In this guide, you will learn what Drive Control System Drive Moderately error message on the iDrive means, common causes, and how to troubleshoot the problem yourself. 

The most common cause of Drive Control System Failure Drive Moderately is a faulty BMW Stability Steering Angle Sensor. The steering angle sensor is mounted on the steering column below the steering wheel. Other possible symptoms related to this problem are listed below.


Along with the Drive Control System error message, you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Drive Syst. drive moderately message on the iDrive screen
  • Vehicle feels underpowered
  • Yellow triangle light on the dashboard
  • Drive control drive moderately pops up on the dash
  • Auto canceling signals stop working.
  • ABS and other driving aids turned off
  • Parking brake error
  • Reduced power
  • Start assistance inactive
  • Drivetrain Malfunction. Drive moderately. Maximum drivetrain output not available. Consult Service Center.
  • Cruise control disabled
  • Traction control and DSC lights on
  • ARS (Active Roll Stabilization) and AFS (Active Steering) may also be displayed
  • The turn signals on your BMW will no longer cancel on their own.

Possible Causes

The most likely problems that cause Drive Control System Drive Moderately error message are:

  • Steering angle sensor
  • Low power steering fluid
  • Weak battery
  • ABS module defective
  • Defective alternator
  • DDE relay
  • YAW Rate DSC Speed Sensor
  • GWS sensor
  • Loose battery cable

To find out why the Drive Control System Drive Moderately is on, you need to read the fault codes. 

How To Diagnose

bmw scanner

To find out why the Drive Control System Drive Moderately error message is on, you need to read the fault codes from the ABS, DSC, SZL, and ARS modules with a BMW Scanner. 

  1. Locate the diagnostic port under the dashboard. 
  2. Plug in your scanner in the diagnostic port and turn on the scanner.
  3. Select the BMW model from the main menu.
  4. Select Auto Scan to scan all the modules.
  5. Write down codes on the ABS and DSC module that will show as present (current ) status.

If you see any stored codes that were triggered due to low battery voltage, they can be cleared. Check the integrity of your charging system.

Generic scan tools are not able to retrieve BMW specific fault codes.

Possible Problems

Common problems that can trigger BMW Drive Control System Drive Moderately error message include:

Steering Angle Sensor

bmw steering angle sensor

In some cases, the steering angle sensor may need to be calibrated or replaced. First, try steering angle sensor calibration. If that fails, read codes, verify that there is a current code for the steering wheel angle sensor.

You can calibrate the steering angle sensor with a scanner such as Foxwell for BMW
Reset steering angle sensor
  1. Start the engine.
  2. Turn the steering wheel all the way to the left and hold it full left position for two seconds.
  3. Next, turn the steering wheel all the way to the right.
  4. Repeat all way left, all way to the right one more time.
  5. Bring steering wheel back to center, wheels straight.
  6. Turn off the ignition. Wait 10 seconds then restart the car.
  7. The steering angle sensor will be reset.

Software Issue

bmw drive moderately

BMW Drive Control System Drive Moderately message may come on due to a software issue in the ABS module. 

The first step is to find a safe spot where you can turn off the engine and restart it after one minute. In many cases, this will reset the Drive Control System Drive Moderately message. If the error message returns shortly after you drive, continue with the next step as soon as possible.

Low Brake Fluid Level

bmw drive moderatley due to low brake fluid

If the message remains or returns as soon as you start to drive, check the brake fluid level.

Low Battery Voltage

check positive terminal negative cable

The problem can be caused by a low battery voltage or loose battery terminal. 

Locate the battery of your BMW which in most models will be in the trunk area. Check that both negative and positive battery cables are secure and the clamps do not rotate easily on the battery post.


In the majority of cases replacing steering angle sensors will fix Drive Control System Drive Moderately but we strongly recommend that you read the fault codes before replacing any parts. Reading fault codes is very simple and takes less than 10 minutes.

This problem affects all BMW models including 1, 3, 5, 6 7, 8, X1, x3, x5, z3, z5.

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Thank you! 

Member since 2020-09

I got a flat rear driver's side tire last week on the 60fwy. We put the spare on. When I restarted and drove off, instantly i realized something was very wrong. It feels like the brakes are locked up especially in 4th grade. U can hear the tires actually chirping. Then, in 4th gear it all releases and all the codes and alarms go on. This allows you to drive in stick shift mode more better than regular driving mode. But every time you restart the car this all restarts? Unbelievable, a flat tire is causing all this bullshit! For real . I tried resetting the steering function and had no luck..

Member since 2020-09

What if there are no codes and just need to reset?

Member since 2020-09

Man, I just got your replaced, rear right, and I have same problems. What did you do? I also have transmisdion and steering wheel malfunction