Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Long Does a Power Steering Control Unit Last?

Power Steering Control Unit

Most cars on the road today (and in the past) use a hydraulic power steering system. A pump sends power steering fluid through a series of lines to the power steering rack, which augments your ability to turn the steering wheel. It’s designed to make turning the wheel easier – anyone who’s ever driven a car without power steering knows just how difficult it can be to steer.

Some newer cars have started being manufactured with an electronic power steering system, or EPS. These are very different from their older cousins. There is no power steering pump. There is no need for power steering fluid. The entire system is electronic, and is controlled by a power steering control unit. This unit ties in with the car’s other computers to help provide better control while on the road.

The control unit is mounted in the dash behind the steering wheel and connects directly to an electric motor. This motor connects to the steering column, and from there to the steering rack.

Your car’s power steering control unit is in use every time the car is cranked and running. Even if you’re not actually turning the wheel, the system is still monitoring the various sensors it uses. However, physical wear and tear is not really much of a concern here since most the parts are electronic.

There is no set lifespan for your car’s power steering control unit. In most instances, it should last for the life of the vehicle. However, electronics are subject to unanticipated failures. It pays to know the signs and symptoms to watch for that might indicate your power steering control unit or another EPS component is about to fail. These include:

  • EPS Light on in the dash
  • Loss of power steering assist (more force required to turn the wheel)

Note that in some instances, your electronic power steering system will automatically shut down to prevent damage from overheating. This is primarily seen when driving on steep slopes with lots of turns (a winding mountain road, for instance). In these instances, there is nothing wrong with the system and normal operation will resume once the temperature has reduced.

If you’re concerned that your power steering control unit is failing, notice the EPS Light on in the dash, or are experiencing any other problems with your power steering system, a certified mechanic can help inspect the system and make any needed repairs to the power steering control unit if necessary.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...


Related questions

Q: I just bought a 99 Oldsmobile silhouette it was a report car. I was on my way home but as I'm driving I hear a loud whining noise.

The whining noise that you are hearing is either the alternator not working properly or the power steering pump is low on fluid. Check the power steering fluid level and see if the oil is full. Listen for the noise...

Q: Car still runs, but it's overheating and the power steering went out

A possible scenario, based on your description, is a failing pulley bearing. This would account for the noise, and because the serpentine belt rides on the pulley and drives other accessories such as the power steering pump, the alternator, and,...

Q: TMPS/PS Light

Hello, and thank you for writing in. The power steering system, TPMS system, and the stability control are all connected. The problems do likely coincide. To start, consider any changes the TPMS system could have gone through (change of tires,...