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Mercedes Benz ESP Malfunction – Light On dash

If you are driving a Mercedes-Benz and start driving it as you stole it, you may notice the ESP light starting to flash on your instrument cluster. You have never seen an ESP light before, and the letter isn’t self-explanatory either.

One of the most common problems that trigger the ESP malfunction in Mercedes-Benz cars is the failure of one of the ABS wheel speed sensors. In addition to the ESP warning, you will most likely have several warning lights, such as ABS and traction control, which a bad ABS wheel speed sensor could trigger. Since many other possible problems may cause the ESP light, the best thing to do is to read the fault codes from the ESP or ABS control unit using a scanner such as the YOUCANIC full system scanner. 

What does ESP stand for?

ESP stands for Electronic Stability Program, at least in the Mercedes-Benz dictionary. It uses input from several sensors to help stabilize the car during cornering, over-steering, understeering, or slipping.

That name gives you a hint, but you are still wondering what that means or how it works.

ESP is a system Mercedes-Benz developed long ago when Hyundai didn’t even exist as a brand. The basic principle is that the car will detect when a wheel rotates faster than the other wheels. This is done by monitoring the rotation speed of each wheel using the ABS sensors on the wheel.

What does a flashing ESP light mean?

If the light is blinking, it means the car has detected at least the wheel is slipping and is doing its job by helping you stay on track. The ESP system is intervening. This is the regular operation of the system. You are either trying to push the limit or are driving on very poor road conditions, such as snow or ice. Try to drive more carefully next time you see the light start to flash. The ESP will try to keep you safe, but it can not defy the laws of physics.

ESP light stays on all the time.

If the light is always on, the ESP is either off or has detected a problem. ESP light stays constant if the “ESP Off” button is pressed. To turn it off: Press the ESP button on the dash of your Mercedes-Benz and hold it for 5 seconds. This will reset the light. If the light doesn’t go off, you have a malfunction and should troubleshoot the problem or visit a repair shop.

What does ESP do, then?

The ESP control module applies brake pressure to the wheel that is spinning too much because it shouldn’t spin at a much higher rate than the other three wheels. After all, all the wheels should be getting to the destination simultaneously.

Under what conditions is ESP triggered?

ESP is triggered when you get stuck in the mud, for example. It can also be triggered if you go around the corner too fast, the car begins sliding, or the tires lose traction.

ESP is an excellent feature you don’t even find in many cars today. It’s a complicated system requiring additional control units and input from several sensors. Having that as an add-on option on your car is worth every penny. It comes standard with all Mercedes-Benz models sold today, by the way.

According to Mercedes-Benz, the ESP incorporated the input from the ABS (Anti Lock Brakes), ASR, and ETS.

Troubleshooting ESP light on Mercedes-Benz

If you’re experiencing problems with your Mercedes-Benz, a YOUCANIC full system diagnostic scanner can help you troubleshoot the issues. This advanced diagnostic tool can read and interpret the fault codes stored in your car’s computer system, providing detailed information about any problems with the engine, transmission, brakes, or other critical systems.

The YOUCANIC scanner can also perform diagnostic tests on various systems, including the ABS, airbag, and steering systems, to help pinpoint the root cause of any issues. With this information, you can make more informed decisions about repairs and maintenance, saving time and money on costly repairs.

One comment

  1. A few days ago I was taking off from a stop sign in a shopping center, going straight, and got up to about 20 mph when all of a sudden the yellow ! warning light lit up, there was some popping/clicking and the car skidded to a stop in the road. After about 3 seconds of trying to make sure I wasn’t causing an accident I was able to pull off into a side parking lot.

    I put it in park and the ! light turned off. I let it idle in park for a minute before I tried to drive around the parking lot. As soon as I shifted into drive the ! light started flashing. After about 10 seconds the ! light stayed on. Then, about 10 seconds later the ABS light came on. From then on, both lights have remained on. I have 2 messages on the instrument panel saying “ABS, ESP unavailable” and “ABS, ESP inoperative”. Cruise control is also unavailable.

    The first bit of driving around immediately after the incident there were some rattling sounds coming from the vehicle. It felt and sounded like it was coming from the front driver side. There was some noticeable popping/clicking when I made a sharp right turn soon after it all started. Since then, I occasionally hear some lesser popping/clicking when making sharp right turns. I haven’t seemed to notice it much making left turns.

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