The ESP system on a car or truck is built to help a driver have better control while operating the vehicle.
If the system malfunctions, the light will stay on and need the system to be looked at to find the error.
The ESP light should not be on continuous but only when driving conditions are less than ideal.
For example, if it is raining and the road is slippery, the light may flash on and off, which indicates the system is working.
If the light is on all the time and does not go off, there may be a problem with the system.
It was designed to improve a vehicle’s stability when driving on problematic surfaces, and the light may turn on when driving in adverse conditions.
This includes driving when raining or a sandy road but can also come on is the car if being driven harshly or the system has malfunctioned.
The system can greatly improve driving in bad weather conditions or any time the road surface is slippery or bad.
When the ESP light flashes, it indicates that the system is working and the tires should grip better.
- ESP On/Off Button
- Emergency Brake is On
- Tire Pressure
- (SAS) Steering Angle Sensor
- Wheel Sensor
- Brake Switch
- Brake Rotor and Pads
There are several things that can cause an ESP light to stay on.
The first thing to check is for a button that turns the system on and off. Most cars will have a button to turn on or off the ESP system.
If the light is on, check that the button has not been accidentally pressed.
Also, in some vehicles, the tire pressure can affect the ESP system, which is often combined with the tire pressure TPMS light.
More complex problems include the steering wheel angle sensor, wheel sensor, brake switch, rotors, and brake pads.
The more complex problem will require an OBDII scan tool to see what error codes are on the onboard computer (ECM).
If you do not have an OBDII scan tool, most auto parts stores will do a scan for free but be sure to call around first to be sure.
There are also many low-cost scan tools that can be bought online to find codes that may be on the computer.
Also, check the tire pressure as this can affect some ESP systems.
If those possible causes are all good, troubleshooting the problems will require an OBDII scan tool.
An OBDII scan too can read error codes that the onboard computer (ECM) will have, and the code will indicate the problem.
For example, an OBDII code U0126 indicates a (SAS) Steering Angle Sensor, which can then be looked at or replaced.
Likewise, a C0040 OBDII errors code is a “Right Front Wheel Speed Sensor Circuit” which can also be looked at more closely.
There are also times when there is no code, and the light stays on, which will require more advanced troubleshooting skills.
Can I Drive with the ESP BAS Light On
Usually, yes, you can drive with the ESP light on, but the problem should be looked at as soon as possible.
Modern vehicles have redundancy built-in, so if one critical component fails, a backup will often take over.
The brakes may be a bit mushy, and the steering a bit off.
It will vary how the system reacts depending on what has malfunctioned.
The best thing is to get an OBDII scan tool to read for any errors.
Auto parts stores will usually read OBDII codes for free if you do not have one.
Of course, if in doubt, be sure to take your vehicle to a professional mechanic.
If your vehicle gives the message ESP on the dashboard, it is a driving control system built into many cars and trucks.
There are several parts of an ESP BAS system, including the steering wheel angle sensor, wheel sensor, brake switch, rotors, and brake pads.
There is also a button that turns the system on and off, which may have been turned on.
Be sure to find the switch in your car to see if the light goes off.
The light can come on during extreme driving conditions, with this to be expected and normal.
When it is flashing, it means it is working, but if it is on all the time, there is an error.
Have you had an issue with the ESP BAS light on your car or truck? Let us know your thoughts below.