Kia Forte: Electronic stability control (ESC)

Kia Forte: Electronic stability control (ESC) - Brake system - Driving your vehicle - Kia Forte TD 2014-2018 Owners ManualKia Forte: Electronic stability control (ESC)

The Electronic Stability control (ESC) system is designed to stabilize the vehicle


The Electronic Stability control (ESC) system is designed to stabilize the vehicle during cornering maneuvers. ESC checks where you are steering and where the vehicle is actually going. ESC applies the brakes on individual wheels and intervenes with the engine management system to stabilize the vehicle.

Electronic stability control (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.

The Electronic Stability Control (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.

ESC operation

ESC ON condition


  • When the ignition is turned ON, ESC and ESC OFF indicator lights illuminate for approximately 3 seconds, then ESC is turned on.
  • Press the ESC OFF button for at least half a second after turning the ignition ON to turn ESC off. (ESC OFF indicator will illuminate). To turn the ESC on, press the ESC OFF button (ESC OFF indicator light will go off).
  • When starting the engine, 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, ESC indicator light blinks.


When the ESC is in operation, 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 slippery road, pressing the accelerator pedal may not cause the engine rpm (revolutions per minute) to increase.

ESC operation off

ESC OFF state

This car has 2 kinds of ESC off states.


This car has 2 kinds of ESC off states.

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

  • • ESC off state 1To cancel ESC operation, press the ESC OFF button (ESC OFF ) shortly (ESC OFF indicator light (ESC OFF
    ) shortly (ESC OFF indicator light (ESC OFF ) illuminates). At this state, the engine control function does not operate.
    ) illuminates). At this state, the engine control function does not operate. It means the traction control function does not operate. Brake control function only operates.
  • ESC off state 2To cancel ESC operation, press the ESC OFF button (ESC OFF ) for more than 3 seconds. ESC OFF indicator light (ESC OFF
    ) for more than 3 seconds. ESC OFF indicator light (ESC OFF ) illuminates and ESC OFF warning chime will sound. At this state, the engine
    ) illuminates and ESC OFF warning chime will sound. At this state, the engine control function and brake control function do not operate. It means the car stability control function does not operate any more.

Indicator light

When the ignition switch is turned ON, the indicator light illuminates, then


When the ignition switch is turned ON, the indicator light illuminates, then goes off if ESC system is operating normally.

The ESC indicator light blinks whenever ESC is operating.

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

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

Driving with varying tire or wheel sizes may cause the ESC system to malfunction. When replacing tires, make sure they are the same size as your original tires.

WARNING - 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

  • It’s a good idea to keep the ESC 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.

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.

WARNING - Operating ESC

Never press the ESC OFF button while ESC is operating. If the ESC is turned off while ESC is operating, the vehicle may go out of control.

Hill-start assist control (HAC)

Hill start Assist Control is a comfort function. The main intent is to prevent the vehicle from rolling backwards while driving uphill on an inclined surface. HAC holds the braking pressure builtup by driver during stopping procedure for 2 seconds after releasing brake pedal.

During the pressure-hold period, the driver has enough time to press the accelerator pedal to drive off.

The braking pressure is reduced as soon as the system detects the driver’s intention to drive off.

WARNING - Activating HAC

Drivers should pay close attention when activating the HAC. The vehicle may roll backward causing an accident due to insufficient brake hold pressure.

  • The HAC does not operate when the transaxle shift lever is in the P (Park) or N (Neutral) position.
  • The HAC activates even though the ESP is off but it does not activate when the ESP has malfunctioned.

Vehicle stability management (VSM)

This system provides further enhancements to vehicle stability and steering responses when a vehicle is driving on a slippery road or a vehicle detected changes in coefficient of friction between right wheels and left wheels when braking.

VSM operation

When the VSM is in operation, ESC indicator light (blinks.)
blinks.

When the vehicle stability management is operating properly, you can feel a slight pulsation in the vehicle and/or abnormal steering responses (EPS). This is only the effect of brake and EPS control and indicates nothing unusual.

The VSM does not operate when:

  • Driving on bank roads such as gradient or incline
  • Driving rearward
  • ESC OFF indicator light () remains on the instrument cluster
    ) remains on the instrument cluster
  • EPS indicator light remains on the instrument cluster

VSM operation off

If you press the ESC OFF button to turn off the ESC, the VSM will also cancel and the ESC OFF indicator light (illuminates.)
illuminates.

To turn on the VSM, press the button again. The ESC OFF indicator light goes out.

Malfunction indicator

The VSM can be deactivated even if you don’t cancel the VSM operation by pressing the ESC OFF button. It indicates that a malfunction has been detected somewhere in the Electric Power Steering system or VSM system. If the ESC indicator light ( or EPS warning light remains on, take your vehicle to an authorized Kia dealer and)
or EPS warning light remains on, take your vehicle to an authorized Kia dealer and have the system checked.

  • The VSM is designed to function above approximately 9 mph (15 km/h) on curves.
  • The VSM is designed to function above approximately 18 mph (30 km/h) when a vehicle is braking on a split-mu road. The split-mu road is made of surfaces which have different friction forces.
  • The Vehicle Stability Management system is not a substitute for safe driving practices but a supplementary function only. It is the responsibility of the driver to always check the speed and the distance to the vehicle ahead. Always hold the steering wheel firmly while driving.
  • Your vehicle is designed to activate according to the driver’s intention, even with installed VSM. Always follow all the normal precautions for driving at safe speeds for the conditions – including driving in inclement weather and on a slippery road.

WARNING - Tire/Wheel size

When replacing tires and wheels, make sure they are the same size as the original tires and wheels installed. Driving with varying tire or wheel sizes may diminish any supplemental safety benefits of the VSM system.

Good braking practices

  • Check to be sure the parking brake is not engaged and that the parking brake indicator light is out before driving away.
  • Driving through water may get the brakes wet. They can also get wet when the vehicle is washed. Wet brakes can be dangerous! Your vehicle will not stop as quickly if the brakes are wet. Wet brakes may cause the vehicle to pull to one side. To dry the brakes, apply the brakes lightly until the braking action returns to normal, taking care to keep the vehicle under control at all times. If the braking action does not return to normal, stop as soon as it is safe to do so and call an authorized Kia dealer for assistance.
  • Don't coast down hills with the vehicle out of gear. This is extremely hazardous. Keep the vehicle in gear at all times, use the brakes to slow down, then shift to a lower gear so that engine braking will help you maintain a safe speed.
  • Don't "ride" the brake pedal. Resting your foot on the brake pedal while driving can be dangerous because the brakes might overheat and lose their effectiveness. It also increases the wear of the brake components.
  • If a tire goes flat while you are driving, apply the brakes gently and keep the vehicle pointed straight ahead while you slow down. When you are moving slowly enough for it to be safe to do so, pull off the road and stop in a safe place.
  • If your vehicle is equipped with an automatic transaxle, don't let your vehicle creep forward. To avoid creeping forward, keep your foot firmly on the brake pedal when the vehicle is stopped.
  • Be cautious when parking on a hill. Firmly engage the parking brake and place the shift lever in P (automatic transaxle) or in first or reverse gear (manual transaxle). If your vehicle is facing downhill, turn the front wheels into the curb to help keep the vehicle from rolling. If your vehicle is facing uphill, turn the front wheels away from the curb to help keep the vehicle from rolling. If there is no curb or if it is required by other conditions to keep the vehicle from rolling, block the wheels.
  • Under some conditions your parking brake can freeze in the engaged position. This is most likely to happen when there is an accumulation of snow or ice around or near the rear brakes or if the brakes are wet. If there is a risk that the parking brake may freeze, apply it only temporarily while you put the shift lever in P (automatic transaxle) or in first or reverse gear (manual transaxle) and block the rear wheels so the vehicle cannot roll. Then release the parking brake.
  • Do not hold the vehicle on the upgrade with the accelerator pedal. This can cause the transaxle to overheat. Always use the brake pedal or parking brake.
Parking brake
Applying the parking brake To engage the parking brake, first apply the foot brake and then without pressing the release button in, pull the parking brake lever up as far as possible.

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  • Kia Forte: Electronic stability control (ESC)

    Kia Forte: Electronic stability control (ESC)

    Kia Forte: Electronic stability control (ESC)

    Kia Forte: Electronic stability control (ESC)

    Kia Forte: Electronic stability control (ESC)

    Kia Forte: Electronic stability control (ESC)

    Kia Forte: Electronic stability control (ESC)

    Kia Forte: Electronic stability control (ESC)

    Kia Forte: Electronic stability control (ESC)

    Kia Forte: Electronic stability control (ESC)

    Kia Forte: Electronic stability control (ESC)

    Kia Forte: Electronic stability control (ESC)

    Kia Forte: Electronic stability control (ESC)

    Kia Forte: Electronic stability control (ESC)

    Kia Forte: Electronic stability control (ESC)

    Kia Forte: Electronic stability control (ESC)

    Kia Forte: Electronic stability control (ESC)

    Kia Forte: Electronic stability control (ESC)

    Kia Forte: Electronic stability control (ESC)

    Kia Forte: Electronic stability control (ESC)

    Kia Forte: Electronic stability control (ESC)

    Kia Forte: Electronic stability control (ESC)

    Kia Forte: Electronic stability control (ESC)