VW Touran manuals

Volkswagen Touran Owners Manual: Brake assist systems

First read and observe the introductory information and safety warnings

The brake assist systems ESP, ABS, BAS, TCS and EDL will only function when the engine is running. They make a considerable contribution to active driving safety.

Electronic stabilisation programme (ESP)

The ESP helps to reduce the risk of skidding and to improve driving stability by braking individual wheels in certain driving situations. Critical driving situations, such as over or understeering of the vehicle or wheel spin, are recognised by the ESP. Through targeted braking or by a reduction of the engine torque, the system supports the stabilisation process for the vehicle.

ESP has its limitations. It is important to realise that ESP cannot overcome the laws of physics. ESP will not be able to assist in every situation that the driver is confronted with. For example, ESP will not be able to assist every time that there is a sudden change in the road surface quality. If a section of the dry road is suddenly covered with water, mud or snow, ESP will not be able to assist in the same manner as on a dry road. If the vehicle aquaplanes (drives on a film of water rather than on the road surface), ESP will not be able to assist in steering the vehicle as the contact to the road surface has been interrupted and the vehicle can consequently no longer be steered or braked. When driving at speed through bends, particularly on stretches of road with many bends, the ESP will not always be able to process complicated driving situations so effectively as at lower speeds. When towing a trailer, ESP is not able to assist the driver in regaining control over their vehicle.

Always adapt your speed and driving style to suit visibility, weather, road and traffic conditions. ESP cannot defy the laws of motion, improve the power output available or keep the vehicle on the road if it is the driver's fault that the vehicle leaves the road. Instead, ESP improves the possibility of keeping the vehicle under control and it assists, in extreme driving situations on the road, in making the vehicle go in the desired direction by assessing the steering of the driver. If the vehicle is driving at a speed that takes the vehicle off the road before the ESP can provide any kind of support, the ESP will not be able to assist in any way.

The systems ABS, BAS, TCS and EDL are integrated in the ESP. The ESP is always switched on. If, in certain situations when the traction achieved is not sufficient, TCS can be switched off by pressing the ASR (TCS) button  . Always ensure that ASR (TCS) is switched back on again once traction is sufficient.

Anti-lock brake system (ABS)

The ABS prevents the wheels from locking when the brakes are applied up until the point where the vehicle is nearly stationary and assists the driver in steering the vehicle and keeping it under control. This means that the vehicle is less likely to spin, even when the brakes are depressed fully:

If the ABS is taking corrective action, you will be aware of a pulsing movement in the brake pedal and some noise. However, ABS will not necessarily guarantee shorter braking distances in all conditions. The braking distance could even be longer if you brake on gravel or on fresh snow covering a icy or slippery surface.

When driving forwards on loose surfaces, a special off-road ABS is automatically activated. The front wheels could lock briefly. This shortens the braking distance in off-road situations as the wheels dig into loose surfaces. This is available only when driving straight ahead. When the front wheels are turned, the normal ABS is activated.

Brake assist system (BAS)

The brake assist system can help to reduce the braking distance. The brake assist system reinforces brake pressure when the driver depresses the brake pedal quickly in an emergency situation. As a result, full braking power is made accessible very quickly, braking power is reinforced and the braking distance reduced. In this way, the ABS is activated more quickly and more effectively.

Do not reduce the pressure on the brake pedal! The brake assist system will switch off the brake servo automatically when the brake pedal is released or if the pressure on the brake pedal is reduced.

Traction control system (TCS)

The TCS reduces the engine output if wheel spin occurs and adapts the output to suit road surface conditions. TCS helps the car to start moving, accelerate and climb gradients in unfavourable road conditions.

The TCS can be switched on and off manually   .

Electronic differential lock (EDL)

The EDL is available for normal driving on straight roads. EDL brakes the wheel which has lost traction and distributes the driving force to the other drive wheels. To prevent the disc brake of the braked wheel from overheating, the EDL cuts out automatically if subjected to excessive loads. The EDL will switch on again automatically when the brake has cooled down.


Driving fast on icy, slippery or wet roads can lead to a loss of control over the vehicle and could cause serious injury to the driver and passengers.


The effectiveness of ESP can be reduced considerably if other components and systems which affect driving dynamics are not serviced properly or are not functioning properly. This also applies, but not exclusively, to the brakes, tyres and other systems that have already been named.

The ESP or the TCS can only function properly if all four wheels have the same tyres. Any differences in the rolling radius of the tyres can cause the system to reduce engine power unexpectedly.

If the ABS fails, the ESP, TCS and EDL will also cease to function.

Operating noises may be heard during the regulatory procedures of the systems named above.

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