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BMW Drive Control System Drive Moderately

While driving a BMW you may get Drive Control System Drive Moderately error message on the iDrive screen.

The turn signals on your BMW will no longer cancel on their own.

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

In this article, we go over what that means and how you can troubleshoot this problem yourself. Follow the troubleshooting steps below to confirm the cause of this message before replacing the sensor.


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

Possible Causes

Below is a list of possible issues.  

  • 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

Continue to the next section for steps that will help you narrow down this problem.


Below you will find step by step instructions on how to troubleshoot and fix BMW Drive Control System Drive Moderately error message. 

Restart Carbmw drive moderately


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. 

Check Fluidsbmw 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.

Follow this guide to learn how to check BMW brake fluid level.

Battery Cablecheck positive terminal negative cable


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.

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. Steering angle sensor will be reset. 

NOTE: Reset procedure may work for a short time and in many cases, the error message will return in a few weeks. 

Recalibrate Steering Angle Sensor SAS

Using Foxwell for BMW to Calibrate SAS

For this step, you will need a BMW scanner. The scanner will need to be able to perform steering angle sensor calibration on BMW vehicles.

Most scanners run between $80 and $200 and in addition to calibrating the SAS they allow you to read and clear codes from other modules such as ABS, DSC, Airbag, Transmission and more depending on the scanner. BMW SAS calibration is very simple, simply follow the prompts on your scanner.

SAS calibration takes about five minutes.

Learn how to perform BMW steering angle sensor calibration using various OBD-II scanners.

Read fault codes

bmw scannerChoose a good scanner for BMW so that you can use it to read codes from all the modules in your BMW. Pay attention at any codes on the DSC module that will show as present status.

If you see any codes that were triggered due to low battery voltage, you need to check the integrity of your charging system.

Test the battery or replace it if it is older than 7 years. Follow these instructions on how to replace a BMW battery and how to perform BMW battery registration yourself. 

Check if there are any SZL faults in the DSC, ABS and ARS modules. 

Note: Generic scan tools are not able to retrieve BMW specific fault codes. 
Replace Steering Wheel Angle Sensor

bmw steering angle sensorThe most common solution to the infamous BMW Drive Control System Error is replacing the steering angle sensor. Read codes, verify that there is a current code for the steering wheel angle sensor.

If yes, follow this guide on how to replace BMW steering angle sensor. 


In the majority of cases replacing steering angle sensor 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.

Note that this problem affects all BMW models including 1, 3, 5, 6 7, 8, X1, x3, x5, z3, z5 etc.  


Maron Samuel, 2019-06-14

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

By YOUCANIC on May 20, 2019


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