When you get into your Jeep and drive down the road, you’re sure to be surprised when the ESP BAS light suddenly comes on. You know this can’t be good, but what does it mean?
The ESP BAS light on your Jeep is an important safety feature. The light comes on when your Jeep indicates a problem with the electronic stability program (ESP) or the brake assist system (BAS). It usually means that a sensor needs to be replaced or reset, most commonly the steering angle sensor.
This seems to be a common problem on some Jeep models. But that doesn’t make the problem any less important, and the problem should be addressed as soon as possible. So, in this article, we’ll start with the easiest fix and dive deeper if needed.
ESP BAS Light Jeep
As mentioned, when the ESP BAS light comes on, it’s most likely because your Jeep’s safety system tells you that a sensor is malfunctioning and needs to be replaced or reset. Although it’s normal for all dashboard lights to come on when you start the car, they should go away after a few seconds; if they don’t, there’s a problem.
While the vehicle seems fine, the ESP BAS systems are vital for your safety since they help maintain stability and control of your vehicle when driving on slippery surfaces or when you need to emergency brake to avoid accidents. If the light is on, it means they may be disabled.
There are typically two different sensors on your Jeep that could cause the safety systems to indicate a problem and illuminate the light. Which means they are either sending the wrong information or completely failed. These two are:
- Steering angle sensor
- Wheel speed sensor
If the first one, the steering angle sensor, needs to be reset, it will likely cause the ESP BAS light to illuminate. Luckily, this is an easy fix, so let’s start with how to reset it, which should turn off the light, and then move on to how to troubleshoot for other causes if it doesn’t.
How to Turn Off ESP BAS Light Jeep
The steering angle sensor is responsible for telling your Jeep’s computers where you want to steer so that the car can ensure the steering wheel is in line and matches the car wheels.
If this sensor has completely failed, you’ll need to replace it. However, this sensor sometimes only needs recalibration, and you can do this on your driveway without any special tools.
Here’s how to reset the steering angle sensor on your Jeep:
- Park your vehicle and turn the ignition on.
- Center the steering wheel.
- Turn the steering wheel two times to the right until it locks.
- Do the same to the left.
- Center the steering wheel.
The steering angle sensor and the system should now be recalibrated, and the light should turn off. If it doesn’t, there’s a big chance you’ll need a new steering angle sensor or that you may have a problem with the wheel speed sensor, which means you’ll need to keep troubleshooting.
Troubleshooting other causes
So the next step is to either replace the steering angle sensor or to move on and replace the wheel speed sensor. But, since a steering angle sensor usually costs between $120 and $250, and there are four wheel speed sensors that are about $100 to $150 each, it’s not a good idea to blindly start replacing expensive parts.
To make this part a lot easier. I recommend you get your hands on a code reader to find the specific trouble codes that tell you what specific component is failing and sometimes even where it’s located.
The good news is that OBD2 readers are sold at affordable prices. And if you use to fix your own car issues and repairs, it’s often a very good investment. But if you feel like it’s not necessary, don’t worry; most auto repair shops offer to diagnose or let you borrow an OBD reader for free.
Although there are a few more uncommon things that could also cause the ESP BAS light to appear, the code reader will most likely tell you it’s either the steering angle sensor, speed wheel sensor, or the brake switch causing the issue. So let’s see how you replace each part.
How to fix ESP BAS Light Jeep
When you have already figured out the cause and it’s about to fix the issue, you can let a professional do it for you or take on the work yourself. The wheel speed sensor and brake switch are usually relatively simple to replace. However, replacing the steering angle sensor involves removing the airbag, which has a risk of deploying.
Replacing Steering Angle Sensor
As mentioned, this work involves removing the airbag. And although the airbag will be disabled by disconnecting the battery, many don’t know that the airbag still has power a few minutes after disconnecting the battery. So to perform this job, it’s recommended that you have some experience and comfortable working on cars.
If you still want to take on the job yourself, here’s a guide from yourmechanic.com on how to replace a steering angle sensor.
Replacing Wheel Speed Sensor
Replacing a faulty wheel speed sensor is often quick work, although sometimes it gets stuck by rust which can be both frustrating and cause problems. The wheel speed sensor is located behind the braking disc, and here’s how you replace it:
- Park on a flat surface and loosen the lug nuts.
- Jack up the car and put it on the safety jack stands.
- Remove the wheel and locate the wheel speed sensor.
- Remove the old sensor
- Install the new sensor.
- Put the wheel back on your car.
- Lower your car and go for a test drive.
Replacing Brake Switch
While this cause is not as common as the others mentioned, it still can cause the ESP BAS light to illuminate. So if the error codes point you to the brake switch, it’s still what I first would’ve replaced. Simply follow these steps:
- Park your car on a flat surface.
- Disconnect the battery to avoid shorts. (Optional)
- Locate the brake switch above the brake pedal.
- Remove the faulty brake switch.
- Install the brake switch.
- Reconnect the battery.
By reading through this article, you’ll have the necessary information to find the cause of the ESP BAS light illuminating. Start by trying to reset the steering angle sensor and then move on to the next steps in troubleshooting if the reset doesn’t turn the light off.
An OBD2 code reader can really be your savior in a situation like this, saving you both time and money and the likelihood of tearing your hair off. And many Auto repair shops will read the trouble codes for you or let you borrow a scanning tool for free.
I hope you find the problem and that this article helped you on your path. Thanks for reading!