Modern cars are equipped with various technological advancements for durability and better safety. You immediately know what has gone wrong when anything goes wrong, as it will display on the car’s dashboard. One such error message that appears in a car is “steering assist is reduced drive with care.”
What does it mean, and why does it appear? We will explain the context and discuss its causes and fixes. Dive in to find out.
What is Steering Assist?
Before power steering came into utilization, it required a lot of physical effort to take control of a vehicle. It has caused many considerable disadvantages to drivers and has influenced driving badly in many circumstances. Thanks to the power steering system in the current cars, smooth and effective driving are promised facts.
Steering assist is a component that comes with the vehicle’s power steering system. What does it do? The steering assist is connected to the Engine Control Module of the car (ECM). ECM’s function is to monitor coolant temperature and adjust it accordingly. When the coolant temperature drops below, the engine system starts to cool down, thickening the fluid in the steering wheel. Steering assist comes into play here.
If the fluid in the steering wheel is hardened, it will make driving challenging and might result in car crashes and other accidents due to a lack of control. A steering assist is a temporary solution to ensure smooth wheel steering.
Why Does The “Steering Assist Is Reduced Drive With Care” Message Appear?
You may have noticed the text “steering assist is reduced” popping up on your dashboard. Understandably, it can cause considerable concerns. To resolve the issue, we must know the fault. Without analyzing the problem and getting to the root of it, we cannot possibly fix it properly. Understanding what is happening inside your vehicle when such a message appears is vital to think of ways to solve it.
A “steering assist reduced” message appears when the Engine Control Module (ECM) of the vehicle fails to measure the coolant’s temperature accurately. Due to miscommunication or no communication between the modules, this text pops up in the dashboard, which means your sensor does not detect when the coolant temperature is low. In this circumstance, this message could appear immediately.
Sometimes, even after you receive this message, you will notice no errors in the steering wheel’s functionality. There will also be no physical issues visible on the vehicle. You might be confused about where the error is coming from in such situations. Apart from those mentioned above, several other issues can trigger the message. Therefore, analyzing the problem and troubleshooting in systematic diagnostics is essential.
What are The Possible Causes for “Steering Assist is Reduced”?
An ECM’s job is to monitor coolant temperature and adjust it. But when the temperature of the coolant drops low, censors in the engine control module lose their efficiency and result in the inability of the ECM accurately read the temperature. It will trigger the “steering wheel reduced” text to show up on the dashboard to mean the steering assist has not been activated.
Continual Usage of the Steering Assist
In case of the absence of proper upkeep of the power steering assist, it can be reduced. It can happen when the steering assist is used for extended periods when the car is not in motion. If the steering assist is reduced for such a reason, the message will give a warning.
Steering Fluid Leakage
A special fluid flows through the steering wheel to ensure smooth and efficient turning during driving. It helps the driver easily take better control over the vehicle. There is a possibility that this steering fluid to leak and drip over time. It can make the steering wheel rigid and hard to move, affecting the driving experience and increasing the chances of risk during driving. When the fluid level in the rotation is faulty, a message will appear to inform of the malfunction.
EPS (Electric Power Steering) Rigidity
The car’s automated system monitors electric power steering to ensure proper operations. The steering assist reduces when the power steering system is found rigid and stiff. Once the reduction is detected, a “steering assist is reduced drive with care” warning message will show up, informing the reduction.
ESS (Electric Supply System) Changes
Steering assists functions with the help of the electric motor in the car. Suppose any changes are made to the electric supply system of the vehicle. In that case, this can directly affect the operation of the steering assist since it works with the help of electric power. In case of such changes, if the electricity supply to the steering assist isn’t ensured, it may reduce it. As an outcome, you may see the message reminding you of its status.
How to Fix “Steering Assist is Reduced”?
If there is an issue with your steering assist, we know it is due to inefficient modules, ESS changes, and low fluid levels. Check the fluid status in the steering wheel and repair it in case of any leakages. Make sure you fill up fluid once done. Check the ESS of the car to determine the unbothered and sufficient electricity supply to the steering assist.
How Do You Eliminate “Steering Assist is Reduced” Message?
You can eliminate the message once you fix the issue after identification. Sometimes, the message might persist even after you get rid of the problem. In that case, try turning off your car’s engine and switching it on again. Try it a couple of times until the message disaster. Even after a couple of attempts, if the message does not disappear, the problem might not be as simple as it seems. It is advised to consult a mechanic under such circumstances.
Can I Fix the Steering Assist Myself, or Do I Need to Take My Car to a Professional Mechanic?
No, we recommend having an expert fix the steering assist issue would be best. Power steering assist fault is a serious issue that should be act on immediately. If your dashboard shows warning lights, it may help you understand if there is any fault in the steering assist.
If you are willing to repair the steering assist yourself, you need an in-depth ECU diagnosis in case you have specific broken components in your steering assist. Two main problems contribute to have faults in steering assist. There are,
Hydraulic fluid leak
- Leaks could come from Worn-down pipes, cracks, control valves, and hydraulic fluid loss.
Power Steering pump failure
- The engine’s serpentine drive belt controls Power Steering pump. It allows the control valve to move between input and output lines. If you have a problem with the engine’s serpentine drive belt, this may cause power steering pump failure.
Is it Safe to Drive When The Steering Assist is Reduced?
No, driving with steering assist faults is never a safe thing. When a warning shows on your dashboard, you must drive carefully before contacting the car experts. It would be best if you park your vehicle on the side of the road to prevent accidents as soon as you notice the message.
When power steering assist is reduced, it may cause your car’s wheels to be more challenging to turn. It will require additional force to turn your wheels, and it may also cause damages to your power steering pump. So, simply put, it is not safe to drive with steering assist problems in your vehicle.
How Much Does it Cost to Fix the Power Steering Assist Fault?
Fixing the power steering assist fault may cost between $10 to $600 or more than you expected, depending on which type of diagnosis causes this problem. If your car has leaks, electrical problems, or errors in major components, the price may go higher than you expected. However, there can be minor issues causing this issue such as replacing a fuse or adding fluids to your system.
If that is the case you can repair by yourself, but if your car has problems with the hydraulic system or electric power steering, you need to hire a professional to fix the issue which will cost you a considerable amount.
Suppose you ever see a “steering assist is reduced drive with care” message on your dashboard. In that case, your car will most likely encounter one of the problems mentioned earlier. Try to fix it, and the issue can be deep-rooted if it doesn’t resolve. Consulting an expert right away is the wisest decision at that counter.
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