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Mercedes ESP light on problem e s c ml class

Mercedes-Benz ESP light and how to reset it yourself

Mercedes ESP Light

Mercedes ESP light on problem e s c ml classNo matter if you are driving an E, C, S, ML-Class, or any other Mercedes-Benz model you could get an “ESP Malfunction fault – visit workshop” warning and the ESP light stays on or is flashing. In this article, we will go over the most common Mercedes ESP light problems and how to reset the light yourself.

If the ESP light is constantly staying on, it is possible that you accidentally hit the ESP button on the dashboard. First, try to press the ESP switch, hold it down for three seconds, and check if the ESP light on the instrument cluster turns off.

If pressing the ESP switch does not turn off the light, or if the ESP light is flashing, it means there is a problem with the ESP system on your Mercedes-Benz. This article will help you diagnose ESP problems on your Mercedes-Benz.

turn off esp light mercedes
Toggle the ESP light on / off by pressing the ESP button. Shown on SLK/Crossfire. The button may look slightly different in C, E, S, and ML-Class.

What does ESP light mean, and how does it work?

ESP stands for Electronic Stability Program (or Control). ESP’s primary purpose is to help drivers maintain control of their vehicles during extreme steering maneuvers by keeping the vehicle headed in the driver’s intended direction. ESP does not intervene until it detects that the vehicle is starting to lose road traction. As ESP does its job, the ESP light will flash briefly on the instrument cluster. The following video shows you how the ESP works, and if you would like to learn even more, you can read the Electronic Stability Control article on SafeCar.gov

When ESP is engaged, brake pressure may be applied to each wheel to keep the car from sliding off the road. It is important to drive safely and obey the speed limit because ESP will not be able to increase traction or overcome the laws of physics. Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Vehicle Stability Enhancement (VSE), and Electronic Stability Control are all different names used by other makes such as Audi, BMW, Lexus, and Toyota, but they all mean the same thing: Electronic Stability Program (ESP).

What can cause Mercedes ESP light warnings and malfunctions?

The ESP malfunction on your Mercedes-Benz can be caused by several failed components. Instead of just guessing at what could be wrong it is better and cheaper to find a diagnostic scanner that can read the ESP fault codes. The ESP fault code will describe which of the following is the problem. It makes diagnosing such problems much easier and cheaper.

top 5 esp light on problemsTop 5 reasons that can cause ESP light to stay on.

Brake Light Switch – The brake light switch is located above the brake pedal, and they are known to fail frequently. They are very inexpensive parts and can be replaced in as little as 15 minutes. If you need to know how to replace the brake light switch yourself check out this article on How to replace the Brake Light Switch on a Mercedes-Benz.

ABS Wheel Sensor – The ABS wheel speed sensors can fail and cause the ESP light to turn on. Replacing the ABS sensor is easy, you can learn how to replace ABS sensor here. Note that once you will replace the ABS sensor and will still have the ESP warning light on. You will need to follow the procedures below to reset the light.

Low Battery Voltage – If you have an old Mercedes-Benz battery that is not supplying the needed voltage you can cause ESP malfunctions and a variety of other problems such as ABS and ETS warnings. This is tricky because the battery may start the car just fine, but it doesn’t maintain the required voltage while the car is running. Check the age of the battery (there should be a sticker on the battery wiht mo/year) and replace if it is over 6 or 7 years old. Once you replace the battery reset the ESP light using the instructions below. Replacing the battery is not that difficult and you can replace it yourself in less than an hour. Read this article if you need to learn How to replace the Mercedes-Benz Hint: In that article, we make suggestions on where you can buy Mercedes-Benz at a reasonable price.

ABS Module  – The ABS module does the hard work when the electronic stability program (ESP) engages. It brakes the individual wheel to help the car stay on the road. If the ABS module is not working properly, you need to replace it or repair it. A new module can be very expensive, but you can also find an ABS module repair service on eBay that will fix your existing module.

Steering Angle Sensor – is right behind the steering wheel in the steering column. Its main purpose is to calculate the angle of the steering wheel so that the car knows if you are taking a turn or if you are going straight. The input from the steering angle sensor is used by the ESP control module. The steering angle sensor doesn’t usually fail, but it may need calibration. You can use a scanner such as the YOUCANIC full system scanner to read the steering angle sensor values and correct the problem.

best Mercedes Benz obd2 scanner

Further ESP Light Diagnosis
Before you can turn off the ESP light, you first need to find the cause of the ESP light and fix the problem. As you saw above there can be several issues that can cause the ESP light. The easiest and quickest way to diagnose what is causing the ESP light to stay on is to use a professional scanner. You can borrow such a scanner from a friend or consider buying your own. There are a couple of professional scanners that are reasonably priced which we have listed above. If the ESP button did not shut off the ESP light, then the next thing to do is to check the fuses. Look under the hood and on the side of the dashboard and you will find two fuse boxes. In there you should have a fuse chart.

You can remove the fuses to check if any of them are blown or you could use a fuse tester to quickly test all the fuses without removing them.

Removing the negative battery terminal will not erase the ESP light. Disconnecting the battery works for resetting the check engine light but will not function for clearing hard codes such as ESP, ETS, 4ABS

Resting Mercedes ESP Light

If you need to further diagnose the ESP warning light, you will need an advanced OBD-II scanner that can read ESP codes. You can take the car to the Mercedes-Benz dealer who will scan the vehicle with the Mercedes-Benz Star Diagnostic or an independent auto repair mechanic who typically use theAutel DS708.

Or instead of paying someone else you can do the same thing yourself using a scanner such YOUCANIC scanner which is reasonably priced. These scanners cost about as much as it costs to get your Mercedes-Benz diagnosed one time.

Instead of paying someone else to read the ESP fault codes and reset the light, you can do the same thing yourself using a scanner such as the YOUCANIC scanner.

The YOUCANIC full system diagnostic scanner can help troubleshoot Mercedes-Benz problems by reading and interpreting fault codes, performing diagnostic tests, and resetting maintenance reminders. It's a powerful tool for DIY mechanics and professional technicians to diagnose and solve complex issues.

In the following video, we will show you how to reset the ESP light using Launch Creader. The steps are very similar on YOUCANIC full system scanner. Both scanners have a similar interface but the YOUCANIC scanner is a scanner for all cars,  can scan more systems, and offers bidirectional support. The YOUCANIC scanner can scan other makes and models such as BMW, Audi, Lexus, Toyota, and Honda and can read and erase fault codes for transmission, ABS, engine, airbag, ETS, and SRS.

Launch Creader VII Diagnostic Scanner - All Makes

Don’t waste time replacing parts without first reading the fault codes using one of the scanners mentioned above. Within minutes you will know the cause of ESP light staying on and erase the ESP fault codes. The ESP light could have been triggered by something as simple as low battery voltage. In that case, you just need to read the ESP codes and erase them.


Mercedes ESP Light - Frequently Asked Questions


What causes ESP on Mercedes-Benz C, E, S ML Class?

Mercedes E-Class W210, W211 ESP light If you have the ESP light on your E-Class, one thing you may want to check is the brake light switch. This is a common problem with the E-Class. In some cases, the gear shifter can cause the ESP light to illuminate if liquid gets spilled on the shifter.

Mercedes C-Class W203 W204 ESP light -ESP light on a C-Class is typically caused by a defective brake light switch or low battery voltage.

Mercedes Benz ML-Class W163 W164 W166 - A common problem that causes the ESP light to come on in Mercedes-Benz ML models is the ABS pump. The brake light switch is also a common problem in this model too.

Can I reset the Mercedes-Benz ESP light using an OBD-II scanner?

A $20 or even a $50 OBD-II scanner that read the check engine light is not able to read other control units.

Can I reset the ESP light by disconnecting the battery?

No. Disconnecting the negative or positive terminals of the battery does not erase the ESP light.

Is it safe to drive the car if the ESP light is on?

It is as safe as driving a car that doesn’t have ESP. Many cars on the road including entry-level new models such as Mazda, Honda, and Hyundai do not have ESP. Is it safe to drive them? Only, you can answer that. You will not have the added safety feature provided by ESP. If you lost traction while going around a curve, there would be no ESP to help you out. The only thing that may limit you from driving your Mercedes-Benz if the ESP light is on could be if the car goes into limp mode. This can happen depending on what is causing the ESP problem. In this case the transmission will not change gears, and you can't accelerate past 20mph. If the car doesn’t go into limp mode, then drive carefully and don’t ignore the problem. Get the car repaired as soon as you can.

How can I turn off Mercedes ESP completely?

Some of you may be wondering how you can completely turn off ESP so that you can be in charge of the car and be able to spin the wheel. Well just turning ESP off via the switch doesn’t completely turn off ESP. In extreme situations, ESP will still engage.

You can disable ESP either via the secret menu using the multifunction buttons on the steering wheel, by using a scanner such as Mercedes-Benz DAS Star Diagnostic to disable ESP Control Unit, or by removing the ABS / ESP fuse. You shouldn't disable ESP unless you understand the risks of not having ESP / ABS.

Mercedes-Benz ESP fault codes


  1. Recurring ESP notification on comp screen, engine running out of sync or “rough”, and bad idle.

    I have a MB Kompressor C230 2004 and have had the same problems over a year sparingly but in the last 3 months are happeneing a few times a week as time goes on. Both my mechanics have no idea what to do.

    1. The car idles out of sync at intermitent times, never consistent. I warm it up and it becomes steady.

    2. Once I reach past 60mph or 2000 or 2500 rpm, the car has a small jolt as if it didnt shift properly for a milisecond.

    3. If there are are least 3 jolts that happen with in 15 minutes or so, the car looses power or “goes limp” and flashes on the dashboard comp screen “ESP take to workshop” and I have to pull over as it looses power, then begins to run out of sync while doing small lunges before I turn the car off.

    4. I turn off the car for a minute or less and then start it again and it doesnt happen again on the same drive trip.

    5. As of this week, when I warm it up and have my foot stablized on the pedal with no added pressue past 2500 rpm’s, the rpms change and sound as if the car is dropping out of gear and not shifting correctly.

    It idles oddly in the am but I never get an ESP issue. The issue always happens later in the afternoon or the evening. I live in San Diego CA for weather/temp reference. The codes my mechanic read said something about cylinder 1 but it looks fine and in working order. He replaced one of the fuel injectors (mine have 4 micro holes in them, and he replaced it with one with 6 micro holes) and helped for a couple weeks but the issue has returned.

  2. I have a merc 203 ESP light keeps on coming

  3. Hi there
    I hit the pavement and after that my car is showing ESP visit workshop. It’s a Mercedes Benz e200 kompressor 2002 model.

  4. I have a W906 om 646, I figure error code Launch 4D35 (N80b1) Steering angle sensor. values ​​are implausible. Could it be related to the steering wheel? or sensor on wheels. 7201, the CAN message from control module Engine is invalid or implausible.
    Could ESP turn on the engine light? Thanks

  5. Irving Silverberg

    I had an ESP Control Unit installed in my 2010 Mercedes-Benz 6 cylinder 300 Sport AWD car. When I picked up my car I complained about the noise I was hearing in low gear. The mechanic said it was coming from the tires. This was not present when I brought the car in. I am sure it has to do with the faulty ESP Control Unit that they put in because the lights came on in the car indicating a problem.

  6. I have a C180 MB Kompressor, w203, 2003 model, the ESP light comes on and the vehicle goes in yo limp mode and eventually cuts off and all the icons comes on the dash board, i turn off and satrt again but keeps limping, i really need help…

  7. Hello,
    I have a w203 C200K/2001 and I have ABS,BAS,ESP display faulty (visit workshop)and the speedometer don’t work.I also have the error Brake lining wear ,although I changed the brake pads for less than a year.The car goes well.I have error (read with a Delphi tester) :
    – P2027 -CAN:fault maessage from ESP,SPS and BAS,signal faulty
    – P202B CAN:fault massage from ESP vehcle speed signal
    I say that the bugs have been deleted, but it occurs again at the start of the car.Which could be causing the error.Thank you.

  8. Ernestas Pagirys

    Hello I have w211 E200 2004 I change the ABS sensor and after when my speed rich the 90km/h The ESP/ABS light comes on any suggestions, once I turn off the car and start again there is no Errors until I get 90km/h again.

  9. My Mercedes E200 shown yellowESP

    Display sign: Inoperative (see owner’s mannual

    Run Flat Indicator inoperative

  10. 2014 automatics SLK, My ESP light went on 2 months ago, and i was told the front right wheel rpm counter sensor was to be replaced, and i did in a mercedes dealership. The car went fine and the esp light got shut off.

    Two months passed, and today same esp light….. I am starting to believe in an electric problem? maybe the battery voltage is actually low? I refuse to believe that in 2 months (less than 1000 km) something else happened mechanically.

    I bought a scanner like the one in the video, can i safely reset the fault data? I mean, is there is something actually broken (i dont think so) , the light will simply go on once again, right?

  11. If the Mercedes brake light switch is bad, will the brake lights still be working, or should they also stop functioning

    • The brake lights can still work. There are at least two switches integrated into the “brake light switch”.

  12. This is the problem I have with my Mercedes benze.my brake light comes on the dash,saying take to workshop.while driving it,it goes into this mode where it shuts down &say stop car.after I turn off,then start again to drive it comes back on again&feel like I don’t have no brakes but it will stop long as I’m on the brakes.

    • I don’t know what model MB you have. If you have SBC brakes that could be your problem. Otherwise you may have an issue with the ABS wheel speed sensor. Read the ABS module codes, you will get a better idea.

      • I have a W906 om 646, I figure error code Launch 4D35 (N80b1) Steering angle sensor. values ​​are implausible. Could it be related to the steering wheel? or sensor on wheels. 7201, the CAN message from control module Engine is invalid or implausible.
        Could ESP turn on the engine light? Thanks

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