Toyota/Lexus “VSC Off” & “Check Engine” Lights On

A common problem with Toyota and Lexus vehicles is the owner may find the “VSC OFF” and “Check Engine” lights illuminated simultaneously. What is the meaning of this?

VSC stands for “Vehicle Stability Control“. It is likely that “Traction Control” will not work while this light is illuminated. On some vehicles, the “skidding vehicle” or “TRAC OFF” light may also be lit as well.

Most Toyota owners will find that when the Check Engine and VSC lights are lit, there is a problem with an O2 Sensor or gas cap. Try tightening or replacing the gas cap for a hopefully cheap fix.

To be sure of the problem you may want to take your vehicle to an Auto Zone or NAPA store to have them plug in a code reader to determine the problem. Another option would be to take the vehicle in for service.

If your problem turns out to be O2 sensor related, you can continue driving the vehicle without problems, but you may not achieve the most efficient gas mileage.

O2 sensors can be difficult or easy to replace yourself depending on the make and model of the vehicle. Some require access under the vehicle, while others are accessible under the hood.

12 thoughts on “Toyota/Lexus “VSC Off” & “Check Engine” Lights On”

  1. Our code reader said the O2 sensor was the problem. We have replaced every O2 sensor on the vehicle, but the light still comes on about every 200 miles. We take it off, it comes back on. We replaced the gas cap. What is the problem?

  2. Same issue with my Highlander. All three lights come on sometimes, but other times they don’t. I’ve had the engine, the O2 sensors, AND the gas cap replaced. Still… Lights come on. And… It fails emissions when the lights are on.

  3. My car would not start this morning and there was no power so I got someone to boost my battery for me and it did start but the engine light is on and the traction light is on and it says check VCS so when I went to go drive and it Would only let me go the speed of 15-20 km
    What do I do.

    • When I bought my 2008 Toyota tundra used brought it home in the very next morning this very same thing happened truck started up fine but would not go over 15 mph took it to the mechanic they replaced the secondary air intake pump fixed the problem

  4. My engine light and VSC came on just today never had a problem. Check everything and drove the car and light is on.

  5. If the car runs rough or skips like a cylinder is not firing you may have a bad coil. It can be an intermittent problem the check engine light may or may not come on.
    Have a diagnostic check done, sometimes it will show what cylinder is the problem. But they are easy and relatively cheap and easy fix $70 for all four coils.

    • James- I had a similar issue to what you are describing and replaced all the coils and spark plugs but the lights are on still.


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