Toyota Camry Vehicle Stability Control

kyrptokyrpto Member Posts: 216
Toyota/Lexus/Scion offers VSC on almost every model. It is now standard on all Tundras and can be disabled on the trucks if needed.
VSC as Toyota/Lexus calls it, should be the next big thing in safety. So much so that the NIHS is reccomending that it be standard on all vehicles sold in America. It may end up saving more lives than seatbelts.
Having owned a Highlander AWD, Tundra D Cab 4WD, Scion xB, and now a Camry, all with VSC, I have personally experienced VSC in action. My '05 Tundra SR5 was ordered with it.
Someone mentioned the Subaru's fine performance in New England winters. Their AWD system led the way but Subaru has not kept pace in the VSC arena. It comes only on the top of the line models unlike Toyota which even made it standard on the Scion xB.
Consumer Reports also questioned the Subie system's performance. I expect Subaru to rapidly improve their system and make it available on all their vehicles soon,
Toyota's VSC system [which is always packaged with Traction Control], is the industry leader. The TC makes a front driver like the Camry even better in the snow.
I had to wait 3 weeks for an LE 4cyl with it to be built and shipped. I will never own another vehicle without it.
How does the Camry system work? It hasn't "gone off" yet.


  • virusvirus Member Posts: 21
    I have had mine go off on a spirited run 2 nights ago when it popped into 2nd and there was sand on the road from the plow trucks. It works fantastic, probably the best I've ever owned. I am a little disappointed that there is no manual overide.
  • kyrptokyrpto Member Posts: 216
    VSC will be required on all vehicles sold in the US by 2012.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    You "popped" into second in a FWD vehicle..??

    That takes a brave, Brave, BRAVE, driver.

    Lucky the VSC was there to save you.
  • pontiac3x2pontiac3x2 Member Posts: 6
    While checking for codes with my Actron Scanner on my 2003 Camry xle, the vsc and trac off light came on. Is there a way to turn these lights off? The scanner reads no codes present..
    Thanks for your help.. :cry:
  • rkagramanovrkagramanov Member Posts: 3
    :confuse: I'm in process of buying Camry LE (4cyl) and want it to have a VSC. But dealer told me that Toyota doesn't install it on LE models. I'm confused. Is there anyone who own LE with VSC?
    Thanks in advance, Bob.
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    Yes, I have a 4 cyl LE, with VSC. Bought it back when the 2007's were just released, here in the SE.

    You don't indicate where you are located, and that option might not be ordered by a particular Toyota region.

    If you can't find one in inventory, try

    Fitzmall is in the central region, and they typically have had a lot of VSC's
  • rkagramanovrkagramanov Member Posts: 3
    Thanks a lot!!! lied to me... :-(
    Actually I'm located on west coast.
  • lzclzc Member Posts: 483
    Unfortunately, if your dealer is on the West Coast, he's probably telling you a partial truth. Toyota divides itself into about 12 sales zones. Each zone decides how it wants to equip particular models. In a mild climate VSC may not sell well enough for them to want to carry it. So, that zone may not carry VSC in the model you want.

    Toyota will never use the slogan "Have it your way" in advertising.

    Solution, unless you want to go out of zone, buy the hybrid Camry. VSC is standard.
  • rkagramanovrkagramanov Member Posts: 3
    I see...Thanks again for your help!!!
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Member Posts: 1,709
    Or you can order one. Some dealers will, some won't.
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    Also the zones out west are relatively small, geographically. There's an LA region, SF region, Portland (or Seattle) region, and Denver region. So you don't have to go too far out of your zone if need be. Maybe the Denver zone would be the most likely to carry LE's with VSC.

    Note that some dealers are not eager to work with other dealers out of their zone; you may need to deal directly with the source dealer.
  • brutebrute Member Posts: 1
    I am trying to determine if a used car I am considering has VSC. It has traction control. I have not seen the car and the owner is not certain. Is there a way to tell from the Veh ID No.?
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    You cannot tell from the VIN. Ask the owner if a yellow "VSC" light (or an icon showing a car with skid marks under it) in the instrument cluster comes on when the ignition is first turned on. Verify for yourself before buying. I'm not sure if traction control and stability control were bundled in 2005.
  • lzclzc Member Posts: 483
    According to this site

    VSC was available as a stand alone option on the SE and XLE models and as a package with side-curtain airbags on all models except the base version.
  • whew63whew63 Member Posts: 19
    Out of the blue, all of these light came on on my 2003 XLE. what does this mean and is the car dangerous to drive until we get it checked out?
  • pontiac3x2pontiac3x2 Member Posts: 6
    The VSC & TRAC OFF lites also came on my 2003 XLE about 2 months ago.From what I have been able to find out, only the dealer can check these lites. Has to do with the speed wheel sensors usually.
    Auto Zone or Pep Boys don't have the proper tools to scan for this code. The "check engine" lite should Not BE on. :cry:
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    Your owners manual indicates that with a CEL, Check Engine Light, the VSC/Trac system is automatically disabled by default. The CEL can be something as simple as a gas filler cap not properly tightened or opened without a "fill".
  • iplanetiplanet Member Posts: 27
    I am on the market for new LE (4 cyl. auto) with VSC option. Sales person told me that VSC, for Camry, is not recommended in snow condition, but works great in raining condition.

    Because Camry doesn't have option to turn off VSC, it'll cause more trouble in snow condition.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks in advance. :confuse:
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    Salesperson as usual doesn't know what he's talking about. It's a worthwhile option AND a potential lifesaver in any kind of weather, dry, wet, or snowy/icy.

    What you may want to turn off, just to get the car in motion from a stop on snow or ice, is the traction control, which I'm pretty sure can be done with a switch.

    BTW, VSC (vehicle stability control) and traction control are bundled on the Camry.
  • iplanetiplanet Member Posts: 27
    So Camry has a switch to turn it off?

  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    To turn off the traction control, yes I'm almost certain. But you only need to turn it off if you can't get the car in motion from a dead stop or to accelerate up a steep driveway.
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    No, there is NOT a switch to turn off VSC (at least that is a 2007 statement, can't imagine they changed it in 2008).

    There is a secret serious of steps which can be taken at startup, which turns the VSC off for that possible snow scenario. I have it printed and keep in the car, but we talked about it probably a year ago in these forums.

    It's something like put the key in, put on the parking brake, turn the key once, turn off the brake,....yada yada yada. I don't remember exactly, but it's something that you just want to print and keep in the car. I've never had to do it. Turning off the engine and restarting, automatically resets the VSC back on.

    I can get the instructions and re-type them later if a search doesn't yield the instructions.
  • iplanetiplanet Member Posts: 27
    Hi Kiawah,

    So would you recomend VSC in Camry LE? I'll have to wait few weeks for LE w/ VSC.
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    I'm in the southeast, and even though this is not a typical feature in the southeast....I specifically had the dealer order it for me because my daughter is the primary (new) driver, and there is a more than reasonable chance that this vehicle ends up back in the northeast.

    To me it's a safety feature that I hope never gets invoked (and because I've paid for it probably won't), and it's a feature that will become standard and gov't mandated in the next couple years. I got it for safety, but resell certainly is a potential consideration as well.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    Your salesperson is confusing the TC, Traction Control, function with VSC. Traction control can be a DAMN nuisense, which is why most cars have a traction disable capability.
  • iplanetiplanet Member Posts: 27
    Since Camry doesn't have TC disable capability, how bad is it in the snow condition?
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    If you get stuck the TC will generally prevent you from using wheelspin to get out.

    Look at it this way, if you're in a situation wherein carefully "feathering" the throttle yourself, in order to maintain traction, would not get you moving then TC will be of no help, a hindrance really.

    Basically that's all TC is, an artificial method of preventing the engine from developing so much torque that wheelspin results.

    If a driven wheel slips due to low roadbed surface traction TC will apply braking while simultaneously dethrottling the engine.
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    I checked a Camry owner's manual and Kiawah is right -- you cannot disable stability or traction control in the 2007 (and presumably the 2008) Camry with the press of a button. My bad.

    But my advice is still to get VSC (and the traction control) that goes with it. You're not likely to get stuck in a front-wheel drive car in the first place. Plus you can disable the VSC/TC if you must using the "magic formula" Kiawah mentions.

    Much more importantly, VSC can save your bacon. Read this for more details.
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    Figure it's easier to just re-type this, than find the previous post.

    To disable the VSC on the 07 Camry.......
    1.) Start the car with parking brake on.
    2.) all within 30 seconds, depress and release the brake pedal twice.
    3.) immediately, de-activate and re-engage the parking brake twice.
    4.) the VSC/trac light on the dash will light, the VSC/trac is now deactivated until you restart the car.

    I've driven in ice storms with the car with no problem, but never large snow drifts where you would actually "want" to spin the tires (for some unknown reason). I've never had to ever turn the VSC off.

    Don't remember who the original poster was, to give proper credit. Just print these instructions out and keep them in your owners manual.
  • iplanetiplanet Member Posts: 27
    Hi all.

    Thanks for all the input ~

  • geogengeogen Member Posts: 3
    The lights: Brake ABS VSC Trac OFF (no engine light) just started coming on in my 2003 LE V6 a couple weeks ago. Local private mechanic could not find a hard code so I called the dealer. I was told to check the gas cap, take it off and put it back on, sometimes the sensor inside is set off by vapors or something. It did sound funny when I took the cap off, but the lights came back on again anyway. So..... I took it to the dealer and they blessed me with an explanation that it's the VSC computer in need of replacement for about $1780+ Hahaha. Ridiculous since I only have 25K miles on it!! Now we'll see if it stops coming on. Others on a tundra forum or someplace have had this same series of lights come on.. BTW, I Was told it was still safe to drive. Just don't count on brakes not locking up in a skid or very hard braking. :confuse:
  • pontiac3x2pontiac3x2 Member Posts: 6
    Had the same problem with my 2003 XLE. My problem turned out to be a bad rear (inner) disc pad. I found this out when I changed all the pads on the car. The lite(s) that were on were the VSC and TRAC OFF. Auto Zone can check only " CHECK ENGINE " lites. Usually wheel speed sensors can also go bad. I found a mechanic on CRAIGSLIST that was able to pull the code(s) - had 13 of them!! My lites were on for about 3 months.He then reset it and the problem has not returned. Cost of pads $64.00 (my labor). :)
  • jnudelljnudell Member Posts: 2
    Hey guys,

    I have a 1998 XLE V6 Toyota Camry with 103K miles, and the following dashboard lights went off today:

    Trac OFF

    Is there any connection to BOTH of these lights going on at the same time? How much am I looking at it getting fixed? I read on another posting that disconnecting the negative battery cable might help reset it, is this worth a try?


  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    You reset the light, AFTER you fix the problem.

    Check your brake pads and wheel sensors.
  • geogengeogen Member Posts: 3
    The solutions I've read are all pretty interesting because it confirms my dealer was trying to rip me off. Even more interesting is the fact that the lights have NOT come back on since I returned from the dealer (10 days ago) telling me I needed a $1780 replacement of the VSC computer. So I'd have to say removing and replacing the gas cap earlier that day fixed the problem!! I filed a defect complaint with the NHTSA since the '03 car has only 25K miles. Toyota marketing rep has called and said Toyota will not support any repairs. HA! Nothing broken! No more dealers or toyotas for me. :mad:
  • pontiac3x2pontiac3x2 Member Posts: 6
    VSC/TRAC ENGINE LIGHTS have nothing to do with the gas cap.It is a completely different system than a CHECK ENGINE lite on.. :surprise:
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    Methinks you may be a tad wrong...

    Whenever there is a CEL the VSC/trac system is automatically disabled by default. Fix the CEL, in this case the gas cap, and both the CEL and VSC/Trac lights will go off.
  • pontiac3x2pontiac3x2 Member Posts: 6
    I 'm not sure about that. Had a problem with my 2003 XLE where the VSC and the TRAC OFF lites were on for several months.When I tried checking for codes with an ACTRON CP9175 OB11 Scanner it showed no codes present.The CEL does not have anything to do with the brake system.Went to Auto Zone where they said the same.
    Pep Boys could not pull any codes. They to said that they did not have the correct type of scanner .
    When I changed all the disc pads, I noticed the the right rear inner pad was was all "chewed up".I too was told to disconnect the battery, check the gas cap, check the brake fluid level, wheel speed sensors, fuses,relays, etc...Found a person on CRAIGSLIST who had a SNAP ON scanner for testing of that had the correct chips to use for a Toyota. I had 13 codes present! after he reset it, the VSC and TRAC OFF lites have never returned. Who know :confuse: s..
  • toyotaminivantoyotaminivan Member Posts: 3
    I encounterd thesame problem too on my 2007 sienna. The engine,vsc ang tracontrol lights suddenly went on. I noticed it when i parked on a mall, when i was about to drive off, i noticed that the lights are on. i don't like to go to toyota service center right away cause i like to make sure whats wrong and how much will i spend before going to toyota service center. Well, it went off for a while when i made a u-turn to park on the other side of the road. But it went on again after three days when i made a sharp u-turn. it was a low sharp turn not a fast one. Can you tell me sir what kind of Snap on scanner did the craigslist person use to turn off the vsc/engine and tracontrol light so i can do it myself.
  • pontiac3x2pontiac3x2 Member Posts: 6
    Sorry but, I don't remember the model number of the scanner. You might pull the rims
    off and look at the discs and rotors. One of my disc pads, the right rear was "chewed up" as if a stone or small piece of metal had gotten in between the pad and rotor. Check Craigs List under "Service... Automotive." Better yet, place an ad searching for some one who can check for VSC and TRAC OFF :(:cry:
  • toyotaminivantoyotaminivan Member Posts: 3
    Hello there pontiac,
    Thanks for some tips. Glad i found this site, to exchange ideas on how to fix problems on our own car. Service centers sometimes lets you pay for something they say they did on your car when in fact they did nothing at all. :mad: Anyway, thanks again. :)
  • petecopeteco Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2010 Camry LE. While driving slowly up an icy hill the traction control light came on and I could sense the wheel starting to slip some. At the same time the front end made a funny noise, grinding like sound. I wondered if this was the Traction Control system operating, which is tied to the braking system I believe. Is this noise normal?
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    Yes, quite normal.
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    As 210 says, normal.

    The computer is sensing inappropriate wheel slippage. It fires up the anti-lock braking system pump, and puts on the brake to the wheel that is slipping. This causes power to then transfer over to the other wheel, which is the one with the better traction (at that point).

    At some point in a secluded dry parking lot, go slam on the brakes hard at like 40 mph trying to cause it to skid. You'll hear quite a racket going on. See if it's similar to what you heard.

    I had each of my girls do this when learning to drive on both wet and dry pavement, to know what to expect if it ever had to happen while driving.
  • awn7eawn7e Member Posts: 12
    Will I save gas by turning off the VSC? If I do this on a day when there's no rain/snow - are there any downside to this?
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    no you won't save any gas.

    The way VSC works, is that if it detects wheel slipping on ice, it will apply the brake to the wheel that is slipping, which thens puts more power to the wheel that is grabbing on dry surface.

    If there is no slippage on regular pavement, VSC does nothing.
  • rsb1445rsb1445 Member Posts: 5
    I live in the Hudson Valley of New York, we are in the middle of a major snowstorm, 18 inches on the ground already with snow expected on and off for another 24 hours. I tried shutting VSC off, so I dont slip, using the complicated method listed in several other posts. When I completed the procedure, the Traction Control Light was on, but the VSC light was not displayed. My question is whether this is correct or should I also be seeing the VSC light. When I shut the engine and re-started, the Traction Control Light disappeared as expected. Thanks ahead of time
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    edited February 2010
    I tried shutting VSC off, so I dont slip, using the complicated method listed in several other posts.

    You may be confused on VSC usage.

    When it is slippery, you want VSC "On", not "Off". Actually, you can just leave it On all of the time. VSC will put the engine power to the tire that has good traction, as opposed to spinning the tire.

    The instructions given to turn VSC off, are in the very rare situation like where you are on complete solid ice. In that case with VSC ON, the VSC would detect wheel slippage and put on the brakes on that wheel. It would also detect slippage on the other wheel, and put those brakes on as well. Therefore, the vehicle wouldn't be able to move at all. So in that situation, you would turn the VSC OFF, and with the driver trying to moderate the wheel spin, try to get the vehicle to move.

    But in all normal driving situations even with some ice and snow, you want VSC On....that's what it is for!
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    Confusion COMPOUNDED.

    You are describing the functionality of TC, Traction Control, not VSC, Vehicle Stability Control. TC functionality, basically, is a virtual substitute for an LSD, Limited Slip Differential. The only real different between an actual LSD and this "virtual" one is the fact that the engine is also dethrottled instantly to prevent the brakes from overheating.
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666 are correct, what was I thinking last night. That'll teach me to try to answer while watching the olympics.

    Sorry for confusion, wwest is correct....I was describing traction control.
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