What is the Power Steering Control Unit all about?
The average power steering system is complex and requires many different components in order to function. Failure of any of these parts can lead to serious malfunctions or breakdown of the entire power steering system. One of the most critical parts is the power steering control unit, or SCU, which acts as another computer onboard the car that communicates with the ECM during vehicle operation.
It takes information provided to it from the steering and speed sensors, and then translates that data into something that the ECM can understand. The ECM then uses that information to control the power steering system (on an electronic power steering system, as opposed to a conventional hydraulic system).
Keep in mind:
- The power steering control unit is not part of any regular inspection and will only be examined if there is a problem with the system.
- Failure of the SCU generally means a failure of the entire power steering system, as the ECM does not have the information necessary to operate it.
Electronic power steering, or drive-by-wire systems, are still relatively new, although they’ve been in use for several years. While more reliable than hydraulic systems, they are subject to failure from time to time, particularly if something happens to the power steering control unit. We recommend having any power steering problem diagnosed by one of our expert mechanics as soon as possible.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Power Steering Control Unit?
- Steering feels “heavier” than usual
- Power steering is inoperable
How important is this service?
Without an operable power steering system, your vehicle will be much more difficult to steer on the road, particularly at low speeds. We highly recommend having any malfunction or suspected problem diagnosed by our expert mechanics as soon as possible.