Common Electric Power Steering Problems
Electric Power Steering (EPS) has become the industry standard as it provides better fuel efficiency, improved control, and more responsive handling. However, like any other part of a vehicle, power steering systems can also experience problems. Here are some of the most common EPS problems to look out for.
- Rigid, unresponsive electric steering is a common power steering problem that involves the electrical components of the system. EPS problems usually stem from a malfunctioning motor or failed sensors.
- Alignment issues, lack of power assist, sounds in the steering wheel, uneven power steering assists, and hard or heavy steering are some of the common EPS problems. These issues can come from a variety of causes, including worn tie rods, steering rack problems, and low power steering fluid.
- Whining, grinding, or squealing noises during turns are common EPS problems and are most likely related to the power steering belt. A failing pump or low power steering fluid levels can also cause unusual noises.
- If your vehicle is pulling and drifting on the road, this could be a sign of EPS issues. Excessive play, drifting, and pulling of the car could also indicate problems with the steering system.
- Loss of power steering is a significant problem and is regarded as a critical safety issue by automakers. This can happen when power steering fluid is low or becomes contaminated with air or debris. A faulty pump, steering gear, or steering angle sensor could also cause the issue.
- An oil puddle under the car could indicate a power steering leak. Leaks can occur at the hose connections, pump, or steering gear.
EPS problems can cause inconvenience and compromise the safety of the driver and passengers. Therefore, it is essential to diagnose and fix steering issues quickly to avoid accidents or injury.
If you notice any of the EPS problems listed above, take your vehicle to the nearest mechanic for proper diagnosis and repair. A professional mechanic can identify the underlying cause of the issue and suggest the necessary repairs.
Regular maintenance of your vehicle’s power steering system can prevent most EPS problems. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for recommended maintenance schedules and follow them. Also, pay attention to any unusual noises or handling issues while driving and take prompt action.
Electric power steering is a vital component in modern vehicles, providing drivers with greater control and ease while on the road. However, like any other mechanical system, EPS can experience issues that may require repair or replacement. In this article, we’ll explore some of the common causes of EPS failure and how to fix electric power steering problems.
Causes of Electric Power Steering Failure
There are several reasons why electric power steering can fail, including:
|Electric Fault||Issues with the electrical system can cause the EPS to malfunction.|
|Bad Wiring||Wires can become damaged or disconnected, leading to EPS failure.|
|Control Module Issues||The EPS control module can experience issues that affect steering performance.|
|Steering Torque Sensor Failure||This is the most common failure on column assist, and contacting style torque sensors are more likely to wear over time.|
|Burnt Fuse||A burnt fuse can impair the EPS system’s ability to function properly.|
|Problems with Tires and Suspension||Issues with tires or suspension can affect steering performance and cause EPS failure.|
|Malfunctioning Sensors||Issues with sensors that monitor steering performance can cause EPS failure.|
|Electric Motor Failure||The electric motor that powers the EPS system can experience issues that affect steering performance.|
In addition to these causes, EPS failure can also be due to physical failures within the EPS control unit. Dirt, moisture ingress, or open circuits can affect the ECU’s ability to function properly. Over time, the EPS board and circuitry may also experience failures due to heat and power cycling, as well as infiltration of contaminants.
EPS systems are designed with fail-safe strategies to protect drivers and passengers. The ECU senses different values and alerts drivers if something is not functioning correctly. When EPS failure occurs, errors are divided into three groups depending on how much they interfere with the EPS’s operation.
Components that could malfunction in the EPS system include the torque sensor, electric steering rack/pump/column, and steering ECU. In the next sections, we’ll explore how to fix electric power steering problems related to these components.
Electric power steering (EPS) system is responsible for making steering easy and precise. However, like any other car system, it can develop issues over time. In this section, we will discuss the symptoms that indicate an EPS failure.
Symptoms of Electric Power Steering Failure
Here are some of the most common symptoms that should make you suspect an EPS problem:
|Loss of power assist||When the EPS system stops working, it will be a struggle to turn the wheels. You will feel like you are manually steering a vehicle that is difficult to move.|
|Unusual noise from the power steering motor||If you hear weird noises such as whining or squeaking coming from the steering system, it could be a sign that the EPS system is failing.|
|The vehicle pulls to one side while driving||A faulty EPS system can cause the vehicle to pull to one side while driving. This is caused by the motor trying to compensate for the lost power assist on one side.|
|Difficult or stiff wheel||A stiff wheel is one of the most obvious symptoms of an EPS issue. You will feel like it takes more effort to steer your car, especially at low speeds.|
|The check-engine light comes on||A problem with the EPS system can trigger the check-engine light. This is an early warning sign that something is wrong with the steering system.|
Driving with a failed EPS system can make it difficult to steer your vehicle, and it can lead to accidents. If you encounter any of these signs, take your vehicle to a mechanic right away to have it checked.
A stiff steering wheel is often caused by the loss of power steering. This means that the EPS motor is not providing enough power to turn the wheels. In some cases, a simple refill of hydraulic fluid can solve the issue.
The EPS light on your dashboard usually indicates a problem with the system. It can be something as simple as a loose connector or a wiring problem. However, it can also be a sign of a more serious issue, such as a failing motor or control module.
If your car is experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s best to have it examined by a professional. Addressing the issue early can save you from costly repairs down the line.
Cost of Repairing Electric Power Steering
Electric power steering (EPS) is an essential component that helps drivers steer their vehicles easily and smoothly. However, like any other part of the car, EPS can break down and require repair or replacement. Here are some facts on the cost of repairing EPS:
|Specific Problem||Make of the Car||Cost of Repair|
|Electric Motor Replacement||Varies||$350 – $500|
|Sensor or Control Unit Malfunction||Varies||$200 – $300|
The cost of repairing EPS can vary depending on the specific problem with the system and the make of the car. In general, the cost of fixing an EPS failure can be quite high, with electric motor replacement ranging between $350 and $500, and sensor or control unit malfunction repair costing between $200 and $300.
It is essential to promptly address any EPS problems to prevent further damage to the system and subsequent repairs. In some cases, ignoring an EPS problem can lead to a complete system failure, which can be much more expensive to fix.
It is also essential to find a reputable and qualified mechanic or repair shop that can diagnose and fix the EPS problem correctly. Working with an experienced professional can help ensure that the repair or replacement is done correctly and efficiently, minimizing the cost and downtime for your vehicle.
Differences Between Electric and Hydraulic Power Steering
Electric power steering (EPS) is becoming more common in newer cars due to its improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions compared to hydraulic power steering. Automotive manufacturers are aiming to develop vehicles with better fuel efficiency, which necessitates the removal of accessory loads from the car’s engine, such as the hydraulic power steering pump. Here are some key differences between electric and hydraulic power steering systems:
- Electric power steering uses an electric motor to provide power, while hydraulic power steering relies on fluid pressure.
- Electric power steering systems require less maintenance than hydraulic power steering.
- EPS can be adjusted to meet individual needs and made lighter, unlike hydraulic power steering, which can’t be adjusted.
- Hydraulic power steering tends to leak, while electric power steering does not have this issue.
EPS is a significant improvement over hydraulic power steering since it provides better fuel efficiency and fewer emissions, making it an ideal pick for environmentally conscious drivers. Additionally, EPS systems are simpler to maintain than hydraulic systems.
Due to their extreme simplicity and adaptability, EPS systems are slowly sweeping the auto industry. These systems feature no oil, no hydraulic lines, no pumps, and no hoses, which greatly reduces the number of components that can operate in the power steering system. This makes electric power steering systems more reliable and cheaper to maintain.
EPS systems are adjustable to suit individual driver preferences, which distinguishes them from hydraulic power steering. Drivers may adjust the level of steering support to suit their needs, which may vary depending on road conditions or driving speed. Hydraulic power steering systems cannot be as readily and effectively adjusted as electric power steering systems.
Proper maintenance of the power steering system is essential for the safety and functionality of your vehicle. Neglecting this system can lead to significant problems, including the loss of steering control, increased tire wear, and costly repairs. Here are some important facts about maintaining the power steering system:
Keep Hydraulic Fluid at the Correct Level
One of the most critical aspects of power steering maintenance is ensuring that the hydraulic fluid is at the appropriate level. Low fluid levels can cause a range of issues, including damage to the pump, steering rack, and other components. The best practice is to check the fluid level regularly and add more as needed. You can refer to your car owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to check the fluid level.
Check and Replace Fluid Pumps
Power steering pumps can degrade over time, leading to reduced pressure and malfunctioning. If you notice any unusual noises, such as whining or groaning, while steering, it may be time to replace the fluid pump. You should always use the recommended pump for your vehicle make and model.
Inspect Hoses and Hydraulic Lines
The hoses and hydraulic lines in the power steering system are subjected to high pressure and heat, which can cause them to wear out over time. Inspecting them regularly is crucial, as any leaks or cracks can lead to a catastrophic failure. You should always use proper tools to inspect these components and replace them if necessary to avoid potential hazards.
Don’t Ignore Any Signs of Failure
If you notice any unusual symptoms while driving, such as a stiff or jerky steering wheel, or unusual noises, you should not ignore them. These are signs of a potentially serious problem with the power steering system. It is best to take your vehicle to a qualified technician immediately for a complete diagnostic.
Electronic Programming and Calibration are Necessary
Many modern vehicles use electronic power steering (EPS) systems that require programming solutions to repair. Electronic calibration, programming, and component work are required to diagnose and fix EPS issues. It is recommended to take your car to a reliable and certified mechanic who is knowledgeable about EPS systems to ensure the best results.
Proper maintenance of the power steering system is essential to avoid costly repairs and ensure the safety of your vehicle. By following these tips, you can keep your power steering system in good working order for years to come.
Electric power steering problems can be frustrating and dangerous. However, with the right approach, diagnosing and repairing these problems can be straightforward. To get started with solving your electric power steering issues, follow these steps:
Check Wires and Connections, Voltage, and Fuses
- The first thing to do is to check for any loose or damaged wires and connections that may be causing the problem.
- Next, check the battery voltage to ensure that it’s within the appropriate range for your car model.
- Lastly, check the fuses in your car’s electrical system to ensure none have blown and causing a fault in your electric power steering.
Use an OBD2 Scanner or Code Reader to Find Diagnostic Trouble Codes
Electric power steering systems use an electronic control unit (ECU) that could have a diagnostic trouble code (DTC). It’s important to scan the EPS module for DTCs to understand the source of the problem. An OBD2 scanner or code reader can interpret these codes and help determine the necessary repairs.
Check for Leaks and Fluid Levels
If your electric power steering uses hydraulic fluid, check the fluid level and look for any leaks or damage to hoses and lines. These can cause steering problems and need to be repaired promptly.
Inspect Hoses and Lines
Make sure to inspect all hoses and lines in the electric power steering system to determine whether any are damaged or kinked. Any damage to these components can compromise the system’s performance, leading to steering issues.
Diagnosing Electric Power Steering System
Because electric power steering systems rely on electronics, it’s essential to approach diagnosing and repairing these systems carefully. Here are some additional factors to keep in mind:
- EPS issues can be diagnosed using diagnostic trouble codes (DTC) located within the ECU.
- Electronic systems require a different approach to diagnosing and repairing their mechanical counterparts.
- Before beginning repairs, it’s crucial to consider the differences in software and electronic arrangement.
- Specialists use EPS Controller MS561 and ODIS engineering diagnostic scanner in a laboratory environment to diagnose and repair the ECU.
Professional Repair Services
If you’re unable to diagnose and repair your electric power steering problems, professional repair services are available. Power Steering Services offers rebuilding and replacement of EPS components with a lifetime warranty. Ace Auto in Utah also provides affordable and reliable service for steering problems. Import Motorworx is another reputable dealership alternative that serves clients with power steering issues in areas like Lawndale, Culver City, West Los Angeles, and South Bay, CA.