What Does ESP BAS Light Mean? Causes and Fixes

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 learn all about them.

ESP BAS Light Error
Image Credit: How To With James

What Does ESP BAS Light Mean

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

ESP is an acronym for Electronic Stability Program. It is also known as  Electronic Stability Control (ESC) in some other vehicles. It is a computer-controlled program that supports the driver in critical situations. It does this by identifying and counteracting vehicle skidding movement or loss of traction. The ESP consists of the traction control system, antilock braking system (ABS), and many other systems function to counteract traction issues.

On the other hand, the BAS is known as the Brake Assist System. It helps increase the pressure on the brakes whenever it senses an abrupt slamming on the brake pedal.

In emergencies, you usually slam hard on your brake pedal. The Brake Assist program, another name for the Brake Assist System, detects the intensity, speed, and force of your feet on the brake pedal on these occasions. 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 and disappear after a few seconds. But if any warning lights come on and do not go off after a while, it shows there’s a problem with the related component. For instance, the illumination of the ESP BAS light shows there’s a problem with the electronic stability or brake assist system.

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.

This might be a minor issue that can be solved on your own if you own an OBD scanner. The following faults are the causes of the ESP BAS light coming on the dashboard.

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 will turn on. This is to inform the vehicles behind you that you have applied the brakes, and your car will slow down so that it can slow down as well or navigate to the other lane.

The brake switch is an electrical component in the braking system responsible for switching on the brake light. If the brake switch is faulty, it will put you at risk as vehicles behind you won’t know when you apply brakes. Invariably increasing the chances of collision.

Since there is no way to know if the brake light is working properly because of its location, the car manufacturers designed the ESP BAS light to appear on the dashboard to notify you of the imminent problem. So, any time the ESP BAS light comes on, it could be that your brake switch is faulty and your brake lights are not lighting.

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 to help your car’s steering wheel move in agreement with your wheels. This sensor makes the wheels correspond to the steering; when you steer to the right, the wheels move toward the right.

If this sensor becomes faulty, it will send incorrect signals to the wheels. Invariably causing disagreement between the steering wheel and the tires.

If a faulty steering angle sensor is why the ESP BAS light appears on the dash, you can fix it by steering the wheel to the extreme right two times and to the extreme 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 perfect grip on the road.

If the wheel speed sensor becomes faulty, the ESP BAS light and the traction control light will appear on the dashboard to notify you of the underlying problem. A faulty wheel speed sensor is not a fault you should ignore as it could cause disaster, especially on slippery roads.

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. For instance, the wheel speed sensors send its readings to the ESP and the ABS through wires. If there’s an issue with the wire, it’ll cause the ESP BAS light to display on the dashboard.

esp bas light meaning

How do I fix the ESP BAS light?

Fixing ESP BAS light is quite simple because the major causes are electrical problems. As with most electrical faults, you can pinpoint the root cause using an OBD scan tool. The scan tool will tell you the possible causes. It could be a faulty Wheel Speed sensor, Bad steering angle sensor, or Faulty brake switch.

Fix or replace the leading cause of the ESP BAS warning light. After that, rescan the vehicle and clear the code. However, Contact your mechanic if you are not a DIYer or don’t understand your car’s underhood working principles.

How do you turn off the ESP BAS light on my Jeep?

The common cause of ESP BAS light on Jeeps and other car models is a failing steering angle sensor that needs recalibration. If this is the root cause, the process of recalibrating it is quite simple. To reset it and turn off the light, turn the steering wheel twice to the right and twice to the left. After that, return the steering wheel to the center to complete the reset procedure, and the light will turn off.

If a steering angle sensor is not the cause, you have to track and fix the cause of the problem before the light disappears.

How much does it cost to fix ESP BAS light errors?

The cost of fixing the illuminated ESP BAS light on the dashboard depends on the cause of the problem and the mechanic doing the fix. For instance, if a lousy wheel speed sensor is the root cause, you will spend $150 to $250 for replacement. And if worn brake pads are the cause, you’ll pay $100 to $300 for replacement.

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

Driving with ESP BAS warning light on the dash is dangerous because the problem may cause you to lose control of the vehicle in bad weather conditions. For instance, a faulty wheel speed sensor can cause your vehicle to veer off the road or crash into other cars.

Therefore, you should not drive with ESP BAS light on to avoid putting yourself and other road users at risk.

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 have a similar location. The ESP BAS light is on the dashboard underneath the fuel meter. However, the ESP system uses different car sensors to assist drivers in bad weather conditions. It does not use a single sensor.

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 earlier. You can turn the car twice to the left and twice on the right before returning it to the center. However, if the light appears due to a defective wheel speed sensor or faulty brake switch, you must replace them.

What sensor does ESP use?

The Electronic Stability Program works with car sensors like the Wheel speed sensor, steering angle sensor, brake switch, etc. It also works with ABS. The ABS is an important component of the vehicle that assists the braking system to perform its duty. The ESP uses these sensors to restore traction to your wheel. The ESP BAS is always active, but the light only pops when there is a malfunction in the vehicle stability system or when the system is trying to regain traction.

Is ESP the same as traction control?

No. ESP and Traction control are not the same and do not work the same way. Though traction control is a part of ESP, it serves a different purpose. The ESP is responsible for stopping your car from sliding or spinning corners. Traction control, on the other hand, offers more traction to the wheels under power.

Final Words

Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and Brake Assist System (BAS) are safety mechanisms designed to help the driver control the vehicle in bad weather conditions. 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 certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

One thought on “What Does ESP BAS Light Mean? Causes and Fixes

  1. Thank you foe explaining to me why my ESP/BAS light is on and my slippery when wet is p

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