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Pete, Auto Service Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 28793
Experience:  14 years GM dealer Technician.
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StabiliTrak light came on.

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The Service StabilTrak and Traction Control lights came on our 2008 Suburban while going down a mountain pass. Also, the engine light. Our local mechanic said there is something going on with Cylinder 4 and that it needs a valve replacement. Does that sound right?

If there is a check engine light on and a fault found within the engine this can cause the StabilTrak light as well as traction lights to come on like this.

If the technician/mechanic has tested the engine properly and found an issue mechanically with a valve then it does need corrected and should correct the issues described here, in some cases this can be expensive to repair depending on what is found at fault.

I have seen some of these engines have faults mechanically with the lifters and cause this issue as well so you may want it double checked to make sure it is a valve at fault and not another component like a faulty lifter causing these issues here.

Pete and other Chevy Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
If it is the valve, does it sound right that it could take 7 to 10 days and cost $2,000? Can I check back with you when I hear from the technician in about 3 hours (he had to take the cap off the valve)?
You can come back and post to me at any time needed.If the mechanic is backed up on work or if the valves are on back order then it can take this long to get this repair done and it can cost this high as the top of the engine has to be taken apart to fix this valve issue here.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I heard back from my local technician. He said there is something wrong with the #4 valve spark plug cylinder. There is a large substance (probably carbon) build up. It is running badly (25 lbs of pressure instead of the normal 150 lbs). They tried switching the fuel injector to another cylinder, but that worked so they know it's not the fuel injector. He said they need to look further into the motor, so he suggested I contact the Chevy dealer.

If there is low compression like this here then it does need checked into further to see what is causing the low compression,most common can be a damaged valve in the cylinder head.The compression test was a good test to have done as this shows there is a mechanical fault with the engine.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks for your help. The dealership said this will likely be covered under the power train warranty (the car has 56,000 miles), so that's good.

That’s great to hear, let me know if you need anything else in the future, thanks.

StabiliTrak explained

StabiliTrak is a function in a vehicle that helps stabilize the vehicle, especially during emergency movements. This function helps associate the steering input with the response of the vehicle. However, if necessary, StabiliTrak helps make small, single brake and engine torques to improve the control and help the driver stay on track while driving. Also, StabiliTrak involuntarily interferes when the vehicle senses that the driver has lost lateral traction.

StabiliTrak benefits

  • Helps control the vehicle during low traction conditions such as snow, ice, uneven or wet roads
  • Helps control the vehicle in quick emergency lane changes
  • Helps avoid collisions.
  • Involuntarily helps if the system recognizes the vehicle is not responding the way it should. In this case, the StabiliTrak will apply pressure to the breaks in a pulsing manner, or help reduce the engine power.

Warning lights

Service StabiliTrak – If this message appears, there could be an issue with the StabiliTrak system. Drivers should then reset the system. To do this, bring the vehicle to a complete stop. Turn the engine off for 15 seconds. Next, start the engine again. If the message still appears, the driver should take the vehicle to the dealership for service. If the light goes off, the vehicle is considered safe to drive. When this message is on, this means that the StabiliTrak benefits are not working, so it may be unsafe to drive in extreme measures.

Service Traction Control – This message appears when there is an issue with the Traction Control System (TCS). When this error is seen, the system will not set a boundary on the wheel spin. So, drivers will need to alter their speed as they see fit. To turn this light off, or to have the vehicle repaired, the driver will need to bring the vehicle to the dealership for service.

StabiliTrak Initializing – This message can appear if the StabiliTrak is not completely prepared. This could be because of the road conditions or the vehicle does not have the correct size of tires. When the system has been fully primed, the message should go off. If the message does not go off, even after turning the vehicle off then back on multiple times as well as driving on different road conditions, the driver will need to see a dealership.