P0636 OBD-II Trouble Code: Power Steering Control Circuit Low

Our certified mechanics come to you · Get a fair and transparent estimate upfront

Red-stars EXCELLENT RATING ON

Cost of diagnosing the P0636 code

P0636 is a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) for "Power Steering Control Circuit Low". This can happen for multiple reasons and a mechanic needs to diagnose the specific cause for this code to be triggered in your situation. Our certified mobile mechanics can come to your home or office to perform the Check Engine Light diagnostic. Once we are able to diagnose the problem, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.00 off as a credit towards the repair. All our repairs are backed by our 12-month / 12,000-mile warranty.

Cars Estimate Credit towards follow-up repair Earliest Availability
Ford$20.00
Toyota$20.00
BMW$20.00
SCHEDULE P0636 DIAGNOSTIC Get a fair and transparent estimate upfront

P0636 code definition

The P0636 trouble code detects an electrical error with the power steering control circuit.

What the P0636 code means

The P0636 code is a generic OBD-II trouble code that signals an issue with the power steering control circuit. The power steering system, which helps make steering easier for drivers, constantly sends data to the powertrain control module (PCM), and other control modules such as the antilock brake control module, traction control module, and fuel injection control module. When any of these control modules detects a power steering control circuit issue, which usually comes from an abnormally low voltage reading, the P0636 code will be detected.

What causes the P0636 code?

Possible causes for the P0636 trouble code include:

  • Faulty power steering pressure or position sensor
  • Damaged electrical components in the controller area network (CAN) bus
  • Loose or damaged control module ground wire or ground strap
  • In rare cases, a faulty CAN bus

What are the symptoms of the P0636 code?

The P0636 trouble code will often be accompanied by the Check Engine Light, though the vehicle may need to detect the issue multiple times before the light appears. The power steering system will likely be disabled, making steering heavier and more difficult.

How does a mechanic diagnose the P0636 code?

The P0636 code should be diagnosed using a standard OBD-II trouble code scanner. A certified technician can use the scanner to view the freeze frame data and assess the code. The mechanic will also note the presence of any additional trouble codes, as codes should always be taken care of in the order in which they appear on the scanner. The codes will then need to be reset, and vehicle restarted, so that the mechanic can check to see if the codes remain detected. If they do not, then the vehicle likely has an intermittent issue, or had an erroneously triggered trouble code.

If the P0636 code remains detected following the restart, the mechanic should perform a visual inspection of all the electrical components in the system. All wires, connectors, and fuses will need to be examined, and replaced as necessary. The control module ground wire and ground strap should then be inspected, followed by the power steering pressure and position sensors.

If the issue still remains, then a CAN scanner can be used to diagnose the CAN bus and potentially identify the problem.

After any components are replaced, the mechanic will need to repeat the process of resetting the trouble codes, restarting the vehicle, and checking for the presence of the codes. This will help the mechanic be informed when the trouble code has gone away, and the repair is successful.

Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0636 code

The most frequently made error when diagnosing this code comes from a failure to follow the OBD-II diagnosis protocol. It is essential that technicians obey the protocol step by step to make sure that all inspections and repairs are efficient.

It is fairly common for this code to be addressed before other trouble codes that precede the P0636 code on the scanner.

How serious is the P0636 code?

A P0636 trouble code will not keep a car from being drivable, but it will likely make it more difficult, and therefore dangerous to drive. Power steering is a very important feature, so vehicles with this trouble code should be inspected and repaired as soon as possible.

What repairs can fix the P0636 code?

Some of the repairs for the P0636 code are:

Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0636 code

The P0636 code is often accompanied by other drivability trouble codes, such as transmission codes, fuel injection codes, and engine misfire codes.

Need help with a P0636 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.

P0636
trouble codes
Check Engine Light

No more waiting rooms! Our mechanics will come to you to diagnose and fix the P0636 code.

SCHEDULE P0636 DIAGNOSTIC
Get a $20 credit for the follow-up repair

Recent Check Engine Light is on Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Check Engine Light is on Inspection Service

Average Rating

4.8/5

Number of Reviews

5,626

Rating Summary
5,199
206
50
34
137
5,199
206
50
34
137

Robert

11 years of experience
104 reviews
Robert
11 years of experience
Nissan Quest - Check Engine Light is on - Alexandria, Virginia
Punctual. Knowledgeable. Professional. Empathic, went the extra mile to explain in lay words the mechanical jargon. Excellent manners and customer service oriented. Client’s best interest and safety was always his top priority. From now on your company has in me a client for life. Thanks Robert!!!! 

Chris

21 years of experience
1861 reviews
Chris
21 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz E320 - Check Engine Light is on - Ladera Ranch, California
Chris was friendly, professional and knowledgeable. He got to the point of my concerns, explained what he was finding on his system and gave me his recommendations. I fully appreciate him taking the time to explain everything and a bit of history on my vehicle. Thanks again Chris.

Michael

15 years of experience
574 reviews
Michael
15 years of experience
Hyundai Accent - Check Engine Light is on - Marietta, Georgia
I had a great experience with Michael. He's extremely professional, friendly, and understands his craft. Highly recommended.

Chris

15 years of experience
274 reviews
Chris
15 years of experience
Dodge Durango - Check Engine Light is on - San Diego, California
Showed up early, was a friendly dude, kept me informed via text, did clean work and finished early. Would hire again.


More related articles

P0440 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emission Control System Malfunction
P0440 P0440 code definition Evaporative Emission Control System Malfunction What the P0440 code means P0440 is an OBD-II generic code that the engine control module (ECM) has detected a leak in the fuel tank vapor system or a vapor pressure...
B1969 OBD-II Trouble Code: Air Conditoner Clutch Magnetic Control Circuit Failure
B1969 means there is a circuit malfunction in the AC clutch magnetic control. This is usually caused by damaged electrical components in the system.
P0176 OBD-II Trouble Code: Fuel Composition Sensor Circuit
P0176 P0176 code definition? Fuel Composition Sensor Circuit Malfunction What the P0176 code means Trouble code P0176 is triggered by the Engine Control Module (ECM) when it receives an abnormal signal from the flex fuel sensor. The flex fuel...

Related questions

Check engine sign on

Most Check Engine Lights are illuminated when an error code is triggered and stored in the ECM. Even if you've repaired what was broken or damaged, you still need to clear those codes in order for the light to go...

Vehicle not accelerating as it should

Hello. Thankfully the Check Engine Light came on. These issues are easier to diagnose when the engine's computer has already detected what systems are showing issues. The first step is going to be to get the vehicle scanned for diagnostic...

Engine stutters then check light comes on at startup

Exhaust leaks can cause the check engine light to set. If you have an exhaust leak, it should be repaired because carbon monoxide is deadly. You can have the source of the leak identified, and repaired, by requesting an exhaust...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com