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P0551 OBD-II Trouble Code: Power Steering Pressure Sensor Circuit Range/Performance

Check Engine Light

P0551 code definition

The definition of the P0551 trouble code is that the power steering pressure sensor circuit range/performance is compromised or malfunctioning.

What the P0551 code means

When this code set it means that the powertrain control module did not receive the correct voltage input signal from the power steering pressure sensor. Most of the time, this issue will occur at lower vehicle speeds. Some types of vehicles will need to have multiple failure cycles for this to cause the Check Engine light to come on. However, after the first failure, the trouble code should be stored in the onboard computer.

What causes the P0551 code?

Some of the most common causes of the P0551 code are as follows:

  • Dirty power steering fluid
  • Malfunction of the power steering system
  • Problems with the wiring or connector for the power steering pressure sensor
  • Power steering pressure sensor could be defective

What are the symptoms of the P0551 code?

Here are some of the most common symptoms that drivers noticed with the P0551 trouble code:

  • Vehicle performance problems
  • Decrease in fuel economy
  • Drivers may notice a power steering fluid leak
  • Check Engine light may come on
  • A vehicle may stall when driving at slow speeds and turning the steering wheel
  • In rare instances, the driver may not notice any issues at all with the vehicle

How does a mechanic diagnose the P0551 code?

When they are diagnosing the P0551 code, the mechanic will record the information stored in the onboard computer with their scanner. They will then reset the code and test the vehicle to see if the code returns. If it is not a false alarm, they will then try to pinpoint the actual problem with the vehicle and make the necessary repairs to remove the code.

Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0551 code

Because of the possibility of the engine stalling when driving and turning at low speeds, many will mistakenly blame the idle air control system for the issue rather than the power steering pressure sensor circuit and issues with the power steering system.

It is always a good idea for mechanics to fully diagnose and explore the potential problems with the vehicle so they can find the exact cause and repair it properly. One of the first things the mechanic will likely want to consider is the power steering fluid. They want to make sure there is enough, and that it is clean.

How serious is the P0551 code?

The P0551 code can be quite problematic. In many cases, the vehicle is going to suffer from some serious performance issues. In addition to possibly having a power steering fluid leak, it is also possible that the fuel economy for the vehicle is not quite as robust as it used to be. One of the most troubling aspects of the P0551 code is that those vehicles that have the code stored often have trouble when it comes to stalling out during low-speed vehicle maneuvers. This has the potential to be very dangerous, therefore getting the code fixed and the vehicle repaired as quickly as possible is essential.

What repairs can fix the P0551 code?

The following are some of potential repairs that can be used to fix the P0551 code:

  • Scanning the vehicle, resetting the code, and testing to see if it comes back
  • Changing the power steering fluid
  • Replacing corroded wires or connectors
  • Repair or replace the power steering system
  • Repair or replace the power steering pressure sensor circuit

Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0551 code

Since these issues presented by the P0551 code can be dangerous, it is important to have them taken care of immediately. Get the problem checked out by a certified mechanic as quickly as you can to reduce the risk of further problems.

Need help with a P0551 code?

YourMechanic offers certified mobile mechanics who will come to your home or office to diagnose and repair your vehicle. Get a quote and book an appointment online or speak to a service advisor at 1-800-701-6230.

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