I’ve been hearing a lot about an issue lately. A message occurring on newer GMC/Chevrolet trucks and vans (2008+ Chevy Express/GMC Savana, Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon, Cadillac Escalade/GMC Yukon, Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra), and I thought I’d share some information I’ve learned about the problem and fix with you.

The message drivers are seeing on their message display says, “Service StabiliTrak­,” or just a traction control MIL (Malfunction Indicator Lamp), sometimes accompanied by an ABS MIL. StabiliTrack® is GM’s stability control system that utilizes the anti-lock braking system in minimizing loss of traction in certain situations.  When loss of steering control or traction is detected, it automatically applies the brakes or reduces power to the drive wheels to help steer the vehicle where it was intended to go. When there’s a problem with the traction control system or ABS system, they are disabled by the vehicle until they’re properly diagnosed and repaired.

One of the components in this system is the steering position (or steering angle) sensor in the steering column (#3 in the above diagram) to help the EBCM (Electronic Brake Control Module) know where the steering wheel is positioned.

As per a recent GM TSB (Technical Service Bulletin), the “Service StabiliTrak” message may illuminate and a C0710 and/or C0455 trouble code. “This condition may be caused by an increase in resistance in the circuits connecting the steering position sensor and the EBCM due to fretting corrosion on the connector terminals. Also, the male to female plastic connector may have excessive clearance that can cause the connector to move up and down. Note: Fretting corrosion looks like little dark smudges on the electrical terminals and appear where the actual electrical contact is being made. In less severe cases it may be unable to be seen or identified without the use of a magnifying glass.”

The TSB says not to replace the sensor until a cleaning procedure is complete to see if the problem is solved. If it’s not, and the connections are good, the sensor itself may be bad. It is available aftermarket and through GM directly.

Here’s a link I found showing all the cross referenced part numbers. It’s got an MSRP (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price) or “list price” of $144.88 as per http://www.gmpartsdirect.com/ if you need to go this route.

This repair is not something you should attempt without the proper tools and knowledge of automotive repair.

We here at Auto Works are fully equipped and properly trained to diagnose just about any problem you may be having with your vehicle. Give us a try, you won’t be disappointed!