The Ins and Outs of Electric Power Steering (EPS): Understanding Its Importance and Common Problems

As vehicles evolve with time, so do their components. Electric Power Steering (EPS) is a testament to this evolution, offering drivers a smoother and more efficient steering experience. However, like all components, EPS isn’t without its set of issues. As experts in the diagnosis and repair of faulty EPS systems, we wanted to shine some light on what EPS is, how to know if it’s on the fritz and what common issues we find coming into the shop for repair.

What Is Electric Power Steering?

Electric Power Steering, as the name suggests, utilises electric motors to assist the steering mechanism. Replacing traditional hydraulic systems, EPS has gained popularity for its efficiency and reduced environmental impact. But what makes it tick, and why is it so crucial in today’s vehicles?

How Electric Power Steering Works

EPS operates through a simple yet effective mechanism. When a driver turns the steering wheel, sensors detect this movement. The electronic control unit (ECU) then evaluates this data and directs an electric motor to provide the necessary force to turn the wheels. This dynamic process ensures optimal steering responsiveness at different speeds.

Electric Power Steering Pump

The Intricacies of EPS Problems

Electric Power Steering, while revolutionary, is a complex system that occasionally faces its own set of hiccups. Recognizing the signs of potential EPS issues is essential for any driver to ensure their safety on the road. Let’s explore some common problems that EPS systems might encounter:

  • Steering Difficulty: Often the first sign of trouble, a driver might find the steering wheel stiffer than usual. This usually stems from a malfunctioning EPS motor or associated electrical components.
  • Unexpected Steering Response: Sometimes, the car might steer more or less than intended. Faulty sensors can lead to this issue, causing the car to react unexpectedly, which is particularly concerning at high speeds.
  • Steering Warning Lights: Modern vehicles are equipped with warning lights for nearly every major system. An illuminated EPS light indicates something is amiss with the steering system and requires immediate attention.
  • Noisy Steering: A grating or whining noise when turning can point towards an issue with the electric motor or the accompanying components of the EPS.
  • Loss of Power Steering: In extreme cases, the EPS can fail altogether, making the steering revert to its manual mode, which requires considerably more effort to operate.
Electric Power Steering

In understanding these problems, we equip ourselves with the knowledge to act swiftly, preventing minor issues from escalating into significant challenges.

What Causes These EPS Concerns?

Now that we know how problems with your EPS system present, we can cover what the causes might be. Here’s a deeper look at why these issues might arise:

  • Wear and Tear: Every component has its lifespan, and with time and continuous use, parts of the EPS system can wear out, making them less effective or altogether non-functional.
  • Electrical Disruptions: Being a predominantly electric system, any disruptions, from a dying battery to damaged wiring, can adversely affect the EPS.
  • Moisture and Corrosion: Moisture can be an EPS system’s nemesis. When water infiltrates, it can lead to corrosion in the electrical components, compromising the system’s efficiency.
  • Faulty Sensors: Sensors in EPS translate the driver’s actions into responses. If they malfunction, it disrupts this communication, leading to unpredictable steering behaviours.
  • Software Glitches: Modern EPS systems rely heavily on software. A glitch or bug in the system’s software can disrupt its functioning.
  • Damaged Electric Motor: The motor provides the necessary force to assist steering. If damaged, the EPS may not function as intended, leading to a range of issues from stiff steering to complete system failure.
Electric Power Steering

Understanding these causes empowers us, ensuring we can pinpoint issues swiftly and seek the necessary solutions, ensuring our vehicle’s safety and longevity as well as the safety of those in it.

Why Trust Bashi’s Auto Electrical with Your EPS Needs?

At Bashi’s Auto Electrical, we pride ourselves on our expertise in modern vehicular electronics. Our professionals understand the intricacies of EPS systems. We believe in a thorough approach – no shortcuts, just detailed, quality work. Regular training ensures our team is updated with the latest in EPS technology, ensuring you get the best service every time.

It goes without saying that the ability to control your vehicle comfortably is paramount to safety while on the road. If you notice any of the warning signs we have detailed in this article, it is crucial that you bring your vehicle into a reliable auto electrician as soon as possible. Bashi’s Auto Electrical offers obligation free quotes on all our work and has a team of highly experienced auto sparkies ready to resolve your EPS issues ASAP. To arrange a time to bring your vehicle in for diagnosis or repair, call Bashi’s on 07 5495 7333 or fill out our online form.