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Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Power Steering Control Unit

power steering control unit

The power steering control unit uses electric power assisted steering to support you in driving the vehicle. Power steering control units are found on electronically controlled power steering systems as opposed to the older hydraulically controlled systems. The control unit applies torque through the motor, which connects to the steering column or the steering gear. This allows assistance to be applied to the vehicle, depending on certain driving conditions and demand. There are a few symptoms to watch out for when your power steering control unit starts to go bad or is failing:

Warning light comes on

As soon as your power steering control unit starts to fail, a warning light will illuminate on the dashboard. This may be a Power Steering Light, or a Check Engine Light. This is a sign you should contact a professional mechanic as soon as possible to have your power steering control unit looked at and replaced if need be. They will be able to diagnose the problem correctly and have you safely back on the road.

Lose all power steering

Since the power steering control unit uses an electric power assist, you will still be able to steer your vehicle but it will be very difficult. It is best to pull over to the side of the road and evaluate the problem. From there, call for assistance. Do not drive the vehicle if it does not have any steering, or if the power steering is completely out.

Preventing problems

There are a few things you can do as a driver to prevent the power steering control unit from going bad. Do not crank the wheel, or hold the steering for a long period of time while you are driving or while at a stop. This will cause the power steering control unit to go into reduced steering assist to prevent damage to the steering components. If this happens, it may be difficult to steer. A mechanic can read the codes on the computer to see if there is a problem, or if there is an error with the computer.

YourMechanic makes getting repairs to your power steering control unit easy by coming to your home or office to diagnose or fix issues. You can book a service online 24/7. YourMechanic’s qualified technicians are also available for any questions that may arise.

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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