Trac off Lexus: Should You Be Worried? Explained in Detail

Trac off Lexus is a condition that usually confuses a lot of new Lexus owners. Many new drivers, and even some experienced ones, panic at the sight of this and begin to wonder what is wrong with their vehicles.

Trac Off Lexus

Most feel that the car is in a dire situation, while others feel that it is not worth worrying their heads over, but what’s the correct answer? In this article, we’ll look at the answer to the question and provide various solutions as well.

What Does Your Toyota Lexus VSC Off and Check Engine Lights on Mean?

Toyota Lexus VSC Off means that the vehicle stability control system is off, thus the driver is likely to lose control when the car hits a slippery surface. When the check engine light is turned on, it is an indication that your vehicle’s electronic control module has detected a fault.

– How the VSC System Works

Toyota/Lexus’ VSC is designed to keep the vehicle steady on the road in adverse weather conditions. For instance, if a driver hits a slippery road and the car begins to skid or swerve, the VSC system kicks into gear to prevent the vehicle from skidding out of control.


It works by reducing power to the wheels that are slipping and activating braking systems to keep the car on the road. The VSC also corrects over or understeering by using the same method to keep the vehicle under the driver’s control.

The system achieves this through a combination of wheel speed sensors mounted on each wheel, monitoring their speed and direction. If the wheel begins to overspin or lose traction, the sensors immediately communicate with the stability control system, which activates the braking system while reducing the speed on some wheels.

The VSC system has been instrumental in decreasing road accidents by up to 35 percent. Therefore, if your “VSC Off” light is on, then it means there’s a fault with your car’s VSC system and it requires immediate attention.

– Why the VSC Off Light Would Illuminate

There are several reasons why the VSC Off Light would come on, because VSC is integrated with other systems like the ABS and braking systems. Therefore, if any of them develops a fault, the VSC light-off signal is sure to illuminate.

VSC Off Light Would Illuminate

Some of the reasons include a damaged throttle body, faulty ABS sensors, problems with the car’s electronic control module, and a faulty steering rack. Other reasons could be an issue with the VSC sensors, defective main airflow sensor, and malfunctioning accelerator pedal.

However, if you check all these components and find no fault but your Toyota’s VSC Light off is still on, then use a car code reader to diagnose the problem. The reader would usually indicate a code which you can search online for its meaning.

– Why the Check Engine Light In a Toyota/Lexus Would Illuminate

The check engine lamp, also known as a malfunction indicator light, in a Toyota/Lexus would illuminate for minor reasons such as a loose fuel cap or major reasons such as a damaged catalytic converter.

Thus, the vehicle has to be checked for any fault as soon as possible because a stitch in time saves nine. Some of the common problems that’ll illuminate the malfunction indicator light include a faulty spark plug, loose fuel cap, damaged oxygen sensor, faulty gas tank and engine issues.

– Malfunction Indicator and VSC Off Lights Coming on Simultaneously

The malfunction indicator light and VSC Off lights would come on simultaneously when there’s a problem with a component connected to both the engine and the VSC. For example, when there’s a fault with the braking system, both warning lights would likely come on.

This would happen because the braking system is connected to both the VSC and the engine. As discussed earlier, the braking system is activated by the VSC when the car tires begin to lose traction and start skidding off the road. In the same way, the engine also makes use of the same system to stop the car. Thus, if it develops a fault then both the check engine and the VSC Off light would come on.

Another reason both lights would illuminate is when there’s a problem with the oxygen sensor in the Toyota Camry or Lexus RX. The oxygen sensor keeps track of the amount of oxygen leaving the exhaust pipe unburned. Both the VSC and the engine use the oxygen sensor, thus a faulty sensor can trigger both lights, which should be a major cause for concern.

A loose fuel cap could also trigger both the malfunction indicator and VSC Off light in a Toyota or Lexus. This happens when a fuel cap that is not properly tightened allows fuel vapors to escape while letting in dirt and grime to contaminate the gas. Contaminated fuel can be dangerous to the engine’s health, thus the system would flag it so that the driver can take appropriate steps to rectify the situation.

– Fixing VSC Off and Malfunction Indicator Lights in Toyota/Lexus

To fix the VSC Off and malfunction indicator lights, you’ll need an OBD2 scanner to diagnose the exact issue. An OBD2 scanner would show trouble codes that’ll indicate whether the problem is coming from the engine or any other part of the car.

Fixing VSC Off and Malfunction Indicator Lights in Toyota

If you can’t get hold of a scanner, then drive your Lexus to a dealership or auto repair show and have them do the scanning for you. They’ll detect and recommend the best steps to solve the problems.

Better still, you can take the vehicle to an experienced mechanic who might not need the OBD2 scanner but will detect the problem nonetheless. You can also try fixing the gas cap or the oxygen sensor to see if the lights will go off.

However, when you fix these problems and your Toyota is still showing these lights, then it is time to try resetting the VSC and the malfunction indicator lights.

– Resetting the VSC Light on Toyota/Lexus

The check VSC light reset is a simple process that can be completed in a few easy steps. First, ensure that the car is stationary and shift the gear into “park.” Find the VSC button located on or behind the steering wheel.

Press and hold the button down for a few seconds for the VSC/TRAC off lights to come on, which is an indication that the two systems are deactivated. Then press the VSC for a second time for the system to reactivate and the only way you’ll know is when the VSC light off goes off.

– Drivinng With VSC Off and Malfunction Indicator Lights On

It is not advisable to drive with the VSC Off and malfunction indicator lights on, especially on a rainy or snowy day. This is because there’ll be no system to keep your car steady when it begins to swerve.


Also, your brakes might be faulty which could be dangerous.

Frequently Asked Questions

– How Much Does It Cost to Fix the VSC on Lexus and Toyota?

The cost of fixing the VSC light on Lexus and Toyota is between $340 and $380, depending on the cost of parts and labor.

Cost to Fix the VSC on Lexus and Toyota

The Traction Control Switch is between $160 and $180 while the labor cost ranges between $60 and $80. The cost of other essential parts is between $120 and $130.

– Where is the VSC Button on a Lexus IS250?

The VSC button on a Lexus IS250 is found close to the gear selector or near the steering wheel. Usually, the letters “VSC” or “TRAC” are printed on the buttons to identify them. Otherwise, you’ll see a car with two curvy lines underneath it.

Is the “Trac off” Warning in a Lexus Similar to the Oil Reset in a Ford Escape?

The “Trac off” warning in a Lexus is different from the oil reset feature in a Ford Escape. While the “Trac off” warning indicates a problem with the traction control system in a Lexus, the term “ford escape oil reset” refers to the process of resetting the oil change indicator in a Ford Escape. Both serve distinct purposes in their respective vehicles’ maintenance systems.


So far, we’ve answered the meaning of Toyota Lexus VSC Off and Malfunction indicator lights on and given various reasons why this could be the case.

Here’s a summary of all that we’ve read:

  • When you see the VSC Off light and the malfunction indicator lights turn on simultaneously, then you should take your vehicle to the mechanic quickly.
  • This is because both the vehicle stability control (VSC) and the engine and/or its components could be faulty.
  • The VSC is responsible for keeping the car steady when it slips on a wet or icy road by activating the braking system.
  • Some of the reasons why both lights would illuminate are a faulty gas cap, a damaged oxygen sensor, or a broken catalytic converter.
  • One way to diagnose these problems is to use the OBD2 scanner, which would indicate exactly where the problems are, or you can just send the vehicle for maintenance.

You can rest the VSC by following a few steps. However, take note that it is not safe to drive with both lights illuminating as you may endanger yourself, your vehicle and other road users.

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