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Check engine light on and "VSC off" light blinking with the ETS light on.

(2010 Toyota Corolla)
in Philadelphia, PA on February 27, 2011
Friday after work I started the car in a sheltered car garage and as soon as I started the car the after the initial start up sequence the check engine light stayed on and the traction control (ETS) light stayed on and right next to it on the left side the "VSC Off" light kept blinking and flashing. I turned off the car and started it several times to see if that did anything and to no avail nothing happened.

While I was driving those lights stayed on and the VSC off light kept on blinking.

I also checked the brakes and the brake fluid and they all seem to be fine, I even checked the gas cap and fuel door as well, also I checked the air filter, the MAFS the intake box, the Vacuum hoses, also used a fuel injector cleaner to see if the problem was caused with a dirty injector, but the light stayed on and blinked constantly.

I am not sure what is wrong. I was looking at some of the complaint sites and most people say it happens when you drive through a deep puddle or if it is cold and wet outside. But that didn't make sense because I drove in the snow and those lights never turned on. The only time I used the ETS button is during the snow storms and I drive at low speeds. Also when those customers went to the dealership and had it checked out the dealership told them that it was because the gas cap wasn't tightly shut but even after that the customer's ETS light, check engine light and "vsc off" light kept lighting up.

I need to know why this VSC off light is blinking? Is it a bad sensor or is the ABS/ETS brake system broken or is it an ECU issue or is it because of an alignment. Also is it the cabin air filter because I didn't replace it and it was pretty dirty when the technician at Toyota showed me. Since I was told to get an alignment soon. I just got the oil change, the 50 point visual inspection, tire rotation, and wiper blade insert replacement back on thursday February 24,2011 and the technician told me that everything was checked out ok except for the dirty cabin air filer
Displaying 12 answers & 6 comments
Popular Answer
on January 14, 2016
I have a 2009 Toyota Corolla S, a couple years ago, I was driving on the highway and the Engine light came on with the VSC light blinking + Trac light on steady, and i felt some drag in the acceleration. I was about to bring it in to my service shop, but I googled what could be the problem. I read mentions of the gas cap. Ok, here it is. FIX: I pulled off the highway, parked, turned engine off, took gas cap off, put it right back on, went in car, now before you start engine, step on the brake pedal holding it down, now press the odometer button holding it down with the brake pedal together, now put key in ignition, turn to the ON position and then turn your engine on. All my lights went out, RESET accomplished. / It just recently happened again after I stopped at a gas station I never went to. So I ran through the same steps I just explained and it worked again. - It seems that some service gas guys dont tighten the cap enough, and the pressure in the tank is released which sets off the warning lights. The cap should be on tight and most caps get only the 1 click turn that means it is tight.
on October 04, 2016
I left my gas tank cap off and drove for about 20 miles before I noticed the problem---Engine check light on, "VSC off" light blinking and the "slip indicator" light on...I just followed your instructions but could not manage to turn these lights off.
Could you be more specific on
1. How long should I step and push/hold the odometer button before I turn the car on?
2. Should I turn on the ignition and engine while continuing step 1?
My car is also 2009 toyota corolla, it's LE, I wonder if this makes a difference.

Thank you very much!


on December 31, 2016
All these steps were just done a few seconds apart..... no long holds. Just do it slowly.
on February 27, 2011
Really, you need to scan the car for codes, as there are several hundred. The VCS and ETS are all part of the same system, that being the power train control. Since you have an ETS light which is a malfunction with the electronic throttle control, then you will get a check engine and a VSC light as well as they are all dependent on a properly working electronic throttle system. Again, get all the real codes, not a parts store quickie scan and then deal with the problem. Remember, Toyota has had problems with their throttle systems, I have never seen an accidental, unwanted acceleration, but I have seen pedal and throttle position sensor codes several times with theses systems.
on September 03, 2014
I also have the same problem with my 2010 corolla. Happened at 54090 miles this evening. I think this is a common issue with Toyota 2010 model.
on January 09, 2015
My 2010 Corolla did the same thing. I had it towed to the Toyota dealership because began to jerk when excellerated. They checked it out and said it was the VSC sensor that was bad and had to be replaced. Quite costly. I have had more repairs on this Toyota than any other Toyota I have owned.
on June 10, 2017
True but even with the correct sensors being replaced (my experience) and an entirely new gas pedal; it still is giving out on me. Is this wiring? I looked at the the line going from the pedal and it seems like wiring could be an issue, a ton of wires going in to the same spot.
on May 08, 2015
My passenger compartment was wet when running the air conditioner. Then my dash lights came on flashing and the check engine light . Cleared the condensation line on the passengers side behind the carpet. It was plugged and gushed water until I blew out the lower line. I removed the negative battery terminal for 30 seconds and all the dash lights went back to normal.
on September 04, 2015
I know it's been a while, but I'm hoping you'll see this. I was having the exact same problem described in the post. My engine/vsc lights came on out of the blue. I read your post and then went out to my car and sure enough... the passenger side floor is soaked and I was using the AC just a little while ago. Do you mind explaining exactly what you did to remedy it? And have you had problems since?
on February 27, 2011
Get your car to a Toyota dealer and ask them to repair it. It should be covered under warranty. Without proper diagnostic no one can really help you since those lights could be on for hundreds of different reasons. Yes, one could be an ABS wheel speed sensor.

on February 16, 2016
It's a sensor in the 2010 Toyota corolla I just had mine checked
on January 26, 2016
The Intake Air Temperature Sensor is what I got same thing happened unplug intake mass air flow sensor and blow it through clean it. Then take out air filter clean it out as well. After put it all back and turn the ignition on not the car just ignition 3 times on and off should make it disappear same thing happened to me just 15 minutes ago on my 2012 corolla sport.
on September 06, 2016
Flashing VSC off light and engine light came on. took it to the garage. they said it was the O2 sensor, that light comes on . You have to have it diagnosed. there are way too many varibles, you will never guess it
on November 30, 2015
Having same problem and I noticed the a/c was on Instead of the back window a woman I'm confused what u mean and exactly where the line confused on u saying passenger side behind thank u I take negative cable off count to 10 put cable back on and lights off. I heard it's a senor and one said gas cap one saids lines under passager should be a recall.toysto should stand up to there responsibly. One day I'll take it in but I still take negative cable off and still drives after 10 seconds and put cable back on.
on December 31, 2016
Thank you so much I followed your steps exactly and just like magic my car is working like new again. You are a genius my man I first I thought you were pulling my leg but I tried it anyway I pulled out the gas cap put it back on stepped on the brake held it for a few seconds pushed in the odometer held that for a few seconds turn the car to the on position waited a couple seconds and then I started the car. Work like a charm I will recommend this to all my friends who have the same problem.
on June 03, 2017
Vsc is flashing when off
on June 10, 2017
This issue has been a nightmare for me. I have taken it to the dealership a total of three times. Now it is about to be four. The first time they told me it was the brake boost system. They said they had to replace the whole thing. Second time they said it was a sensor connected to the throttle. They replaced a sensor which cost almost as much as the brake boost. The third time it lasted about a week. Went out in the same way. I had to floor my pedal just to get to highway speed. This time they said it was the acceleration pedal all together. It lasted about 4 weeks, and went out last night. I have paid way too much money for this to keep happening. And me being an uber driver I am losing money. I've tried the gas cap thing. but I have not tried with the odometer pressed in. I will try that.

POSSIBLE solution; As stated before you can remove gas cap for about 10 seconds and that can reset one function of the system yes.
MY SOLUTION; 1. Turn car completely off. 2. Take keys out of ignition 3. Before exiting your car, in order, pop your gas cap open then pop your hood. 3. remove gas cap for 15-20 sec. put it back and twist it until you're sure it 'clcked' 4. ** pop hood and remove pos terminal from battery (red wire) for about a minute. place back on tight but not crazy tight if you do corrosion can build up and it will be hell in the future trying to replace your battery. I do it a little more than finger tight. 5. Stick in the key, turn it to the second click before ignition. Hit the brake pedal rapidly about eight times. 6. Turn car back all the way off. 7. Stick key back in and crank it pretty hard to start it.

If you let the key lag at all while starting it, it's like the battery, and sensors are trying to tell the engine what is going on. By cranking you somewhat bypass the battery and get the engine going.

DISCLAIMER; This is just a temporary fix. By no means will this fix a bad sensor. From my personal experience these are hell to deal with for mechanics, a lot of wires and wiring.
Even if you do get the sensor replaced, it will most likely go out. I learned from experience to not panic or jump to conclusions the mechanic might have grounded the wrong wire or connected the wrong wire somewhere.

On the 2010 Carrola's there are two sensors for the VSC/ACC system. These tricks to reset offset and reset both. So if your car was lacking down road acceleration, meaning if it would fire well from the first 2 gears, then crap in third or fourth, that is one sensor (to my knowledge) The second one is immediate acceleration (from a dead stop). Both are about 1500 dollars plus labor. BE SURE when you take it to your mechanic to be friendly, and ask to talk to the mechanic himself. Not the guys who work in the dealership who represent the mechanics. Their job is to relay a message from the guy worked on your vehicle.
Speak to the mechanic and tell him exactly what is happening what work has been so he can rule out the things that have already been fixed saving you labor costs. Then tell him to test drive it! they do anyway most of the time. But tell him hey man I need you to test drive it and don't be shy get on the highway etc. and drive it like it is yours. Through being friendly with my mechanic and dealership I got most of this bypassed under my one year warranty 4 years after it was expired. If I would have been a jerk I'm positive that would not have been the case.

Best of luck God bless America.
on March 30, 2011
take it to the dealer
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