EPS or electric power steering is a smart technology to move your car easily and safely. However, in many cases, this thing can fail to operate as it is designed due to some problems. Among other issues, a bad battery can cause it to fail or disturb the system.
Will you see any light when the EPS fails? Should you still drive when you see the EPS not working?
The answer is, yes. There will be a light on the dashboard to show you that your EPS is having a problem. And when you see that light or feel your steering is difficult to turn it is best to stop the car slowly and take it to an expert.
Does Power Steering Need Electricity?
Several mechanical components make up the power steering system. Power steering systems help to improve vehicle maneuverability and control, making driving more enjoyable. The steering assist system, or SAS, is another name for it.
It reduces the effort required to steer the car’s front wheels side to side by utilizing intermediate electric or hydraulic appliances.
It amplifies the force implemented by the driver with the help of the steering wheel to obtain a seamless and fast vehicle directional change.
Can a Bad Battery Cause Electric Power Steering Problems?
Now, a power steering system that depends on electricity needs to draw its energy from the battery. What happens when your car has a bad battery? Is it feasible for a faulty battery to directly affect the power steering system?
In theory, if your car runs on a bad battery, the power steering system may cease to work, just like the whole electrical system of the car can have difficulty working if the battery is faulty or drained. This is similar to your car not cranking when there is insufficient juice in the battery.
What Causes EPS Failure?
EPS malfunctions whenever the steering wheel is hit or disengages from the electric motor. It usually occurs as a result of rust and water within the arch or the aging of the strengthening rubbers.
To switch the car on, the Electric Power Steering uses an electric motor connected to the wheel axle.
However, the rubbers and motor wear out over time due to aging or other factors.
Here are some common reasons for EPS failure-
Over Speeding on Rough Roads:
Driving at a greater speed on bumpy roads is one way for the EPS to fail. Trying to slow down the car on bumpy roads is the ultimate option if one truly wants to maintain the EPS system.
Furthermore, when driving at high speeds on bumpy roads, the tightened rubber rings become loose. If the rusted steering arch begins to make noises when turned, this can be easily detected.
As a result, you must slow down and drive on rough roads in order to handle your car with care.
A bad battery can lead to EPS failure. The EPS takes power from the battery and is directly connected to it. Therefore, when the battery goes down, it is inevitable for the EPS to stop working.
Water in the System:
To avoid EPS damage, it is necessary to avoid driving on wet roads. This is due to the fact that the EPS electric engine is linked to the arch and comes into direct contact with the water.
Water can quickly damage the electric motor, leaving you with a stuck EPS.
The main disadvantage of electric motors and arches is that they are not repairable and must be replaced.
The EPS System’s Aging:
For decent vehicle care, it is important to remember to renew the old parts of the EPS system on a regular basis.
When the steering begins to make strange noises or the EPS car light begins to blink, it is time to thoroughly inspect the entire system.
The ideal age for an EPS system is five years, and it must be maintained regularly. This is very useful in preventing the EPS system from malfunctioning.
How do You Diagnose Electric Power Steering Problems?
With the help of diagnostic trouble codes, almost all-electric power steering systems can self-diagnose any failures (DTC).
The codes should be found within the ECU in the EPS system, and then when you need to find the underlying problem, a specialized scan tool will be used to find and decode all the DTCs.
Sadly, a DTC is often only the first step in the diagnosis process; it typically takes expert electrical diagnostic expertise to fully determine the problem
It’s worth noting that a DTC can sometimes be accompanied by a steering warning light.
Can a Dead Battery Cause the EPS Light to Come On?
A dead battery can be a reason for the EPS light to light up. However, it does not always mean your battery is the cause behind it.
When your car’s EPS warning light illuminates, you do not need to check any fluid levels. It makes it more difficult to determine what’s causing the light to illuminate.
Sometimes it can be triggered by a problem with the battery or alternator, so carefully inspect all connections to the battery and look for noticeable wear or damage.
Is It Safe to Drive While the Power Steering Light is Illuminated?
It will be challenging because the steering will be heavier and trying to turn will be more difficult. It may also be extremely difficult to react to the situation at higher speeds, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
If the light turns on while you’re close to home, you should be fine to continue driving safely with extra caution.
However, when you’re quite far from home, I recommend that you should stop as quickly as possible and check your car in a safe location.
What to Do if Your Car Loses Power Steering?
When the power steering starts to fail, the steering wheel becomes extremely hard to turn. Power steering failure can occur gradually in some cases, but it can also occur suddenly in others. In fact, it can occur while driving and catch drivers off guard.
If you find yourself in this situation here are some tips you can follow-
- Switch on the hazard lights to alert other drivers that you do have a problem with your vehicle. That way you’re also allowing them to cross you or exercising caution when following your vehicle.
- Keep an eye out for oncoming traffic and cautiously move the steering wheel to steer the car towards the shoulder.
Based on the extent of the damage to the power steering system, you may need to apply more force. Take your time switching lanes and don’t be in a hurry. Remember that you may not be able to immediately counter-steer in a tough situation.
- Push the brake pedals slowly as you pull over to the roadside. Before slowing down, ensure there are no fast-approaching vehicles. After you’ve reached the shoulder lane, slowly hit the brakes till you’ve come to a complete stop.
EPS can cause trouble when it’s old or when you have a battery problem or maybe some other issues are behind it.
But always be careful as you can get in trouble if you do not pay heed to the situation. Take your car to a good repair shop or call an expert to check it. Always drive safe!