P0553 code definition
The P0553 code means that the car’s computer has detected a fault within the power steering pressure sensor.
What the P0553 code means
If your Check Engine Light comes on and the computer indicates a code P0553, it means that there is a problem with the power steering pressure sensor. It means that the computer did not receive a signal from the sensor that’s proportional with the steering angle sensor, and may be more common if you’re driving at low speeds. The sensor is designed to tell the computer how much effort is needed to turn the steering wheel at a specific angle, so that the power steering pump can supply the additional assistance needed for smooth handling.
What causes the P0553 code?
There are a few common causes of the P0553 code, including the following:
- Faulty [power steering pressure sensor]
- Power steering fluid leaks resulting in low fluid pressure
- Short or open in pressure sensor wiring harness
- Loose connection at the sensor
- Power steering pump failure
- Rack and pinion failure
- Incorrect grade of power steering fluid
What are the symptoms of the P0553 code?
The symptoms possible with P0553 include the following:
- Engine stalling at low speeds
- Decreased fuel efficiency
- Power steering fluid leaks
- Check Engine Light on in dash
- Power steering inoperative (manual steering still works)
How does a mechanic diagnose the P0553 code?
The mechanic will first verify the P0553 code in the computer using a handheld OBD II scanner, as well as any other codes stored. Next, he or she will visually inspect the power steering system’s wires, wiring harness and connections to determine if there is any damage, obvious shorts or opens, or other problems.
The mechanic will visually inspect the power steering pressure sensor’s condition, as well as the security of the wiring connection. He or she will repair any damaged components and retest the system. The mechanic should also check the power steering fluid level and condition (burnt, dirty, etc.), as well as checking for leaks from the pump, or the rack.
The codes will be cleared and the mechanic will test drive the vehicle to see if the code resets. If it does, the pressure sensor will be removed and tested. If it fails testing, the sensor must be replaced. If it passes the test, then the problem is most likely located somewhere in the wiring harness or with the sensor connection to the wiring.
Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0553 code
A common mistake when attempting to diagnose the P0553 code is mistaking the stalling during slow driving or turns for an issue with the idle air control system, which can give the same symptom. A thorough check and testing of the power steering system is necessary to ensure the right repairs are being completed.
How serious is the P0553 code?
P0553 is a serious issue, as it directly relates to the handling of your car. While power steering failure will not make the car unable to be driven, it can make it much harder. Additionally, the engine stalling out low speed maneuvers can be dangerous, leaving you stranded in the middle of traffic. Have the problem diagnosed and repaired immediately.
What repairs can fix the P0553 code?
A number of repairs may be needed to fix the P0553 code. These include:
- Replacing a failed pressure sensor
- Replacing damaged wiring
- Replacing burned fluid or topping off low fluid
- Repairing leaks, which may require the replacement of other parts, including the rack or the power steering pump
Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0553 code
Power steering fluid is under significant pressure, and it is flammable. Only trained professionals should attempt to diagnose power steering problems.
Need help with a P0553 code?
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