There is a collection of functionalities integrated within modern vehicles that are designed to help them operate more efficiently. If you are driving a BMW, one of the features you will need to be familiar with is the DSC light located on the dashboard.
Every vehicle has monitoring systems that allow the driver to recognize what is happening during certain stages of their journey – as well as identify potential problems that can be rectified via their means.
The DSC light consists of a number of sensors and related electronic setups that assist in stabling the vehicle during adverse driving conditions.
Owning a BMW requires one to maintain the various parts involved in its operations properly. The elite automobile comes with multiple features that are designed to enhance its efficiency on the road.
Familiarizing yourself with the various monitoring and response systems present in a BMW allows you to gain a better understanding of the inner linings of its automations.
It also assists one in recognizing a variety of problems that are signaled by a variety of warning lights placed on the dashboard. One of the major components of this sector is the DSC system. This is an element present with all modern BMW models.
What is DSC?
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DSC is an acronym that stands for Dynamic Stability Control. It is known by other acronyms in different models but serves the same purpose nonetheless. The main aim of the system is to enhance the maneuverability of a driver when activated.
This is accomplished by correcting any complications that arise as a result of under/oversteering with the vehicle. In cases where the vehicle’s sensitivity is too much or too little to navigate through challenging sections of a road properly – the DSC is activated to make up for the difference.
The device functions by monitoring the speed applied by the different wheels of a vehicle via the sensors located in this region. Should the sensors indicate that a driver no longer has control over their car; the ABS is activated in relation to the wheel concerned.
In more severe cases, the DSC may even cut the engine power to this sector to better control the outcome. Apart from the sensors on the wheels, information from other sensors is also collected and relayed to the DSC in a bid to help it function.
There is an icon present on the dashboard that represents the DSC system. This light signal is placed there to inform the driver of when the unit is activated. The icon lights up during activation and turns off when it’s no longer in use.
This unit is not activated throughout the journey and only comes on when needed. This means that unless the region you’re based in is full of bad roads – the icon should only light up intermittently during these rough stretches.
If the symbol lights up frequently or is on during an entire journey – then there is something likely to be wrong with the system.
Ensuring that this system is in good working condition is highly crucial to the levels of safety enjoyed with any journey. Malfunctions in this sector lessen the control a driver would have on their vehicle, thus greatly enhancing the risk involved with potential accidents.
Causes of Potential DSC Problems
There are a variety of complications that might arise when dealing with a vehicle’s DSC. As mentioned earlier, difficulties in this area are usually signified by the irregular lighting of its icon on the dashboard. Several causes that might be responsible for this include:
Faulty Wheel Sensors
One of the more blatant problems that will directly affect the DSC is the development of faulty sensors on the wheels. If one of the sensors do not work, then false information could potentially be relayed to the control unit – causing it to react irregularly.
Checking the sensors in each wheel can be an excellent way to ensure the problem actually lies within the stability system.
Problems with the Wiring
In some cases, the actual wiring that connects related units of the vehicle with the DSC can cause malfunctions with the monitoring system. As mentioned earlier, this unit does not function alone – but works hand in hand with other systems within the vehicle.
The need for a connection between the DSC and ABS units, for example, is crucial when implementing this functionality. A proper connection to the wheel sensors is also vital to the relaying of messages. If any of the wiring to these areas is adversely affected, then the DSC icon might be prone to non-uniform lighting.
Defective ABS Pump
The correlation between the DSC and ABS units means that if one sector malfunctions, then the other will be affected.
As such, if the ABS pre-charge pump functions incorrectly – then any messages relayed by the DSC would not ignite the proper reactions. The main reason behind this problem is usually worn out pump brushes.
Disabling the DSC is a feature that is available with many BMW models. The provision is mainly designed for more experienced drivers who want a higher level of control at all times.
It should be noted that disabling the system not a recommendable action for regular drivers, however, as it greatly endangers the lives of the vehicle’s occupants.
This ability is not a fact that everybody is aware of, and as such it could happen by mistake. Switching off the DSC is usually achieved by pressing the DTC button for an extended number of seconds (usually three to four).
Potential Fixes for DSC Light Problems
Resetting the DSC
The easiest fix related to this complication is ensuring that you haven’t switched off the DSC system by mistake. This can be accomplished by pressing the DTC on the vehicle. If this doesn’t work, then the problem is likely to be an internal one.
Changing the Wheel Sensors/ Fixing the Wiring
The next direct solution involves dealing with the wheel sensors or wiring of the vehicle. It should be noted that a sensor is in every wheel, and all of them need to be checked when addressing this issue.
Sensors can easily be clogged by dirt or some other type of debris, which can affect the performance of these units. As such, misconstrued messages may be relayed to the DSC, leading to unclear reactions.
These devices can be cleaned using a specialized fluid created for this purpose. If cleaning does not work, then you will need to replace them entirely. The wiring to the sensors and other areas will also need to be examined to ensure there are no broken or detached cords.
Using an OBDII Scanner
Detecting the error codes within this system can be easily accomplished through the use of a portable scanner.
This will allow the driver to identify any digitally based problems that might be related to areas such as the DTC and ABC. These errors can also be addressed and cleared via these devices, and it will only take a few minutes to accomplish.
In conclusion, the DCS unit is not a sector to be ignored and should be upheld with the utmost commitment. If you are unable to identify the particular problem, then contacting a professional is the best means of avoiding further damage.