Computers are taking over everything on your vehicle. Traditionally, components like the steering, the parking brake, and the gas pedal used to require mechanical linkages. Nowadays, computers and electric motors can take care of all of these functions and more.
Electronic Power Control (EPC) is a computerized ignition and engine management system. It is used by other systems on the car such as stability and cruise control. Any faults with the EPC will likely disable other functions on your vehicle so it is important to keep the system maintained and functional. A warning light on the dash will let you know when an issue has been detected in the EPC system.
What the EPC light means
Since the EPC is used on multiple other systems on the vehicle, it is likely that other warning lights will be illuminated on the dash as well. Typically, the stability control and cruise control will be disabled and their respective lights will be illuminated as well. The check engine light may also come on to show that the engine itself isn’t operating at normal efficiency. To try and protect the engine, the computer can limit the vehicle’s throttle and the car may feel sluggish as a result.
You will need to get the car scanned for trouble codes that can be used to identify the problem. Once repairs have been done and the codes cleared, everything should return to normal.
Is it safe to drive with the EPC light on?
Like the check engine light, the severity of the problem can vary greatly. If this light comes on, you should have the car checked out as soon as possible to prevent any significant damage from occurring. If your vehicle is limiting your throttle to protect the engine, you should only use the vehicle to take it to get repaired.
Common issues with your car’s EPC are malfunctioning sensors which just need to be replaced. However, the issue can be more serious so don’t hesitate and have your vehicle checked out as soon as possible. If your EPC warning light is on, our certified technicians are always available to help you diagnose any problems that may be present.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as What Does the Electronic Power Control (EPC) Warning Light Mean? and was authored by Spencer Cates.