The Motor in Electric Power Steering: Functions, Failures, and Repairs
The ease of driving cars with electric power steering (EPS) is a far cry from the days without it when you got an upper-body workout just from turning the wheel. But a problem with an EPS motor can take you back to the old days, and when it does, you need to get it fixed.
How EPS Works
Since they debuted in the early 2000s, EPS systems generally replaced the older hydraulic power steering systems which used power steering fluid. Powered by electricity from the car’s battery, an EPS makes driving smoother and more fuel-efficient. Computerized sensors measure the movement of the steering wheel and the force (torque) being applied by the driver, which it then matches with motorized power to “assist” the driver in steering the vehicle. EPS is especially helpful at slower speeds and when precision steering is called for.
When the in EPS motor fails
Like other electrical devices, an EPS operates from a motor, which is mounted on the steering column or rack. And, like all electronics, the motor can wear out, be damaged by a voltage surge, overheat, or become clogged with dirt or debris. When the motor quits, you’ll know it immediately—turning the car manually won’t be easy. You’ll recognize the signs of motor failure: a hard-to-turn steering wheel, groaning noises, or slow response to wheel movement. That’s the time to get off the road; while driving without a functioning EPS will not cause damage, the slow response time may present a driving hazard.
A non-working motor can mean several things. If you’re lucky, the problem is with things related to the motor, rather than the motor itself, such as a faulty control module connector or plug, the electrical steering control unit, or the wiring, all of which can be inexpensively replaced. In the worse-case scenario, your motor may be beyond hope and should be replaced, although, depending on the problem, it might be repaired or re-built. It probably makes more sense just to replace it, especially if it’s seen a lot of miles.
We’ve Got Everything You Need
Regardless of your EPS problem—as well as lots of other automotive issues—let the experts help. Sun Transmissions has the best in parts and rebuild kits, power steering overhaul and filters, as well as accessories and other automatic transmissions parts, such as transmission gasket, automatic transmission switch, solenoid parts, transmission bushing kits and more. Come see us in Miami, or contact us and we’ll send your order to you, wherever you are in the U.S.!
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