What is an ESP BAS Light on a car? | How To Turn Off the ESP BAS Light?

The illumination of warning lights on your car’s dashboard serves as crucial indicators for potential issues. The ESP BAS light is one of the most important warning lights that can’t be ignored. Learn the ESP BAS Light meaning, causes, and how to fix it.

ESP BAS warning light

The ESP BAS light plays a vital role in enhancing vehicle control, particularly in challenging driving conditions. Normally, this light will flash for a short time and then turn off, confirming its proper functionality.

However, if this light persistently remains illuminated without turning off, it signifies the presence of a problem that requires attention. This article explains the ESP BAS warning light meaning, causes, and how to reset it.

What Does The ESP BAS Light Mean?

The illumination of the ESP BAS light indicates a malfunction in your vehicle’s electronic stability program (ESP) or brake assist system (BAS). When this light is illuminated, it indicates that you need to immediately inspect your electronic stability program or the brake assist system for an issue.


Both the brake assist system and electronic stability program in your car are crucial safety features. Neglecting the dashboard light is unwise, as these systems are designed to ensure your safety.

Nevertheless, you can utilize a compatible portable scan tool to retrieve the specific diagnostic codes associated with these systems.

What causes ESP BAS Light to come on?

The following are the most common causes of ESP BAS light illumination:

  • Faulty Steering Angle Sensor
  • Tire Issues
  • Faulty Brake Switch
  • Faulty Wheel Speed Sensor
  • Faulty ABS or ESP Module
  • Damaged Wiring

1) Faulty Steering Angle Sensor

Steering Angle Sensor

Your vehicle is equipped with multiple sensors, and the steering angle sensor is one of them. A bad steering angle sensor is one of the frequent reasons for the ESP BAS light to come on.

The steering angle sensor of a vehicle plays a pivotal role in aligning the steering wheel with the wheels. By utilizing the data of this sensor, the vehicle’s main computer determines the direction in which the driver steers the steering wheel.

An issue with the steering angle sensor triggers the ESP BAS Light. These problems encompass scenarios where the sensor experiences a disrupted connection, leading to the illumination of the ESP BAS light on the dashboard. Additionally, this illumination could indicate a complete failure of the sensor itself.

2) Tire Issues

tire wear

The ESP system of a vehicle uses the information of each wheel’s speed to determine if the vehicle is losing traction. If your tires have diverse pressures or uneven wear, it may impact the functionality of the ESP system and may cause the ESP BAS light illumination.

3) Faulty Brake Switch

Brake Light Switch, causes of ESP BAS Light

Another factor contributing to the ESP BAS light’s activation is the brake switch. Despite being designed for longevity, there remains a possibility of its failure.

The brake switch is responsible for activating the rear brake lights when the brake pedal is pressed. A malfunctioning switch could result in drivers behind you being unaware of your deceleration or stoppage. As a consequence, it’s important to replace a defective switch promptly as you become aware of the issue.

4) Faulty Wheel Speed Sensor

ABS Sensor, causes of ESP BAS Light illumination

Each wheel of your car has an ABS wheel speed sensor that calculates the speed of the wheel. The data of the ABS sensor is really important for the safety system in the car called the ESP BAS system. This system helps the car stay in control, especially when the road is slippery. The ABS sensors help the ESP BAS system notice if a wheel is slipping and make the car stable again.

Sometimes, when a wheel loses traction a little bit, the ESP BAS light might start to illuminate on the dashboard. But don’t worry; if everything gets back to normal, the light will go away by itself. If it doesn’t, it might mean there’s a problem with one of the sensors that help the car stay safe.

Read More: Bad ABS Sensor Symptoms and Causes

5) Faulty ABS or ESP Module

ABS Control Module

The ESP and ABS systems of your vehicle are designed to control the traction and stability. These systems utilize the data of different sensors to work efficiently.

ESP and ABS systems are controlled by electronic modules that make decisions about when to interfere to improve stability and braking.

If something goes bad with the ABS or ESP module, the ESP BAS light may start to illuminate on your car’s dashboard.

Read More: Bad ABS Control Module Symptoms and Causes

6) Damaged Wiring 

A network of numerous wires interconnects various sensors and the ABS control module in the vehicle. These wires connect the vehicle wheels and the ABS wheel speed sensors, and occasionally, they sustain damage.

In modern cars, this occurrence is less frequent due to enhanced wire protection mechanisms. However, the possibility still exists, particularly in unfortunate circumstances. The challenge with wiring problems lies in their intricate nature, and if one lacks expertise, pinpointing these issues can prove to be quite arduous.

How To Fix The ESP BAS Light?

To identify the root cause behind the ESP BAS light illumination, the simplest approach involves utilizing an OBD-II scan tool to retrieve trouble codes stored in your vehicle’s ABS control module. This method facilitates pinpointing the problem or commencing a structured troubleshooting process, replacing guesswork with informed action.

Follow the below-given steps to reset the ESP BAS light for your vehicle:

1) Recalibrate Steering Angle Sensor

In some cases, the resolution might be as straightforward as recalibrating the steering angle sensor. Surprisingly, this can be performed during driving without necessitating any specialized tools or professional help.

So, a primary technique to reset the ESP BAS light requires no special tool; rather, it involves a cautious manipulation of your steering wheel.

  • Initiate the Engine: Enter your vehicle, turn on the engine, and ensure it’s in park mode. It’s important to choose a secure and level area for this procedure.
  • Steer the Wheel: Slowly steer your steering wheel to the right until it reaches its maximum limit. Subsequently, turn the wheel completely to the left.
  • Repetition: Repeat the second step around three to four times. This repetitive action is intended to recalibrate the steering angle sensor.
  • Reset: To conclude, straighten the wheel to its standard position, power off your engine, and wait for about 60 seconds. Then, turn on your vehicle again. The ESP BAS light should now be deactivated.

2) Replace the ABS Speed Sensor

ABS Wheel Speed Sensor Location

The ABS sensor or wheel speed sensor is usually located behind each set of brake discs. Thanks to its accessible location, replacing a faulty wheel speed sensor is generally a straightforward process, although rust can occasionally impede the procedure.

  • Lift your car using a jack.
  • Take away the affected wheel.
  • Upon removing the sensor, inserting the replacement is a hassle-free job.

3) Replace Steering Angle Sensor

If recalibration proves ineffective, the solution might involve replacing the steering angle sensor. Fortunately, this task is typically straightforward and only needs a socket and ratchet for completion.

Follow the below-given steps to replace the steering angle sensor:

  • Begin by disconnecting the battery to ensure safety.
  • Subsequently, proceed to take away the airbag from the steering wheel by gently depressing the clip positioned at the steering wheel’s rear.
  • With the steering wheel set at the center position, remove the central nut by using the socket and ratchet.
  • To maintain the wheel’s orientation, create a reference mark for the center point.
  • Following the removal of the clock spring, the sensor will become accessible.
  • Remove the faulty sensor and install the new one in its place.
  • Reconnect all components and start the vehicle. Remember that recalibrating the system is also imperative for the light to deactivate.

4) Replace Brake Switch Sensor

By using an OBD-II scan tool, you can efficiently pinpoint issues linked to the brake switch sensor. Notably, this sensor is budget-friendly compared to some others.

However, the brake switch sensor is positioned just above the brake pedal. Disconnect the malfunctioning sensor and seamlessly install the new one. It might be necessary to reset the codes that triggered the ESP BAS light to ensure its deactivation.

5) Repair Brakes

Should brake maintenance be required, proceed to perform the service and observe if the ESP BAS warning light stops to illuminate. To repair the brakes, follow the following steps:

  • Lift your car using jack stands, and then remove the wheels.
  • During the process of unbolting the brake caliper, ensure it is securely supported to avert damage to any lines.
  • If deemed necessary, you also need to remove and replace the brake rotor. Alternatively, if sufficient material remains, you might opt for resurfacing.
  • If your brake pads are damaged, you should replace them. Changing the brake pads is also a straightforward task. However, challenges occur if the caliper becomes stuck.
  • If you lack extensive expertise in modern brake systems, seeking professional help might be advisable.

FAQ Section

What does ESP BAS mean in a car?

The illuminated ESP BAS light indicates that there is something wrong with your vehicle’s electronic stability program (ESP) or brake assist system (BAS).

What is the function of the Brake Assist System?

The brake assist system (BAS) improves regular braking performance, particularly in emergencies. It’s not meant to take over how the driver brakes, but it adds more pressure to make the brakes work better when needed.

What is the function of the Electronic Stability Program?

The electronic stability program (ESP) of your vehicle helps you to stay safe in different dangerous driving situations. It does more than just traction control and prevents the brakes from locking up. It stops your car from sliding by noticing the wheel’s speed.

Where is the ESP sensor located?

The ESP sensor is usually found in the engine compartment, but its exact spot can vary depending on the vehicle model.

Why does the ESP BAS light in my Jeep come on?

In a Jeep, the ESP BAS light comes on due to an issue with your car’s Brake Assist System (BAS) or Electronic Stability Program (ESP). If your Jeep’s BAS system or electric panel isn’t working right, it can affect how your car performs. It’s important to address this issue to avoid bigger problems.

How do you turn off the ESP BAS light?

A common reason for the ESP BAS light to come on is a faulty steering angle sensor. After replacing the steering angle sensor, just turn the steering wheel to the right twice, then to the left twice. Put the steering wheel back in the center position, and the reset is done – the light will go away.

Can I drive with the illuminated ESP BAS light?

It is not recommended to drive with ESP BAS light. Driving with this light is unsafe because the issue could lead to loss of vehicle control, especially in bad driving situations. For example, a bad wheel speed sensor might make the car veer off the road or collide with other vehicles. It’s crucial not to drive with the illuminating ESP BAS light to prevent endangering yourself and other drivers.

Does ESP reduce power?

Yes, when a sudden loss of control happens, the ESP system of your vehicle will notice it and reduce power to help you regain control.

Can low brake fluid cause the ABS light to come on?

Yes, low brake fluid levels can trigger the ABS light in your car. Worn-out brake pads can cause this by using up the brake fluid.

Is the ESP warning light serious?

Electronic Stability Program (ESP) is a crucial safety feature that prevents the vehicle from losing control or skidding. When the ESP light is illuminated, it signals a problem with the ESP system, indicating that it might not be functioning correctly. In such conditions, driving is risky and could lead to your car failing the MOT test.

What does ESP BAS mean?

In a car, ESP BAS stands for electronic stability program and brake assist system. These systems work together to help you stay in control on slippery roads and stop the car without the brakes locking up or sliding. In a nutshell, they’re essential for your safety.

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