As you continue to drive your car, it’s inevitable that you will encounter various symbols lighting up on your dashboard. One of these is the EPC light, and if you don’t know what that indicates, it might make you worried.
Luckily, in this quick guide, you will learn everything you need to know about the EPC light and the best course of action to take to deal with this specific dilemma.
An EPC (Electronic Power Control) light is a type of warning light commonly associated with various issues relating to a car’s throttle system. In a Volkswagen specifically, this light most often comes on when something is amiss with the cruise control system, throttle pedal, traction control, and throttle body.
The safety feature is in every Volkswagen automobile, and it is one of the main signs that vehicle owners can keep an eye out for if they ever suspect that their car’s throttle system is experiencing issues.
Yes, you can drive your Volkswagen with the EPC light on. However, doing so is highly discouraged. The main reason for this is that driving with the EPC light on means potentially putting yourself and others at significant risk.
If your car is having issues with its throttle system, then that means that controlling it will prove more difficult as increasing and decreasing speed will lose consistency. Continuing to drive with the EPC light on also means that there is a greater chance for your car to take on more damage than whatever is already wrong with the throttle system.
Because of this, you should actively avoid driving whenever you see the EPC light come on and instead try to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
You will never mistake the EPC light for something else on the central console because it often shows up as the letters’ EPC’ in bright yellow.
When the EPC light comes on, you can chalk it up to the previous reasons about issues with the throttle system. However, there are different instances in which the light might come on, and each instance can mean different things.
For example, if the EPC light only comes on when you accelerate, that could mean that something is wrong with a connection in the system or a wire has gone bad. However, suppose the EPC light comes on when the engine is off, but the ignition is on. In that case, you will have nothing to fear as this is a regular feature in Volkswagen vehicles.
Many system lights will always appear when the ignition is on without the engine being on, and the EPC light will typically come on as well. If the EPC light comes on and your car is failing to start, it could mean that either the EPC system sensor has gone bad or the EPC lock got stuck in place.
The EPC light has extra safety features built-in that vary depending on the vehicle model for Volkswagen vehicles. While some features don’t provide significant safety improvements, some are more extreme, where the EPC system will turn the entire car off and prevent the vehicle from being driven entirely.
The EPC lights of some Volkswagen models also require more technical knowledge to fix than others. The Volkswagen Jetta is one of those models, and if you ever find the EPC light on in a Jetta, you should most certainly seek assistance from a professional. The same general rule also applies to the Volkswagen Beetle.
Here are some potential causes for the EPC light coming on in a Volkswagen:
- Malfunctioning Traction Control System
- Malfunctioning Cruise Control System
- Faulty throttle pedal
- Dirty/Damaged throttle body
- Vehicle Stability Issues
- Dead/Dying Battery
In some cases, your EPC light could come on without any of the above points being the cause. When this happens, it may mean that something is wrong with your vehicle’s electrical system.
All the lights on the central console gain power to turn on and off from electrical connections inside your car, so if those connections become faulty for whatever reason, you may start seeing strange behavior from the various lights, including the EPC light.
Additionally, your vehicle’s EPC light may come on if there is something faulty with the engine sensor. You can confirm whether this cause is the culprit or not by resetting or replacing the engine sensor.
If you look into what is causing your car’s EPC light to come on and find that it is something you cannot remedy with a system restart or other simple trick, you may have to opt for repairs.
The cost of repairs varies depending on the type of Volkswagen vehicle you own, but most are all in the same ballpark. For example, repairing the EPC light on a Volkswagen Jetta can cost between $150 and $200.
It is also worth remembering that the price can further differ depending on what is causing the EPC light to come on and the labor cost of fixing the malfunction.
If you have the confidence to try fixing your Volkswagen’s EPC light yourself instead of having a professional fix it for you, one safe option you can try is resetting the system.
To do this, turn your car on and let it run for a few seconds. After that, turn the car off and turn it back on once more, but this time when the engine starts, press your foot against the gas pedal until it touches the floor.
This action will reset the EPC light system, and it may return to functioning normally as a result. Of course, when the warning light remains on even after applying this fix, that likely means that the system is working correctly and something is wrong with your car’s cruise control system, throttle pedal, traction control, or throttle body.
Resetting your EPC light’s system is not the most reliable approach for fixing whatever issues are afflicting your car’s system because there is a strong chance that the warning light will come on again after the reset. Because of this, it is always best to seek out professional help from someone who has more advanced knowledge of automobiles.
If you have a Volkswagen, you should try and get help from someone who specializes in working with Volkswagen vehicles.