Drive Start Control Malfunction Reset

Drive start control malfunction error message is common for plenty of popular vehicles including Toyota, Volkswagen, BMW, and Honda.

If your car shows a drive start control malfunction error message, it can be result of a faulty ECU, damaged ignition, low battery, or software issue. This error message can trigger steering and brake system problems.

This error message means that there’s something wrong with the starting or ignition key system, key fob and start/stop system. It can also cause a drop in power or difficulty in starting a vehicle.

What Causes Drive Start Control Malfunction Warning Light?

Your car’s drive start control can malfunction due to numerous reasons. Below are some most potential causes:

1. ECU Malfunction

Electronic Control Unit (ECU) needs to transmit input and output signals to various systems. However, ECU can malfunction due to damage, bad alternator or electrical system issues and cause the engine computer to receive the wrong data.

ECU Malfunction

It can prevent the engine from starting up. The symptoms of a faulty ECU are check engine light, loss of spark, Intermittent starting problems, and overheating ECU.

2. Ignition Coil Issues

Ignition coil can fail due to improper air fuel mixture, short circuit, or mechanical damage and cause rough idle, engine misfire, and lack of power.

Ignition Coil Issues

Hence your car can activate this error light. Symptoms of damaged ignition coils are car sputtering, coughing, and banging noises. Your car can misfire, stall, and struggle to start due to a faulty ignition coil.

3. Battery Problems

If your car battery doesn’t have enough charge, it won’t be able to transmit enough power to run the systems. Hence car’s drive start control can malfunction. A bad battery also causes engine stalling. Some common symptoms of a damaged battery are flickering headlights and tail lights, dashboard lights, and difficulty starting.

Battery Problems

4. Wiring Issues

Faulty wiring causes poor electrical connections in the vehicle. It can also cause the error message to pop up on the dashboard. Insulation can wear out or wires can break due to rough road conditions or constant vibration from a car engine. Faulty wires can show various symptoms including burning smells or smoke, intermittent failure of electrical components, and loss of power.

5. Faulty Sensor

The drive start control system is related to several sensors in car including a pressure sensor, fuel sensor, and speed sensor. This system also determines car’s transmission position, brake pedal position, and parking brake position. If these sensors get damaged, ECU won’t be able to transfer the proper signal during starting vehicle. It can trigger this error message.

6. Faulty ABS Sensors

The ABS speed sensors inform the ECU how fast your vehicle is going. But if ABS sensor gets clogged, faulty, or damaged, it prevents ECU from receiving and adjusting the action that the drive start control system sends.

Faulty ABS Sensors

It can trigger the drive start control malfunction error light. Some common symptoms of damaged ABS sensors are loss of traction control, anti-lock brake failure, and pulsating brake pedal.

7. Software Issues

Software controls various systems on modern vehicles. Increasing integration of software into vehicle systems, bugs, or software malfunctions can affect the drive start control. Software issues in vehicles can trigger plenty of problems including unresponsive touch screens, system crashes, and slow performance.

8. Malfunctioning Neutral Position Switch

A neutral position switch sends a message to the drive start control about the gear position of a driver. Hence drivers can take corrective measures at the right time. But if a neutral position switch malfunctions due to a loose switch or electrical problem, it can prevent engine from starting and trigger the error light.

How To Diagnose Drive Start Control Malfunction?

You can easily diagnose this problem using an OBD-II scanner. To do this, plug your scanner into the port of the vehicle and turn on the ignition. Don’t start the engine. Go to the scanner’s menu and find the ‘scan’ option. When the scanner completes diagnose, read the trouble code from its display.

How To Diagnose Drive Start Control Malfunction?

This error light can store plenty of trouble codes including P0171, P0174, P0351, and C0221 that indicate specific problems. For example, p0705 indicates a faulty neutral switch. Once you get a trouble code, hire an expert mechanic to repair or replace the faulty parts to turn off the error light. 

How To Fix Drive Start Control Malfunction?

You can perform these simple techniques to fix the drive start malfunction issue:

1. Clean The ABS Module

Remove dirt and debris from the ABS sensor using a soft brush to turn off this error light. The ABS sensor is located on the underside of vehicle. You can also use electrical contract cleaners to clean dirt buildup or residue inside the sensor.

2. Replace Fuses

Fuse box is located inside of the vehicle. Read the owner’s manual to detect the faulty fuse. After identifying, replace the damaged fuse using pliers. Turn on the circuit to be sure that it works.

3. Clean The Connector

Scrub the loose rust particles on the connector using sandpaper. You can also use a rust remover to clean connector quickly. Spray the rust remover on the connector and wait 15 minutes. Then rinse the area using warm water and dry it off using a clean cloth.

After drying the area, use the sandpaper again to remove the remaining dust. Then use a lubricant to create a thin layer over the connector to prevent future rust buildup.

4. Recharge Battery

If you notice symptoms of a bad battery along with drive start control malfunction, recharge it first. If it doesn’t work, replace the faulty battery.

If faulty ECUs, wires, sensors, and switches trigger the error light, check these components with a professional. An expert mechanic will help you repair or replace these complex parts or update the software to fix drive start control problem.

Reset Drive Start Control Malfunction System

If you are struggling with drive start control light, you can try resetting the system to turn off the error light. To do so, turn off the ignition and access the drive start control which is placed inside the hood, near battery.

Find battery’s negative terminal and disconnect it. Then wait around 10 seconds and reconnect the negative terminal. Finally, start the engine and check if the error light comes back or not. Sincere Mechanic also recommend to reset drive start control malfunction.


Can You Drive With A Drive Start Control Error Light?

You shouldn’t continue driving with drive start control malfunction error light. This is because this error light can trigger plenty of serious issues including a loss of power, braking control, and steering. If so, your car will no longer be reliable or efficient to drive.

How Much Does it Cost To Repair A Drive Start Control Malfunction?

You can expect to spend $200 to $1,000 to repair this issue. The cost of fixing drive start control malfunction issues varies depending on the exact root cause. For example, repairing a damaged neutral safety switch costs around $265 while fixing a faulty ignition coil can cost up to $300.

How To Prevent Drive Start Control Malfunction?

You can avoid this error light by regularly checking connections, hoses and fluid levels. You should also make sure that all the components of your car are working. If you experience sudden starts or stops in your car, bring it to a mechanic shop to fix the issue before it triggers any error light.

Final Words

Drive start control malfunction error light mostly comes on due to ECU malfunction, blown fuses, battery issues, or various internal issues. When you notice this error message, park the car and reset this system.

If the error light comes back, you can try cleaning some dirty components related to the drive start control. If these don’t work, a certified mechanic shop is your last option.

My name is Henry Roberts and I am an experienced car mechanic with over 15 years of expertise in the automotive industry. I am currently running a Auto Repair Shop in Denver, Colorado. I have been servicing and repairing vehicles at my shop, where i have built a solid reputation for my skill and knowledge. I am passionate about sharing my automotive knowledge through blogging and my goal is to provide accurate and helpful information to car owners to keep their vehicles in perfect condition.

1 thought on “Drive Start Control Malfunction Reset”

  1. Abs is a great thing for braking smoothly. It’s increase driving confidence. But a faulty adbs sensor can make you suffer sometimes. Drive start control malfunction message appears most due to this issue.


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