Electronic Stability Control - ESC (JK)

My experience with a recent problem with a 2013 JKU might be of help to someone else.

The esc (electronic stability control) system in the JK takes input from several sources including steering wheel position, vehicle speed, wheel slippage, and inputs from engine and transmission. Often when the Jeep is lifted, it sends information that causes the esc to send an error message to the computer system. This can be as simple as the esc warning light to come on, or as serious as the brakes being applied at a very bad time.

In my situation after the lift (4 inches) my steering wheel was off center by about a quarter turn. This caused the esc error light to come on. The solution was to center the steering wheel. This can be easily done.

Crawl under the Jeep and locate the arm connected to the steering gearbox. This is the pittman arm. Connected to the pittman arm is a long rod, the drag link. On the drag link is a sleeve with two bolts and nuts. Make sure the Jeep is on the ground and the wheels (not the steering wheel) are pointed straight ahead. With a 15mm wrench loosen the two nuts and while a friend watches the steering wheel turn the sleeve in the direction needed until the steering wheel is perfectly level. Tighten the two nuts. This should work well enough to drive to a shop to align the front end without problems from the esc in relation to position of the steering wheel.

Also to prevent esc problems make sure you disconnect the battery to keep from getting error messages stored in the computer while doing the lift. The esc can be turned off by the turn switch in the console but this will not prevent error messages from being stored.

Doing a lift on a JK and putting on larger tires is cool and can be done by the owner to save cash. Remember to connect to a reprogrammer such as a Bully Dog to recalibrate for the speedometer, transmission shift points, and tire pressure sending units. Hope this can be of help to someone, the JK is a little more complex to work on, but can be done by the owner with the proper tools and knowledge. Happy trails.

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