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Hyundai Tucson "ESC OFF" Light

petecalpetecal Member Posts: 28
edited September 2015 in Hyundai
I see there is already a similar thread to this but it seems associated with the 2006 and I have a 2007 Tucson. Last night I was driving my Tucson and the ECS OFF light came on. No matter how many times I pressed the ESC OFF switch, the light never flickered.

And I really needed the ECS. It was a combination of rain/snow/sleet with about 2 inches of slush on the road and just the tire marks in the lanes. It was three lanes of traffic with everybody from little old ladies barely moving to hotshots humping the speed limit. Eight inches of slush on the shoulders. Temperature dropping.

This really disturbed me. What did ECS OFF mean?

(1) Was the ABS working (Yes, I tested that when I got off the highway with the ESC OFF light still illuminated. ABS was functional.)

(2) If the front wheels lost traction, would the rear wheels come to the rescue??? I tried to test this by stopping, cutting the wheels and hitting the gas. I think the rear wheels started to drive but I had to stop my testing because of traffic.

(3) When I got home (safely) I pulled the manual and it said shut off the engine and restart it to see of the light went off. It did.

So now, what the do I do? I paid for ESC but it failed the first time I needed it.

Also, is ther a good description of how this ESC works? Something more than the manual?



See Also
Edmunds Answers: Hyundai Tucson ESC Light Questions


  • scottie06scottie06 Member Posts: 2
    I have an 06 Tucson GL 4x4. In the past year I have noticed certain electrical issues come up. For instance my HVAC controls would not respond for a few days and then they started working again. I never took it in because they would eventually work again so the service techs would not really be able to trouble shoot the problem when they are working fine by the time I get it in. Then last month I notice my “ESC OFF” light coming on after I drive for about 5 minutes. When I shut my Tucson off the lights go out and stay out until I drive it again for like 5 to 10 minutes. So I took it in to my dealer and left it for a day. They gave it back to me and said I must have had the switch engaged because they could not get the light to come on or read any codes. So I took my Tucson and drove it down the highway for 5 minutes until the light came back on and then drove it back to the dealer and left it running to show them there is a problem and allow them to check the codes. The computer read a code that the break lights had an error. At this point many small problems came to light. The tail lights were getting a small amount of power. Not enough to light up obviously but if you looked at the bulbs they were very dimly lit. In addition the rear defroster would not respond the cruise would not work now and the stereo power would cut in and out. The third break light also lit up the 5 LEDs on the far right side any time the vehicle was running. The techs called Hyundai and the factory technicians had never heard of such a thing going on. They decided to replace the cruise and brake light module. And I set up another appointment. I brought my Tucson in and they installed the module only to find it fixed nothing. I set up another appointment in which they felt strongly they had isolated the problem. They would not explain to me what the parts they were replacing would be. I was rather upset that I keep having to leave my vehicle with them so they decided to rent me a car. I did not hear from them for the last four days… Today they call me and tell me I will need to continue to drive the rental car for another week or two because the new modules they installed ended up feeding back into the electrical system and “knocked out” more modules? They said they are going to have to wait for a technician from Hyundai to come next week and look at it. Just thought I would share… I have really enjoyed the Tucson but I have never had an odd set of problems with a new vehicle before. The truck only has 17K miles..
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    Just a guess but it sounds like the stability control sensing unit has shorted out.

    Incidentally, I changed the title of this topic for clarity.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • kcrnmalekcrnmale Member Posts: 47
    I have a 2005 KIA Sportage (same SUV as the Tucson)with the same problem
    My "Traction Off" light would come on intermittently in hot weather and never in the winter. It also never came on when the dealer checked it out. I plan on driving to the dealer when it happens again and let them check the error code while the light is on. I'm in Iraq at the moment and my wife says she hasn't seen the light come on this summer. It's probably a traction sensor but I started wondering if the traction control worked fine and perhaps it's actually a faulty dash light? Once again, it never came on except in hot weather.
  • scottie06scottie06 Member Posts: 2
    AN UPDATE: I went into the dealership and they told me that them and hyundai are begining to think there was a factroy defect in the system. According to Hyundai this was the only case they knew of. However another Tucson came into their shop yesterday afternoon with the same problem. They are waiting on a factory technician to come in from California. I had already had a previous issue with this dealer involving a former sales manager and the GM was aware of this as well. He told me they felt bad and wanted to make it right. I ended up trading my Tucson in for a new Elantra. Better gas mileage :) and they ended up giving me 3000 over what all the books were quoting my tucson as worth in the books to make up for all the issues in the past. I will try to update if I find out any information on them fixing the Tucson and find out what is really going wrong.
  • kathystucsonkathystucson Member Posts: 2
    I have an 06 Tucson Limited with 22k miles on it. I had numerous problems during the 15k warranty period- had a transmission leak at 7k miles & they wound up replacing the transmission (with a "reconditioned" one of course, which means "used"). The sunroof leaked & had to be fixed twice.
    I've now discovered that I have probs with the dashboard warning lights if I drive for several hours and turn off the engine for only a few minutes. Once, the check engine light came on- and the gas cap WAS tightened. Next time the ESC light came on. Just yesterday, on a long drive, the check engine light came on again after only stopping for a few minutes. The strange thing is that if the car sits a while- hours or overnight- the next time I start the engine the light that was on does not come back on.
    The first time this happened I used the Hyundai Roadside Assistance (and the guys on the 800 number were absolutely wonderful!) to tow me to the nearest dealership, and they thought it was because I had just gassed up & must not have tightened the gas cap. The other times this has happened I had not just gassed up.
    Since it only happens on long trips, I'm stuck on the road when this happens and I am losing confidence that this Tucson is safe to drive. Has anyone had this problem- I don't know if it's a short in the sensors or what?
  • sewtisewti Member Posts: 2
    I have a 07 Sportage. Same problem with the ESC light. It used to be fairly infrequent but is now a daily thing. I had told the dealer about it and they put the car on the computer and didn't see anything wrong (it is the ESC light not the check engine light but whatever).

    If anybody tracks down the source of this issue, link to a service bulletin, anything like that please let me know! I cannot afford a rental for a week or weeks and the dealer is scaring me it could take that long. As long as the ESC is actually functioning I don't give a flying fig about the light itself at this point.

    This is not the only electrical type glitch I have. Periodically the car dings when I get out as though I left the keys in (they aren't). Reinserting and removing the key generally solves it but hoping it doesn't go like the ESC light now.

    I had been chalking them both up to a fluke in that this car came with factory cruise control. But supposedly cruise control is not even available as an option according to the mfr site. Dealer didn't put it in, it came like that and it is Factory.

    Does everybody with this problem have some sort of option that would effect wiring or put in something aftermarket? The only Sportage I found on the net before the above post with this ESC light business had an aftermarket towing package put in. My ESC light problem started when the weather got hot. But it is cooling off and lights coming on every day now.

    IF somebody gets it fixed, please share!
  • keithhuskakeithhuska Member Posts: 1
    Recently I have experienced the same problem, but with the addition of the ABS light below it. I too brought it to the dealership, and they changed out a brake light switch under warranty. Things were fine for two days, then after about 10 minutes of driving the next morning the "ESC OFF" and "((ABS))" lights came on at the same time again. The dash lights come on everyday now, but not all the time. It's really kinda spooky, is my ABS and ESC really working or not?? What is the real issue with this problem, electrical wiring, modules, fuses, switches, computer chips, sensors??? :confuse: The dealership has no concrete answers so far, but if something is truly resolved I will write again!
  • bkmarsicbkmarsic Member Posts: 1
    Just purchased 2006 Tucson 2 days ago and ESC light came on today.
    Will copy posts regarding this to show dealer.
    Will pass on any info.
  • dawnersdawners Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2006 Tucson, and I, too, am having the ESC light turn on frequently. I'm taking it to the dealer on Monday, so I'll report what they said. I was also the victim of a dead battery this morning. Needless to say, I'm disgusted and ready to dump it after a year and a half.
  • cruz_vcruz_v Member Posts: 2
    Hi scottie06, I have the same problem and I visited the dealer about 4 time in last two months and the problem continue. They not know why the light come on. You solve your problem? Thank You ---- [email protected]
  • dawnersdawners Member Posts: 3
    I took my Tucson into the dealer today. They replaced the brake light switch,so I'll let you know what happens. They also replaced my radio, which they said is the cause of the battery drain. I'm upset because they replaced it with a rebuilt radio, and I don't think that will solve the problem. I'm calling corporate to see if they will get a new radio (I know, good luck). ;)
  • tenpin288tenpin288 Member Posts: 804
    If you go to and sign up there, you can access a lot of the same info your dealership has access to. Once you signup and login, look up TSB # 07-90-007 BATTERY DISCHARGE CONDITION ON MODELS WITH M280 AUDIO SYSTEM. This directly addresses the battery drain problem due to a bad radio. The prescribed replacement is a remanufactured unit that has been altered to eliminate the problem. ;)
  • dawnersdawners Member Posts: 3
    Thank you for the information--I'll sleep a little easier. I read on another post that someone still had problems with the remanufactured radio--that the problem wasn't corrected. However, that post was from a six months ago. :)
  • kathystucsonkathystucson Member Posts: 2
    No, my prob not solved- every time it happens I'm on the road, and then the light goes out the next time I start up the car. So I know if I take it to the dealer, they won't believe me.
    My neighbor ran some test for me and he says my car won't pass emission inspection & that Hyundai HAS to fix that under warranty if under 50k miles.
    Pretty bizarre...
  • cruz_vcruz_v Member Posts: 2
    Autos del Caribe Hyundai dealer changed the "break ligt sensor" and esc on/off switch. At this moment the light of "ESC/OFF" not turn on automatically. I hope this solve the problem.....
  • wowzers17wowzers17 Member Posts: 2
    The ESC stands for Electronic Stability Control. It's basically a sensor that will override the accelerator and slow the car down in the event of the car beginning to lose control (example: if you begin to fish-tail while going around a bend, the ESC will activate and slow down the wheels despite however far you have the accelerator pedal pressed). You don't technically NEED ESC, but it's a nice safety feature. If it fails while you are driving, there's no need to freak out.

    I have a 2006 Tucson with the exact same problem you describe, and the dealer found the problem linked to a faulty brake pedal switch. Don't ask my why that's on the same circuit, but if you take the car into the dealer, they'll replace the switch for free (under warranty). That's what happened to me, and I haven't had the problem since.
  • petecalpetecal Member Posts: 28
    Actually, there are a number of sensors. Wheel speed sensors, accelerometers, and other ways of sensing pitch roll and yaw.

    And they react to a lot more than fishtail. It detects when one or more wheels are losing traction or when a rollover is eminent. It then directs power to the wheels that are needed to mitigate the problem by using both the transmission, engine power, and brakes.

    As for freak out, damn right I am freaked out. I paid for the ESC and the first time I encountered conditions that needed it, it took itself off line.

    Now, I have been driving in winter conditions for over 40 years. In bad conditions, I know what to do with rear wheel drive, I know what to do with front wheel drive, and I practiced a little with ESC. But, my main concern was, when the ESC OFF light came on, what did I have? Front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, some combination? Was the ABS still functioning (I confirmed it was later when I exited the highway)? What about other functions?

    The problem has not occurred since but I haven't hit the terrible conditions of that night. Thus, I doubt the brake pedal switch was the problem. More likely it was the ice, slush, and snow gumming something up. Of course that means the problem won't return unless I encounter similar conditions.

    I really don't want to take it in to the dealer and have him swap out the switch and get his reimbursement from the company. Then have the same problem when the weather is bad.
  • jeff08jeff08 Member Posts: 1
    My wife and I have a 2007 Hyundai Tucson SE 4WD. At 13,000 miles, the ABS, BRAKE, ESC OFF, and the 4WD lights would all come on in the mornings at the same time. They would then mysteriously come off after about an hour of driving. After 6 trips to a stumped Hyundai dealer, I finally was fed up, got a loaner car, and let them keep it until it was fixed. The problem? After they replaced the brake switch (???) they investigated more and found a faulty ABS module. It was almost a $2000 fix (Hyundai paid) and so far 3,000 miles and no problems.
  • robarerobare Member Posts: 3
    I recently bought a 2006 Tucson and after experiencing the "ECS" light problem I read with great interest the comments posted here.
    I have a shop manual for the 2006 Tucson and it clearly shows that the brake switch is a dual switch. One set of contacts for the brake lights and one set of contacts for the "ECS" circuitry. The "ECS" contacts are closed until the brake pedal is pushed. Then, the brake light contacts close and the ECS contacts open.
    The reverse happens when you let your foot off the pedal.
    I suspect that the ECS contacts sometimes aren't closing when the brake pedal is let up.
    The switch is easily removed and it's an easy dissassemble to inspect and clean the contacts. I found the heavy duty brake light contacts somewhat pitted.
    I cleaned and adjusted the contacts and put the switch back in the car.
    Let's see what happens. I'll post future results.
  • robarerobare Member Posts: 3
    It's been 3 days since I cleaned and adjusted the brake switch on my 2006 Tucson (19,255 miles)
    So far, the "ESC OFF" light has NOT come on.
    Previously, the ESC OFF light would come on and stay on even if it was a short or long trip.
    The only way to shut the light off was to stop and turn off the ignition.
    DUH IT's Electronic Stability Control = ESC
  • robarerobare Member Posts: 3
    OK Now it's been two weeks since I serviced the switch and the E S C light is behaving normally. Now at 20,180 miles.
    Definitely.....The brake switch.
  • dj2cohendj2cohen Member Posts: 4
    I just had my Tucson into the dealer on Friday 10/3 with the ESC light issue as well. They replaced the brake light switch and said that it is a common complaint.
  • pm35pm35 Member Posts: 1
    my check engine light has been on for quite some time. I put it on the computor for diagnosis and the code came up, ( 02 circuit slow response, bank-1 sensor-1) what is bank-1 sensor-1 ?
  • robjtonrobjton Member Posts: 6
    There is a fix to the ESC issue here:
  • robjtonrobjton Member Posts: 6
    Changing this part also fixes other problems... ask Autozone but first check the link.
  • hamody2005hamody2005 Member Posts: 2
    A three warning lights on instrument panel had come up while I was driving on highway after I get a suddenly simple drop in the road
    -4WD system warning lights.
    -ABS service reminder indicator.
    -ESC OFF
    can any one please help me what is the problem?
    also the 4WD system doesn't work.

    My car is Tucson 2007 4WD
  • hamody2005hamody2005 Member Posts: 2
    A three warning lights on instrument panel had come up while I was driving on highway after I get a suddenly simple drop in the road
    -4WD system warning lights.
    -ABS service reminder indicator.
    -ESC OFF

    can any one please help me what is the problem?

    also the 4WD system doesn't work. My car is Tucson 2007 4WD
  • trish1773trish1773 Member Posts: 2
    My hyundai Tucson 2008 needs a new ABS module and the dealership will charge $2000 just for the part. I cannot afford this. Does anyone know if it possible to purchase a used part and replace it ourselves or if the local mechanic can do this? I know we would have to have the dealership reprogram the computer after so it will recognize the new part. Anyone have experience with this please?
  • vjwrightvjwright Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2008 Kia Sorento found out the ESC light off comes from the ABS brakes the power booster on my truck was leaking a vacuum which make my brakes soft and my ESC light come on change the power booster all the problems went away.
  • Denis88Denis88 Member Posts: 1
    robare said:

    OK Now it's been two weeks since I serviced the switch and the E S C light is behaving normally. Now at 20,180 miles.
    Definitely.....The brake switch.

    Is this the part that I need to change?;_ylt=AwrEwhGCEghgeGIA1QVXNyoA;_ylu=Y29sbwNiZjEEcG9zAzEEdnRpZAMEc2VjA3BpdnM-?p=break+light+switch+hyundai+2007&fr2=piv-web&fr=mcafee#id=0&iurl=

    sorry for my question but I am a real amateur when it comes to cars.

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