EPC Light VW – What Does This Light Means?

by Conner Mckay

Have you noticed the EPC light VW on your cluster and you are scratching your head and asking yourself the question, what does this light mean? Well, if this is the case, then you are at the right place because there will be a lot to cover on this topic.

Having a problem like this can be a really frustrating thing to deal with. Why I’m saying this? Well, this is the case because when this light is on it means that is on. Even if you cross your fingers and hope that it will disappear, that won’t be the case, unless you do something about it.

And by doing something about it we mean diagnosing the problem. This light usually turns on because there is some kind of problem with the engine or other systems such as the ABS (anti-lock brakes), power steering, cruise control, and other important systems. Whenever this light is on, it is usually accompanied by another light on the cluster. But more on that later in the article when we will dive into diagnosing the problem.

First, we will learn what is car diagnostics and learn more about what this EPC light VW means. Then we will discuss the symptoms like the VW EPC light no start. After, we are going to cover the causes of this problem as well as how to diagnose and sort out the issue. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.

What Is Car Diagnostics?

Now before we dive into the EPC light VW, let’s learn more about car diagnostics. Since this is a problem that requires knowing how to diagnose things in the right manner in order to address the issue on your Volkswagen. If you are already familiarized with it, you can move on to one of the following chapters. If not, keep up with us for a bit while we cover the basics.

As you probably know, modern cars are all computerized and implement a ton of tech inside them. There are a number of different sensors and computers that observe the work of the engine and make sure that everything works in perfect order.

So, whenever something breaks, you get an EPC light VW or a check engine light or both like in this case. This is why you need to learn how to troubleshoot issues on your car.

And for this purpose, you will need some tools that will help you out with this. Namely, an OBD2 scanner tool that will report to you the error codes that are causing this EPC light on the cluster.

This tool is so versatile that can be used on any modern car that has an OBD2 port. It doesn’t have to be a Volkswagen. This tool will work on anything that has this port. That’s why you should have one.

Another great tool is a multimeter. Whenever you learn more about the codes and the causes, you will need to further investigate the matter and learn what is causing them. Then test these components with a multimeter to see if they are really bad or not. But more on that later on in the article. Now let’s see what is the EPC light VW and what does it mean.

EPC Light VW, What Does It Mean?

Now let’s discuss the EPC light VW, what does this light is in the first place? Well, this light is basically a Volkswagen thing. You will not come across this light if you don’t own a VAG group vehicle. Meaning that this light only is present in Volkswagen, Audi, and other makes by VW. Once we cleared that out, let’s explain more about what does this light mean.

The EPC light refers to the Electronic Power Control. This light is basically a safety switch that will turn on whenever you face a problem with your car.

This light is connected to some of the systems in your VW car. Namely, it indicates trouble with the engine or with the safety components in your car.

More precisely, problems with the engine, cruise control, steering system, ABS system, and traction control. All these systems are connected with the EPC light. So, whenever it appears you might confuse yourself and not have a clear idea why it is there.

But whenever this light turns on, it usually turns on with a second light. Namely, the check engine light, traction control light, brake light, etc. This is why connecting the EPC light with the other light that is turned on along with the EPC is crucial.

But still, even if you have an EPC and ABS light on let’s say, you have no idea why it is there. It could be the speed sensor, ABS module, and a ton of other components. This is why diagnosing the problem with an OBD2 scanner is a must. But what about the symptoms of the EPC light VW? Let’s elaborate on them in the following chapters.

Symptoms Of The EPC Light

Now as we cleared the basics out of our way, we can start focusing on the EPC light VW symptoms. What symptoms you should get whenever this light is on your dash?

Knowing the symptoms will help you diagnose the problem quickly and effectively without any big issues. And that’s what we are going to cover up next.

1. EPC Light + Some Other Light

The first symptom of an EPC light VW is probably the EPC light. But there will also be another light on the dash as well.

You should understand that the EPC light does not turn on itself, but it also includes other lights based on the issue that you are having. Namely, check engine light, ABS light, traction control light, etc.

The important thing about this light is that it will keep your engine safe until you sort out the problem. It could even drive the engine into limp mode if you have some bigger issue that could take your engine life at risk. So, beware of this and do not ignore this light when it turns on the cluster. Now let’s move on to the next symptom.

2. VW Jetta EPC Light And Stalling

The second symptom that we are going to cover is the situation of VW Jetta EPC Light and stalling. Your car could also stall whenever this light is turned on.

The reason why there could be a big issue with the engine and the ECU decides to kill the engine in order to prevent further damage to its internals.

So, whenever you face a VW Jetta EPC light and stalling symptoms on your Jetta. Don’t be afraid of this problem since you might be having a problem that needs to be further diagnosed and the computer tested with an OBD2 scanner tool. Now let’s move on to the next probable symptom.

3. VW EPC Light No Start

The third symptom that we would like to cover is the VW EPC light no start issue. Why this could happen? Well, there could be a lot of reasons why this could be the case.

Maybe the EPC has deemed not to allow the engine to be able to start. Or the engine doesn’t want to start because your battery is dead, or the starter motor is bad.

Engine spark plugs and ignition coils could be a problem as well. In addition to this, the crankshaft position sensor can fail. The important thing when you notice the VW EPC light no start issue is to make sure that you sort out the problem as soon as possible.

Further diagnostics need to be performed to determine what could cause the VW EPC light no start. And by this, we mean connecting the car to an OBD2 scanner tool and scanning the car for codes. Later on, we will see how this is done. Now let’s move on to the next symptom.

4. EPC And Check Engine Light VW

The third symptom that we would like to cover is the combo of EPC and check engine light VW. This situation indicates that there is a problem with the power train.

It is not like in other situations when this light turns on along with the battery light, or the brake light. Here you clearly know that there is a problem with the powertrain and this problem needs to be diagnosed.

When you notice an EPC and check engine light VW it is of your utmost priority to diagnose the problem with an OBD2 scanner because the light as a light, does not mean anything. There could be a ton of things that are causing this situation.

5. VW EPC Light Car Shaking

And the last symptom that we would like to cover is the VW EPC light car shaking situation. This is a situation that clearly means that there is an issue with the engine.

If the engine shakes and works rough, then the engine is probably misfiring or has some fuel delivery issues. There could be a number of different components to why the VW EPC light car shaking symptom happens and how you can try to overcome it.

The most obvious thing you need to do as we mentioned previously is to diagnose the problem with a scanner. How this is done we will cover later on, now let’s learn the causes for the EPC light VW.

Causes For EPC Light

Now as we cleared the symptoms of EPC light VW, let’s now focus on the causes for this light appearing on the cluster in the first place.

As you probably know, everything happens for a reason, the same is for this light. And in the following few chapters, we will go through these causes briefly and learn what could be the root of the problem. So, follow along.

Sensor Related Problems That Could Cause EPC Light VW

Let’s first discuss the sensor-related issues that could cause an EPC light.

1. Crankshaft And Camshaft Position Sensors

The most probable cause for an EPC light VW is the problem with the crankshaft and camshaft position sensors. The crankshaft position sensor is known as well as a speed sensor.

These sensors have one role and that is to observe the engine timing. If one of these sensors is broken, you will get the EPC light as well as the situation when the car doesn’t want to start but it cranks.

2. O2 Sensor

A bad O2 sensor can also cause the EPC light VW, so why is this the case? Well, this is the case because this sensor is crucial when it comes to proper engine work.

If this sensor is not working, the fuel to air mixture will be messed up and the car shaking symptom that we have covered will be present as well.

3. Throttle Body Position Sensor

A throttle body position sensor can also cause the EPC light VW. The EPC system controls the throttle and if there are issues with this throttle sensor you will have problems. But why is this the case?

Well, this sensor is observing the position of the flap inside of the throttle body. If the position is not observed, there will be no useful data to be sent to the computer. Often leading your car into limp mode in order for some damage to be avoided.

4. MAF Sensor Issues

Problems with the MAF also known as a mass airflow sensor could cause this EPC light VW as well. This is the case because this MAF sensor measures the air that goes into the engine. If it doesn’t work well, you will have problems like this.

The engine will run poorly and overall you will have a tough time. Whenever you suspect a bad MAF sensor it is advised to diagnose the problem with an OBD2 scanner to be sure that this is the problem. But more on that later on.

Non-Sensor Related Problems That Could Cause This EPC Light VW

Now let’s cover the non-sensor-related causes of this problem.

1. Bad Spark Plug & Ignition Coils

The first things that we would like to cover are spark plugs and ignition coils. These are one of the most common causes of the EPC light VW.

We put them in the same category because they are connected and they basically share some of the symptoms that can be caused when some of them fail. Like the inability to start the engine, limp mode, and other unwanted symptoms.

EPC Light VW

Spark plugs cannot be diagnosed unless removed. Coils on the other hand can be diagnosed with an OBD2 scanner tool.

2. Carbon Buildup In The Intake Valves

The second most probable cause for the EPC light VW that is not sensor-related can be a buildup of carbon on the intake valves.

VW engines simply love to get covered in this stuff. And most of them even fail because of these problems. That’s one of the downsides of direct injection. This is why it is so essential to walnut blast your intake ports every 60,000 to 80,000 miles if you want to avoid problems like these from happening to you.

3. Turbo Failure

Turbo failures can also cause the EPC light VW. If the turbo fails, you will experience this light along with the turbine whine. Loss of oil can also be present.

Or if you lose the turbine completely, you might even end up with a complete power loss since the turbo will not be working at all. This is one of the least probable scenarios, but it can happen sometimes and ruin your mood and empty your wallet.

4. Vacuum Leaks

The last probable cause for the EPC light VW that we would like to cover which is not sensor-related is the vacuum leaks.

On modern engines, there are a ton of vacuum lines and sometimes these hoses can fail and develop issues in your car. This is why you need to diagnose the problem. Unfortunately, most of them can only be diagnosed with a smoke machine.

There are tricky leaks that are a pain to solve. The simplest things that could cause these vacuum leaks are the PCV valve and the EVAP purge solenoid. Make sure that you check these ones first. But how you can diagnose this problem? Let’s find out next.

Other Possibilities

There are also other possibilities. We primarily focused on the engine issues in the previous chapters. But this problem could also be caused because of a brake light switch, bad speed sensor, or another issue with the ABS system.

Problems with the cruise control as well can be present. But in these situations, you will not get the check engine light with the EPC. But a different light concerning the respectable system.

How To Diagnose & Fix The EPC Light VW?

In order to diagnose and fix the EPC light VW, you will need to purchase an OBD2 scanner tool. With this tool, you will be able to access the computer of the car.

Let the tool scan the vehicle for errors and then based on the input that you get, determine what might be causing the issue. It is worth once to delete all the errors and let the engine run again and if the EPC light shows, then you need to start diagnosing components.

Depending on the codes that you get, you should look for the problem. If you get misfire codes, then look for spark plugs, bad ignition coils, carbon deposits, O2, and MAF sensors. If there are codes concerning the ABS system look at the specific components in the ABS system.

EPC light is a very broad term and you need to focus on the other codes that you get when you scan the car to determine what is wrong.

VW EPC Light Reset

The simplest way to reset an EPC light VW GTI is to run the OBD2 scanner and remove all the codes. Clear them off and the light will disappear.

EPC Light VW

But this doesn’t mean that the light will not appear again. This is why you need to do some troubleshooting of the codes and see what’s wrong.

EPC Light On VW Jetta

The EPC light on VW Jetta usually indicates a problem with the throttle body of your VW Jetta. More precisely either the throttle body is clogged with debris or the flap doesn’t work well.

Or possibly there is a problem with the throttle body position sensor. A bad sensor will cause your car to get into limp mode and suffer a ton of difficulties. But in order to be sure, diagnose the problem with a scanner. There could be a ton of different things that could cause it.

EPC Light VW Tiguan

The EPC light VW Tiguan is usually a warning light that you have a problem with one of your systems on your Tiguan.

More precisely, problems with the engine components and sensors. Other things that could cause it are the ABS system, cruise control, traction control, and other important systems. The best way to know is to diagnose the problem with an OBD2 scanner tool.

EPC Light in Cars: Need-to-Know Facts

  1. The EPC light stands for Electronic Power Control and is an indication of a problem with the throttle system.
  2. The EPC light can come on for various reasons, including issues with fuel injection, traction control, or cruise control.
  3. The EPC light can cause a loss of power, and the vehicle might go into the limp-home mode to prevent further damage.
  4. Potential causes of the EPC light include malfunctions with fuel metering, timing, or emissions systems, speed sensor failure, and problems with other sensors, including the brake light switch.
  5. Today’s throttle systems are drive-by-wire and do not have cables connecting the accelerator and cruise control to the throttle.
  6. It is not safe to drive with the EPC light on as it could indicate serious problems.
  7. Some Volkswagen vehicles may shut down entirely when the EPC program detects problems with the EPC management system.
  8. A dead battery can cause the EPC light to come on by disrupting the baseline voltage.
  9. It is not recommended to reset the EPC light unless the problem triggering the light has been diagnosed and repaired.
  10. Technicians have tools to diagnose the code that caused the EPC light to come on, allowing them to track down the faulty part or system and make a repair.


In this article, we have covered quite a bit when it comes to the EPC light VW GTI. First, we learned the basics of car diagnostics and how it is done.

Then we have covered the symptoms associated with this light as well as the causes of this problem to appear.

Then we learned how you can diagnose the issue and sort out the problem with the help of an OBD2 scanner.


Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.

How To Fix EPC Light On VW

Fixing this problem will require diagnostics and troubleshooting. It doesn’t matter which VW it is, the problem needs to be diagnosed and the car to be connected to a computer to fix the issue. You can pull some tricks like removing the positive terminal and hope that it will solve the problem, but the light will probably soon appear again. This is why proper diagnostics is essential.

How To Fix EPC Light On VW Jetta

Fixing the EPC light on a Jetta is really easy. First, you will need to learn more about what is causing the problem and do proper diagnostics on the car. Then based on this input determine what could be really causing the issue.

How To Fix EPC Light On VW Passat

Fixing the problem with the EPC light on your Passat will require performing computer diagnostics. Then based on these diagnostics, you will be able to determine what could be causing the issue on the vehicle. Without computer diagnostics, it is the same as if you try to solve the problem blindfolded.

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