Kia Sportage: Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system

Kia Sportage - Fifth generation (NQ5) - (2022-2024) - Owner's Manual / Driving your vehicle / Brake system / Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system

The Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is designed to stabilize the vehicle during cornering maneuvers.

Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system

ESC applies the brakes on individual wheels and intervenes with the vehicle management system to stabilize the vehicle.

ESC will not prevent accidents. Excessive speed in turns, abrupt maneuvers and hydroplaning on wet surfaces can still result in serious accidents.

Only a safe and attentive driver can prevent accidents by avoiding maneuvers that cause the vehicle to lose traction.

Even with ESC installed, always follow all the normal precautions for driving- including driving at safe speeds for the conditions.


For maximum protection, always wear your seat belt. No system, no matter how advanced, can compensate for all driver error and/or driving conditions.

Always drive responsibly.

The ESC system is an electronic system designed to help the driver maintain vehicle control under adverse conditions.

It is not a substitute for safe driving practices. Factors including speed, road conditions and driver steering input can all affect whether ESC will be effective in preventing a loss of control. It is still your responsibility to drive and corner at reasonable speeds and to leave a sufficient margin of safety.

When you apply your brakes under conditions which may lock the wheels, you may hear a "tik-tik'' sound from the brakes, or feel a corresponding sensation in the brake pedal. This is normal and it means your ESC is active.


A click sound may be heard in the vehicle compartment when the vehicle begins to move after the vehicle is started. These conditions are normal and indicate that the Electronic Stability Control system is functioning properly

ESC operation

ESC ON condition

  • When the ENGINE START/STOP button is turned ON, ESC and ESC OFF indicator lights appear for approximately approximately 3 seconds, then ESC is turned on.
  • Press the ESC OFF button for at least half a second after turning the vehicle ON to turn ESC off. (ESC OFF indicator will appear). To turn the ESC on, press the ESC OFF button (ESC OFF indicator light will go off).
  • When starting the vehicle, you may hear a slight ticking sound. This is the ESC performing an automatic system self-check and does not indicate a problem.

When operating

When the ESC is in operation, the ESC indicator light blinks.

When the Electronic Stability Control is operating properly, you can feel a slight pulsation in the vehicle. This is only the effect of brake control and indicates nothing unusual.

When moving out of the mud or driving on a slippery road, pressing the accelerator pedal may not cause the vehicle rpm (revolutions per minute) to increase.

ESC operation off

This vehicle has 2 kinds of ESC off states.

If the vehicle stops when ESC is off, ESC remains off. Upon restarting the vehicle, the ESC will automatically turn on again.

ESC off state 1

To turn off the traction control function and only operate the brake control function of the ESC, press the ESC OFF button (ESC OFF  ) for less than 3 seconds and the ESC OFF indicator light (ESC OFF ) will appear.

ESC off state 2

To turn off the traction control function and the brake control function of the ESC, press the ESC OFF button (ESC OFF ) for more than 3 seconds. ESC OFF indicator light (ESC OFF ) will appear and ESC OFF warning chime will sound. At this state, the vehicle stability control function does not operate any more.

Indicator light

ESC indicator light

ESC OFF indicator light

When ENGINE START/STOP button is turned to ON, the indicator light appears, then goes off if the ESC system is operating normally.

The ESC indicator light blinks whenever ESC is operating or appears when ESC fails to operate.

The ESC OFF indicator light comes on when the ESC is turned off with the button.


Electronic Stability Control

Drive carefully even though your vehicle has Electronic Stability Control. It can only assist you in maintaining control under certain circumstances.

ESC OFF usage

When driving

  • ESC should be turned on for daily driving whenever possible.
  • To turn ESC off while driving, press the ESC OFF button while driving on a flat road surface.


Operating ESC

Never press the ESC OFF button while ESC is operating (ESC indicator light blinks).

If ESC is turned off while ESC is operating, the vehicle may slip out of control.

  • When operating the vehicle on a dynamometer, ensure that the ESC is turned off (ESC OFF light appeared). If the ESC is left on, it may prevent the vehicle speed from increasing, and result in false diagnosis.
  • Turning the ESC off does not affect ABS or brake system operation.


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