ESP BAS Light: What causes It, and How do you Fix it?

It’s a beautiful day, and you are driving with your family on a beautiful scenic route. Suddenly, a light popped up on your dashboard in the letters ESP BAS. Your dashboard is filled with lots of warning lights that indicate a problem. These problems can either be mechanical or electrical.

You saw the letters ESP BAS light up on your dashboard, but you don’t know what the ESP BAS light means as you have not seen these letters lit up on your dashboard before. Then, you want to know what the ESP BAS light means, what causes it and how to fix it. Read on to know all about them.

What is the ESP BAS light?

ESP BAS Light is a light on your dashboard that talks about two things: ESP and BAS. The illumination of any light or figure on your dashboard indicates a fault in one or more of your car components, be it a minor or a major fault that can cause a severe disaster.

ESP is an acronym that means Electronic Stability Program. It is also known as  Electronic Stability Control in some other vehicles. It is a computer-controlled program that supports the stability of your vehicle. It does this by identifying the absence of traction and helping you to restore it and thereby maintaining maximum control of your car and the situation.

While the BAS is known as the Brake Assist System, this helps in increasing the pressure on the brakes whenever it senses an abrupt slamming on the brake pedal.

In emergencies, you slam hard and fast on your brake pedal. The Brake Assist program, another name for the Brake Assist System, detects the intensity, speed, and force of your feet’ action on the brake pedal. It then bypasses your brake and releases optimum pressure on your brake pads until the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) kicks in.

When you start your car, your dashboard warning light may come on very briefly to check the bulb. But when any of the warning lights come on and do not go off immediately, then it indicates an issue with that component or related component in the car.

esp bas light on car

What causes ESP BAS Light to come on?

As stated earlier, when a warning light comes on, it indicates an issue. Also, when the ESP BAS light comes on, it indicates a fault in the Electronic Stability Control or the Brake Assist System, or both systems.

These systems might be a minor issue that can be solved on your own if you own an OBD scanner. These faults are the causes of ESP BAS light coming on, and they are discussed below.

Failure in the Brake Switch

Every time you apply the brakes and your car slows down, the brake lights at the rear end of your car switch on. This is to inform the vehicles behind you that you have applied the brakes, and your car will slow down so that they can slow down as well or leave the lane behind your car.

The brake switch is an electrical switch in the braking system responsible for the switching on of the brake light. If your brake switch is faulty or has failed, it could cause untold danger, as vehicles behind you won’t know you’ve applied brakes and, cause them to collide with your car.

Since there is no way to know if the brake light is working properly because of the location of the brake light, your car devised a way to let you know by switching on the ESP BAS light. So, any time the ESP BAS light comes on, it could be that your brake switch is faulty and your brake lights can’t be switched on.

Faulty Steering Angle Sensor

One of the most common reasons your ESP BAS light came on is a faulty steering angle sensor. The steering angle sensor works in helping your car’s steering wheel move in agreement with your wheels. This sensor makes your wheels answer to your steering; when you steer to the right, your wheels follow and steer to the right.

When this sensor stops working or becomes faulty, it will relay incorrect signals to the wheels, thus causing you to make wrong turns, swerve over the road, and knock on other vehicles.

Immediately the steering angle sensor becomes faulty, and the ESP BAS light comes on. You can fix the malfunctioning steering angle sensor by spinning the steering wheel to the right two times, then to the left two times, before returning it to the center. If it doesn’t work, seek professional help.

Faulty Wheel Speed Sensor

Every wheel in your vehicle has a sensor that helps calculate the speed and translate them to the ESP/BAS systems. If the ESP and BAS sense that your wheels are running at different speeds, they correct the speed, ensuring that they all run at the same speed to enable you to have a grip on your car.

Without the wheel speed sensor, or when it is faulty, the ESP BAS light with the traction control light comes on to inform you of that fault. A faulty wheel speed sensor is not a fault you should maintain as it could cause disaster, especially on slippery pavements, but one that you should fix immediately if it is observed.

Bad Brake Pads and Calipers

Depleted brake pads can not hold the wheels as they should. Likewise, bad brake calipers won’t supply enough pressure to the pads. These affect the braking systems and switches on the ESP BAS light.

Electrical Faults

Several car sensors in a vehicle are electrically wired. The Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) works on sensors and wiring as the wires of the wheel speed sensors run through the wheels of the car. Several factors can damage these wires.

These electrical faults can cause the ESP BAS light to come on, and an experienced auto mechanic can only repair them.

esp bas light meaning

How do I fix the ESP BAS light?

Fixing ESP BAS light is quite simple as the major causes are electrical. As with almost all electrical faults, they can be checked using a car code scanner. You find out the main cause of the ESP BAS warning light. It could be a faulty Wheel Speed sensor, Bad steering angle sensor, or Faulty brake switch.

After ascertaining the cause of the warning light, wipe the code with a scan tool. You can replace minor issues like faulty wheel speed sensors. You may need an experienced auto mechanic for major causes. Take the car to a mechanic garage to fix the faults.


Q: Is it safe to drive with the ESP BAS light on?

All causes and effects of ESP BAS lights are dangerous because if you neglect them and continue driving, they can directly cause a fatal accident. A faulty wheel speed sensor can cause your vehicle to veer off the road into an accident or bump or crash into other vehicles.

So, it is very dangerous to drive with ESP BAS light on, and those practices should be abolished.

Q: Where is the ESP sensor located?

The ESP BAS light in a dodge charger, the ESP BAS light in a dodge magnum, and the ESP BAS light in a jeep commander are located similarly. The ESP BAS is found on the dashboard underneath the fuel meter. It is essential to note that the location may vary on your specific car model.

Q: How do you clear the ESP BAS light on Mercedes?

In Mercedes, just like other vehicles, you can clear ESP BAS light through the process I mentioned before. The process I mentioned was meant for steering angle sensors. You can turn the car twice to the left and twice on the right before staying in the middle he started with. However, if the light is triggered due to a defective wheel speed sensor or faulty brake switch, you’ll have to replace them.

Q: What sensor does ESP use?

The Electronic Stability Program has a lot of sensors it works with. Examples of these are the Wheel speed sensor, steering angle sensor, brake switch, and other sensors involved in the braking system of the vehicle. The ABS is a very important component of the vehicle as the ABS helps the braking system to perform its duty. They help to restore traction or grip to your wheel. The ESP BAS light pops when there is a malfunction in the traction control system.

Q: Is ESP the same as traction control?

No, ESP and Traction control are not the same thing and they do not work the same way. ESP deals with how to stop the vehicle from sliding off the road or spinning into the corners.  While Traction is designed to help the car’s wheel have more traction under the muddy pavement.

Traction control is a part of ESP as ESP consists of a traction control system (TCS) and Anti-lock Braking System (ABS}.

Final Words

Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and Brake Assist System (BAS) are safety mechanisms employed in vehicles to keep the vehicle in the control of the driver. So, adhering to this ESP BAS light can reduce the rate of accidents.

At this juncture, we’ve explained the meaning of ESP BAS light and how to fix it. Whenever this light pops on the instrument cluster, track the culprit and fix it as soon as possible.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a seasoned automotive technician for the past 9 years, and a technical writer. He loves writing about auto professional repair guides, DIY repair guides, and buyer’s guide. After spending six years in the automotive workshop, he decided to impact his knowledge to people aside his domain, and he has achieved this by centering his Automotive writing skills on REPAIRS.

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