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This guide provides information about 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 Steering Angle Sensor.

The steering angle sensor is mounted on the steering column below the steering wheel. This guide shows how to calibrate the BMW steering angle sensor.

The problem is not always the steering angle sensor. To find out what is wrong with your BMW, read the fault codes from all modules.

Table of Contents



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
  • The drive control drives 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.

What Causes BMW Drive Control System Drive Moderately

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 Drive Control System Drive Moderately

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. Plugin your scanner into 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 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.

BMW Drive Control System Drive Moderately Problems Explained

Let's take an in-depth look at problems that trigger the BMW Drive Control System Drive Moderately error message.

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 and verify 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 in 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 to 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 a 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 most 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.