It would be difficult to find a modern car without some variation of an Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system. This system is in place to reduce the risk of road accidents and increase the traction between your tyres and the road. Read on to learn what to do if you spot a warning light connected with the electronic stability system.

Why is My ESP Warning Light On?

If your Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) warning light is on, this will usually indicate that you are either driving on a slippery surface or that there is a problem with your electronic stability program system. When you are driving on a slippery surface such as a wet road, the light will turn on to demonstrate that it is working. Usually, the light flashes in this case. However, if you are driving on a normal surface and the light is constant, you have an issue with your electronic stability system. 

What is the ESP Warning Light?

The electronic stability programme warning light will usually show when your car loses traction if you are driving over a slippery surface. It will usually flash while the system is activated and then switch off when traction is regained and your car goes back to normal. However, if the light is stationary while you are driving over normal surfaces, this can indicate a number of different faults. 

What Does it Mean When the ESP Light is Flashing?

If you notice the ESP light flashing or see a flashing light that shows a car with some wavy lines when you are driving on a slippery surface or the car has skidded, this means that the system is working correctly. The light flashes demonstrate that the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system has taken over to regain traction and stability to keep you safe. 

How Does the ESP Dashboard Light Work?

The ESC is a system that works in conjunction with others, including the anti-locking brakes and traction control system. If one wheel loses traction, the ESC reduces power and applies the brakes to correct your car’s stability. It can also inform the engine to reduce power if your car is steering dangerously, which affects the power being supplied to the wheels. This can protect you in a situation such as driving on ice, where you might be revving the car but there is no traction on the wheels. 

What are the Common Reasons the Electronic Stability Programme Warning Light Will Come On?

There are several faults that could be behind an ESP warning light on your dash. These are:

Faulty Wheel ABS Sensors

The sensors in the wheels provide the ABS control unit with information about each wheel’s speed. This allows the ABS to make the necessary corrections if one or more of the wheels slips. If a sensor fails, it might detect a wheel slip that has not happened, which can cause the light to switch on. 

Faulty ABS Rings

The ABS sensor measures the speed of the wheels from the ABS ring. If these rings are faulty or broken, it can cause the sensor to measure the wrong speed. 

Faulty Brake Pedal Switch

The ESP system needs to be informed when you press the brake, and there is a switch installed on the brake pedal that ensures this function works correctly. However, a fault with the switch could cause the wrong information to be sent out, which can lead to the ESP light coming on. 

Faulty Throttle Body

When your car slips, the throttle body is used to control power output for the ESP system. A fault with the throttle body will cause the ESP light to be switched on. 

Faulty Steering Angle Sensor