Ram 1500/2500/3500 Owners & Service Manuals

Ram 1500/2500/3500: Electronic Stability Control (ESC) - If Equipped

The ESC system enhances directional control and stability of the vehicle under various driving conditions. ESC corrects for oversteering or understeering of the vehicle by applying the brake of the appropriate wheel to assist in counteracting the oversteer or understeer condition.

Engine power may also be reduced to help the vehicle maintain the desired path.

ESC uses sensors in the vehicle to determine the vehicle path intended by the driver and compares it to the actual path of the vehicle. When the actual path does not match the intended path, ESC applies the brake of the appropriate wheel to assist in counteracting the oversteer or understeer condition.

  • Oversteer - when the vehicle is turning more than appropriate for the steering wheel position.
  • Understeer - when the vehicle is turning less than appropriate for the steering wheel position.

WARNING! Electronic Stability Control (ESC) cannot prevent the natural laws of physics from acting on the vehicle, nor can it increase the traction afforded by prevailing road conditions. ESC cannot prevent accidents, including those resulting from excessive speed in turns, driving on very slippery surfaces, or hydroplaning.

ESC also cannot prevent accidents resulting from loss of vehicle control due to inappropriate driver input for the conditions. Only a safe, attentive, and skillful driver can prevent accidents. The capabilities of an ESC equipped vehicle must never be exploited in a reckless or dangerous manner which could jeopardize the user's safety or the safety of others.

All Two-Wheel Drive Vehicles And Four-Wheel Drive Vehicles In 2WD, 4WD AUTO, Or 4WD LOCK Modes Can Choose The Following ESC Operating Modes:

ESC On

This is the normal operating mode for ESC in 2WD/4WD AUTO/4WD LOCK modes and in 2WD vehicles. Whenever the vehicle is started or the transfer case (if equipped) is shifted from 4WD LOW or Neutral, back to 4WD LOCK or 4WD AUTO, the ESC system will be in this mode. This mode should be used for almost all driving situations. ESC should only be turned to "Partial Off" or "ESC Off" for specific reasons as noted below.

ESC Partial Off

This mode is entered by momentarily pressing the "ESC Off" switch. When in Partial Off mode, the TCS portion of ESC, except for the "limited slip" feature described in the TCS section, has been disabled and the ESC Off Indicator Light will be illuminated. All other stability features of ESC function normally. This mode is intended to be used if the vehicle is in deep snow, sand, or gravel conditions and more wheel spin than TCS would normally allow is required to gain traction. To turn ESC on again, momentarily press the "ESC Off" switch. This will restore the normal "ESC On" mode of operation.

NOTE: To improve the vehicle's traction when driving with snow chains or starting off in deep snow, sand or gravel, it may be desirable to switch to the "Partial Off" mode by pressing the "ESC Off" switch. Once the situation requiring ESC to be switched to the "Partial Off" mode is overcome, turn ESC back on by momentarily pressing the "ESC Off" switch. This may be done while the vehicle is in motion.

WARNING!

  • When in "Partial Off" mode, the TCS functionality of ESC, (except for the limited slip feature described in the TCS section), has been disabled and the "ESC Off Indicator Light" will be illuminated.

    When in "Partial Off" mode, the engine power reduction feature of TCS is disabled, and the enhanced vehicle stability offered by the ESC system is reduced.

  • Trailer Sway Control (TSC) is disabled when the ESC system is in the Partial Off mode.

All Four-Wheel Drive Vehicles In 4WD AUTO And 4WD LOCK Modes Can Also Choose The Following ESC Operating Mode. This Is The Only Selectable ESC Operating Mode in 4WD LOW:

Full Off

This mode is intended for off-road use when ESC stability features could inhibit vehicle maneuverability due to trail conditions. This mode is entered by pressing and holding the "ESC Off" switch for five seconds when the vehicle is stopped and the engine is running. After five seconds, the "ESC Off Indicator Light" will illuminate.

Press and release the trip odometer button located on the instrument cluster to clear this message.

NOTE: The "ESC OFF" message will display and the audible chime will sound when the shift lever is placed into the PARK position from any other position and then moved out of the PARK position. This will occur even if the message was previously cleared.

In this mode, ESC and TCS except for the "limited slip" feature described in the TCS section are turned off until the vehicle reaches a speed of 40 mph (64 km/h). At 40 mph (64 km/h) the system returns to "Partial Off" mode, described above. When the vehicle speed drops below 35 mph (56 km/h) the ESC system shuts off. ESC is off at low vehicle speeds so that it will not interfere with off-road driving but ESC function returns to provide the stability feature at speeds above 40 mph (64 km/h).

The "ESC Off Indicator Light" will always be illuminated when ESC is off. To turn ESC on again, momentarily press the "ESC Off" switch. This will restore the normal "ESC On" mode of operation.

"ESC Off" is the only operating mode for ESC in 4WD LOW. Whenever the vehicle is started in 4WD LOW or the transfer case (if equipped) is shifted from 4WD LOCK or NEUTRAL, to 4WD LOW, the ESC system will be in this mode.

WARNING! In the ESC Full Off mode, the engine torque reduction and stability features are disabled. Therefore, the enhanced vehicle stability offered by ESC is unavailable. In an emergency evasive maneuver the ESC system will not engage to assist in maintaining stability. "ESC Off" mode is intended for off-highway or off-road use only.

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