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Old 06-07-2018   #1
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Fiat Panda 2005 Active

I have been on this Fiat Forum in the past. I ahve a problem with the steering on my 2005 Fiat panda Active.

I get my serviceing etc done at a Main Dealer where I bought the car second had some 5 years ago, the garage also had a Fiat Dealership for a while. They servcice any make of vehicle and are mainly Vauxhall car sellers.

My problem, I was driving the Panda and the red light 'City Driving'came on on the display that is used to lighten the steering. The steering became very heavy and I had to put efford into turning the wheels. Long story short, I managed to drive vechicle back to my home and park off road on drive.


I contacted AA, as I have membership of this. Breakdown man ran diagnostics on Panda wtih engine running. Red warning stayed on. AA man gave me a report...

"Fault codes stored for steering sensor. Steering worked normally at inspection but no output from sensor through live reading.

Diagnostics testing may be limited in breakdown type situation. Please ensure symptoms/suggested faults are confirmed by your chosen repairer before suggesting work is started" (No actual error coded given to me)


The garage I deal with coudn't give an idea of the problem or cost to rectify until vechicle is brought in to run computer diagnostics to assess the problem..

Two scenarios - (1) the whole electric power unit will need replacing.
(2) the Torque Sensor part that senses the angle of the steering wheel may
need replacement and calibrated..

Can anyone give me some advice as to costs for repairs in either scenario to get my car back on the road again. I am budgeting for upwards of Eight Hundred Pounds for repairs etc. I may be too worried abuot the costs.
I have also been advised not to drive the Panda, but get a front suspended tow, or it put on a flatbed lorry to get it to the garage I usually deal with. i had a new battery installed around 4 years ago as the original batter would hold a charge.
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Last edited by unclevanya; 06-07-2018 at 16:55.
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Old 06-07-2018   #2
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Re: Fiat Panda 2005 Active

Hello,

I've had this problem on my Panda, the red steering wheel light was on the dashboard, but the electrical power steering kept on working, after month the steering wheel started lightly shaking when in center position, and after another month power steering stopped working at all.

With diagnostics connected to the car, it didnt read the angle of the steering wheel, so I have changed the angle sensor, which i bought in local company in Lithuania, for 50, but I saw the same sensors in eBay for about 60-200. the problem never appeared in 2 years now.

I think you can drive your car, but i would recommend you to remove the fuse which is responsible for the electrical power steering, before getting the angle sensor replaced.

So I assume the problem you have is in the angle sensor.
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Last edited by karolislt; 06-07-2018 at 17:02.
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Old 06-07-2018   #3
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Re: Fiat Panda 2005 Active

Thanks - I will wait until I ahve rased some cash then arrange for he car to be front suspended towed to the garage I deal with for them to diagnose the problem. I hope that if it is just the angle sensor, then this will be less expensive than having to replace the whole electric power steering unit. I don't know much about car mechanics and am not able to do the work myself.
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Old 06-07-2018   #4
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Re: Fiat Panda 2005 Active

Do the easy things first. Check the electrical system voltage while car is running. If the alternator or the battery is weak, the steering will have problems.


A dashboard voltmeter costs under 10. A paid-for copy of MultiECUscan costs 50 and the connector cables under 20. You will also need a Windows PC/laptop. Not silly money if you already have the PC
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Old 06-07-2018   #5
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Re: Fiat Panda 2005 Active

If you're going to use a third party garage to do the work, then I'd go for a reconditioned, pre-calibrated service exchange steering column. Check out this link. It's plug & play with no calibration required and is easy to fit, so any garage should be able to do it easily and cheaply, even if they've no specific Fiat expertise or tools.

It'll cost you somewhere in the region of 200 + fitting.

Just replacing the torque sensor is cheaper, but needs care and recalibration afterwards; unless you're doing it yourself and are competent, I'd say going for the complete exchange unit is the safer option.

Steer clear of main dealers (if you'll pardon the pun); they'll want to fit a complete new column and present you with a four figure bill.
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Last edited by jrkitching; 06-07-2018 at 21:01.
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Old 06-07-2018   #6
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Re: Fiat Panda 2005 Active

Doesn't really sound like the torque sensor or power issue.

Sounds like the one a few weeks ago where the connector had become oxidised and needed reseating


Battery normally at slow speed

Torque sensor normally feels odd or fails at full lock

Both normally reset when you switch on and off. At least to start with.


The connector fault is just a red light and no power assist.


Multiecuscan will either come back with the exact code. Worth checking for yourself as there is no guarantee the AA man's software connect to the power steering module correctly


If I was a betting man I would say connector then battery / alternator
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Last edited by koalar; 06-07-2018 at 22:51.
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Old 10-07-2018   #7
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Re: Fiat Panda 2005 Active

I checked my Fiat Panda today - cleaned out a lot of ruddy spider cobwebs, spidrer seem to like my car. Check all the Fuse Blocks in the Fuse box, AA Breakdownman also checked if anything was loose.

Long story short - I started my car as usual, all warning lights came one including the Red Steering Light indicator, then all lights went off as they should except the handbreak, which is normal I let the engine run for around 5 minutes, switched off, waited until the 'bleeping' and stopped; restarted the engne again and the usual result with all warning lights going out.

I could drive my car but I dont feel confident that the original red fault light indicating steering would not come on again. Car has been standing for just over a week. I still intend to get it into a repair garage to run diagnostics on the power steering and also get the Vechicle Tech to check for any loose cable connectors in the engne bay. Saga will continue.(No ideas)
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Last edited by unclevanya; 10-07-2018 at 17:21.
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Old 10-07-2018   #8
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Re: Fiat Panda 2005 Active

You can drive the car. The problems arise when going slowly as this is where the steering system provides the most assistance. Don't the the technopanic generators get to you and as others have said don't let the "professionals" fleece you out of hundreds of pounds to sort this issue.

The power assistance reduces with speed so you can whizz along the motorway just as safely with the fuse removed as when it's all working fine. At low speeds (below 30mph) you will need to heave the steering wheel. My wife had to do it during the winter as we had poor charging when cold. Not a big deal.

This is an example rebuild service. I have not used them so you will need to check the reviews etc etc.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/26096711-FIAT-PANDA-ELECTRIC-POWER-STEERING-COLUMN-MOTOR-ECU-REBUILD-SERVICE/150846801908?hash=item231f2b87f4:g:Z3oAAMXQ74JTTTJ 3



Your problem could still be related to a battery or charging issue. Low voltage can raise all sorts of electronic errors so codes found by the AA/RAC wont necessarily be what's really going on. Fit a voltmeter and watch the numbers when the car is cold and you are working the steering.

Rather than cut holes in the car stick one of these on with blutak. It's cheap enough to be disposable.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DC-30V-3-Wire-LED-Digital-Display-Panel-Volt-Meter-Voltage-Voltmeter-Car-Motor/292531306305?hash=item441c397f41:m:m84hStL43uYrs-kbRusgHmw
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Last edited by DaveMcT; 10-07-2018 at 18:02.
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Old 10-07-2018   #9
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Re: Fiat Panda 2005 Active

The car is due a service before the winter, so I'll get an Interim Service, have the colant changed and a new battery put in. Original battery failed around 4 years ago and had to be replaced, and very cold weather over winter can put additional srain when starting the car.



I still intend to get a diagnostic run, and also ask the Vechicle Tech to check the engine bay for any loose or chaffing wires etc.
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Old 11-07-2018   #10
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Re: Fiat Panda 2005 Active

A four years old battery is doing very well so could easily be part of the problem.

For well under 10 to fit a voltmeter you can diagnose the battery yourself. If you wire it to a suitable plug for the power outlet (cigar lighter) it can be easily seen while driving.
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Old 12-07-2018   #11
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Re: Fiat Panda 2005 Active

I had a similar issue a few weeks ago.
The steering light came on and stayed there for a few days.
I was about ready to order and replace the steering sensor when I decided to unplug/clean/replug the sensor. Maybe its the cleaning, maybe just the jiggling of the cables... but the light has stayed off ever since. Worth a try.
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Old 19-07-2018   #12
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Re: Fiat Panda 2005 Active

just a quick query - will the miror glass in the nearside passenger wing mirror of a Fiat Panda fit in the wing mirror assembly of the offside drivers wing mirror assembly.?
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Old 20-07-2018   #13
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Re: Fiat Panda 2005 Active

Quote Originally Posted by unclevanya View Post
just a quick query - will the miror glass in the nearside passenger wing mirror of a Fiat Panda fit in the wing mirror assembly of the offside drivers wing mirror assembly.?
The glass is not interchangeable but why bother at this money?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Fiat-Panda-Mk2-2003-2011-left-passenger-side-convex-wing-mirror-glass-70LS/390993435734?fits=Car+Make%3AFiat%7CModel%3APanda& epid=1361716520&hash=item5b09065c56:g:qMoAAOSweExa Ho-Q
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Last edited by DaveMcT; 20-07-2018 at 09:19.
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Old 18-08-2018   #14
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Re: Fiat Panda 2005 Active

Is it safe to drive a Fiat Panda with the EPS fuse removed from the electrical system.
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Old 20-08-2018   #15
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Re: Fiat Panda 2005 Active

Quote Originally Posted by unclevanya View Post
Is it safe to drive a Fiat Panda with the EPS fuse removed from the electrical system.

Perfectly safe as long as you realise it's MUCH harder to turn the steering wheel at slow speeds. Above 30mph there is no power assistance at the steering.
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