A vehicle’s ESP switch is an important component which operates the car’s electronic stability programme. The electronic stability programme is designed to intervene in the event that its sensors detect that the vehicle is about to skid. It does this by detecting whether the direction in which the driver is steering corresponds with the direction the car is taking.

The intervention of an electronic stability programme, which operates through a microcomputer which receives signals from a set of sensors, can take two forms. Firstly, it utilises the car’s brakes to return the car to the track that it should be taking. Secondly, it can work on the vehicles engine output to cause the wheels to accelerate.  Both of these interventions can be made independently of the input of the vehicle’s driver.

The ESP switch in most vehicles is permanently switched on, meaning that the protection against skidding that is provided by the system is always active. ESP is particularly helpful on greasy roads and in snow and ice.

Because of the beneficial effects of an electronic stability programme on the safety and stability of a car in adverse weather conditions, if the ESP switch should fail to operate it should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible.