What Is Drive Start Control Malfunction? [Causes & Solutions]

Many collisions occur when suddenly shifting gears or depressing the accelerator too hard causes the car to suddenly stop. The drive-start control system was developed by Toyota to mitigate damages from collisions.

Do we really think it’s foolproof? The drive start control malfunction has been reported on the Internet. In this article, we’ll explain what drive control malfunction is and how to resolve it.

What Is a Drive Start Control System?

Drive Start Control Malfunction

In the car, misapplication incidents are becoming more prevalent and cause a growing number of serious accidents. Consequently, Toyota has added a drive start control system to its vehicles to ensure driver safety as well as create a competitive edge.

With the launch of the Drive start control system, Toyota models have gone a long way in terms of improving their safety features. When the accelerator or brake system is suddenly changed, this system will help control the engine’s output power and input.

The car accelerates suddenly in the opposite direction if the driver shifts gears while accelerating while approaching an obstacle in a parking lot or garage. When the engine computer analyzes the information, it will determine the vehicle’s speed and operating conditions.

As a result, the engine output can be controlled to keep the speed and the acceleration below a certain level. This reduces the likelihood of sudden accelerations or starts.

As an example, Drive-Start Control automatically controls the engine power when the driver accidentally presses the accelerator, resulting in sudden acceleration. Inexperienced drivers with continuously variable transmissions will find the Drive-start Control particularly helpful.

As soon as the driver presses the gas, the drive start-control system detects the wrong gear and displays a warning light on the dashboard. The engine power is reduced to prevent sudden acceleration or starting. The system can kick in in certain situations – for instance, if the driver hits something when reversing, panics and shifts into forward without releasing the accelerator, the DSC will assist you in these situations.

What Does Toyota Drive Start Control Malfunction Warning Mean?

Drive Start Control Malfunction

There is a problem with the safety feature of the Toyota Drive Start Control. This warning indicates a problem with it. A malfunctioning feature is also automatically disabled in order to prevent accidents or further malfunctions. In the event that your Drive Start Control malfunctions, you may experience the following symptoms:

Warning Light

Drivers will most likely experience this symptom. The dashboard will display a warning message.

Engine Performance Issues

It can also lead to poor engine performance. In addition to reduced power, the driver may encounter hesitation while accelerating or poor idle.

Loss of Control

There is a possibility that drivers will feel a loss of control in a worst-case scenario, such as a delayed or inaccurate response to their accelerator pedal.

Drive Start Control Malfunction: Common Causes

Drive Start Control Malfunction

How do we know that your drive start control is having problems when DSC starts failing? What causes the drive start control to malfunction is the most important question.

Toyota cars’ dashboards will often display a blinking warning light as one of the most obvious signs. As a result, it can be combined with other symptoms of many other car problems as well. Here are a few possible explanations:

Faulty ECU

Your DSC error can be caused by a malfunctioning engine control unit, a computer. A vehicle’s ECU is the brain that calculates and manages timing, speed, idle, and other parameters based on input from various sensors.

The ERG valve and purge valve solenoid are also controlled and activated by this unit. It is possible for your engine to not start when you have a bad ECU due to incorrect data being sent to the engine computer or when data from the DCU is delayed.

Ignition coil failure

Low voltage is transformed into high voltage by the ignition coil. An ignition coil controlled by a computer is used to ignite an air and fuel mixture in the combustion chamber by telling the ignition system and spark plugs when to ignite.

Computers determine the optimal timing by analyzing data collected from various engine sensors to determine when to ignite air and fuel mixtures.

The engine will run more efficiently and perform better. The driver will notice engine misfiring, lack of power, slow acceleration, rough idle, and stalling when this part is failing and on its way out. When that happens, the DCU system will be disabled.

The fuse is faulty 

A fuse problem can also cause the drive control to malfunction. The function of car fuses is to protect electrical equipment on vehicles, prevent overload, and prevent fires and explosions.

A fuse trip will automatically be set off when the amperage increases suddenly. The voltage of the charging system affects a wide range of electronic devices in your vehicle. In modern computer-controlled vehicles, a blown fuse can lead to a number of temporary electrical issues.

The battery and the central engine unit are also directly related to some fuses. The DSC system might malfunction if one of these fuses is faulty.

Error with ABS sensor

A slip control ECU receives a signal from the ABS sensor (also known as a speed sensor). During long periods of operation, the vehicle’s wheel is close to it.

The ABS indicator light can come on when dirt penetrates and makes the sensors dirty, affecting the quality of their work. In the event of ABS failure, the drive control system cannot receive and adjust the action transmitted from it. 

Battery failure in a car

Your control system can also be affected by a bad battery. The car battery operates on the principle of storing and converting energy into electricity, supplying electricity to the vehicle’s equipment.

Generators which are not fully charged when a vehicle cannot start or when the generator is unable to meet the vehicle’s electrical equipment.

During that time, electricity will be provided by the battery. The lack of power in the car battery will cause the engine to stall or take longer to start.

Drive Start Control Malfunction Solutions

Drive Start Control Malfunction

In the event that your DSC system malfunctions, what should you do? As a first step, you may not be able to start the car. Additionally, the vehicle may lack power and be incapable of reaching high speeds.

There may be a reduction in stability and a greater tendency for the vehicle to skid. Do you know what to do? If this warning light appears on your dashboard again, you should pull over and take your car to a technician.

It is possible to handle this phenomenon, however, with a few solutions.

Clean the ABS sensor

The ABS system controller receives wheel speed from the ABS sensors and transmits it to the brake controller. A clogged or damaged sensor could be caused by frequent running on bad roads such as bogs or vibrations. Your DSC system works effectively when your ABS sensor is clean. 

The sensor can be cleaned by taking a soft towel after it has been disassembled. Water and detergents should be avoided to avoid unwanted contact with the sensor.

ABS sensors are precision instruments that can withstand rough environments. In high-speed driving, it can provide accurate signals; however, one knock can cause irreparable damage to the sensor and we should keep this in mind.

Check the wiring

The wiring on Toyota vehicles is commonly the cause of Driving Start Control problems for Toyota owners. Keeping your DSC system as well as other parts of your car from experiencing unwanted conditions.

The function of your vehicle will be determined by each wire. Make sure that all plugs and cords are connected. A broken wire can be fixed yourself or by a professional if you detect it.

Fuse replacement

The moment you start your car with a perfectly functioning fuse, it runs without issues. However, if your car’s electrical equipment ceases to function, it is important to know how to replace its fuse.

It is not uncommon for a fuse to blow. A blown fuse is a result of an overload or a faulty circuit. Blown fuses should be repaired by a trusted mechanic. If you haven’t already learned how to change a fuse in your car, there’s no harm in trying.

How to Reset the Drive Start Control Malfunction in Your Toyota?

Drive Start Control Malfunction

Whenever your Toyota suffers from Drive Start Control Malfunctions, don’t worry – it can be reset by you. It’s like putting a reset button on your car. To get started, follow these steps:

Turn Off and Key Out

Take your keys out of the ignition and turn your car off. Putting your car into nap mode is like putting it to sleep.

Pop the Hood

Take a scavenger hunt under your hood to locate the Drive Start Control ECU. As if it were a close friend, it usually hangs out near the battery.

Negative Disconnect

Let’s get a little technical now. You can think of it as giving your car a breather by disconnecting the negative terminal of the battery.

Count to ten

Take a few seconds to wait patiently. During this process, everything will be reset and refreshed as if your computer had just restarted.

Reconnect Negative Terminal

Connect the negative terminal of the battery after the 10 seconds have expired. The process is similar to recharging your car.

Start and Test

Try out the Drive Start Control by starting your car. Check if it’s working after changing the batteries, just like you would if you changed the batteries on your TV remote.

Let’s get to the point now

You can follow these steps as a general guide, but your specific car model may require a different reset process. It’s a recipe that may require some changes – consider it like following a recipe.

Consult your car’s manual or contact your dealership for safety reasons. The Drive Start Control may still need to be checked by experts if your DIY attempt hasn’t solved the issue. Getting a car checkup is like getting an annual checkup at the dentist!

Taking steps to prevent drive start control malfunctions

You should check your Drive Start Control system regularly to make sure it’s performing at its best. In order to avoid future malfunctions, here are some tips:

Watch the weather

Likewise, your car does not like extreme weather conditions, just as you would not enjoy a scorching hot day or an ice cold one. If it’s really hot or cold, or if you’re stuck in traffic, avoid driving in those conditions. Drive start control systems benefit from this cooling method.

Keep an eye on the load

Cars have limits, just like backpacks. The drive start control system can malfunction if it is overloaded with too much stuff. As a result, things run more smoothly when you don’t pack too much.

Checkup of the system

As the heartbeat of your vehicle, the drive start control system is the drive start control system. Make sure all the components are working properly by checking the fluid level, looking at the hoses and connecting them, and inspecting all the connections. Taking your car for a test drive is like ensuring your car is in top condition before you go.

Starting and stopping gently

Do not start or stop your car suddenly. Treat it like a friend. The drive start control system can become stressed by these quick movements, possibly leading to a malfunction. You should take it easy on your car to keep it in good shape.

Checkup for professionals

You can think of a mechanic as the doctor of your car. Maintain the drive start control system on a regular basis. The goal is to catch possible problems before they turn into big problems by going for an annual checkup.

Remember that the key to preventing drive-start control malfunctions is to love and care for your car. Keeping your car in good shape, driving gently, and being aware of its limits can all contribute to its longevity. Your drive start control system will keep running smoothly if you follow these easy tips, making your rides safer and more enjoyable.

Is It Safe to Drive?

When you see the alert message on your Toyota, you should stop the vehicle immediately. Make sure you determine what the problem is before continuing to drive.

This may cause more damage to your vehicle, so I suggest you don’t drive in such conditions.
We are dealing with a very serious issue here. If you don’t fix that problem, your car might not start. Eventually, your car will stop even if you manage to start it somehow.

How Much Does It Cost to Repair?

Drive Start Control Malfunction

Depending on the issue, repairing a blown fuse isn’t a difficult task; it costs $5; and you can do it yourself. In contrast, a professional technician may charge over $1,000 to replace the new ECU. Costs vary according to the type of problem.

Online estimations: let’s take a look

  • A Tacoma World Forum user (Tacoma in Ottawa) reported that a short circuit in the neutral safety switch required $264.92 in parts and $161.94 in labor for repair.
  • A Corolla Powertrain Control Module typically costs $870 to $952 to replace, according to Repair Pal. Parts cost between $803 and $866 and labor is between $67 and $85 per hour.
  • Based on Repair Pal’s estimates, you might spend $377 to $445 for sensor replacement, with labor costs estimated at $75-$95 and parts at $302-$349.

Read: Lunar Rock Toyota RAV4 Color


What is the electronic malfunction on a Toyota?

A vehicle’s electrical system is malfunctioning

Can I drive with a malfunctioning light on?

A warning light may indicate a minor issue, but it may also indicate a major issue

How long can you drive with a malfunctioning light?

Depending on the warning, you can drive if it’s a minor warning. If it’s a critical warning, you can drive to a shop.


If you do not drive a Toyota, you are probably unaware of the DSC system. Recent Toyota models are equipped with a unique drive-start control system. Those of you driving Toyotas without this system right now are missing out. It may be due to the fact that your model is quite old.

The purpose of this program is to reduce the number of accidents caused by pedal misapplication as much as possible. Driver needs were actively addressed by Toyota in the development of safety technologies. It is our hope that you will gain a deeper understanding of this safety system as a result of this topic. Whenever you experience a malfunction with the drive start control, collect useful information.

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