'Service ESP' coming up on panel on dashboard on Vauxhall Astra 2012. Any idea what it means?

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Posted 6th Dec 2016
My car felt a bit juddery a few times the other day.
Yesterday same, today worse. Particularly in low gears/speed. It feels a bit like when you are in the wrong gear and it is juddering.

After driving about 15 mins or so then this 'SERVICE ESP' has now come up on the dash panel. And the symbol of a car with squiggly lines underneath has lit up too.

This has now happened a few times today.

My manual has nothing at all about 'SERVICE ESP' in it, but the car symbol indicates Electronic Stability/Traction control.

I have just hit 45,000 miles.

Hubby just says take it to garage, as he says with anything to do with cars but I do like to have an idea before I go in and get hit with a £400 bill!

Any ideas welcome.

Does this just mean it needs some kind of service, hitting 45,000 miles?
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[Guide] Understanding service ESP

A warning sign on your car’s dashboard is something which fills every driver with dread. The immediate fear is that something important has snapped,, which will inevitably cost hundreds if not thousands to repair. Of course, most of the time this isn’t the case, with whatever is at fault being easily repaired by a mechanic.


What does service ESP mean?

ESP refers to the ‘Electronic Stability Programme’, which helps to keep your car more stable when you’re driving along slippery roads. It can be understood as a form of traction control. Mandatory on all cars sold within the EU after 2014, having ESP fitted on your drastically reduces your chances of being in a road-traffic accident.


If service ESP is appearing on your Vauxhall Astra (or other Vauxhall car), this means that your ESP system is malfunctioning or has switched off. You’ll need to have this seen to by a mechanic – failing to do so will increase your risk of being in an accident.


My car is juddering and service ESP is showing – What does this mean?

If you’re noticing that your car is less stable on the roads and service ESP is showing, then your traction control has stopped working and your car has become less safe to drive. You should contact a mechanic as soon as possible. Take particular care when driving on wet or icy roads, as your car will be particularly vulnerable to sliding on these surfaces.
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30 Comments
I once had something similar, but was to do with a faulty traction control sensor.
ESP is traction control. If they use the same ABS / Traction control module as ford do then it may be that. It's a common problem on Fords and if it's not a faulty wire or sensor then it usually occurs after you have used the anti lock braking system after braking hard. If most of us drive correctly and have no reason for the ABS to work then this actually shortens the life of the abs module. They stick as the valve is not used and then when you want it to move by braking hard it creates a fault and brings the light on. It's a stupid design in a way and it only seems to affect combined units. Cars without traction control don't appear to be affected. Replacement cost for a Ford usually is about £300/£350. Both my daughter and dad have had this happen on Focus and Focus C Max.
The car's computer should hold 4-digit fault code(s). Simple google search of the fault code number may assist with further fault diagnosis. Few ways to access those fault codes. Easiest may be via the footpedal procedure, or £3.99 delivered bluetooth device and an Android phone with a freebie app installed, or possibly via a laptop.
Not sure which footpedal procedure may (or may not?) apply to your model. Some involve counting flashes, other tell you the codes direct. Try following youtube.com/wat…9Hg or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5opDq2QjQo
Alternatively, a small bluetooth device can be plugged into a socket (typically) near the handbrake area, then the fault codes read via the Android app.
Random example of bluetooth device at £3.99 delivered 1st class inc windows software: ebay.co.uk/itm…476
Random Android app Torque play.google.com/sto…ree
common fault one vauxhall owner was charged £120 only to find out it was a faulty spark plug
my Renault megane sometimes displays ESC (Electronic skid control) light, always from cold, I worked out that if I don't go too fast from cold it stays out or go up to 5th back to 4th gear it goes out. I never see it as a fault coz it always goes out.
If it was just the warning lights/ESP Service indicator coming up, then I wouldnt be too worried, its the fact that its juddering/rumbling a bit.
OK..... so today when just about to start car on way home I noticed the 'cruise control' light indicator was on. I had noticed it on over the last few days too, but just didnt know how to turn it off.

Turned it off today before starting the car on the way home and ...... the car didnt seem to do its juddering, and no 'SERVICE ESP' alert came up on the dash.

Just coincidence?
Is there anyway that could have solved the problem?

Thanks!
ellie27

OK..... so today when just about to start car on way home I noticed the … OK..... so today when just about to start car on way home I noticed the 'cruise control' light indicator was on. I had noticed it on over the last few days too, but just didnt know how to turn it off.Turned it off today before starting the car on the way home and ...... the car didnt seem to do its juddering, and no 'SERVICE ESP' alert came up on the dash.Just coincidence?Is there anyway that could have solved the problem?Thanks!


You ideally need to view the vehicle's fault code history, as mentioned in post #4.
Suddenly this morning my esc light came on n stayed on car was juddery and a service esp message came on aswell as the engine management light now the esc light has gone off but engine management light still on. Any thoughts on what could b wrong
Boycott180502/10/2018 18:44

Suddenly this morning my esc light came on n stayed on car was juddery and …Suddenly this morning my esc light came on n stayed on car was juddery and a service esp message came on aswell as the engine management light now the esc light has gone off but engine management light still on. Any thoughts on what could b wrong



This thread is from 2yrs ago?
DemonOverlord3 h, 25 m ago

This thread is from 2yrs ago?


Yip, I posted it almost 2 yrs ago, can't actually remember the problem, but am sure I took it in to get fixed.
Boycott180502/10/2018 18:44

Suddenly this morning my esc light came on n stayed on car was juddery and …Suddenly this morning my esc light came on n stayed on car was juddery and a service esp message came on aswell as the engine management light now the esc light has gone off but engine management light still on. Any thoughts on what could b wrong


Hi there, bit late to the party!

I have had this exact problem today, did you manage to resolve?

Car booked into the garage tomorrow but trying to do abit of research!
Todd9614th Nov

Hi there, bit late to the party! I have had this exact problem today, did …Hi there, bit late to the party! I have had this exact problem today, did you manage to resolve?Car booked into the garage tomorrow but trying to do abit of research!


Me too Todd! Mine gettimg serviced tomorrow what was your issue in the end?
My car has started this yesterday, you guys know what the problem was?
This started happening on my car yesterday! Did you guys find the problem? Its bugging me like mad!
ste.byng30th Jan

This started happening on my car yesterday! Did you guys find the problem? …This started happening on my car yesterday! Did you guys find the problem? Its bugging me like mad!


Do you have any luck in finding a solution? Mine is service light stay on like that
I can re-create this on my insignia by disconnecting the mass air flow sensor, it's got nothing to do with the ESP but it causes this error report every time.
In conclusion don't trust the service ESP message and light , you need the DTC's and see what they report as they should have a more meaningful code.
My experience recently of Vauxhall servicing has been so poor I'm now doing it myself as it's plain that they have very few engineer who actually understand what's happening when they get power unit related faults. They wanted to change the CAT to fix a stretched timing chain, and if I'd let them it would have cost me over £1000 without fixing the problem.
Get an OBDII reader and check it yourself before letting Vauxhall anywhere near it.
Obd 2 does not say anything about esp faults. Only ecu faults from the engine
Hey, dug out my old account to comment on this. Had exactly same problem with a 2012 zafira tourer and googled only to find the same answers. The car would drive juddery in lower gears, service ESP message, traction control light.
Took to a local garage who removed the coil pack, one of the plugs had completely eroded away. Replaced this, fault was gone and drove like new. If you have a good local garage that would do the same may be worth looking at. £120 for the whole job
Change your spark plugs my car was juddering then esp light came on paid £20 for 4 new plugs mechanic fitted them for £10 took him 15 min judder now gone car running as it should
So this happened to me yesterday. Car went extremely jerky juddering. Called out AA (other breakdown services available) they plugged into my car. Came up with misfire on number 4 clylinder. He cleaned up my spark plugs and coil back. He said I have to get it to garage asap. Get coil pack change and spark plugs. Husbands going to do it. Got it all from parts shop for £106. Result.
Hi all,

I have an Astra J OPC (280PS) since Jan 2014. I live in Dubai (where garages exist only to make money).
I took the car to the dealer for a service (oil filter, air filter, front brake pads and spark plugs change. Car has 76kkm under).

You will laugh at their audacity. The quote for repairs was just shy off 9,000 pounds (yep, pounds), and that's excluding the service mentioned above!!

Here are the issues:
- contact noise coming from the back while car is rolling at low-speed. According to them this is caused by the catalyst
- sometimes (while running) a service vehicle soon message pops up and the turbo is disconnected. They want to change the entire turbo even though it runs perfectly most of the time!!
- slight vibration / shaking in the car at higher speeds (110kmh +). They say the engine and transmission mounts are both in need of a change.

After finishing the service (I supplied all the parts because buying parts through them means selling your kidneys. I bought the parts from phwteile.de which is the equivalent of buycarparts.co.uk/. Just to give you an example, the price they ask to replace the front brake pads (original from Brembo) is 356 pounds. buying it online + shipping and installing at another garage cost me less than 60!

Long story short, after getting the car back (after about 30mins of driving) the ESP error message came up, traction control was disconnected, RPM wouldn't go over 3 (Turbo and fuel injection disconnect at 3000RPM). While car is rolling downhill (exit from my building has a ramp) the car switched off twice!! Not sure if I was on neutral or if clutch was engaged, but the car completely turned off!! Nearly caused a major accident getting on the main street due to steering lock!

I'm guessing the spark plugs I got might be faulty or something: I got the Bosch 024223050..
buycarparts.co.uk/bos…834

I just learned about the error code pedal technique but the car is still in the garage. I'll definitely do that once I have it.
Any other ideas / advice you can give me would be amazing! I'm losing my mind here with every single garage trying to rip me off with ridiculous part-change requests.. next thing you know they'll ask to change the chassis because the check oil lamp is on!!

Here's an image of the dashboard! Ignore the blue cable it's an iphone charger

37873048-RzVuM.jpg
Thanks a mil!
Hey guys I found a solution for the problem since I faced the same thing. I've done the same thing like everyone in this forum did, I changed the coil and sparking plugs but it didn't fix the problem. We found out later that the problem is in the gas sprayers, let your mechanic unplug the 4 sprayers and check them one by one, after doing this I found out that one was damaged because of high voltage and needed to be changed, and it totally fixed the problem and no more service esp or traction control light on dashboard.
Hope this might help. Good luck
My esp light came on tested with a meter and no 1 plug at fault,replaced plugs and esp light off.Dont be ripped off by garages this cost me less than a fiver to rectify
I have a 2013 Astra Ecoflex CDTI Diesel and it is generally fine BUT whenever the temperature in the cabin is warm (more than say 23C) , or I accelerate hard, spurious warnings such as 'Service ESP' and 'Service Power Steering' appear and the engine cuts down to limp mode ,then recovers , then cuts to limp mode again. If I keep the cabin cold with air-con , this seems to avoid the problem. OK in summer , very cold in winter. Vauxhall garage checked it , reloaded software but couldn't identify the issue. Any ideas what the problem could be?
I am having the exact same with my astra gtc 63 plate.... Just had a full service done yesterday and it seems to now be worse. Any advice
cliveb16/07/2019 15:49

I have a 2013 Astra Ecoflex CDTI Diesel and it is generally fine BUT …I have a 2013 Astra Ecoflex CDTI Diesel and it is generally fine BUT whenever the temperature in the cabin is warm (more than say 23C) , or I accelerate hard, spurious warnings such as 'Service ESP' and 'Service Power Steering' appear and the engine cuts down to limp mode ,then recovers , then cuts to limp mode again. If I keep the cabin cold with air-con , this seems to avoid the problem. OK in summer , very cold in winter. Vauxhall garage checked it , reloaded software but couldn't identify the issue. Any ideas what the problem could be?


Have you fixed this issue? My car did this today- same make and model but 62 plate
WARNING - I was experiencing similar issues which lead me to this post, and since i have taken it to the garage. You MUST MUST MUST take your car to a garage as soon as possible!! Turned out my spark plugs AND ignition coil had corroded. My vauxhall adam had just turned three, and hasn’t even reached 20,000 miles yet. So it was a shock, but the longer you drive the car the more it damages your engine, and puts you into more danger. Unfortunately it’s costing me £400 from a Vauxhall garage to fix, which is ridiculous when it was one month of warranty. If you are experiencing the jittery/shakey almost about to stall feeling, and you are struggling to accelerate more than usual. Get you car checked asap and do not drive unless to the car garage.
Usually the Coil Pack, I've had this twice in my Corsa.
I think the juddering causes the ESP to believe its faulty, also the engine check light goes on/off. Might get Misfire codes.
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