Symptoms of a Bad or Failing 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.


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Dustin

8 years of experience
65 reviews
Dustin
8 years of experience
Lexus IS250 V6-2.5L - Steering Inspection - Spring, Texas
Highly knowledgeable and very professional. Dustin had dealer-quality diagnostic equipment and I'm confident of his assessment. Will request him again when needed.

Michael

9 years of experience
28 reviews
Michael
9 years of experience
Ford F-150 V8-5.4L - Steering Inspection - Tehachapi, California
Michael showed up on time. Was very knowledgeable, courteous, and thorough. He pin pointed the problem and shared his recommendations. I would definitely call him again

John

36 years of experience
434 reviews
John
36 years of experience
Honda Accord L4-2.4L - Steering Inspection - Sacramento, California
John was very professional, knowledgeable. We drove around the block and he pen pointed the problem after hearing and a few questions. Definitely want John back for follow ups and and car issues.

Jay

37 years of experience
947 reviews
Jay
37 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra L4-1.8L - Steering - Corona, California
He was very nice, He explained to me all that was wrong with my car. He recommended that I take my car in to the dealership.

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