Electric power steering (EPS) has become a much familiar feature in modern vehicles as it provides a smoother and more efficient steering experience. However, like any system, it may face issues that require a reset.
What is Electric Power Steering?
Before moving into resetting, here’s a quick check on the basics of EPS. It’s to give you a clear idea of such situations and issues with the system.
EPS is a vehicle power steering system that makes steering easier for drivers.
Unlike the older hydraulic power steering systems that use a fluid, EPS uses an electric motor to assist with steering. EPS systems are more efficient and responsive instead of relying on hydraulic fluid and a pump.
Since there’s no need for a hydraulic pump and fluid reservoir, EPS systems are lighter and take up less space in the car.
EPS also adjusts the level of assistance based on how fast you’re driving. It might reduce assistance at higher speeds since less effort is needed, while at lower speeds, it increases service to make steering easier.
Because it’s electric, the motor in EPS only uses power when you’re steering. This makes it more energy-efficient than traditional hydraulic systems that run constantly, even when you’re not steering.
Why You Need to Reset Your Electric Power Steering?
While EPS is generally reliable, there can be issues like sensor malfunctions, electrical problems, software glitches, and so on.
These issues may result in stiff steering or a steering warning light on your dashboard. And there are situations where a reset may be necessary. Some common reasons include:
- Battery Replacement: When the vehicle’s battery is replaced, the power to the EPS system is shortly interrupted. This can sometimes lead to a loss of calibration, requiring a reset.
- Sensor or Component Replacement: If any components related to the EPS system, such as sensors or the electric motor, are replaced, you may reset your EPS to synchronize the new elements with the system.
- System Malfunction: The EPS system may occasionally experience glitches or malfunctions due to electrical issues. A reset can often resolve these issues and restore regular operation.
- Fixing electric power steering light: Resetting can also help when your electric power steering light comes on and off.
How Do You Reset An Electronic Power Steering?
Your car’s warning light usually indicates low power steering fluid in a hydraulic power steering system, so you should either top it off or look into a possible system leak that could be causing a sudden loss of fluid.
On the other hand, since electric power steering doesn’t require fluid, fixing problems usually just requires restarting the system. Here are some common ways you may apply:
Turn The Engine Off and On Again
Resetting electric power steering can vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle. A common way, however, to reset your EPS is to restart the engine. Simply turn your car engine off and remove the key from it. Wait one two minutes. Then, turn the engine on.
This method will fix your problem if only a small error exists in your car’s system.
Disconnect The Battery
Another way to reset your EPS is by disconnecting the battery.
Usually, vehicle batteries are located under the hood. But in some cars, specifically the modern ones, it may be located in the trunk or another designated area.
First of all, turn off your car and detach the negative (-) terminal from the car battery. Wait for 15-30 minutes to allow the power steering system to reset. Then, reconnect the battery and start your car engine.
Now check if your steering wheel works properly by turning it from lock to lock.
[Never try to disconnect the battery while your car is on. You could burn certain devices and computers that use power from the batteries while the vehicle is running.]
Steer The Wheel From Lock To Lock
Another simple method involves physically steering your wheel from lock to lock. First, fully turn the steering wheel to the left. And then fully to the right.
Repeat this process a few times. This can help recalibrate the power steering system and eliminate any minor glitches. Start your car and check if the steering feels smoother.
Reset The Engine Control Unit (ECU)
ECU (Engine Control Unit) reset is another method you may use.
Sometimes, a minor glitch in the Engine Control Unit (ECU) can lead to baffling warning lights on your dashboard. Trying ECU reset might be worthwhile if simply restarting your system doesn’t resolve your issue.
Disconnect your car battery (like before) and leave it that way for 15-30 minutes. You may use a jumper cable to connect the positive and negative cables for two minutes. (This actually helps drain out extra power).
Connect the battery back in. Next, turn on the ignition but not to the point of running the engine. This will light up your dashboard. Turn it off and start your engine like normal. Leave your car running at idle for about 15 minutes.
If all goes well, your ECU will recalibrate after driving at least a hundred miles, and those annoying warning lights should disappear.
Remember, this might only do for some cars, especially newer models. But it’s a simple trick worth a shot when you’re having dashboard light troubles.
Check Your Car’s Manual
Sometimes, the manufacturer knows best. So, refer to your car’s manual for specific reset instructions tailored to your make and model.
Alternatives and Professional Assistance
If you are confused or unsure about resetting your Electric Power Steering yourself, it’s good to seek professional assistance. Many auto repair shops or service centers do this task safely and at no cost.
Resetting your electric power steering is pretty easy if you know enough about Electric Power Steering. You can try the mentioned methods to fix problems with your power steering. But it’s good to prioritize safety. And if the issues are still there, get help from a professional.