What the Rav4 VSC Light Means (And What To Do If It’s On)

A VSC light in a Toyota Rav4 could indicate that your system is working, or it could be an indicator of a larger problem as well.
Written by Liz Jenson
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
The VSC Light in your Toyota Rav4 is usually just there to let you know that your vehicle stability control system is working, but it can sometimes be the indicator of a larger issue. If your VSC Light doesn’t turn off, or if you see additional warning lights popping up on your dash, it’s a good idea to talk to your mechanic.
All the warning lights on your dashboard can be a little confusing— and a little scary! Luckily,
car insurance
expert and broker app
is on your side. We’ll provide an in-depth analysis of the various meanings behind the VSC Light, when to visit the mechanic, and how to reset the sensor. We’ll also discuss ways to save on your
Toyota Rav4 insurance costs
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What does the VSC light mean on a Toyota Rav4?

First things first: a VSC light doesn’t always indicate a problem with your car.
VSC stands for Vehicle Stability Control. This light corresponds to the system that helps you steer when the road is slippery or driving conditions are otherwise difficult to navigate. This system is designed to help you maintain traction and has the power to reduce or cut the power to specific tires if necessary.
Since the function of the VSC Light (which looks like a small car with skid marks behind it) is to indicate that your vehicle is using the VSC system to prevent your Toyota from slipping, you may see it turning on and off when you’re driving in particularly slippery conditions. So, if you’re driving in severe weather or on rough terrain like gravel or mud, seeing this light shouldn’t worry you. It’s just your car letting you know that your VSC system has your back!
However, there are certain circumstances in which a VSC Light may be cause for concern. For example, if that light stays on, or if you see a light that says “VSC OFF” or “TRAC OFF,” you may be dealing with an electrical or mechanical issue in your Rav4.
In these cases, you’ll want to get the problem assessed by a professional, as the source could be anything from an issue with your engine to a
loose gas cap
. Some of the most common reasons for a VSC Warning Light in a Toyota RAV4 include:
  • Accidentally turning off your VSC
  • Issues with your brakes
  • A wiring issue causing your light to turn on unnecessarily
  • Problems with your engine

VSC light and check engine light on

Sometimes, the
Check Engine Light
comes on along with the VSC light. Many drivers see this and panic, but try to remain calm! This warning light pairing doesn’t always indicate severe engine issues, and the cause of the problem might actually be easy (and inexpensive) to fix.
Some common reasons for these lights coming on together include:
  • Loose gas cap: $0 to $95 to fix or replace
  • Faulty camshaft position sensor: $200 to $238 to replace
  • Faulty crankshaft position sensor: $224 to $291 to replace
  • Bad oxygen sensor: $321 to $344 to replace
  • Bad catalytic converter: $1,308 to $1,359 to replace
Regardless of the source of the problem, it’s a good idea to talk to your mechanic right away to prevent the problem from getting worse over time.

VSC light and ABS light on

It’s also common to see the VSC and
ABS Warning Lights
on at once. In most cases, this indicates a problem with your brakes, which may interfere with your VSC system.
Things that could cause this type of problem include:
  • Faulty ABS control module: $536 to $554 to replace
  • Wheel speed sensor damage: $363 to $461 to fix
  • Low brake fluid: typically $90 to $200 to fix, but could be more depending on the problem 
  • Faulty brake pedal switch: $76 to $95 to replace
Remember that brake issues should be treated very seriously, as your brakes are an extremely important safety feature in your car. If you notice these two lights on at once, talk to your mechanic as soon as possible, and do your best to avoid driving your car until you get the issue fixed.
MORE:Toyota ABS control module replacement cost
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How to reset the VSC light on a Rav4

Sometimes, all you’ll need to do to fix a problem with your VSC system is hit the reset button! Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to reset the VSC Light in your RAV4. Here’s how to do it:
  1. Put your Rav4 in Park.
  2. Press and hold the VSC button for about five seconds. The button will be labeled with the same vehicle with skidmarks that you see lit up on your dashboard.
  3. The TRAC OFF and VSC OFF indicator lights will both come on, indicating that both systems have been turned off.
  4. Once these lights come on, press the VSC button one more time. Both lights should then turn off, indicating that the systems have been successfully turned back on!

Is it safe to drive your Rav4 while the VSC light is on?

Typically it will be safe to drive your Rav4 while the VSC light is on. While it is very helpful, having VSC is not essential for normal driving functions, and your car’s ability to operate normally won’t be affected by the loss of your VSC system.
However, you should be extra careful in slippery conditions while this system is not engaged, since you won’t have as much control over your vehicle as you would have with the VSC.
If your VSC light is paired with other warning signs, though, the answer isn’t so simple. If possible, avoid driving your car if your VSC light is accompanied by:
  • Your check engine light. This might not mean that you have a major problem on your hands, but it does mean that your VSC system isn’t the only issue that your vehicle is experiencing. In this case, driving your car could make the problem worse over time.
  • Your ABS warning light. This indicates a possible issue with your brakes, which you should get checked out right away.
  • Strange noises, smells, or vehicle behavior. Even if the check engine light hasn’t turned on, abnormal behavior or weird noises and smells coming from your vehicle is always a good enough reason to get your car checked out.

How to save on Toyota insurance costs

If you do decide to drive without the assistance of your VSC system, of course, you will be at a higher risk of getting into an accident, and you might face higher
Toyota Rav4 insurance costs
as a result.
Fortunately, there is a way to find the best rates available to you no matter the condition of your vehicle: use
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