Volkswagen Jetta:  EPC Light → Causes and Diagnosis


Your Volkswagen Jetta’s Electronic Power Control (EPC) light is a warning light that indicates that there is trouble with one of the critical safety and engine components of your vehicle.  These components include the gas pedal, traction control, cruise, ABS, steering system, and the throttle body.

If you get the EPC light, we recommend taking your Jetta in right away.  Many issues associated with this warning light coming on have to do with vital vehicular systems.  When the EPC light comes on, your vehicle may have limited engine power.  The EPC system does this as a failsafe in order to protect the engine from permanent damage.  Whether or not this happens at all is dependent upon what is actually causing the light to come on.

The EPC light is often accompanied by the ESP light.  The ESP system is responsible for controlling your Jetta’s traction control and stability systems.  When you clear the EPC light, it’ll often clear the ESP light as well, since the ESP system relies on the EPC data.

EPC Light Volkswagen Jetta


Volkswagen Jetta EPC Light Causes

There are many different issues that can cause your Jetta’s EPC light to turn on.  That’s why it’s so important to get its engine diagnostic data.  We cover how to do that in the next section.  If the light is on there will be trouble codes associated with it.  These trouble codes will usually tell you that there is a problem with one (or more) of these systems:


Throttle System

Often the EPC light will come on due to a throttle body failure.  Or, the throttle position sensor may have gone bad.  If your VW Jetta is not reading how much gas you are giving it, or if it can’t respond to the fuel pedal, you’ll get the EPC light.


Brake/ABS System

Your Jetta’s braking system is a complicated system of sensors and physical brake parts that help keep your vehicle stable.  If one of them goes bad, you’ll get the EPC light. 

The most common brake related issues are a bad ABS sensor, a bad ABS Ring, wiring issues, or the brake pedal switch.



If the power steering is out, or is about to go out, it’ll trigger the EPC light.  Also, there is a steering wheel sensor that can go bad in a lot of modern VW’s.  


VW Jetta EPC Light Fix

Volkswagen Jetta EPC Light Diagnosis

As you can see above, there are a lot of different issues that can cause the EPC light.  Just blindly guessing what might be wrong based on this information is not the way to go.  There is a better way.

Just like with any other major vehicle problem, you’re going to want to get a reading of your Jetta’s diagnostic trouble codes.  You can use a good code scanner, or you can take it to the local parts store and see if they will scan it for you.  Most of them do.

You’ll want to scan the transmission control unit, ABS control unit, ECU, and steering control.  If you do opt to purchase a code scanner, just be aware that the cheaper ones only read the ECU.  That’s fine most of the time, but the problem causing the EPC light in your VW could be in one of the other control units.

Once you get the trouble codes, just hop back on Google and type in VW Jetta with the trouble code and there should be all you need to begin the repair process.  We hope you make it brings you back here.  Even more than that though, we really hope you get what you need to get back on the road again.


Can You Drive Your Jetta with the EPC Light?

We strongly recommend against driving your VW Jetta with the EPC light.  The light is on to warn you that vital vehicular systems are having problems.  If your VW will even drive at all, it’s only meant to help you “limp” into the Volkswagen dealership or mechanic to get a repair.

The EPC light is so ingrained with your Volkswagen’s vehicular systems that it is a significant risk to drive with it on.  It is very likely that you don’t have ABS anymore or that the steering has been compromised.

Driving with the EPC light on almost never does any damage to the vehicle itself.  So, if you are on the road you should be very careful driving it to the shop, but you shouldn’t need to pull over and get a tow.  But, if your VW just feels right to drive, trust your gut and get the tow.



Driving your Jetta with the EPC light on is dangerous.  We don’t recommend it.  It is integrated with almost every one of your VW’s major systems.  Take it in for repair as soon as possible.  If there is anything that you would like to add, or any questions about your VW’s EPC light, please leave a comment below.  Good Luck!