If an EPC light suddenly goes on in the instrument cluster, you probably want to know what EPC means in a car. Should you see such a warning light, a loss of power and sluggish performance may accompany it, giving you a broad hint that something is wrong. And typically, something is wrong, but it might not be an engine problem. Instead, a variety of malfunctions or problems could trigger the EPC warning light.
The EPC warning light, also known as the Electronic Power Control warning light, is a vehicle warning indicator that indicates a problem with your Vehicles throttle system. This is a a computerized ignition and engine management system used in many recent Volkswagen Group vehicles.
Volkswagen Group’s most popular brands are Audi, Porsche, and Volkswagen. Vehicles from all of these brands are likely to have EPC. Originally designed to manage ignition and throttle functions, EPC’s role now includes oversight of a number of electronic systems like electronic stability control and cruise control.
In normal operation, your vehicle’s Electronic Control Unit (ECU) is the “brain” of the car, enabling the engine, drivetrain, and other systems to operate properly. The EPC works in concert with the ECU to monitor functions, and if something goes wrong, the EPC flashes a warning light on the dash.
At the same time, depending upon the malfunction, other warning lights like the “check engine” light might also illuminate. The cruise control could turn itself off, and the electronic stability control might cease functioning as well.
To try to protect the engine from damage, the EPC might activate a “limp-home” mode. This will severely curtail power and give you the impression that the car is on the verge of stalling. Often the engine will continue to operate, enabling you to reach a technician for diagnosis and repairs.
What To Do When the EPC Light Comes On
An EPC warning light could be an indicator of a minor problem or of very serious problems. Therefore, if the light comes on, immediately seek a safe place to have your vehicle serviced by a competent technician.
While you can continue to drive with the EPC warning light on, you run the risk of doing significant damage to the engine. To help prevent damage, the EPC’s limp-home mode might activate, making the vehicle sluggish as you seek help. Even if the car seems to be operating normally, don’t continue to drive any longer than is necessary with the EPC light illuminated. The vehicle should be checked by a competent technician as soon as is possible.
Fix the Vehicle EPC light – Throttle body
When the EPC notification comes on in your Vehicle dashboard, your car needs to be repaired as soon as possible. Under normal circumstances, your car should definitely have enough power to drive to the e-CAR repair shop.
The Vehicle EPC warning light indicates a problem with the throttle pedal, throttle body, traction control, or cruise control.
How to fix the EPC light on your Vehicle
To fix the EPC light on your Vehicle, we advise you to visit a local e-CAR repair shop. In the repair shop, they will be able to diagnose the problem.
The first possible solution for you would be to have your engine sensor replaced or reset to see if this turns off the EPC light.
If you want to fix the EPC light yourself, you can try the following: first, start the car normally. Then, start the car for the second time and push the accelerator pedal to the floor when the engine starts. In some cases, this works.
It is also a good idea to check the electrical connections on the throttle body. The Volkswagen EPC light might turn OFF after you clean the connector.
Detect problems with an OBD2 scanner
An OBD2 scanner is a very cool device. It is the easiest and fastest way to find the problem when your EPC lights appears on your dashboard. The device reads the trouble codes from your vehicle. These codes are stored in one of your control units. You should definitely scan these units:
ABS control unit
Steering control unit
Engine control unit
Transmission control unit
The cheapest OBD2 scanners can only read the engine control unit. As the problem could appear in multiple control units, we recommend you to buy a more advanced scanner.
We highly recommend these OBDLink scanners for iOS, Windows and Android. The bluetooth scan tool is easy to install and completely safe to leave plugged in without draining your Volkswagen battery.
Vehicle EPC light reset
To reset the Vehicle EPC light, you need to access the Engine Control Module, also called EMC. To complete this process, you’ll need diagnostic equipment to connect with the data link connector of the vehicle in order to pull out all DTC’s (also called Diagnostic Trouble Codes) memorized. Once you have all the data, you will be fully informed about the root cause of the problem. This will allow you to repair and replace the bad pieces and reset the ECM. When this is done, the EPC warning light will turn OFF.
Can you drive with the EPC light on?
Yes you can. However, we strongly advise you to have your EPC light fixed as soon as possible. When the Vehicle EPC light is on on your dashboard, it means that there may be several limited functions to your car. Your car might lose power, could have engine damage, limited brake or steering functions.
What causes an EPC light to come on?
There are several different causes for an EPC Light to come on. The most common causes are because of a faulty engine sensor, malfunctions with the air sensor and brake lights. However there can be many other causes: