VW EPC Light Car Shaking: 4 Detailed Causes & How to Fix

When driving a VW car, you might have come across the EPC light on your dashboard. In the same instance, you may have felt your car shaking. What do these signs mean, and how do they relate to each other?

In this article, we’ll provide a detailed explanation of the causes of this problem and how to fix it. Let’s get started!

What Does EPC Light Indicate in a VW Car?

EPC stands for Electronic Power Control. In VW cars, this light comes on when there’s a problem with the throttle system. It could be due to a range of issues like sensor malfunction or throttle body issues.

Additionally, when the EPC light is on, you might notice performance issues, such as a reduction in power or the car shaking. The car might also go into “limp mode,” a safety feature that restricts the speed to prevent further damage.

Volkswagen car

Why VW EPC Light Car Shaking: 4 Detailed Causes

Here, we will delve into 4 reasons why this issue occurs:

Ignition coil problems

One reason why a car might be shaking and showing an EPC warning light is due to a problem with the ignition coil. Basically, the ignition coil’s job is to change the low power from the car battery into the high power needed to spark the fuel in the spark plugs.

Thus, if the coil is broken or isn’t working right, this important step can’t happen properly. This might cause the fuel in the engine’s cylinders not to ignite the right way, leading to the engine running rough and making the car shake.

Rear brake pads wearing out unevenly

Sometimes, your car might shake and show an EPC light because of uneven wear on the rear brake pads. Brake pads naturally get worn down over time because they rub against other parts of the car when you use the brakes. But if they wear down unevenly, it can cause issues.

When you brake, the brake pads squeeze against the brake rotors. If the brake pads are uneven, this can cause the car to shake or vibrate when you brake. This is often more noticeable when braking at high speeds. Furthermore, uneven brake pads can mess up the readings from the wheel speed sensors. So, this might cause your EPC light to come on, as the system might be confused by the uneven sensor readings.

Problems with the fuel injector

An issue with the fuel injector can make your car shake and cause an EPC light to come on. In detail, fuel injectors are important because they keep the right mix of air and fuel in your engine. Thus, if there’s something wrong with the injector, it can mess up this balance, leading to a misfire in your engine. This causes your engine to burn fuel unevenly, and this uneven combustion can make your car shake. Also, the car’s computer can spot this issue and turn on your EPC light to let you know something’s wrong.

The car's computer can turn on the EPC light

Problems with VW’s EPC light and power loss

In some cases, VW cars can show the EPC light and lose power, which can make the car shake. This can happen when there’s a problem with the throttle body or the sensor linked to it.

To explain, the throttle body controls how much air goes into the engine, and any issues with it can affect how well the engine works. So, if the throttle body or its sensor isn’t working right, the engine might not get the right amount of air, leading to bad combustion and loss of power. Thus, this can cause the car to shake, and the problems with the engine’s performance can turn on your EPC light.

How Can I Fix EPC Warning Lights?

Fixing the EPC warning lights will largely depend on the specific problem triggering it. Here are some steps you can take:

Using scanner tools

To figure out why the EPC light is on, you can use a special tool called a diagnostic scanner. These scanners connect to your car’s computer and read error codes specific to your Volkswagen. They can help you understand what’s causing the problem.

You can borrow a code reader from an auto parts store or purchase one yourself. These tools not only read the codes but can also clear them, so you can check if the issue has been resolved.

Using scanner tools

Physical check

Another thing you can do is visually inspect your car. In detail, you can look for signs of damage or wear, especially in the electrical parts that are connected to the EPC system. Make sure the connections to the throttle body are secure and in good condition. Also, check the wiring connected to the throttle pedal to ensure it’s not damaged.

Check the pedal

Often, a bad throttle pedal can cause your EPC light to come on. If your diagnostic tool shows a code that points to the throttle pedal, this might be the problem. This pedal is very important for controlling how much air your engine gets, so any issues with it can cause big problems with how your car runs. If you find that the throttle pedal is the issue, you might need to replace it.

Professional help

If you’re having a hard time fixing the problem yourself or if you’re not confident about handling car issues, then it’s a good idea to take your car to an expert. These professionals know all about VW models and have the right skills and tools to fix problems that turn on the EPC warning light.

Read more: Squeaking Noise While Driving But Not Brakes Applied: Fix!

Quick Tips for Troubleshooting

If your car is shaking and this engine light is on, it’s crucial to act promptly. Here are some basic troubleshooting steps to solve your problem:

Basic fixes

If your car is acting up, it’s smart to start with the simple stuff first. Check things like how much gas you have and if your tires have enough air. Keeping your tires at the right pressure can make your ride smoother. And, if you’re low on gas, it could make your car run differently. Make sure you’ve got these things sorted before diving into more complicated problems.

If your car is still shaking and an EPC light won’t go off, the next thing you can try is a code reader or scanner. These gadgets hook up to your car’s computer and can tell you if it has recorded any error codes. These codes can give you some insight into what’s going wrong with your car. Once you’ve got these codes, you can look them up online or in your car’s manual to understand the problem better.

Getting help from professionals

Some car problems can be fixed at home on your own, but others, like issues with an EPC light and car shaking, often need a pro to sort out. This is especially true for VW cars, which can be quite complex. To fix issues with the EPC system, you usually need to know quite a bit about the car’s electronics and mechanics.

Resetting the engine light

Once you’ve addressed the issue causing the EPC light to come on, the final step is to reset the light. You can do this using the same scanner tool you used for diagnosis. It’s quite straightforward to use these tools for resetting error lights – you just need to follow the instructions provided by the tool.

However, it’s crucial to understand that simply resetting the EPC light doesn’t mean the problem is solved. This action just turns off the warning light. If the root cause of the problem isn’t properly dealt with, this engine light will likely turn on again. That’s because the car’s computer continues to monitor the system and will reactivate the warning light if it detects the same issue.

So, while the resetting process might make your dashboard look normal again, it shouldn’t be seen as a solution to the problem. It should only be done after you’re confident that the issue triggering the light has been adequately addressed.

Read More: Steering Wheel Locked Up While Parked: 4 Common Causes

Preventing These Issue

To reduce the chance of encountering issues such as a shaking car or an EPC light on, it’s crucial to prioritize preventative measures. Let’s discuss how you can effectively implement these preventative measures:

Regular maintenance

One of the best ways to prevent car problems is through regular maintenance. This includes regular oil changes, filter replacements, and system checks. These can help keep your car in good shape and prevent issues that could lead to the EPC light coming on or the car shaking.

Paying attention to warning signs

Cars usually show signs before major issues occur. If you notice any signs, like unusual noises, reduced performance, or warning lights on your dashboard, get your car checked as soon as possible.


Understanding the EPC light and car shaking in your VW is crucial to prevent potential damage and ensure your safety. While some troubleshooting can be done at home, these issues usually require professional help. Moreover, regular maintenance and paying attention to warning signs. These can go a long way in preventing these problems.


  1. Is it safe to keep driving a car that's shaking?

    If you notice that your car is continuously shaking, it's advisable to address the issue promptly before driving further. Persisting in driving a car that's shaking could lead to more serious damage to components. Additionally, wearing out your tires prematurely, and cause other expensive issues that could be prevented by a timely visit to your mechanic.

  2. Why does my car shake when I brake, and the EPC light comes on?

    If your car shakes when you brake and an EPC light comes on, it could be due to uneven brake pads or other braking system issues. Have a professional inspect your car to identify the exact problem.

  3. What could be the cause of my VW's engine light turning on and the car vibrating?

    An engine misfire, which often leads to a rise in hydrocarbon emissions, is among the various factors that could trigger the check engine light to switch on or start blinking. Generally, if the check engine light is active and the car is trembling, you're likely experiencing an engine misfire.

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