to light up like a Christmas tree.

There are several reasons why your check engine light is on, and it can be as simple as a loose gas cap. If your gas cap is closed tight, then you will need to identify the problem by using an OBD-2 scanner.

How To Reset The Check Engine Light

This scanner connects to your car’s onboard diagnostic system and shows error codes that will help you to identify what’s wrong with your car. Here’s our guide on how to use an OBD-2 scanner:

  1. Plug the reader into the car’s OBD port. This port is often located underneath the dashboard area, either above your pedals or knee. Keep in mind that some cars might have their port hidden out of sight. Check your owner’s manual or online to see where it’s located in your car.
  2. Once plugged in, turn on the OBD scanner (or an auto code scanner) to run a car code scan. It should immediately scan the car. However, some scanners might require you to input additional information such as make, model year, VIN number, etc.
  3. It will then display the error codes it has found. A more complex scanner may also display a description of what’s wrong with the car, but if you have a simpler scanner then it’s recommended to take note of the codes displayed. This way, you can cross-check them with the owner’s manual later on.

Once identified, fix the problem and reset your check engine light. You can watch this guide below on how to diagnose your car using an OBD-2 scanner:

ASR, DSC, And VSC Light Is On

Okay, there are a lot of acronyms here but bear with us as this is crucial in understanding how the VSC system in your Toyota or Lexus works. The Acceleration Slip Regulation or ASR is another word for your traction control. As the name suggests, the ASR is responsible for preventing the driving wheels from spinning or slipping.

It uses the sensors on your wheels to determine if one wheel is spinning faster than the other. If it does, then it will automatically determine if the brakes are enough to help reduce the spin. If it isn’t, it will then tell the PCM to reduce power to that wheel in order to regain grip and maintain stability.

The Dynamic Stability Control or DSC meanwhile is activated when you drive through difficult and unstable terrains. The DSC can allow an individual wheel to spin more than the others to gain more traction. If your car starts to skid, the DSC will take control and decide the best course of action to regain traction.

Both of these systems work together with your VSC system to maintain your car’s stability while driving. If one of them fails, then it may cause your VSC light to turn on and prevent the system from working properly. Both systems work by using the sensors on your wheels and communicating with the powertrain control module.

ESC And VSC Light Is On

ESC stands for Electronic Stability Control. The system works together with the VSC system to aid the traction control system (you can learn more in our guide on what does traction control do). The ESC turns on when your car lost its grip and is skidding.

The system is capable of estimating how long the skid will occur and the direction, it will then give the appropriate braking power to the necessary wheels. Much like the previous system, if there’s something wrong with the ESC, then the VSC system won’t be able to work properly.

Toyota VSC Light Reset

If your VSC light won’t turn off you can try resetting it. Keep in mind that you should do this when only the VSC light is on. If the check engine or ABS light is on, then there’s an underlying issue with your car that you need to fix. There are several methods you can try to reset your VSC light:

1. Odometer Reset

This is the simplest method you cant try. First, turn your engine key to ACC (or press the Start button once) and press the odometer until it reads the mileage of your car. Next, switch off the car completely and let it sit for a minute.

Afterward, turn the engine on again and press the odometer button simultaneously. See if the VSC has reset and the light is gone.

2. Hard Reset

If the first method didn’t work, then you can try a hard reset method. Before you do this method, make sure to follow these safety precautions:

  1. Remove any accessories such as metal jewelry, rings, and watches. These are excellent conductors for electricity and could trigger an electric shock. Best leave them off your body.
  2. Keep everything dry, as the slightest amount of water that touches the battery can spell disaster. This goes without saying, you should work indoors if it’s raining.
  3. Turn off your car before you touch the battery.
  4. Work in a well-ventilated space, as battery contains acid and it’s likely to emit harmful gasses.
  5. Check for signs of corrosion. If there’s a widespread greenish-white powder, then be extra careful.

To do this method, simply park your car in a dry place, open the hood, and then disconnect the battery terminals. Leave it for 10 minutes, and then reconnect the terminals and try turning on your car to see if the VSC light is still there.

Keep in mind that disconnecting your battery may reset other electrical settings in your car as well, such as the clock and the radio.

3. VSC Recalibration

The last method you can try is by doing a recalibration for your VSC system via the OBD-2 port. This method is a bit more complicated to explain with text, so you can watch the video below instead to guide you:

Fixing The VSC Light

If none of the methods above work, and there is a check engine or ABS warning light on your dashboard, then you may need to diagnose the underlying problem and fix it to get rid of the VSC light.

To diagnose the problem, you will need an OBD-2 scanner and plug it into the OBD port. Scan the system to see the error codes, and identify what the codes mean. If you have a more expensive OBD-2 scanner, then it should be able to directly tell you what the codes mean.

After you diagnose the problem, you can then decide on whether you want to fix the problem by yourself or get a professional mechanic to do the job. As for the cost, check engine light or ABS problems typically cost between $120 – $800 to fix.

The cost varies greatly depending on the severity of the issue. Additionally, some repair jobs may be much more serious and cost as high as $2000. It’s impossible for us to give an estimate as there are a lot of issues that can trigger a check engine and ABS warning light.

We advise that you take your car to your trusted repair shop. This way, they can immediately diagnose the issue for you and give you an estimate on how much it will cost to fix the issue. Also, remember to shop around and get multiple quotes on the cost. This way, you can ensure the best quote and service for your car.


The VSC system is there for a reason – mainly to keep your car stable and keep you safe. However, there are several circumstances where you can turn the VSC off, such as:

1. When You’re Stuck In Snow Or Mud

This is especially true if your front wheels are stuck. The VSC system restricts your engine performance and automatically applies the brakes to reduce slippage. However, when you’re stuck you want all the possible power and you don’t want your car restricted.

Turning the VSC system off will remove these restrictions and make it easier to get unstuck. If you find yourself stuck in snow or mud, then you should turn it off to get your car out immediately. Even Toyota themselves recommend this.

2. When You’re Offroading Or Driving On Uneven Terrain

When offroading or driving on uneven terrain, you will need to be in control of your engine power output. Since VSC limits your wheel rotation by controlling the power output and the brakes, it’s better to turn it off so you can control your car more freely.

When the VSC detects wheel slippage caused by uneven terrains, it will trigger the system to reduce power output, which isn’t ideal when you’re maneuvering on uneven terrain.

3. When You’re Driving On A Track

If you take your car to drive it on a track, chances are you’re a car enthusiast and you know it’s better to turn the VSC off. But if you didn’t know, when you’re driving on a track it’s better to turn the VSC off so you get the full performance of your car. As mentioned, VSC limits your engine’s power output, limiting its performance and slowing you down around a track.

Of course, if you’re not entirely confident in your driving skills and you just want to have fun around a track, then there’s nothing wrong with keeping the VSC on. You’ll get limited performance, but you can still have fun and it’ll keep you out of trouble. More importantly, it’ll help to keep you out of the barriers.

4. When The VSC Is Malfunctioning

The VSC system may malfunction and misbehave when you drive. This is quite rare, but it’s possible that your VSC may trigger even when there’s no issue at all. If you notice your car applying the brakes or reducing engine power even though you are certain that there’s no risk of slippage, then you may have a malfunctioning VSC system.

In this case, you may want to turn off the VSC to stop it from interrupting. A problem with one of the sensor or control modules may cause the VSC to misbehave. In this case, you’d want to turn it off and then take it to a mechanic to fix the issue.


The TRAC OFF light is an indicator found in Toyota and Lexus models that shows the status of the Traction Control system. When this light is on, it signifies that the Traction Control system is disabled. As a key part of a vehicle’s stability feature, the Traction Control system (or TRAC) prevents wheel spin during acceleration, especially on slippery surfaces.

Seeing the TRAC OFF light may be due to various reasons. Sometimes it may be triggered intentionally, or it may indicate an underlying issue that needs attention. Here, we’ll explore the different reasons why the TRAC OFF light may appear, how safe it is to drive with it on, and what actions you can take to fix it.

1. Why is the TRAC OFF Light On?

Here are some of the reasons why the TRAC OFF light appears…

Manual Deactivation

The simplest reason the TRAC OFF light is on is that you manually deactivated the Traction Control system. This is often done by pressing a button on the dashboard. If this is the case, all you need to do is press the same button to turn it back on.

Faulty Wheel Speed Sensor

The TRAC OFF light can be triggered by a faulty wheel speed sensor. These sensors, situated inside each wheel, help the ABS system identify each wheel’s rotational speed. If any of these sensors malfunction, the system might receive inaccurate data, resulting in the TRAC OFF light illuminating.

Recent Brake Replacement

After replacing your car’s brakes, you might notice the TRAC OFF light on your dashboard. This happens if the new brakes aren’t fully compatible with your vehicle’s Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), causing the TRAC system to disable as a precaution.

Steering Rack System Failure

A well-functioning steering rack is crucial for maintaining traction. If this system or its associated sensors, like the steering angle sensor, fail, you might lose traction control abilities, leading to the TRAC OFF light illuminating.

Electronic Control Unit (ECU) Malfunction

The ECU controls all of the vehicle’s electronic systems. If it’s malfunctioning, it can cause various indicators, including the TRAC OFF light, to turn on.

ABS Malfunction

If your Anti-lock Braking System isn’t working properly, the TRAC OFF light may turn on. This is because the ABS and TRAC systems are interconnected and rely on each other for accurate functioning.

Brake Light Switch Issues

Brake light switch problems are another common cause of the TRAC OFF light coming on. This switch triggers the brake lights when you press the brake pedal. If it’s faulty, the TRAC system might disable itself, resulting in the TRAC OFF light illuminating.

2. Is It Safe To Drive With The TRAC OFF Light On?

It is generally safe to drive with the TRAC OFF light on under normal driving conditions. However, the vehicle’s traction control feature will not function while the light is on. This could pose a risk when driving on slippery surfaces, as the vehicle might not handle as expected.

If the TRAC OFF light is on alongside other warning lights, like the ABS or red brake warning lights, it’s best to seek professional assistance promptly as this could indicate more serious problems.

3. How to Fix the TRAC OFF Light

If you’ve manually turned off the TRAC system, pressing the same button should turn it back on, turning off the TRAC OFF light. For other causes, you may need to restart the car, similar to rebooting a computer. If the light turns off after the restart, the issue was likely a temporary glitch.

If the light remains on, it’s best to use a code scanner to read the diagnostic trouble codes. This can help you identify the issue more clearly. Once you understand the problem, you can proceed to fix it.

If the issue remains unclear or seems complex, seeking professional help is advised. A skilled mechanic can accurately diagnose and fix the problem. While this may be more costly, it guarantees a proper fix, ensuring your vehicle’s safety and longevity.

In conclusion, understanding the TRAC OFF light in your Toyota or Lexus is crucial for maintaining the vehicle’s optimal functioning and ensuring safe driving. Being aware of what this light signifies and how to react when it illuminates can make your driving experience smoother and safer.


To begin with, it’s important to appreciate what the “VSC OFF” warning light signifies. VSC, an acronym for Vehicle Stability Control, is a safety feature available in Lexus and Toyota vehicles. It’s designed to assist drivers maintain control in challenging driving conditions, especially on slippery roads, by selectively applying braking force where it’s most needed.

Imagine you’re driving, and suddenly, your vehicle begins to skid. In such a scenario, the VSC system would cut power to the affected wheels, bringing your vehicle back under control. Similarly, should your vehicle start to spin, the VSC system would kick in, directing the vehicle away from the interior of the curve and towards the outer edge.

When the VSC system is functioning correctly, it plays a crucial role in maintaining passenger safety. However, if you notice the “VSC OFF” and check engine lights illuminating together, it could indicate a malfunction within the system.

1. What Triggers the Lexus VSC OFF Light?

The illumination of the “VSC OFF” light is no trivial matter. If this light comes on, it means that your vehicle’s traction control system, which the VSC is a part of, is currently inactive. This could have serious repercussions for your vehicle’s stability and control.

The VSC system is interconnected with the car’s braking and engine control systems, helping to regulate traction. However, malfunctions in these connected systems can trigger the “VSC OFF” indicator.

To understand what’s causing the “VSC OFF” light to come on, you might need the assistance of an automobile code reader. Such a tool can provide you with error codes that could shed light on the underlying issue.

2. Why Do the VSC OFF and Check Engine Lights Illuminate Together?

Simultaneous illumination of the VSC OFF and check engine lights can be perplexing for Lexus owners. This typically happens because the VSC and the engine control system are intertwined. Any faults or issues with the engine control system could impede the operation of the VSC, triggering the warning lights.

There are several common culprits for this simultaneous illumination:

  • A broken or defective gas cap
  • Failure of the oxygen sensor

If these issues have been ruled out, it would be wise to take your vehicle in for a diagnostic test or use a code reader to interpret any error codes.

3. Resetting the Lexus VSC OFF Light

If the root cause of the “VSC OFF” warning light has been addressed and it still persists, there’s a chance the display is faulty. Here are the steps to reset it:

  • Bring your vehicle to a complete halt and switch to Park mode.
  • Locate the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) button; in a Lexus, it’s usually on the steering wheel or the center console.
  • Press and hold the VSC button for a few seconds. The “VSC OFF” and “TRAC OFF” lights should come on, indicating that the stability and traction control systems have been deactivated.
  • Release the button, and the lights should go off, signifying that the VSC and traction control systems are back in action.

If the “VSC OFF” light continues to glow even after you’ve tried to reset it, it might be time to get your vehicle professionally serviced.

The VSC system’s interconnectedness with other vehicle systems means that diagnosing the root cause of the “VSC OFF” and check engine light warning can be a little time-consuming. Moreover, sometimes these lights may turn on even when there’s no actual fault, due to display issues. However, maintaining a keen eye on your vehicle’s warning signals will ensure its safety and longevity.

Check VSC System

The “Check VSC System” warning light on your dashboard is a signal for various potential issues related to your car’s traction. These could range from a malfunctioning steering angle sensor to defective wheel speed sensors, or even an improperly functioning rotation speed sensor.

A worn-out steering rack might also trigger the light. Hence, it’s essential to inspect the VSC and ABS components when this light illuminates.

1. Possible Reasons for Light Activation

In certain instances, the light might turn on because it needs reprogramming, a minor issue that you can resolve effortlessly.

During extreme weather conditions, such as a blizzard, the accumulation of snow might activate the light as the ABS sensors could misinterpret the snowy surface as a slippery, traction-losing condition. This may also instigate a ‘C1201’ engine error code.

2. Resolving the Error Code

Undoing the error code isn’t a daunting task. Simply locate a safe spot or retreat to your garage and wait for the snow to melt. Ideally, the light should deactivate automatically post-thawing. However, if the light persists, using an OBD2 scanner can help correct the error code. If you’re unsure about using the scanner, consider visiting a professional repair shop.

There’s another straightforward method to address this. Turn the ignition switch to ACC (for accessories) and press the odometer until it displays the mileage. Then, switch off the engine and turn it back on using the odometer button. This should effectively extinguish the “Check VSC System” warning light.

If the light continues to glow or reappears after some time, it might indicate faulty sensors or a damaged steering rack. For these problems, consulting a mechanic is advisable to replace the problematic sensors or components as necessary.

Lexus VSC Light Resetting: Facts You Need to Know

  • Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) is a system that helps drivers control skidding on slippery roads or while swerving.
  • A warning light on the dashboard flashes when the VSC system is activated.
  • The VSC system and Traction Control (TRAC) work together to prevent the drive wheels from spinning on slick surfaces when accelerating.
  • The VSC and TRAC systems need to be turned off if stuck in snow, mud, or dirt, and turned back on once on stable ground.
  • If the VSC system is turned off, it needs to be reset by contacting Lexus for maintenance or assistance.
  • The VSC and TRAC systems will automatically re-enable the next time the engine is turned off if they were turned off previously.
  • If the systems don’t turn on as expected, the vehicle should be checked out by a professional.
  • Regular maintenance of both the TRAC and VSC systems is important for safe driving on slippery surfaces.
  • If the multi-information display shows “Traction Control Turned off” and the switch hasn’t been pressed, the TRAC system will not be operational and needs to be checked.
  • Unusual noises from the engine compartment while repeatedly depressing the brake pedal, starting the engine, or when the vehicle begins to move may indicate an issue that needs to be checked by a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers On The VSC Light

Is It Safe To Drive With VSC Light On

Generally, you can still drive with the VSC light on. However, you will need to be extra careful when driving with the light on because this means your VSC system is off. We do not advise you to drive with the VSC off when it’s snowing or during heavy rain, just to be safe. Keep in mind that if the VSC light is accompanied by a check engine or ABS warning light, then there might be an underlying issue with your car. In this case, you will need to diagnose and fix it immediately. Also, if the check engine light is flashing, you need to stop driving immediately as it indicates a serious issue.

How To Reset Traction Control Light

Ordinarily, the traction control light only comes on when your car is losing traction, such as driving on an icy or wet surface. But there are times when the traction control light would stay on after the fact. If so, there are ways to reset it. For example, after changing the battery, it’s normal to see the traction control light staying on, but it should go away after a few minutes of driving. Beyond that, check to make sure that you’ve not accidentally turned off the traction control system. Otherwise, double-check to make sure that all four tires on your car are of the same type and size. And, be sure to not drive too fast, or else it may trigger the traction control light to come on.

What Does Trac Off Mean

If you see a TRAC OFF indicator lighting up on your dash, it means that the traction control system has been disengaged. Your car’s traction control system works to prevent wheel slippage, especially when you’re driving on wet and slippery surfaces. You can usually turn the traction control system off manually by finding the traction control button. This is usually located on the left-hand side of the steering wheel, with a symbol that looks like a car with squiggly lines underneath it, and the words, OFF. Turning the traction control off would also disable the VSC system, as well.

What Does VSC Mean In A Car

The VSC system in your Toyota stands for Vehicle Stability Control. This is an automated system that’s designed to cut power to the wheels when your car detects wheel slippage, which is common if you’re driving over slippery surfaces. For example, driving on wet or icy roads can trigger the VSC system to kick in rather frequently. The goal here, and by cutting power to the wheels, is to ensure that your car is able to maintain optimal traction to stay under control. While at the same time, keeping the car pointed to where you’re turning the steering wheel to. Besides cutting power to the wheels, it can also gently tap on the brakes to keep your car in line.

Where Is The VSC Button Located

While the VSC system is designed to ensure that your car is able to maintain optimal traction, there are occasions when it’s beneficial to turn it off. In fact, even Toyota themselves recommend turning it off under select circumstances. For instance, it’s a good idea to turn VSC off if your car is stuck in the snow or mud. Or, if you’re driving over uneven terrain, going off-roading, or are driving spiritedly on the track. This ensures that the VSC system doesn’t interfere and affords you better control over your car. To turn the VSC system off, just press and release the VSC button, which can be found near the gear lever.

How Much To Fix VSA System

While Toyota and Lexus have their VSC system, Honda’s and Acura’s equivalent is the VSA (aka Vehicle Stability Assist). If the VSA system is malfunctioning, it could cost you anywhere from just $100 to upwards of $1,500 to fix. This massive gap is due to the numerous components that may fail and it can vary wildly depending on what’s failed. For example, the VSA system might malfunction if the brake switch has gone bad, or if the speed sensors are faulty. Otherwise, a yaw rate sensor could be primed for replacement, or if the entire VSA control module is faulty.

What Is VSC in a Car

Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) is a safety system found in Toyota and Lexus vehicles that helps prevent skidding or sliding when you are driving on slippery surfaces or during hard cornering. This is accomplished by selectively applying the brakes to the individual wheels and, in some cases, reducing engine power. In essence, VSC can help maintain control of the vehicle, enhancing the overall safety of the vehicle.

What Does VSC Stand For

VSC stands for Vehicle Stability Control. This is a safety system that is designed to help prevent skidding or sliding, particularly when the vehicle is driven on slippery surfaces or during hard cornering. It’s an active system that continuously monitors the vehicle’s direction and compares it with the driver’s steering input.

How Do I Fix My Check Engine, VSC Trac Off Warning Lights

To fix the check engine, VSC Trac Off warning lights, you first need to find out why the lights came on in the first place. This typically involves using a diagnostic tool to read the error codes from the car’s computer. These codes will tell you what the problem is. Common issues include problems with the oxygen sensors, catalytic converter, or fuel cap. Once the problem is fixed, the lights can be reset using the same diagnostic tool. However, if you’re unsure, it’s best to take the car to a professional mechanic.

What Does It Mean When the VSC Light Comes On

When the VSC light comes on, it generally means that the Vehicle Stability Control system is not working properly, or that the system has been manually deactivated. It could be due to a problem with a sensor, a malfunction in the system, or a discrepancy between the steering input and the vehicle’s direction. It’s important to have the car checked by a professional if the light stays on.

What Would Cause the VSC Light to Come On

The VSC light can come on for several reasons. It could indicate a problem with a wheel speed sensor, steering angle sensor, or yaw sensor, all of which are critical to the system’s operation. Alternatively, it may light up if there’s a discrepancy between the driver’s steering input and the vehicle’s actual direction. It’s also possible for the VSC light to come on if the system is manually turned off.

Why Did My Traction Control and Check Engine Light Come On

If both the traction control and check engine lights are on, it typically indicates a problem that affects both systems. This is often related to sensors that these systems share, such as the wheel speed sensors. If a sensor sends incorrect data or fails, it can trigger both lights. A diagnostic tool can be used to read the error codes and determine the exact problem.

How to Turn Off Maintenance Light on Toyota Corolla

To turn off the maintenance light on a Toyota Corolla, first, turn the key to the ‘On’ position but do not start the engine. Then, press and hold the trip reset button until the odometer displays zeroes. Continue holding the button and turn the key to the ‘Off’ position, then back to the ‘On’ position. The maintenance light should blink and then go off.

What Does the TC Light Mean

The TC light refers to Traction Control, a safety feature that prevents your wheels from spinning excessively. If the TC light is on, it means that the traction control system is active and working to maintain grip. If the light is constantly on, it suggests that there may be an issue with the system, and it’s worth getting it checked out.

What Does VSC Off Mean

When you see ‘VSC Off’ illuminated on your dashboard, it means that the Vehicle Stability Control system has been manually deactivated. When the VSC system is off, it will not intervene to help control the vehicle if it detects skidding or sliding. For regular driving, it is recommended to keep the VSC system turned on for safety.

Why Is My VSC Light and Check Engine Light On

If both your VSC and check engine lights are on, it typically indicates an issue that affects both systems. Since the VSC system relies on sensors that are also used by the engine management system, a problem with one of these sensors can trigger both lights. This could be due to anything from a faulty oxygen sensor to a problem with the throttle body. It’s important to read the diagnostic codes to pinpoint the exact issue.

How to Reset Maintenance Light on Toyota Highlander

To reset the maintenance light on a Toyota Highlander, first, turn the vehicle to the ‘On’ position without starting the engine. Next, press the ‘Disp’ button on the steering wheel until ‘Trip A’ is displayed. Turn the vehicle off, then press and hold the ‘Disp’ button. While holding the button, turn the vehicle back to ‘On’. The maintenance light should blink and then disappear, indicating it’s been reset.

What Does Check VSC Mean

When your vehicle displays the ‘Check VSC’ message, it means that the Vehicle Stability Control system has detected an issue that needs addressing. The VSC system is designed to help maintain control of the vehicle during tight cornering or on slippery surfaces. When the ‘Check VSC’ warning appears, it is strongly advised to have your vehicle inspected by a professional to diagnose and address the issue.

How to Reset Oil Maintenance Light on 2010 Prius

To reset the oil maintenance light on a 2010 Prius, start by powering on the car. Press the ‘Disp’ button on the steering wheel until you see ‘Trip A’. Turn the car off, then press and hold the ‘Disp’ button again. While holding it, turn the car on. The maintenance light should blink a few times and then go off, indicating it’s been reset.

What Does Traction Control Off Mean

When the ‘Traction Control Off’ light is illuminated on your dashboard, it means that the vehicle’s traction control system has been manually turned off. When this system is off, it won’t intervene to reduce wheel spin during acceleration, particularly on slippery surfaces. For regular driving, especially in wet or icy conditions, it is recommended to keep the traction control system turned on.

How to Reset Maintenance Light on 2016 Toyota Camry

To reset the maintenance light on a 2016 Toyota Camry, first, turn the vehicle to the ‘On’ position, but don’t start the engine. Press the ‘Trip’ button until the odometer displays ‘Trip A’. Turn the vehicle off, then press and hold the ‘Trip’ button. While holding the button, turn the vehicle to ‘On’. The maintenance light should blink a few times before going off, indicating it’s been reset.

How to Reset Toyota Sienna Maintenance Light

To reset the maintenance light on a Toyota Sienna, switch the vehicle to the ‘On’ position without starting the engine. Next, press the ‘Trip’ button to display ‘Trip A’ on the odometer. Turn the vehicle off, then press and hold the ‘Trip’ button. While holding the button, turn the vehicle back to ‘On’. The maintenance light should blink and then disappear, indicating it’s been reset.

What Does Maint Reqd Mean on Toyota Camry

The ‘Maint Reqd’ light on a Toyota Camry is designed to serve as a reminder for scheduled maintenance. It typically lights up every 5,000 miles as a reminder to change the oil and perform other routine services. However, if the light stays on after maintenance, it may need to be manually reset.

Why Is My Check Engine Light Still on After Fixing the Problem

If your check engine light remains on after addressing the issue, it could be due to several reasons. The most common is that the car’s computer system hasn’t had time to reset and recognize the repair. Driving the car for a few days usually allows the system to reset. Alternatively, it could mean that the original problem wasn’t fixed properly, there are additional issues, or the light itself is malfunctioning.

Does Autozone Do Check Engine Lights

Yes, AutoZone does offer a service to help diagnose why your check engine light is on. They can use an On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) scanner to read the trouble codes stored in your vehicle’s computer. These codes will provide information about what might be causing the problem. It’s worth noting that while they provide this service, they don’t carry out actual repairs.

How to Clear a Code on a Car

To clear a code on a car, an OBD-II scanner is required. This device is connected to the vehicle’s diagnostic port, usually located under the dashboard. Once connected, you can use the scanner to view the trouble codes and then choose the option to clear or reset them. Keep in mind that clearing the code won’t fix the problem; it merely turns off the check engine light until the issue triggers it again.

Can ABS Cause Check Engine Light to Come On

Yes, issues with the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) can cause the check engine light to come on. This is because some of the sensors used by the ABS, like the wheel speed sensors, are also monitored by the engine control unit. If these sensors send incorrect data or fail, it can trigger the check engine light. However, typically an ABS problem will also trigger the ABS light.


The VSC system in your Toyota or Lexus is there to help you maintain your car’s stability as you drive along, even in adverse conditions. It works by using the sensors on your wheels to monitor tire rotation and detect if any of them are slipping. If it feels necessary, the system then communicates with your car’s ECU to reduce or prevent wheel slippage. It does this by modulating either the engine speed, the transmission, the brakes, or all of them together.

In most circumstances, you want to leave the system alone and let it do its job. However, if you find yourself stuck, offroading, or the VSC misbehaving, then you should turn the system off. In these specific circumstances, it would be easier to drive with the VSC off.

If you notice the VSC light is on, try turning it off by pressing the VSC button. If it won’t turn off, then try one of the reset methods we mentioned above. However, if it still won’t turn off then there might be an underlying issue. This issue is preventing the VSC to turn on, hence the VSC OFF light won’t turn off. In this case, you will need to diagnose the problem and fix it to get your car working normally. You can do this by using an OBD-2 scanner, or taking your car to a repair shop for a diagnosis.

Related Posts


Dandy 09/19/2021 - 4:17 pm

My Trac light comes on the dashboard since last week please what do I do

Zack Norman 06/29/2022 - 8:33 am

Thanks for the comment, Dandy!

If the traction control light is coming on and hasn’t yet turned itself off, there might be something wrong with the ABS or braking system. Consider checking the brake fluids, as well as the ABS system – sensors, fuses, or the entire module – to ensure that it’s not causing the traction light to perpetually illuminate.

J Bowen 02/08/2022 - 5:46 pm

I had a new brake pipe fitted, but VSC and Trak control lights are on, using a code reader it is Giving a P0400 error which points to an EGR problem. The EGR has been cleaned and refitted and although the code can be cleared it does return after a short time. Any ideas please?

Zack Norman 06/29/2022 - 8:31 am

Thanks for the comment, J Bowen!

Hmm, this is interesting. Could it be possible that there’s some residual carbon build-up somewhere in the EGR system? Or, perhaps the EGR system itself is faulty. You might consider checking over the EGR once more to ensure that every component is working properly.

Rose 03/04/2022 - 1:06 am

Vcs car on slippery road and engine light won’t come off


Leave a Comment