ESP Light – Meaning, Function & Causes (What To Do?)
Modern cars are hard to find without either an Electronic Stability Control (or any other variation). The ESP is responsible for reducing road accident rates.
If your car’s ESP light comes on, what should you do? You can read on to discover the purpose of your car's ESP light and its possible causes. Plus, we’ll tell you what to do if your car has this problem.
- What is the ESP light?
- What is the ESP system?
- 6 Reasons for an ESP warning lamp
- You are unable to turn the ESP on.
- FAQs about ESP Light
What is the ESP light?
If you drive on a slippery or incompatible surface, the Electronic Stability Program (ESP), warning light will illuminate. When you drive through slippery surfaces, the ESP light will turn on and flash on your dashboard when it’s working.
Your Electronic Stability Program may have problems if you see the same light all day.
RELATED: Slip Light – What Does It Mean & Causes
What is the ESP system?
The ESP cannot be used alone. It is used in combination with the anti-lockingbraking system (ABS), traction control, and the engine. Modern cars have an onboard computer that monitors most of the car’s functions.
If one wheel slips, the ESP will control the other wheels by reducing power and applying brakings to correct your car’s stability.
The ESP can also inform the car’s engine to reduce power if your car is steering dangerously. The ESP will also affect the power being delivered to each wheel. This can be useful when you drive on icy roads and have no traction. This will reduce your power, which allows you to grip the wheels better.
RELATED: ESC Light (Electric Stability Control) – Causes & Information
6 Reasons for an ESP warning lamp
A faulty ABS sensor, or ABS ring is the most frequent reason why an ESP light turns on. The light can also go out due to a bad throttle body or brake pedal switch. If it’s blinking while driving on a slippery surface, it’s working correctly.
The ABS and ESP work together. The ABS and ESP work together, making it difficult to determine the cause.
It is always recommended that you use a scanner to scan the trouble codes for the ESP lights in order to determine what the issue might be.
Below is a list that explains the main causes of ESP light.
1. Abs sensors on faulty wheels
The wheel sensors send information about each wheel’s speed to the ABS control unit. When one or more wheels slip, the ABS controller unit measures and then applies appropriate solutions.
If one ABS sensor fails, it may think that one wheel slips but it doesn’t, which will cause the light to come on.
2. Failure of the ABS rings
ABS rings are the same. ABS sensors are used to measure wheel speed. However, it is possible for ABS rings to break which could cause an error in the measurement.
3. Body with a faulty throttle
When your car is slipping, the throttle body controls the power output of the ESP system. The ESP light will come on if the throttle body is damaged.
4. Broken Brake Pedal Switch
The ESP system must know when you press the brake pedal. A brake pedal switch is required to enable this function.
This switch may be faulty or send out the wrong information and cause an ESP light to turn on.
5. Sensitivity to a low steering angle
The ESP system also calculates what to do in a slipping condition using the steering angle. The ESP light may come on if your steering angle sensor becomes worse or has not been programmed properly.
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6. ABS wiring issues
The ABS control unit has wirings to connect each wheel sensor. The suspension can cause these wires to move quite a bit, which could lead to the wiring getting worse as your vehicle ages.
It is easiest to determine this by taking measurements of the ABS sensors located at the control panel's connector. For the exact pinout, you will need to consult a repair manual.
You are unable to turn the ESP on.
You should check your OBD2 scanner for trouble codes if the ESP lamp is not working. You will waste money on parts you don't believe are defective if you get lucky.
Either visit a garage to check trouble codes or scan your car at home with an OBD2 reader.
FAQs about ESP Light
Can I drive safely with the ESP on?
It is not recommended to use the ESP light if you have never driven without it. You must ensure that your ESP works as it should. The ESP system maintains traction when you drive on slippery roads. The ESP system will go into hibernation if the indicator light turns on.
Is ESP equivalent to traction control?
No. The ESP is different from the traction system. The traction control system prevents you from skidding and sliding when turning, while the ESP system prevents your wheels spinning on slippery surfaces.
What happens if ESP turns off when you drive?
If you are driving with ESP on, there is only one difference: the ESP will not be turned off. If the ESP system is disabled, your car’s tires will spin freely on slippery surfaces, and if you are not used to this, it can make it difficult to control your vehicle and could result in an accident. ESP can help prevent accidents, so it’s important to keep it on while driving.
What is the best way to reset my ESP warning lamp?
You will need an OBD2 scanner to reset the ESP warning light. Clearing the fault code memory won't solve the problem forever. You must fix the issue that caused the ESP warning lamp to come on in the first instance.
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