BMW DBC Malfunction (Solved & Explained) 

The BMW Dynamic braking control is the next step in braking technology, as it also involves the tires to assist with the breaking process. There are a couple of reasons why the DBC would malfunction, and it is usually due to a bad alternator or bad battery, or the steering angle sensor not working.

Why is BMW’s DBC malfunctioning?

Absolutely no one wants to drive around in a vehicle that is experiencing braking issues. When you see your BMW’s Dashboard Light Up with the text DBC malfunctioning, along with several other yellow warning lights, you probably know you’re in for a rough day. 

But why does the DBC malfunction and what are the causes and solutions?

There’s an issue with the BMW’s battery – if a battery is wearing out or is no longer as strong as it once was, then the electrical systems inside the BMW will not be as powerful. 

You also notice that the dashboard doesn’t light up as brightly as it once did. Sometimes, the issue could be that there is a lot of dirt and grime around the battery that is ruining the electrical conduction. 

But in other cases, the battery is old or damaged and your car will need a brand-new battery. The cost of a brand-new BMW battery is about $250 Plus $100 or more for labor. 

On average, the BMW company says to replace the battery inside the vehicles every 3 to 5 years.

The steering angle sensor is not working – it will be pretty easy to tell if the string angle sensor is not working as it should. The steering angle sensor guides the tires to match the angle of the steering wheel. 

If the steering angle sensor is not working, the driver will have to put more effort into steering their vehicle and making left or right turns or U-turns.

If this is an issue that is causing a DBC malfunction warning, then get it resolved as soon as possible. It is dangerous to drive in a vehicle that does not turn and move the way the driver wants. 

The average cost of a steering angle sensor is about 150 to $500, and the labor can cost up to $250.

The alternator is dying or needs to be replaced – the reason why a vehicle has an alternator is for energy conversion. The alternator will turn the mechanical energy into electrical energy and then recharge the battery. 

When the alternator busts or breaks, the electrical systems in the car will not work correctly. It will also affect the performance of the battery. 

Many issues that you would think are due to a bad engine battery is actually because of a faulty alternator. Replacing the alternator is the best way to fix this issue.

The cost of a brand-new alternator is about 130 to $300.

However, if the mechanic has time and skills, they can actually repair the alternator and remove any damaged or ruined parts inside of the alternator and replace them with new parts. It all depends on the price you want to pay.

Diagnostics Test

If your BMW’s mechanic says that none of the reasons above are causing the DBC to malfunction, then tell them to run a Diagnostics test. Using a diagnostic test, they will ‌ read out the error code and be able to tell them what the actual problem is.

What is the DBC?

BMW has developed several Technologies so their vehicles can be the safest on the market. One of those safety technologies is Dynamic Brake Control or DBC. Its main purpose is to monitor each wheel and control its braking power. 

There is no reason to leave the responsibility of breaking and stopping the entire vehicle to just the brakes. The tires can take on some of the responsibility of stopping the BMW and keeping the driver safe from collisions. 

Using the DBC system, the BMW can brake more efficiently and be more effective in the event of an emergency. Also, using the DBC system, the BMW is less likely to spin out of control when the driver hits the brakes, and they are on an icy or rainy road or freeway.

But the DBC system does more than control the breaking power of each tire. It will also help drivers get out of sticky situations. For example, the DBC system can help a driver exit their parking spot on the curb and start traveling upwards while they’re on an incline. 

They will not have to use the acceleration pedal, which could be dangerous if they accidentally hit the pedal too hard and move forward suddenly. This is known as the start of assistance.

Is it safe to drive if the DBC system is not working?

Actually, we would not recommend driving around in a vehicle that has a malfunctioning DBC system. There could be an issue with your brakes, which would make them less effective at stopping your BMW at medium and high speeds. 

If you cannot get to a mechanic for a while, then only drive your vehicle around streets and roads. 

Widen the distance between your BMW and the vehicle in front of you and start the braking process sooner than you normally would when you approach a red light or stop sign.


BMW developed Dynamic Braking Control to assist drivers when braking their vehicle. 

A malfunctioning DBC may be the result of either a bad alternator, which converts mechanical energy into electric energy, or a bad battery, which should be replaced every three to five years. 

It could also be the steering angle sensor. We do not recommend driving around with a vehicle that has a DBC malfunction warning light on. There could be something wrong with your brakes or with the BMW’s battery. 

If you can’t take it to a mechanic for a few days, then avoid traveling on the freeway and stay on city roads. Also, give yourself more room to brake your vehicle when you need to stop.

  • Eric Williams

    I'm the founder of Daily Car Tips. I wrote articles in the automotive industry for more than 10 years, published in USA and Europe. I love sharing my knowledge and insights with fellow enthusiasts. Join me on this journey as we explore the exciting world of cars together!

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