You are driving on the road and you suddenly see the ESP BAS light appear on the dash? You are instantly getting worried if something is wrong with your stability system control? Let me tell you that when this light appears on your dash, you should be worried.
- What Is The ESP BAS Light?
- Reasons Why It Turns On
- Is It Safe To Drive Like This?
- Cost To Repair The BAS Light
Since this light is concerned with the overall stability of the vehicle and also your safety. There might be a wide number of reasons why this light may pop up on your dash.
The ESP BAS light is the message you get when your brake and stability control system isn’t working as it should. This light should not light up so often. It usually turns on when the emergency brakes are engaged by the vehicle. These brakes engage in order to save you from a potentially dangerous situation on the road.
For example, you’re driving and suddenly a deer comes up on the road. You make an avoidance maneuver, and the ESP BAS light flashes a few times and shuts off. But this light is on all the time, it could be a bad sign, and your ESP system needs some attention. There may be a few reasons for what may cause this light to be turned on all the time.
In this article, we are going to get through all of the reasons why this light appears, and the possible solutions concerning the ESP BAS light. We also going to learn some troubleshooting methods on how you can take care of this issue by yourself with a simple OBD2 scanner tool. So, stick around till the end.
What Is The ESP BAS Light?
Before we get into more complex issues, we need to clear out some basic things first. This light is one of the many lights that are installed on the dash. This light is created for the specific purpose of giving you information. Since it flashes it means that something is engaging. If the light doesn’t turn off it means that the system is not disengaging, and potentially something is wrong with it.
When this specific light is turned on. It means that there is something wrong with the electronic stability program or the brake assist program. It may be something very serious or it may be something really simple to fix. That’s why it needs to be diagnosed first.
The important thing is that you shouldn’t run your car with the light turned on for long. After you have noticed that this light is turned on, you should be making an appointment at the mechanic’s shop as soon as possible.
What Can Be The Possible Outcomes of Driving with a ESP Light On?
When this light is turned on, your safety is jeopardized. I’m saying this because your electronic stability control system and the anti-lock brakes may not engage in an emergency. This will make your vehicle not able to handle the situations on the road as it used to.
This may cause late braking or no braking in some situations. For example, if you are driving behind someone on the road and they hit the brakes all of a sudden. You can clearly see that he is breaking and you start to break. Then you will notice that nothing happens, and you might hit that guy’s car from behind. Then you will pay out for insurance. In this case, if you don’t have insurance other problems may stack up.
So, when you get this light turned on. The best idea is to fix it as soon as possible and drive without worries. Now let’s see what causes this light to appear in the first place.
What is causing the ESP BAS light to pop up?
There can be plenty of reasons why the ESP BAS light is popping up on your dashboard. By scanning the car’s computer, you can learn a lot and diagnose the problem.
Many secrets can unravel If you have a proper diagnostic tool in your hands. You can get these tools for a cheap price on Amazon and you can diagnose these issues by yourself. You need some will and free time to learn these things. If you are not into DIY stuff, you can just take the car somewhere where they have one of these tools and they can diagnose the problem for you.
But a real car guy doesn’t like other people to check under the hood of his car. He takes things into his own hands. By getting your hands dirty you will learn a lot, and can possibly become a car expert.
Before we get into troubleshooting. Let’s first go through all the major reasons why the car behaves in this strange way.
Problem With The Steering Angle Sensor
Cars these days are filled with advanced electronics and incorporate different sensors. Because of this many models are plagued by problems. And that’s the case with this sensor. A very simple thing that causes many headaches.
The problem with the steering angle sensor is one of the most probable reasons why you will see the ESP BAS light on your dashboard. This steering wheel sensor is designed to help your steering wheel to work in perfect harmony with the wheels on the ground. This sensor helps insure your wheels are all turning in the right direction.
This sensor is placed inside your steering rack. When an issue occurs may cause the sensor to lose contact, and the ESP BAS light to start appearing on the dash. If the light turns on, it may mean that there is no contact with the sensor, and if it shuts off it means that the contact is engaged again.
You can notice this when you are driving over bumps, or when you are driving through potholes. This sensor is a pain to be taken care of. The best thing to do is to check the connections if they are good. Take an ohmmeter and check the connections. If the readings are good then it’s something else. If the readings are bad, the sensor is broken.
How To Recalibrate the Sensor?
You can try to recalibrate the sensor. You can do this by turning the wheel from side to side a couple of times, this will help the sensor to be recalibrated (from lock to lock). If it doesn’t help It means that the sensor is dead and needs to get replaced.
You can also get an OBD scanner in order to reset this sensor. Just give it a quick scan and then check the results that will come up. Fix the errors. It should be ok if the calibration was required and recalibrate, if doesn’t recalibrate, you will need to find a replacement with a new OEM part.
How To Replace The Sensor DIY?
The good news is that this sensor isn’t a pain to replace. If you want to replace it by yourself, you need only one wrench. The first thing to do is to unplug your battery. After you make sure that there isn’t power in the car. You can be safe that the airbag won’t explode in your face and you can focus on removing this sensor.
The second thing to do is to remove the airbag from the wheel. You can do this by pressing a clip on the back side of the wheel. After the airbag pops out then you can focus on removing the steering wheel.
First, lock your steering wheel in dead center. Then get a torque wrench to remove the main bolt that holds the wheel. After you removed the bolt, take a marker and mark the wheel position. This is necessary if you want your wheel to be perfectly straight.
Then remove the wheel, and after that remove the clock spring. The sensor we are looking for is attached to the back part of the clock spring. Remove the bad sensor and replace it with a brand new one. Then connect everything as it was before. Then mount your wheel and torque the bolt to the right spec.
After these steps, mount the airbag and when it clicks, it means that is ok. Then power on the battery. If you still getting the ESP BAS light then get a code reader and reset the codes. Restart the car and now it should be ok and you are ready to go.
Bad Wheel Speed Sensor
On every wheel on your car, there is installed a speed sensor that is measuring your average speed. These sensors are part of the ESP BAS systems. The speed sensor makes sure that your wheels are spinning at the right speed. This helps the ESP BAS system to know when you are losing traction. Loss of traction may happen if you drive on ice, rocks, and similar unstable surfaces.
When you are driving on these surfaces, your sensors are reading different values. The ESP system will start working and put the pressure on the wheel that losses traction. This will help to return the stability of the vehicle and keep the vehicle on the road. This action will turn your ESP BAS light on, but only for a moment. After it disengages it should turn off again and it should stay that way. If the light doesn’t turn off, maybe one of the wheel sensors is bad.
How To Diagnose A Bad Wheel Speed Sensor?
Take an OBD scanning tool and connect it to your car computer. Scan the car and some errors should pop up. In the errors, it should be the name of this sensor. The diagnosing tool will tell you on which wheel is this sensor failing and you will have a clearer idea about what you need to do next.
How To Replace A Bad Wheel Sensor DIY?
The sensor is placed right behind your braking disks. It is really easy to get close to it and replace it. It’s not a labor-intensive task and you can do it at your home. I will post a YouTube video of this process so you can have a clear idea of how to find this sensor and also the replacement process.
Bad Brake Switch
Something simple as a bad brake switch may also be one of the culprits for this problem. These brake switches are known to go bad on a regular basis. Although manufacturers claim that they last forever. It is a big possibility that once in a while you will need to change it.
How these switches works are pretty straightforward. This switch has a role to turn on the back brake lights when you apply your foot on the brake. This switch is necessary to work. so other people that are behind you will know if you are coming to a stop. If your brake lights don’t work it is very probable that someone will hit you from behind. Because of this, please keep this sensor in check.
This sensor is built for this purpose, when it fails will let you know that it’s time to replace it. That’s why the ESP BAS light is turned on and you need to diagnose the issue as soon as possible.
Replacing this sensor is an easy task. It is not labor-intensive work to find it and you don’t need to remove many parts like with other sensors.
Replacing The Brake Switch Sensor DIY?
First, you need to diagnose the issue with the OBD scanner tool. After you diagnosed the issue get a new sensor. These are not that expensive like other sensors. The sensor is located right above your brake pedal. Just unplug it, and plug the new one in. Reset the codes and you are ready to go.
Worn Out Rotors, Pads, Calipers
These three components are known to go bad and cause the ESP BAS light to show on the dash. Especially frozen calipers. The calipers apply pressure on the pads and know to freeze and cause the light to pop up. Also, worn-out pads are one of the common issues that cause these problems. Pads are fairly cheap and easy to find. And at last, are the rotors.
The rotors are important for your car to work properly. The rotors can last for 30,000 miles with no problem. But they know to warp if too much heat is applied to them. They can also wear and make your brakes unusable. So, changing them on time will be a good idea.
Doing Brake job DIY?
Doing a brake job DIY is a fairly easy process. But first, you need to get familiar with these parts. Watch some YouTube videos on how this work is done on your exact car. Learn more on how these parts go inside and also learn about the overall process of doing a brake job.
After you did this, you can go to your local AutoZone or any other parts store and look for new pads and rotors for your specific car. These need to be specific in order for this to work. If they are not, you will have to return them and replace them. After you got the parts, it is time to get your hands dirty.
Jack up the car and remove the wheels. Unbolt the caliper. This is usually two small bolts from behind and after you remove the bolt. Hang the caliper onto something. You don’t want to leave the caliper like that hanging, because the brake lines may break. Then unbolt the rotor and bolt the new rotor in. Give it a little tap with the hammer if it doesn’t want to come off.
Brake pads are fairly easy to do. Just unclip the old pads and apply the new pads inside the caliper. Bolt on the caliper and you are good to go. We do have a detailed guide here.
If the caliper is stuck. Things may be a bit messy and you will need a tool to flush your braking fluid. I wouldn’t recommend this job for a beginner. You should better leave this job to someone that has more experience.
Is it Safe To Drive Like This?
Driving with the ESP BAS light turned on is not safe, and you should not do it. This issue needs to be resolved as soon as possible, in order to keep yourself safe on the road. It may be something simple, but it may be something really concerning. Your ESP system needs to work properly all the time because you never know when you are going to need it.
A bad ESP system may lead you into an accident with big consequences. Traction is necessary for the car to stay on the road. And if these sensors are not working you may lose traction while you’re cornering, or on the snow. You never know what type of driving conditions you may across while you are driving. You need to be always prepared for these things.
Cost To Repair the ESP BAS Light
When it comes to price, repairing the ESP BAS light can be a costly job to do. This system is relying on many sensors that need to function, in order to do its job properly. Depending on what went wrong, the cost may vary.
The ABS Pump
If the ABS Pump went bad you may find having a hard time and it’s going to hurt your pocket. Depending on the make of your vehicle, it may come to a steep price of $800 and it can go up to $1000 to get this work done on your car.
You can save money if you find an old part in good condition. Second-hand ABS pumps usually cost around $200-300 depending on the make and model. If you go with a new one then you will need to pay around $500-600. Also, the labor will cost you around $200 depending much on where you take your car. If you decide to swap the pump by yourself, you will only pay for the ABS pump. I personally wouldn’t recommend you to go for a used part, since you never know when it can fail on you again. Get a new OEM part that will serve you for a long time.
In order to make your ESP function properly, you will also need working sensors. If one of them has a malfunction you need to replace it as soon as possible. It’s unfortunate that these sensors arn’t cheap and they may cost you a decent amount of money. Money that you already planned to spend on something more fulfilling.
These sensors usually cost from $200 and up. Depending on the make and model they can go high. So, the best idea is to search for your sensor from the part number. Because many Lamborghinis for example have Audi parts. So, if you find the Audi part or VW part you will pay a lot less to replace it. So, keep this in mind.
Brake Pads and Rotors
Brake calipers, Brake disks, and Brake pads. These parts are also a necessity when it comes to braking and controlling your car on the road. Warped disks may ruin your braking distance and they are a major cause for ESP BAS light to appear on the dash.
The calipers are rarely replaced, but sometimes they can get stuck and they need to be changed. They may cost from $200+ per caliper. Disks are cheaper coming at around $100+ per wheel. Brake pads are really cheap at $25+ dollars, but you definitely shouldn’t go for the cheapest options. These are pads made from bad materials and they know to squeak and cause some unpleasant noise when you apply the brakes. So, go for a more quality brand in order to avoid some headaches.
The ESP and BAS systems are an important part of your vehicle’s overall safety. With these systems, thousands of crashes are avoided on a daily basis. And also, many people are still alive because of them.
Having a working safety system is essential in your vehicle. If you see an ESP BAS light that lightens up and doesn’t turn off, it means something went bad and you should take care of it. If you are into mechanics, you can get an OBD scanner and diagnose the issue. Check out the codes and search them online. You will find plenty of solutions.
If some sensor is bad then you need to replace it. If the ABS pump went bad then you should replace it with a good used one or a brand-new pump. To go for a new part is the best thing to do. If the rotors are warped and the caliper is stuck replace them with new ones. Don’t go cheap and try to get these parts used. Since they are for sale, it means that something is wrong with them.
The bottom line is, you should never leave unsolved problems in your car. Take care of all the systems and you will save more money in the long run. Because if you delay these things. You will pay more when the issues spread over time.
These tools have been tried and tested by our team, they are ideal for fixing your car at home.