Service brake assist and Chevy Stabilitrak: What are they?

March 9th, 2023 by

The StabiliTrak system and brake assist are vital functions that help to ensure your safety as you drive, especially on slippery roads. Many people, however, don’t understand how they work and what it means when the Stabilitrak and brake assist lights automatically turn on in a vehicle’s dashboard.

As these are safety measure lights, you shouldn’t ignore them when they appear, as doing so could endanger your life. Read on to learn more about what StabiliTrack and brake assist are and what to do when these safety measure lights come up on your car’s dashboard.

What Is StabiliTrak?

Hood of a white Chevy

StabiliTrak is a system that automatically activates and helps you avoid a potential accident or spinout. It’s always on and monitoring your driving, keeping you in control and on the road. From winding corners to slippery roads, you’re much safer in a vehicle that comes with StabiliTrak.

StabiliTrak has a series of sensors that constantly monitor your Chevrolet while driving. If the system senses that your vehicle is slipping, it will automatically apply brake pressure to correct the car’s trajectory. It can also automatically use engine power to divert your vehicle’s direction. The combination of engine power and braking can help you regain control during fishtails, spinouts, and other dangerous driving situations.

For instance, during a skid, StabiliTrak can sense that you’re using the steering wheel, but your vehicle isn’t following the movements of the wheels. This will activate the StabiliTrak and apply the anti-lock brakes to stop your vehicle from slipping in the wrong direction. Once the vehicle senses you have control, the system will deactivate.

What Causes The Service StabiliTrak Light To Come On?

While the StabiliTrak system combines the vehicle’s brake systems, steering wheel, and traction system, there are several issues outside these areas relating to its functionality that cause the service StabiliTrak warning light to come on. Here are a few reasons this may happen:

  • Defective steering wheel position sensor.
  • Faulty throttle position sensor.
  • ABS sensor failure.
  • Old or faulty spark plugs and ignition coils (engine misfire).
  • Defective fuel pump.
  • Active Fuel Management.
  • P0304 Error Code.

How To Fix StabiliTrak Warning Light Issues

If you see that your vehicle’s Service StabiliTrak warning light is on, try to determine what could be wrong and find a possible way to address the issue. Since the StabiliTrak warning light indicates a malfunction, you should first take the following steps:

  1. Pullover: When you notice that your car’s StabiliTrak warning light is on, immediately find a suitable location and pullover.
  2. Turn the engine off: Turn off your vehicle’s engine for about 25 seconds. This will ensure that all systems can refresh.
  3. Start the engine: Start your vehicle after the recommended period. The warning light should then disappear. However, if it still appears, your Chevrolet will need a service.


If you visit our service center in Youngstown, we can carefully diagnose the component that may be defective and causing the service StabiliTrak warning light to come on.

What Is Brake Assist?

Brake assist is designed to help you apply full stopping power in an emergency situation. When you apply the brake in order to bring your vehicle to a sudden stop, the brake assist system will fully depress the brake pedal to provide additional braking force and help you stop the car at the shortest distance possible. When you release the pressure on the brake pedal, the system automatically deactivates.

What Does It Mean When There’s a Service Brake Assist Warning?

When your car’s service brake assist warning light comes on, it could be a sign that the brake sensor has malfunctioned or that the brake system doesn’t have enough pressure. In either case, you need to get it checked immediately, which may involve one or all of the following recommended solutions:

  • Replace the brake boosters.
  • Reset the service brake assist light.
  • Replace the faulty brake sensor.

If these solutions don’t work, consider contacting your breakdown service line. You can also take your vehicle to the nearest Chevy service center to check out what could be wrong and fix the issue immediately.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix Brake Assist?

Servicing a vehicle’s brake assist can cost around $100 to $150, especially if you purchase the brake boosters and fix the issue yourself. The service cost, however, may increase based on your car’s make and model.

Brake Assist vs ABS

The brake assist system and anti-lock braking system (ABS) aren’t identical, but they do work with each other to deliver optimum braking performance. The brake assist system provides additional force to the brake pedal to enable it to press down to activate the brake in case of an emergency. The ABS maintains traction on your vehicle’s tires while slowing down to a halt. This allows you to have good control over your steering wheel.

ABS usually prevents your vehicle’s wheels from experiencing a sudden lock-up while you slowly steer to find safety. Therefore, while they have several similarities, the ABS and brake assist features are two separate functions that both offer a safe driving experience.

Chevy Brake Assist Reset

Sometimes, the brake assist warning light can illuminate unnecessarily because of a slight malfunction in its connection. You can address this issue by simply resetting the brake assist. To do this, turn off the car’s engine and remove the battery’s positive terminal cable. Then, get into your vehicle and press down the brake pedal for a while until it depletes the stored electricity. Reconnect the battery cable and restart your vehicle. You can then check to see whether it clears out the brake assist warning light.

Take Your Chevrolet to Cochran Chevrolet

If your vehicle’s StabiliTrak and brake assist warning lights remain on persistently, consider taking your vehicle to Cochran Chevrolet to remedy the situation. Contact us today or visit our dealership and let our experienced technicians at #1 Cochran address the issue in no time. While you’re here, you can check out our used and new vehicles, or study our vast inventory online.


Image by Ethan Currier is licensed with Unsplash License

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