BMWs are known for their resilience, reliability, and strength. They’re designed and engineered with characteristics in mind that are typical of the brand, but also addressing the desires of the BMW clientele—we mean power, consistency, and durability. When your BMW begins to malfunction in various ways, it can be highly concerning—and rightfully so; those of us who are fans of the BMW brand come to expect a certain level of excellence that is typically unrivaled by other vehicle manufacturers.


Unfortunately, BMWs, just like all other cars, experience typical issues that are most common amongst the brand. One such issue is failure of the DSC system. The DSC system serves an important function in your BMW—one that greatly contributes to the overall performance, reliability, and safety of the vehicle. In terms of what BMW drivers come to expect of these vehicles, these are some factors that weigh heavily on the level of enjoyment and safety while driving them. If you’re not sure what a DSC system does or how to diagnose an issue with it, then this article might help you to learn more.

What is a DSC system in a BMW and what is its function?

DSC stands for dynamic stability control—something that BMW vehicles are well-known for. This is a complex system that involves the use of many different sensors and detective methods that allow the car to optimize the driving experience based on a driver’s particular style of driving. It acts as a performance optimizing modality, but also as a safety feature which regulates the speed of the vehicle while taking into account the road conditions that might contribute to wheel spin or your car drifting or fishtailing out of control. Not all BMW cars experience an issue with the DSC system, but it’s important to take such matters seriously—it could be highly dangerous to drive under specific conditions without the DSC system activated.

What BMW models typically experience this problem?

Depending on the model BMW you drive, you may or may not be more susceptible to experiencing DSC system failure. The following models are more vulnerable to encountering DSC system problems: X3X5Z-series3-series5-series, and 7-series. If you own one of these BMW models, it’s in your best interest to have the system checked out for bugs as a preventive measure. Frequent, ongoing inspections can help you to address issues before they become safety concerns.

What symptoms should you look out for in a failing DSC System?

Since the DSC system works with your anti-lock brake system, it is quite common to experience symptoms of problems with both systems. You might notice an illuminated dashboard warning light that says: “DSC” or “ABS.” These lights may not remain on consistently, but should be checked out regardless. Either of these warning lights should be checked out by a professional BMW mechanic. The first step is to read the trouble codes using specific tools and instruments, so it’s important to have diagnosis performed by a BMW specialist. You may also notice that your battery cannot hold a charge due to the improper functioning of the DSC system. Of course, the effects of DSC system failure will also need to be addressed by your automotive shop.

Some of the typical causes of DSC failure to know about

As previously mentioned, your BMW’s DSC system works by utilizing various sensors. Wheel speed sensors can malfunction themselves, leading to an inadequately functioning DSC system. It is also common for BMW drivers to experience DSC failure due to an issue with the anti-lock brake system such as with the control module or the ABS pump. Since the functioning of your brakes greatly relates to the functioning of the DSC system, even low brake fluid can affect it’s capability.

How we can help restore your BMW

                                                           Here at Cerrone’s European, located in Redwood City, CA, we have seen this issue with DSC system failure in BMWs many times over the years. We know that most of the time only specific model BMWs are affected by DSC failure, and we utilize our BMW-specific knowledge in order to properly diagnose such problems and attend to fixing them thoroughly and properly the first time around. If you are experiencing issues with vehicle control in your BMW, please contact us here at Cerrone’s right away to schedule an inspection.