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What Does EPC Mean? Here Is All You Need to Know 

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If you're wondering, “what does EPC mean?” It refers to a problem in the electronic power control system, which monitors the function of the throttle body, ignition, and other electronic features in your vehicle. When the EPC light comes on, you should take your vehicle to the nearest repair shop and get the problem resolved as soon as possible. 

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Warning lights are very important in any vehicle, and as a driver, you should take any warning lights seriously to prevent dealing with major damages. The EPC light is one of those lights that might be triggered due to an internal problem.

When the EPC light comes on, you'll notice some additional symptoms like loss of power and issues with performance. At that point, you'll ask yourself what does EPC means?

This article provides you with all you need to know about the EPC causes that could trigger this light along with the solutions to resolve the issues. We also provided some details about whether you can drive their car with the EPC light coming on. 

What does EPC mean?

EPC refers to the electronic power control, which has a management system associated with Volkswagen Group vehicles.

Any Volkswagen vehicle might experience an EPC light illuminating. So, for example, if you're driving a Volkswagen or Audi, you might experience this warning lightly.

Previously, the EPC light was responsible for monitoring the throttle body function and managing the ignition frequency. However, the EPC light is responsible for other functions like controlling the cruise control, electronic stability control, and other electronic system features.

Since the EPC light works closely with the electronic control unit, your vehicle will throw a warning light immediately after any component within the electronic system goes bad. 

When the EPC light comes on, it is a message from your vehicle indicating that there is something wrong going on with interior features. Thus, your vehicle will not only illuminate this light but will also trigger additional warning lights and other symptoms to grab your attention to resolve the issue immediately and prevent dealing with undesirable outcomes.

For example, when the EPC light comes on, some situations trigger the limp mode as well. You might also deal with some significant reduction in the vehicle's overall power that you will notice when you try to accelerate. While the EPC light tries to grab your attention as much as possible, it does not stop the engine from working because it allows you to drive your vehicle slowly to the nearest repair shop to get the problem resolved.

Therefore, when the EPC light comes on, you will still be able to get to the repair shop in most scenarios unless there's something else going on causing the engine to stop working completely. 

Is EPC light bad? 

As we indicated before, a variety of features might be linked to some safety components. For example, when the EPC goes bad, it might be an issue with the brakes or the steering system. If that's the case, there is a very high chance of getting involved in car accidents or causing significant engine damages.

That's why it's recommended that we never see the EPC light illuminating to take your vehicle to the nearest independent job and have a professional mechanic perform a detailed inspection to prevent major damages.

Keep in mind that the EPC light also eliminates minor problems, which means that it's not necessarily a terrible situation. However, you cannot confirm that the EPC light is linked to a minor issue unless you have an experienced mechanic use certain scanning tools to confirm the root of the problem. 

What causes an EPC light to come on?

When the EPC light comes on, there might be many different causes, including:

  • Problems with the throttle body and the throttle pedal
  • Issues with the cruise control module
  • The trouble with the engine speed sensor
  • Malfunction in the mass airflow sensor
  • Troubles in the brake light switch 

As you might notice, problems causing the EPC light to illuminate can be coming from many different systems. Therefore, when you see the EPC light illuminating, it's really hard to tell which is causing the issue. That's why you need to take your car to the nearest repair shop, where they perform detailed inspections to confirm the culprit.

You can also rely on a code reader like the OBDII scanner to scan the vehicle's internal computer and provide you with some error codes that you can search for to get their meaning. By understanding the error code, you'll be able to determine what's causing the problem, and you'll have an idea about how much to expect for repair costs. 

Can I drive with the EPC light on?

The EPC light will not completely prevent you from driving your car. However, although l engine will continue working thoughts, you'll notice a significant reduction in the vehicle's overall performance, forcing you to immediately go to the nearest repair shop.

In some vehicles, the car might put itself on a limp mode to encourage you to go through the nearest repair shop, especially when you notice something wrong going on with the vehicle and not performing like usual.

Thus, dealing with an EPC light is not a simple situation. Nevertheless, it must be taken seriously until the professional mechanic confirms to you that the issue is linked to a minor problem. 

How do I fix the EPC light on my VW? 

Usually, when the EPC light comes on, you're recommended to go through the nearest repair shop and get the problem resolved by an experienced employee. However, if you would like to give it a try and see for some workarounds, you might try the following:

  • Turn off the vehicle
  • Start the car as usual
  • Turn the car back off and then started on while pressing hard on the gas pedal 
  • If this didn't work, they will get rid of the EPC light, try inspecting the wiring around the throttle body and see if this resolves the issue 

If the mentioned steps did not help you resolve the EPC light issue, your problem might be linked to a big thing, and you better go to the nearest repair shop to solve it. 

How much does it cost to fix EPC?

Depending on the root of the problem, the price can differ significantly. In general, fixing an EPC light might cost you somewhere between $124 and $214. Of course, this price range is only valid if you're resetting the light because of a problem in the throttle body. However, the issue might be more complicated, causing you to pay much more money.

The price might also be linked to the vehicle's type. For example, the Volkswagen Jetta might need about $200 to get rid of the EPC light. Thus, you might get a better idea when reaching out to our mechanic shop and evaluating the situation closely. 

What to do when the EPC light comes on? 

If you notice that the EPC light is illuminating, you need to take the following steps:

  • If you're driving on the highway, pull over and get through the next exit 
  • Stop your engine if you notice any additional symptoms indicating other severe problems
  • Consult your mechanic and describe the situation before confirming whether to continue to drive the vehicle or not
  • Proceed to the nearest repair shop if your mechanic agreed to
  • Have the mechanic inspect the vehicle and fix the faulty component before taking your vehicle home 

Keep in mind that you can use an OBDII scanner to determine the root of the problem before even reaching the mechanic. The advantage of scanning your own vehicle helps you understand the timeline you'll be leaving your car at the repair shop and gives you a better idea about what to expect when repairing costs. It might also help you determine whether to take your vehicle to an independent shop or to the dealership to have more experienced employees work on the car they know. 

Should I reset the Volkswagen EPC light myself?

It is not recommended. Even if you've been to the repair shop recently and they took a look at your car, it's recommended that you leave resetting the EPC light to the experts. You don't want to reset the light while the root of the problem is still there.

Therefore, if the EPC light comes on after you got the issue resolved, you might need to revisit the repair shop and check whether there is a second problem triggering the EPC light.

By resetting the EPC light yourself, you keep the issue and hide it. But, unfortunately, the problem will be there, and it will cause some major issues that might cost you the entire engine. 

How to detect what's causing the EPC light?

If you're not at the repair shop, you can use an OBDII scanner to scan a couple of systems and get an idea about what might be the culprit. It's recommended that you scan the following units:

  • Transmission control unit
  • Engine control unit
  • Steering control unit
  • ABS control unit

As we indicated before, the EPC light might be linked to any problem within the mentioned units. Thus, by scanning these units, you will get an idea about any stored error codes.

Keep in mind that the EPC light might require some advanced scanners, which means that the OBDII scanner might not be the only way to get the entire picture. But, by having an advanced scanner that might cost you a little more, you'll understand where exactly the problem is coming from, and you might get some information and details about repair options and repair costs. 

Automotive experts recommend purchasing an OBDII scanner that you can connect to your smartphone or computer. This type of tool does not necessarily drain the Volkswagen battery, which might be a problem with many other OBDII scanners. 

Can AutoZone check the EPC light?

Unfortunately, most AutoZone scans are limited to whatever the OBDII scanner can read. That being said, you can still scan there yourself and get the same results AutoZone can do.

AutoZone scanners do not wait for details about EPC codes because they require a certain advanced scanner to get all the details. 


Your vehicle uses warning lights to communicate with you and bring your attention to internal problems. The EPC light is one of those common lights that you might notice in any Volkswagen vehicle.

The EPC light refers to a problem with the electronic power control system. The system is responsible for monitoring the behavior of the throttle body and the ignition. It can also control other electronic features like the cruise control system. 

When the EPC light illuminates, you need to take the problem seriously and have your vehicle inspected by a professional mechanic to prevent dealing with major damages that might cost you thousands of dollars down the road. If you notice that repair costs are piling up, it might be the right time now to sell your car to Cash Cars Buyer and use the money towards a better vehicle instead. 

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