You drive around 50 miles per hour on the highway, and your VW starts to shake. Suddenly, the EPC light blinks on your dash. What does this mean? In this article, I’ll discuss VW EPC light on and car shaking issues – causes and what to do.
Why does the EPC light turn on when your VW is shaking? This light turned on primarily because the Electronic Power Control system was malfunctioning. It could mean a problem with the cruise control system, ABS control unit, traction control, or throttle position.
It’s possible to fix this light by starting your car as usual. Then turn off the ignition. Now, turn on the ignition again to start the engine. Step on the accelerator and push the pedal to the floor when the engine starts. The EPC light will reset if you do this.
Read on to learn more about the reasons why the EPC light of your VW can turn on if your car is shaking and how you can fix it.
VW EPC Light On and Car Shaking
It’s frightening to have your VW shaking while you are driving on the highway and see the EPC light on your dash suddenly popping out of the dash. What does this mean? It could be that your VW’s EPC or Electronic Power Control system is experiencing a problem.
Several things can cause this to happen. Perhaps there’s a problem with the cruise control system, ABS control, traction control, or throttle position. It’s good to check these car parts to see if they are working or not.
There’s a way to fix this EPC light yourself if you need to. Start your car the way you usually do. Then turn off the engine. After a while, start the engine again. When the engine is already running, step on the gas pedal and floor it. This will reset the EPC light.
This situation could also happen if you have installed new wheels and tires on your VW. If this is your case, your new wheels may not be correctly aligned, or your new tires are not balanced. You need to align your wheels and balance your tires, then see if the shaking of your VW stops.
When the EPC light of your VW pops out on your dash, it could be caused by one or more of the issues I mentioned above. To pinpoint the actual cause, bring your car to a qualified mechanic so they can diagnose the exact problem and recommend the proper fix.
What Is the Function of the EPC Light on a VW?
Controls the Vehicle’s Throttle System
Electronic Power Control (EPC) is a VW system that controls the vehicle’s throttle system. So, when the EPC light blinks on your dash, it indicates that there is a problem with the throttle system of your vehicle or any car component that is connected to it.
Issues with the Cruise Control Unit
This means this EPC light will turn on your dash if there’s a problem with the cruise control unit, traction control, throttle body, or throttle pedal. Aside from these, other car issues can trigger the EPC warning light.
Not Easy to Diagnose EPC Issues
It’s not easy to diagnose EPC issues because this system is integrated with the other systems of your Volkswagen vehicle. The engine, steering, and brake control units control the system that runs the EPC.
For instance, if the engine control unit is not working, the engine’s performance and fuel efficiency will go down significantly. Your dash could flash different warning lights connected to the engine in addition to the EPC indicator light.
Can Automatically Deactivate the Engine
You must fix the issue that caused the EPC light to turn on your dash. If there is a problem with your EPC system, it can turn off your engine automatically. That will prevent you from using your VW. So, it is wiser for you to fix this issue as soon as it shows up.
You also need to know that most modern VW vehicles are equipped with the Electronic Stability Program or ESP. This system is directly related to the EPC of your VW.
Again, why is the VW car shaking when the EPC light comes? An activated EPC light means a possible throttle pedal, throttle body, traction control, or cruise control issue.
What Are the Possible Causes of a Shaking VW?
Your VW is a very stable vehicle. If it trembles while you are driving, there is something that makes it act this way. Several things can cause this to happen:
1. Unbalanced Tires
If your tires are not balanced, the immediate result when you drive is shaking the wheels and steering wheel. When this happens, your whole VW will go along with the shaking. Sometimes it will be a violent shaking depending on how much your tires are unbalanced.
Low-quality tires can also cause them to get unbalanced after some use. Any damage to the tire can also make it unbalanced. Terrible, worn-out tires can also cause your car to shake when you drive it at faster speeds.
Such tires can get the required road grip that can cause your car to tremble. The best way to fix this issue is to drive your vehicle to a tire service center. Let them check your tires and do the necessary work; maybe add weights so they will all be balanced.
2. Bad Brake Pads and Faulty Brake Calipers
If you have not replaced your brake pads for quite some time, they must be worn out already. Overly used brake pads can also cause your VW to shake. If you hear squeaks every time you step on your brakes, it is a sign that you should replace your car’s brake pads.
If the brake calipers fail, your steering wheel can also shake significantly if you drive faster. Get this issue fixed as soon as possible because your car will vibrate more if you drive faster.
If you are already fixing the brake pads and calipers, you might as well check the condition of the brake rotors. Perhaps your brake pads wear out faster because the rotor surfaces are uneven.
3. Bad Fuel Injector
In the combustion process, the fuel injector is the engine part that supplies the fuel. Several injectors operate simultaneously in a standard internal combustion engine.
In doing their work, these injectors can get clogged and won’t be able to deliver the required fuel to sustain the efficient completion of every combustion cycle.
When this happens, the engine will not operate efficiently. Your car will shake as the engine struggles to run, especially during start-up. If you are already driving, the engine may even come to a full stop if there’s not enough fuel to burn inside the combustion chambers.
You need to bring your car to a certified mechanic so they can check and isolate the faulty fuel injector and repair or replace it if necessary. While they’re at it, let them also check your engine’s fuel mixing, fuel leaks, and fuel pressure.
4. Broken Ignition Coil
When the engine of your VW is running, but you are driving slowly or at a stop, the engine will shake if an ignition coil in the engine is defective or misfiring. To determine the exact cause and to pinpoint the problematic ignition coil, you need an OBD 2 scanner.
If you don’t have this diagnostic tool, bring your car to a mechanic who has it. They will be the right person to fix this issue as well.
5. Damaged Engine Mount
The engine mount is responsible for holding, securing, and stabilizing the engine of your VW. If there is a crack in it, or if it is badly damaged, it cannot prevent your engine and your car from shaking when you are starting it or when your car hits bumps and uneven road pavements.
The integrity of the engine mount is crucial to stabilizing your engine when you start it and when driving your VW. Any crack, damage, or defects should be repaired immediately for your safety. If it can’t be repaired, you can’t do anything but replace it.
6. Too Old VW Engine
Volkswagen is a reliable car brand. However, if the VW engine has already seen its good years, it will manifest a myriad of problems.
One of the most common issues of old engines is shaking and trembling. Perhaps it’s time to retire it. There’s no other way if you don’t want a car that trebles and shakes every time you use it.
Can I Reset the VW EPC Light Myself?
It is not recommended to reset the EPC light of your VW by yourself. While this is possible, you must first check why your car is shaking and fix the problem. That’s the time you can reset the EPC light yourself.
If you have an OBD 2 scanner, you can reset the light. It will help you diagnose the actual problem. If you don’t have this tool, you can ask your trusted mechanic to use it to scan your VW problem.
After pinpointing the problem, they will apply the proper fix. Soon as the problem is fixed, they will reset the EPC light.
In determining the cause of the shaking, the mechanic may also inspect the power cable of the engine’s throttle body first. They will examine the cables for the presence of carbon and dirt. If debris accumulates in the cables, they will remove them.
Then they will double-check all the connectors to see if they are still intact. They need to do these two things because they can make the EPC light on your dash go off.
Can I Still Drive While the EPC Light Is Flashing?
You can drive your car with the EPC light turned on, only for a short distance after the light turns on. However, stopping and parking your vehicle in a safe spot is safer if your engine or car is shaking simultaneously.
You are risking the life of your engine and your life if you continue to drive your VW when it is already shaking. It will be very easy for you to get into some accident driving a trembling car. It’s not worth the risk. Just stop and ask for help.
The most common reason why the EPC light turns on when your VW is shaking is there is a problem with the system. Perhaps it is malfunctioning. Or there could be a problem with the following:
- Traction control,
- Cruise control system,
- Throttle position, or
- ABS control.
You can fix this light yourself if you need to. Just start your car the way you usually do it. Then turn off the engine. And then start the ignition again. When the engine has already started, floor the gas pedal. This procedure will reset the EPC light.