What does ESP do in a car? Should I drive with ESP on or off?

ESP meaning
An electronic stability program (ESP) is a system designed to help counter a loss of traction on the road. Another commonly used term for such systems is ESC (electronic stability control).

What does ESP do in a car? What is ESP on a car?
Everything you need to know. Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) is a recognised safety technology fitted to all vehicles since 2014. The lifesaving technology works alongside ABS and TCS to aid the driver in critical driving scenarios such as emergency braking, to correct understeer and/or oversteer and prevent an accident.

Should I drive with ESP on or off?
It’s generally recommended to keep the ESP turned on for normal driving situations. However, there are some instances where turning off the ESP may be necessary, such as when driving in deep snow or sand, or when trying to rock the vehicle out of a stuck position.

Where Is the ESP Sensor Typically Located?
The Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) sensor is typically mounted somewhere near the center of the vehicle so it can provide the most accurate information. The ESP sensor is a support system that helps the driver in dangerous driving situations.

Does ESP affect power?
The system reduces engine power or applies the brakes to the spinning wheels. ESP uses sensors to continuously monitor factors such as vehicle speed, steering input, and wheel behaviour – and provide preventative power and braking when necessary.

Is ESC the same as ABS?
In cases of hazardous driving situations (e.g., emergency braking), by releasing and applying pressure in a very high frequency, the ABS prevents the wheels from locking up and skidding while the ESC improves the car’s stability, automatically applying braking to wheels individually and minimizing loss of control.


ESP (Electronic Stability Program) is a term used to describe electronic systems that enhance a vehicle’s stability by detecting and reducing skids. However, different car manufacturers use various terms and acronyms to refer to similar stability control systems. Here are some examples:

VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control): Used by Nissan and Infiniti.

VSC (Vehicle Stability Control): Commonly used by Toyota and Lexus.

DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control): Utilized by Volvo.

DSC (Dynamic Stability Control): Employed by BMW.

ATTS (Active Torque Transfer System): Used by Honda, especially in sports models like the Prelude.

VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist): Used by Honda and Acura.

These systems generally serve similar functions, preventing a vehicle from losing stability in situations where skidding or sliding may occur. They often incorporate technologies such as Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Traction Control System (TCS), Stability Control, and others to achieve their goals. The specific terminology used can vary between manufacturers, but the underlying principle of enhancing vehicle stability remains consistent.