Power Steering Assist Fault - Meaning, Causes & Fixes

The modern wonder of power steering has become something that most people take for granted. However, this advanced system isn’t free of defects, especially as it gets older. If you notice a dashboard warning light or you are having trouble controlling your vehicle, you want to know how to fix a power steering assist fault because you don’t want to drive with these problems. 

This guide will explain how the power steering aid system works and what might be the cause. We also show you how to repair it once you figure out what’s wrong. Our guide will also cover how to fix it based upon what needs to be done. 

Índice de Contenido
  1. What is the Power Steering Assist Fault message?
  2. What's power steering assist?
  3. Fautainment of Power Steeringlt
    1. 1. Reduced Fluid
    2. 2. Sensor for bad steering angle
    3. 3. Alignment of Bad Wheels
    4. 4. Blowing fuse
    5. 5. Electric Fault
    6. 6. Failing Belt
    7. 7. Bad Power Steering Pump
  4. How to Repair a Power Steering Assist FailT
    1. 1. Add Fluid
    2. 2. Check trouble codes
    3. 4. Have your wheels aligned
    4. 3. Replace Steering angle sensor
    5. 4. Resolve Electrical Fault
    6. 5. Replace Failing Belt
    7. 6. Replace Power Steering Pump
  5. How much does it cost to fix a power steering assist fault?
  6. Power Steering Assist FAQs
    1. Is it worth fixing the problem?
    2. Is it possible to drive while the power steering is not working?
    3. Is there a benefit to power assistant steering?
    4. What is the best way to know if power assisted steering works?

What is the Power Steering Assist Fault message?

Power Steering Assist Fault is a message that your electric or mechanical power steering system has a problem. You can fix the problem by adding power steering fluid, or fixing an electrical fault. However, it may also indicate that you have a larger issue.

Most cars now have electric power steering. If you get this message in most cases, it means that something is wrong with the unit or its sensors. Let’s take a closer look into the system.

RELATED: Hydraulic vs Electric Power Steering – Differences, Pros & Cons

What's power steering assist?

The middle 20Th To get a car moving in the right direction, one had to use your hands to move it. It wasn’t until 1951 that power steering first showed up in domestic automobiles. Chrysler Imperial was the first vehicle to get it. 

The power steering system's evolution has been rapid since its inception. Today we can have an electric-powered assisted steering system. While it still has a hydraulic pump to push fluid, it doesn’t absorb the energy created by the engine as the older types did. A hydraulic pump to push fluid is replaced by an electric pump, which makes it easier to steer.

The reservoir contains hydraulic fluid. Fluid transfers from the reservoir to the steering wheel. This creates an electric force that turns the wheels. An older system had a belt connecting to the engine for energy. Today’s vehicles, especially those that are hybrid, have an electric pump instead that runs off of the battery. 

Today’s advanced safety features run off of the power steering, which is why the system is so important. The EPAS could play a part in your vehicle's operation if it uses lane assist, parallel parking assistance or another advanced technology. 

Re: Steering wheel difficult to turn? (Here’s What Causes it)

Fautainment of Power Steeringlt

1. Reduced Fluid

Fluid is essential for both the hydraulic power steering and electric power steering systems to function properly. If the steering fluid isn’t topped off completely, you could start running into trouble. You will need to use more effort to turn the vehicle if your fluid level is too low.

It’s important to know why the fluid is low so there aren’t any other issues down the road. If there’s a leak, you need to repair this problem before you refill the system. Or you may lose your power steering altogether.

Regularly changing your power steering fluid should be done. Check the owner’s manual to figure out how often this should be. 

RELATED: Power Steering Fluid Colors – What Do They Mean?

2. Sensor for bad steering angle

In order for the power steering assist to function properly, it needs to know how much your steering wheel is turned or if it’s straight. This is done by a steering angle sensor which sits behind your steering wheels.

The power steering error message will appear if the sensor is damaged or shows an incorrect angle. If this sensor goes bad, you may have other issues with the traction control system or any other vital systems.

Related: Four Signs That Your Steering Angle Sensor Is Not Working

3. Alignment of Bad Wheels

The computer may mistakenly think that your alignment problem is due to poor steering angles. In this case, the error message Power Steering Assistance will appear.

You may notice that the steering wheel of your vehicle isn't straight when you drive it straight at high speeds. Or, if you feel your car pulling to one side, this could indicate a problem with your wheel alignment.

RELATED: 5 Signs that your wheel alignment is not right (Why it's important to fix)

4. Blowing fuse

A blown fuse or other power steering system could cause the problem. A fuse shouldn't blow if nothing is wrong. However, it could be a voltage spike.

Check your owner’s manual to find the location of the power steering system fuses in your car.

5. Electric Fault

If you are using a modern power steering system, electrical problems could always be the cause. This would be the next thing to do if the fluid has drained.

Low battery could cause it. Your code scanner can be used to locate the issue if the light appears on your dashboard. It is important to inspect all the wires and connectors in the steering system. There are many things that could go wrong over years. 

6. Failing Belt

If you have a traditional power steering setup, there’s a belt running from the engine. The belt harnesses the power needed to power the power steering. 

The belt has a reputation for creating problems. A bad belt could cause a weird sound when you turn. 

RELATED: 7 Symptoms of a Bad Serpentine Belt (& Replacement Cost)

7. Bad Power Steering Pump

Even though the pumps work in different ways, both traditional and electric power steering systems use them. If the pump starts to fail, the fluid can’t flow through the system.

In both instances, the pump is the least likely part to fail, but it’s not impossible. If your troubleshooting hasn’t led to any other causes, it might be time to evaluate the pump. 

How to Repair a Power Steering Assist FailT

1. Add Fluid

It’s important to check the power steering fluid often and you should top it off whenever necessary. While the system shouldn’t lose fluid, it’s always wise to double-check. If you are noticing a drop in fluid, you want to fill it back up and figure out what’s causing the sudden drop. You should immediately fix any leaks. 

Automakers generally recommend changing the power steering fluid at least every four years. It can lead to fluid contamination that makes it less effective in its function. 

2. Check trouble codes

You should read your OBD2 codes before you attempt to troubleshoot any electrical issues with your vehicle. This can give you very valuable information so you don’t have to waste your money.

The fault code that indicates why your power steering assistance light has turned on is stored in the dashboard. To have the fault codes read by a professional car mechanic, or to get your OBD2 scan done at home. However, it’s important to get a scanner compatible with the power steering assist system in your car model.

4. Have your wheels aligned

The steering angle sensor may be faulty. If the problem is found in your trouble codes, it's worth checking the wheel alignment. If you have your owner’s OBD2 scanner, you can check the steering angle values from the sensor.

It may not be giving the exact readings, but your steering wheel does not seem straight at higher speeds. You might consider a wheel alignment.

3. Replace Steering angle sensor

You may have to replace the steering angle sensor if the alignment of the wheels seems perfect. For most models, the steering sensor must be removed from the vehicle.

Unfortunately, some models of cars require that you program the steering angle sensor. These can usually only be done by dealers.

4. Resolve Electrical Fault

Troubleshooting an electrical fault isn’t always simple. There’s a lot of wiring and connectors to inspect if you want to hunt down the problem. We recommend starting with the fuse because it’s possible that it has blown.

If that’s not the problem, it’s time to move on to everything electrical in the system. If you find any connectors or wiring that is frayed or damaged, it’s time to replace it. 

5. Replace Failing Belt

A belt-driven system might require a replacement. In some models, this isn’t that difficult to do.

It is not always easy to adjust the belt on many models. If you aren’t sure what you are doing, it’s best to visit a professional before anything else gets messed up. 

6. Replace Power Steering Pump

Most people don’t want to deal with replacing a power steering pump, but this part can fail too. You will have to replace the power steering pump if your diagnosis leads to it.

To find out what steps to take for your car, read the manual. For additional help, you can take your vehicle to an auto shop nearby. 

How much does it cost to fix a power steering assist fault?

Depending on the diagnostics, your repair costs for a power steering fault can range from $5 to $550. Your repair costs will not be high if you only need to add fluid or replace an existing fuse.

The cost of fixing major parts, such as electrical or leak problems, can lead to higher bills. Luxury cars can be more costly to repair because they have expensive parts and require specialized mechanics to do the job.

You can save money if the repairs are done yourself. However, you should never work on the hydraulic or electric power steering system if you aren’t sure what you are dealing with. A small error can lead to bigger problems, which will cause your repair bills to soar.

Power Steering Assist FAQs

Is it worth fixing the problem?

The cost to repair the power steering assistance fault will be between $0 to $1000, although there are no fixed costs. If you’re lucky, you can fix it by replacing a fuse or adding power steering fluid which can cost you under $10. If you’re unlucky, it’s caused by a bad power steering pump that could cost you $1000 or more.

Is it possible to drive while the power steering is not working?

It is possible to drive without power steering, however it is not recommended. You will find it more difficult to drive your car, and you may even end up in an accident.

Is there a benefit to power assistant steering?

A system called power assistant steering (or power steering) is designed to help the driver steer their car more easily. This works by using hydraulic pumps to apply a force to the steering wheel, which assists with turning the car. It allows the driver to move the car more easily, and can also make it simpler to use the brakes.

What is the best way to know if power assisted steering works?

If you don’t see any warning lights or messages on your dashboard related to the power steering and the steering wheel is easy to turn and operate, your power steering is most likely working fine.

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