The Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system is Nissan’s traction/stability control. It is a relatively advanced form of stability control. The VDC system has the ability to apply the brakes to any one wheel, lower the engine speed, and keep the drive wheels from spinning out of control.
The VDC system runs a self diagnostic cycle every time you hit the road. You may feel a slight pulse in the brake pedal.
It is one of the most important safety features on a Nissan vehicle (which includes Infiniti). If the VDC system is off, and won’t go back on, you should have your vehicle serviced right away.
When your vehicle encounters situations where it is losing traction, you’ll see the SLIP light appear on the dash. That lets you know that the VDC system is engaged. You’ll want to slow down to a safer speed.
What Does VDC Off Mean?
There is a physical button that turns the VDC system off, and there is an indicator light letting you know that the system has been deactivated. The button is pretty self explanatory, it turns the VDC system off. The light is warning you that the system is off, or that it has a problem (and is currently not active).
VDC Off Indicator Light
The VDC light off means that your vehicle no longer has any stability control. Unless you need the traction control off for some reason, it’s best to leave the VDC system on. If this light isn’t going on/off when you hit the physical VDC off button, there is an issue with the system.
VDC Off Switch
The VDC off switch is the switch that is used to turn the VDC system on and off. If you have the VDC off light, hitting it is the first thing that you’ll want to do. If you are just here wondering what this switch is for, it’s stability control. You should leave it on unless you’re hung up in the mud, or some other extreme situation.
Is it Safe to Drive With the VDC Off Light?
Will your vehicle break down because the VDC light is on? Absolutely not. Is it more likely that you will end up in an accident? Yes. The VDC system keeps you safe when your vehicle is at the edge of traction. As long as the ABS light is not on, you still have anti-lock brakes.
It won’t be until you need it that you’ll miss it. Just remember that one of your vehicles most important layers of safety is not active when this light is on. Hit the VDC switch and see if you can get the light to turn off.
The lack of VDC is most evident when the conditions are at their worst. Think rain, snow, and mud. It’s in these conditions that you are most likely to need stability control. The exception to this is when you are stuck in mud or hardly have any traction at all. You may need to spin the tires in order to dig out. That’s the one situation where it may be advantageous to turn off the VDC system.
VDC + SLIP Light Staying On
The combination of these two lights indicate that the traction control system is off, and has a problem. At this point. Before doing anything else, try to hit the VDC off button and see if anything changes. If it does not, try shutting the vehicle off somewhere safe. If the problem returns, it’s time to have the vehicle serviced.
VDC System Malfunction Causes
You’ll want to hook up a good code scanner and see if you can pull the codes. Some of the most common causes are:
- Wheel Speed Sensors
- Steering Angle Sensor
- ABS issues
If the ABS light is on with the SLIP and VDC light, that indicates there is an issue with the ABS system. The VDC system needs the ABS system to function properly. Fixing the ABS should fix the VDC system as well.
This is something that you’ll absolutely need a good scanner to diagnose. Otherwise, you’re just going in blind.
Wrapping Up: VDC Off
The VDC system is a vital safety feature of your Nissan or Infiniti. If the VDC is off, and won’t come back on, make sure to have it serviced as soon as you can. Good luck with the diagnosis, and have a great day!