BMWs are popular, well-liked cars for a reason. They are durable and reliable, and they provide a great driving experience for their owners, from both handling well and the power under the engine. However, that means it's even more evident when something about the BMW's handling is a little off, as it may well seem when you're dealing with DSC failure.
What is the DSC System?
DSC stands for ‘dynamic stability control'. The DSC system uses a variety of sensors to determine your driving style and adjust internal reactions to optimize the vehicle's performance. The overall performance of the vehicle is of course important, but this system is also a safety feature, as it also monitors environmental factors such as road conditions to help prevent things like loss of tire traction and fishtailing.
The DSC system also works with the ABS (anti-lock braking system) in your vehicle, so a DSC failure can affect your car's braking.
What Causes DSC Problems?
Because the DSC system relies so heavily on knowing what's going on in and around the car, many times issues with is come as a result of failing sensors. You could have issues with your steering angle sensor, or wheel speed sensor, either of which could need to be replaced.
Another possibility that could be causing DSC problems is a poor connection at the battery. The system requires a fair amount of power to operate, and if the battery connection is poor it may not be getting the voltage it needs to power the sensors and process the readings it's getting. You may want to double check your battery connections or even get your battery tested before diving too deep into other potential repairs.
Due to the nature in which the DSC works with the anti-lock braking system, it's possible that issues in the ABS could manifest as DSC problems. That could be faults in the control module or a problem with the ABS pump. It could even potentially be something as simple as low brake fluid, which is especially easy to resolve.
Symptoms of a Failing DSC System
One of the most common symptoms of a problem with your DSC is the illumination of warning lights on your dash. Obviously the ‘DSC' light means there may be a problem there, but the ‘ABS' light may also be an indicator of a problem with the DSC system.
As mentioned before, the DSC system requires quite a bit of power, which it draws from the battery. However, it shouldn't draw so much power that the battery dies just from normal operation. If the battery cannot hold a charge, the DSC system may be to blame. However, this will need to be determined by a trained mechanic, as there can be quite a few causes of battery drain.
Trust the Experts
If you suspect DSC failure in your BMW, you should try to get that taken care of as soon as possible, both for the quality of your vehicle's drive and for the safety of you and your passengers. Especially considering that the underlying cause of DSC problems can also lead to other issues in the vehicle, it's worth taking care of in a timely manner to prevent a domino effect of car problems.
However, when you own a vehicle like a BMW, you can't trust it to just any mechanic. BMWs are known for their very specific German engineering, so it's important to find a mechanic who is familiar with BMWs specifically. Additionally, your mechanic should use original manufacturer BMW parts, as substandard parts will only lead to a higher subsequent failure rate. Original parts are made specifically for BMWs, and are of high quality to ensure they last.
If you live in or around San Jose, CA, Fast Lane European is here to help. Our mechanics specialize in European vehicles, specifically BMWs, Minis, and Volvos, meaning we are prepared to give your BMW the best care possible. If you suspect your vehicle may be experiencing DSC failure, call or stop by today. Our factory-certified technicians will work to find the underlying problem and repair it in a timely manner, so you can be back on the road as soon as possible.