January 2014: Explaining ESC

Editorial & Training Insights from “Mac” McGovern, AAM

-Director of Training & Marketing



Why should we talk to the motorist about ESC?

clip_image002_002Because ESC and other crash-avoidance systems need maintenance too!

It’s like this… The headlights may work but if the lens is dirty, they’re not effective. Or, as the tires wear, they have less traction. And as shocks & struts wear the tires can’t grip the road as well… and that affects Electronic Stability Control as well as the other crash-avoidance capabilities.

clip_image006_003On board safety systems are constantly monitoring how you are driving, how the vehicle is reacting and even what’s going on outside of your vehicle that could affect your driving decisions. It’s not hard to imagine that as ride control components like shocks & struts wear, the body will become less stable and tire performance isn’t going to be as effective. So how will systems like ESC behave as the vehicle ages & wears? Well, it can engage too early, too often or worse yet not help much if the tires can’t grip the road.

Service providers are used to talking to the motorist about how steering, suspension & brake system maintenance affects stopping and vehicle control. Explaining how these systems work and how critical they are to driving safety can influence a motorist to take better care of their vehicle. But in today’s vehicles the on board computer is making driving decisions. The computer knows when it’s working harder to keep the vehicle in control, but it can’t purchase maintenance to help it be more effective. The motorist has to make the decision.


KYB created the Certified Ride Control Center Kit to help educate and inform. It includes several helpful motorist show & tell components like the tri-fold brochure and laminated service counter card. Visuals make hard-to-understand or complex vehicle controls a lot easier to explain.

Understanding the relationship between ESC and properly performing ride control components is the service provider’s responsibility and helping the motorist make informed maintenance choices is one of our top priorities.