When your vehicle is moving on the road, you’ll want to have as much traction and stability as possible. This not only promotes a more comfortable driving experience, but it also ensures that you have a safe driving experience. Electronic stability control technology is used to give vehicles better stability, which then gives it better traction. It uses computerized technology that is powered by electricity in order to make this happen. When your vehicle begins to skid for whatever reason, the computer sensors detect this and then activate the stability control feature to prevent further skidding and lost traction.
Here’s how it works. Let’s say you’re steering in one direction and then your vehicle swerves in the opposite direction. The sensors feed this information to the electronic stability control system. In response, the system automatically activates a wheel brake which is attached to each wheel of the vehicle. So, if you were to make a turn without steering enough, then an inner rear wheel brake is activated. Alternatively, if you steer too much to make a turn, the outer front wheel brake is activated. This gives you the steering stability you need to avoid swerving, especially if the road conditions are less than perfect.
4 Main Functions
There are 4 main functions of electronic stability control technology in a car. They are as follows:
1) Wheel Speed Detection – Every vehicle has a wheel speed sensor which detects how fast the vehicle is moving. It does this by tracking the speed in which the wheels are rotating. The electronic stability control system receives this speed information from the wheel speed sensor. This helps the system determine how much braking pressure to apply to the wheels if the stability is out of control.
2) Steering Wheel Alignment – Vehicles can detect which direction you’re driving or at least trying to drive. This is called the steering wheel position sensor. When the vehicle is moving in a particular direction, the sensor compares this to which way you’re trying to steer. So, for instance, if your vehicle is swerving toward the left and you’re attempting to steer toward the right, then it will activate the electronic stability control. This is when the wheel brakes are automatically activated, so your steering wheel is aligned with the direction you’re trying to drive.
3) Stops Fishtailing – When the traction of your rear wheels is worse than the traction of your front wheels, this is called fishtailing. This is usually how oversteering ends up happening. Perhaps you’re driving under tough weather conditions or roads that have sand, gravel, rain, snow, or ice on them. To stop fishtailing, the electronic stability control mechanism activates to stabilize the traction of both sets of wheels.
4) Lateral Acceleration Sensor – When you turn the steering wheel in order to turn the vehicle onto a new street or around a corner, it is important to have stability in those turns. The lateral acceleration sensor detects the speed of your turns to ensure that you’re not understeering or oversteering. If the sensor detects one of these actions, it will activate the necessary wheel brakes to fix the issue and stabilize the turn.
Overall, the electronic stability control system keeps your vehicle driving straight and smooths out your turns when you need to make them. If the electronic stability control were to ever malfunction, then you would experience a lot of swerving and instability in your driving. This would make it a safety hazard for yourself and for other drivers on the road. In this case, make sure you get your electronic stability control repaired or replaced as soon as possible.