ESP BAS Light: Meaning and Causes | How to fix ESP BAS Light?

ESP stands for electronic stability program. In some vehicles, this is known as Electronic Stability Control. Your car’s dashboard is filled with warning lights that tell you when something is wrong. If you see an ESP BAS light on your dashboard, it’s important to understand what it means and what the cause is. This article explains the ESP BAS light meaning, causes, and how to fix it.

ESP BAS Light Meaning 

The ESP BAS Light indicates a problem with the electronic stability program or brake assist program with your vehicle. This light functions similarly to the other warning lights on your dashboard, notifying you of an issue.


The light is activated in response to various problems, varying from minor to severe. As with any other significant car issue, you’ll desire to get a readout of the diagnostic trouble codes. You may either use a quality code scanner or bring it to a nearby auto repair shop and have it scanned for you.

What causes ESP BAS Light to come on?

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

Following are the most common causes due to that an ESP BAS light comes on:

1) Defective Steering Angle Sensor

Modern vehicles contain advanced sensors, including one for the steering angle. Sadly, this sensor also leads to the majority of reasons that the ESP BAS Light comes on. 

The steering wheel sensor keeps the steering wheel in line with the car’s wheels. With the help of the sensor, the car knows which way you turn the steering wheel based on the input given by the steering angle sensor. 

The sensor can lose contact due to a poor connection, leading to light illumination. It could also mean that the sensor has failed.

2) Failed 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 also slow down or leave the lane behind your car.

The brake switch is an electrical switch in the braking system responsible for switching 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.

3) 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.

4) Wiring Issues

There are a lot of wires going between all the different sensors and the ABS control module. The wirings to the ABS wheel speed sensors are going to the wheels, and sometimes they get damaged.

This is not very common in newer car models, as the wirings are often very protected, but it can still happen if you are unlucky. The bad thing about wiring issues is that they can be very difficult to find if you are not experienced.

5) Bad Brake Pads and Calipers

Depleted brake pads cannot 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.

Read More: Car Dashboard Warning Lights

How to turn off the ESP BAS Light?

The easiest way to determine what is causing the ESP BAS light is to read the trouble codes with an OBD2 scanner from the ABS control module in your car. This will help you locate the issue or start the troubleshooting instead of just guessing and replacing parts.

Fix the following parts to fix the illuminated ESP BAS warning light:

1) Replace Wheel Speed Sensor

Behind each set of braking discs, you can find the wheel speed sensor. Because of how easy it is to access, it’s relatively simple to replace a defective sensor, but sometimes it can get stuck by rust.

Jack up the vehicle and remove the affected wheel. When you take off the sensor, you can easily pop the new one in its place.

2) Replace Steering Angle Sensor

You might need to replace the sensor if the calibration doesn’t fix the problem. Thankfully, this job is usually simple and only requires the use of a socket and ratchet.

Make sure you unplug the battery first. You must then remove the airbag from the steering wheel by pushing on the clip located on the rear of the wheel. Lock the steering wheel in the center and use your socket and ratchet to remove the main nut.

Mark the wheel’s position so you know where the center is. After you remove the clock spring, you will see the sensor. Take it out and put the new one back in. Connect everything back up and turn on the vehicle. You will also need to recalibrate the system for the light to turn off. 

3) Recalibrate Steering Angle Sensor

Sometimes, the steering angle sensor just needs to be recalibrated. You can do this in your driveway without any special tools.

Sit behind the wheel of your car and gently turn the wheel from one side to another, where it would lock. You might also need to cycle the key for the calibration to take effect. 

In some cases, an OBDII scanner can recalibrate the steering angle sensor. Read the codes and recalibrate as needed. 

4) Repair Brakes

If it’s time for a brake job, get it done and see if it turns the light off. Put the car up on jack stands and take the wheels off. When you unbolt the brake caliper, make sure you rest it somewhere so none of the lines break.

From here, you can remove the rotor and replace it if needed. You might prefer to have it resurfaced if there is still plenty of material available. Additionally, it’s not hard to replace the brake pads. 

5) Install New Brake Switch Sensor

With your OBDII code scanner, you can hunt down the problems with the brake switch sensor. Unlike some of the other sensors, this one is inexpensive. 

You will find it located above the brake pedal. Simply unplug the defective sensor and put the new one in. You might also need to reset any codes that were set to turn the light off. 

6) Fix Wiring Problems

Several wire connections are among your car’s various sensors and your ABS control module. The wire for the car’s ABS wheel speed sensors runs through the wheels, and these occasionally may become broken.

Get your car an experienced auto-electrician to solve the issue, since wirings are very complex and can cause additional major problems if done with errors.

How much does it cost to fix ESP BAS light?

The fixing cost of the illuminated ESP BAS light depends on the cause of the problem and labor cost.

ABS Pump replacement$300 to $1100
Wheel Sensor replacement$200 to $260
Brake Pad replacement$110 to $310

FAQ Section

What does ESP mean on a car?

The electronic Stability Programme (ESP) is a computerized safety technology present in most modern cars. It is designed to improve a vehicle’s stability by detecting and reducing loss of traction, thus preventing the tires from skidding uncontrollably.

Where is the ESP sensor located?

The ESP sensor is located in the engine compartment. The control unit takes over the electrical and electronic tasks as well as all control functions of the system.

Can I drive with illuminated ESP BAS light?

Driving with ESP BAS light illuminated is dangerous and should be avoided. This problem must be fixed immediately to ensure your safety. It could be somewhat minor, or it could be something serious.

A malfunctioning ESP system could result in a disaster. Traction is required to keep the automobile on the road. Once these sensors fail, you risk losing traction in sharp turns or on snow.

What would cause the ESP BAS light to come on?

The ESP BAS Light indicates a problem with the electronic stability program or brake assist program with your vehicle. Some of the top causes for this light include defective wheel speed sensors, issues with the steering angle sensor, a bad brake switch, or other braking system failures.

What does ESP BAS mean on your car?

This combined system warning indicator covers the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and the Brake Assist System (BAS). These systems work together, and a fault in either, or both, will cause the light to come on. If it remains on, see your dealer or authorized service center.

Is ESP important in a car?

The ESP is a very important safety feature of your vehicle as it prevents or at least mitigates the effects of skidding. It constantly checks various information while driving, such as the speed and the steering angle.

What sensor does ESP use?

The Electronic Stability Program (ESP) 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.

What is the difference between ESP BAS light and Traction Control light?

The traction control light indicates that the car’s traction control is being used, indicating that your vehicle briefly lost grip going around a sharp curve, driving on wet pavement, or the like. In comparison, the ESP BAS light indicates a problem with the electronic stability program or brake assist program with your vehicle.

How do you reset ESP?

  1. Find the ESP® button.
  2. Press it and hold it down for five seconds.
  3. This will reset the light.

How important is electronic stability control?

The technology behind the ESC system is highly effective in assisting a driver in maintaining control of the car during hard-steering maneuvers. ESC does not explicitly prevent a vehicle from flipping over. Still, the safety feature helps keep the tires on the pavement, where a car is much less likely to roll over.

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