Whenever you realize that the steering assist on your vehicle is reduced, this indicates that there is a problem with the steering assist or the whole system. Usually, you will notice it takes more effort to steer the vehicle than expected.
Why is my steering assist reduced? Numerous factors could cause the steering assist to reduce. Problems like damaged sensors and power steering rack issues may trigger a reduced power steering rack. This could also range from problems with a low battery to ECU system. Simple issues like underinflated or overinflated tires could also be responsible for steering assist to reduce.
A steering assist is an updated feature of a power steering system. It helps the driver to steer the vehicle safely with adequate protection. This safety feature helps the vehicle maintain a steady movement with the help of monitoring components and the computer system. The steering will become stiffer once the system detects the issue.
Once the steering assist is reduced, it usually comes with a warning message like “Steering Assist Reduced Drive with Care,” depending on the car’s brand.
There are noticeable signs that come with this error message. You may realize there is a difference in the steering assist as you must work harder when turning the steering wheel.
Below are the causes of the steering assistance reducedproblem.
1. Incorrect tire pressure
The wheels are connected to the suspension system, and the suspension is connected to the steering system. Whatever affects the wheels will, therefore, affect the steering system.
When the tire is over or under-inflated, this affects the riding condition of the vehicle and the handling. It could cause the steering wheel to vibrate out of control, and if not checked, it could also damage parts of the system, causing a reduced steering assist.
2. Damaged sensor
The steering assist makes use of a lot of sensors used to monitor the vehicle’s movement. Some sensors include steering assist, torque, and steering angle sensors. All these sensors feed the assist system with the necessary information to execute its function.
Once any sensors get damaged, the steering assist system may become dormant. The system cannot carry out its function without the information of any of the sensors. When this happens, the steering assist will reduce.
3. Power steering rack issue
The power steering rack is a metal bar parallel to the front. It allows the wheels to properly rotate when the steering wheel is turned and is damaged; it will not allow the vehicle to move freely as it should.
Issues with the power steering rack will hinder turning actions and prevent the steering assist from functioning properly.
4. System error
Once there is an error in the power steering assist, the support will reduce and trigger a warning message. Software issues, damaged modules, and more could cause problems like this.
5. Damaged magnets located in the power steering column
The power steering system uses a magnet that aids the driver when turning the steering wheel. Once the magnet is damaged, the steering assist will automatically reduce, and you will also get a warning message. The damage could be due to electrical issues.
6. Overheated brakes
The warning message “steering assist is reduced drive with care” comes with a check engine and brake light, which shows that the issue results from overheated brakes. It would arise when there is not enough friction in the brake system, which causes it to overheat.
7. Low battery
The power steering assist is an electrical system that relies on the battery. Once the battery is low, it cannot supply enough power to the system, causing it to stay dominant or malfunction. Once this happens, the steering assist will drop.
8. Electronic steering wheel malfunction
If your vehicle uses an electronic steering wheel, there is a chance of a disruption in the communication between the ECU and the system. When this happens, the steering assist cannot be activated.
The first step to fixing is properly diagnosing the vehicle. What a proper diagnosis does is provide the exact cause of the issue with the steering assist. As we know, numerous factors could cause a reduced steering assist.
Once the cause of the problem is found, it is easier to find a fix.
Below are ways that you can fix a steering assist reduced issue.
1. Correct the tire pressure
Use a tire pressure gauge, check the PSI of the tire, and then compare it to the recommended PSI for the tires. If the tire is overinflated, ensure to deflate the tire to meet the recommended tire pressure. Do inflate the tire if the tire pressure is too low.
2. Change damaged sensor
Using an OBD-II scan tool, you can check the exact damaged sensors. The steering assist makes many sensors; however, the fix is easier once the exact sensor causing the problem is recognized.
Take out the damaged sensor and examine for damages like broken sensor house, connector, and wiring. If there is any significant damage to the sensor, then you need to have the sensor replaced.
3. Replace power steering rack
When repairing or replacing parts of the internal components of the steering system, it is best to allow a professional handle to be replaced. A replacement for a rack may require some level of mechanical. This is to ensure that there are no further damages to the system.
4. Fix system error
The issue with the steering assist system could be a symptom malfunction, which could be solved by simply resetting the system. You can do this by using the OBD-II scan tool. You can disconnect the car battery for a while if you do not have a scan tool.
A serious problem could be a damaged module that will need a replacement.
5. Charge or replace weak battery
First, try to recharge the battery and observe the performance of the battery. If the battery cannot retain charge, you may need to replace the battery immediately.
Also, check the battery’s terminals for corrosion; if they are corroded, they must be cleaned. To do this, you need to mix baking soda with water. Use the mixture with a rag to clean the terminal. Ensure not to pour the mixture direction on the battery.
6. Solve brake issue
Issues with the brake could be due to worn-out brake pads or a warped rotor. Change the brake pad to a new one if a worn-out brake pad causes the problem. If the rotor is thick enough, take it to a mechanic to get it smoothened.
7. Fix electronic steering malfunction
A disruption in communication between the ECU and the system majorly causes the electronic malfunction. This means that it is a wiring issue. Use the owner’s manual to get the exact wires that belong to the system and then examine for damages. If the wire is damaged in any way, avoid fixing the wire; rather, replace it.
The cost of fixing the power steering assist depends on what the cause of the issue is. For instance, if the cause of the issue is a sensor, it will cost from $100 to $200 to replace the sensor.
Also, it will cost between $ 300 and $500 to have the steering rack replaced. It costs an extra $150 as the cost of labor. The cost will be less if it is okay with repairing steering rack boot. The cost will be higher than $1000 if a problem arises with ECU,
When it comes to damaged internal components of the power system, like the steering rack, it is best to have a professional assist with repairing the issue. Reproducing steering internal components may require mechanical knowledge you may not have. To avoid further damage to the steering system, let an expert mechanic fix internal damages to the steering system.