What Does the Electronic Power Control (EPC) Warning Light Mean?

Computers are taking over everything on your vehicle. Traditionally, components like the steering, the parking brake, and the gas pedal used to require mechanical linkages. Nowadays, computers and electric motors can take care of all of these functions and more. Electronic Power Control (EPC) is a computerized ignition and engine management system found in V.A.G. cars — more popularly known as the Volkswagen Group. This includes Volkswagen (VW), Audi, Porsche, and other automotive brands. To see if this includes your car, look at a responsive VW dealer website. It is used by other systems on the car such as stability and cruise control. Any faults with the EPC will likely disable other functions on your vehicle. It important to keep the system maintained and functional. A warning light on the dash will let you know when an issue has been detected in the EPC system.

What the EPC light means

Since the EPC is used on multiple other systems on the vehicle, it is likely that other warning lights will be illuminated on the dash as well. Typically, the stability control and cruise control will be disabled and their respective lights will be illuminated. The check engine light may also come on to show that the engine itself isn’t operating at normal efficiency. To try and protect the engine, the computer may send the car into “limp mode” by limiting the vehicle’s throttle and power. The car may feel sluggish as you “limp” home or to a mechanic.

You will need to get the car scanned for trouble codes by an OBD2 scanner that can be used to identify the problem. The scanner will plug into the EPC and read the stored trouble code that pinpoints the problem in the car. Once repairs have been done at the source of the problem and the codes cleared, everything should return to normal.

Is it safe to drive with the EPC light on?

Like the check engine light, the severity of the problem can vary greatly. If this light comes on, you should have the car checked out as soon as possible to prevent any significant damage from occurring. If your vehicle is limiting your throttle to protect the engine, you should only use the vehicle to take it to get repaired.

Common issues with your car’s EPC are related to malfunctioning engine, ABS, or steering wheel sensors in need of replacement. However, the issue can be more serious, such as failing brake pedals or brake lights, a faulty throttle body, or failing power steering. Don’t hesitate to have your vehicle checked out as soon as possible. If your EPC warning light is on, our certified technicians are always available to help you diagnose any problems that may be present.


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