Wednesday, 6th May 2020

What is ESC & ESP on Your Car?

ESC and ESP is one of the best modern safety features since its introduction in 2014. They are a third dimension to ABS (Antilock Braking system) and TCS (Traction Control system).

Some may think it’s as important as seat belts and airbags because it actually helps in preventing an accident to happen in the first place.

Research have shown that cars equipped with ESP or ESC reduce the chances of having an accident by 25%.

What is the Difference Between ESC & ESP?


ESC and ESP are practically the same thing, ESC stands for Electronic Stability Control and ESP stands for Electronic Stability Programme.

Your car may have an alternate system such as: VDC (vehicle dynamic control), VSA (vehicle stability assist) or DSC (dynamic stability control). Ultimately, all these systems perform the same function.

ESP influences the car in its lateral plane, the system uses sensors that take account of the speed of each tyre and the angle of the steering wheel.

Another benefit of ESP is that it monitors the tyre pressure on each wheel and it can tell if a tyre is losing pressure by monitoring the speed of the tyre.

Stay Balanced

The ESC system regulates the car to stay balanced during turns avoiding skids, in fact research have shown that ESC can avoid 80% of potential skids on the road during turns.


This is because ESC can brake individual wheels independently and this opens up opportunities for other safety features like Brake assist and Hill Hold Control.

What is Hill Hold Control?

Hill hold control, sometimes referred to as hill-start assit or simply hill holder, is a technology that keeps you in the same place if you release the brakes on a hill start preventing you from rolling back.

For example, this safety feature ensures you will not roll backwards after coming to a stop at a junction on a hill. Between the time when you release the brakes and engage the accelerator, your car will not roll backwards down the hill even slightly.

ESP or ESC Lights

If you notice your ESP or ESC light come on and stay on, it's a good idea to have it checked out by a qualified mechanic. There may be something wrong with the system. Head over to one of our centres for a check, you can find your nearest centre here.

You may notice the ESP or ESC light flash on when driving on a slippery surface. This flash indicates that you’re at the edge of your grip and the system is working.

Turning off ESP Button

We would not recommend turning off ESP, especially on public roads. However, many cars will have a button that allows you to turn off your traction control, at least partly, if not fully. This feature is perhaps only really for high-performance driving on race tracks.