How to Troubleshoot and Fix Electric Power Steering – A Comprehensive Guide


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Imagine driving down the road and suddenly your steering wheel becomes stiff and unresponsive. It’s a frightening experience that can put you and your passengers at risk. The culprit behind this unsettling scenario may be a malfunctioning electric power steering (EPS) system. In this in-depth guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of EPS, empowering you with the knowledge to troubleshoot and fix common problems effectively.

Understanding Electric Power Steering:

Electric power steering, unlike traditional hydraulic systems, relies on an electric motor to assist with steering effort. This advanced technology offers numerous benefits, including improved fuel efficiency, enhanced responsiveness, and reduced maintenance costs. However, like any complex system, EPS is not immune to occasional glitches.

Diagnostic Steps:

Before attempting any repairs, it’s crucial to pinpoint the root cause of the EPS malfunction. Here are some telltale signs that suggest an EPS issue:

  • Stiff steering wheel
  • Grinding or whining noises during steering
  • Warning light illuminated on the dashboard
  • Difficulty making sharp turns
  • Intermittent power steering loss


  1. Check the Power Source: Ensure the battery and alternator are functioning correctly, as they provide electrical power to the EPS system.
  2. Inspect the EPS Motor and Unit: Listen for any unusual sounds or vibrations emanating from the EPS motor or unit. Loose connections or damaged components may cause interruptions in power delivery.
  3. Examine the Steering Wheel Position Sensor: This sensor detects the angle of the steering wheel. If it’s misaligned or faulty, the EPS may not receive accurate steering inputs.
  4. Test the Yaw Rate Sensor: The yaw rate sensor measures the vehicle’s rotational motion. A malfunctioning sensor can affect the EPS system’s ability to assist with steering.
  5. Scan the Vehicle’s Computer: Modern vehicles are equipped with computers that monitor the performance of various systems, including EPS. Connecting a diagnostic scanner can pinpoint specific error codes that may shed light on the underlying issue.

Fixing Common EPS Problems:

  1. Loose Connections: Tighten any loose connections in the EPS system, including electrical connectors and ground wires.
  2. Replace Faulty Components: If any components, such as the EPS motor, steering wheel position sensor, or yaw rate sensor, are found to be damaged or defective, replace them with genuine or high-quality aftermarket parts.
  3. Update Software: In some cases, a software update may resolve glitches or improve the performance of the EPS system. Consult your vehicle’s manufacturer or a qualified mechanic for guidance.

Prevention and Maintenance:

Regular maintenance and preventive measures can help extend the lifespan of your EPS system:

  • Keep the battery and alternator in good condition.
  • Avoid driving over rough terrain or hitting large potholes, which can damage EPS components.
  • Regularly inspect the EPS unit and connections for any signs of wear or damage.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for the EPS system.


Electric power steering systems offer enhanced driving experiences, but like any component on your vehicle, they can encounter occasional challenges. Understanding the basics of EPS and being equipped with troubleshooting and repair knowledge empowers you to keep your steering responsive and your driving safe. Remember, if the EPS system malfunctions, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance from a qualified mechanic.

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