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Old 29-11-2018   #1
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Exclamation Red Steering Wheel Light

Hi all

I am sure that this topic is already on the thread, but they all seem quite outdated.

My Fiat Panda '61 plate and yesterday my red steering wheel light has come on; now, this has done this before if my steering wheel is left in a funny position, but normally if I turn the ignition off and back on it goes away and steering goes back to normal. However, yesterday and today it has stayed on; the steering isn't stiff or anything, but does feel different - hard to describe.

I have also recently had when I start the ignition my clock restarts. So I am assuming this could be a battery issue? at least that is what I am hoping as I really don't want it to be anything too serious.

Can anyone advise/assist or suggest what this could be?
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Old 29-11-2018   #2
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Quote Originally Posted by Lorna87 View Post
Hi all

I am sure that this topic is already on the thread, but they all seem quite outdated.

My Fiat Panda '61 plate and yesterday my red steering wheel light has come on; now, this has done this before if my steering wheel is left in a funny position, but normally if I turn the ignition off and back on it goes away and steering goes back to normal. However, yesterday and today it has stayed on; the steering isn't stiff or anything, but does feel different - hard to describe.

I have also recently had when I start the ignition my clock restarts. So I am assuming this could be a battery issue? at least that is what I am hoping as I really don't want it to be anything too serious.

Can anyone advise/assist or suggest what this could be?
Hi again.

Ok.. it is because of LOW POWER coming from the battery at start up.

Could be:

The alternator isnt putting out enough power

The earth cable from battery is failing internally

The battery itself is tired.

To do:
Get a volt meter on the battery.. should be
Between 12volts and 13.2 volts

Then start engine.. and CAREFULLY test battery voltage again.. should be AT LEAST
14Volts (alternator adding extra power)

Let us know what you find.

Charlie
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Old 29-11-2018   #3
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Thumbs up Re: Red Steering Wheel Light

Quote Originally Posted by varesecrazy View Post
Hi again.

Ok.. it is because of LOW POWER coming from the battery at start up.

Could be:

The alternator isnt putting out enough power

The earth cable from battery is failing internally

The battery itself is tired.

To do:
Get a volt meter on the battery.. should be
Between 12volts and 13.2 volts

Then start engine.. and CAREFULLY test battery voltage again.. should be AT LEAST
14Volts (alternator adding extra power)

Let us know what you find.

Charlie
Hey Charlie!

Been a long time since I have come on this forum. My little Panda is at the garage now and they said they would run diagnostics. I did have the battery tested last year, and they said it was absolutely fine.

On a side note, I have not heard any water swishing in my car for about three years now lol
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Old 29-11-2018   #4
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Re: Red Steering Wheel Light

Replacing the battery will quite likely fix this issue.

On a '61 plate car, if it's the original, don't even bother with testing, just replace it. It'll be well past its best now.
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Old 29-11-2018   #5
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Re: Red Steering Wheel Light

Hoping that is what the garage will do/say. There's been a couple of things that have happened over the last year that make me think the battery has been in a slow decline; so can we all keep our fingers crossed that this is the case please as replacing the battery is not too financially demaning.
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Old 29-11-2018   #6
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Re: Red Steering Wheel Light

They've run diagnostics on the car, and the fault code is C1002, so a new steering column is required I believe?
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Old 29-11-2018   #7
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Re: Red Steering Wheel Light

Dont rush out to buy a new column until the electrical charging system and battery have been ruled out. The steering needs a lot of power at parking speeds so low system voltage will easily upset it.

If the steering column is faulty, a reconditioned exchange unit is about 180 and fitting is easy for a mechanic. so don't pay over the odds on labour costs.
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Old 29-11-2018   #8
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Quote Originally Posted by Lorna87 View Post
They've run diagnostics on the car, and the fault code is C1002, so a new steering column is required I believe?
No .. that is the torque angle sensor..
Just googled it myself. Its just a bolt on part.

Hope they didnt charge much for that test.


As I said an hour ago..

You have a POWER SUPPLY ISSUE.. only reason the clock will flash..


The steering code may well be a symptom of power starvation.

Get online and order a new battery.. should be 50 or less .. no stop:start on yours.


Charlie
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Last edited by varesecrazy; 29-11-2018 at 11:01.
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Old 29-11-2018   #9
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Re: Red Steering Wheel Light

coming on when leaving the steering at an angle sounds like the torque sensor


C1002 sounds like it confirms this.


however you have a power issue also. clocks restarting is volts too low


could well be the extra load of the steering at an angle causing the problem.


I would fix the battery issue first. Maybe it just a glitch caused by the low power
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Last edited by koalar; 29-11-2018 at 11:07.
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Old 29-11-2018   #10
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Re: Red Steering Wheel Light

A lot of steering columns have been needlessly replaced when only a new battery was required. From your description of the clock issue, you really ought to replace the battery now anyway.

But if it does need a new torque sensor, an easy way to fix it is to get a refurbished column like this one.

If you just replace the torque sensor, you need to know what you are doing and will likely need Fiat-specific software (such as multiecuscan) to calibrate it. If you get a remanufactured column, it should already be calibrated and fitting will then be a simple plug and play job, well within the capabilities of the home mechanic, or decent independent garage - no Fiat-specific tools will be required. So if you're really handy with spanners and software, or you've access to a top notch independent Fiat specialist, replacing just the torque sensor is a good option. If you're going to use a general purpose independent garage, or want to keep a DIY job easy and simple, go for a remanufactured column.

Be aware that franchised dealers will likely just replace the column with new; the total cost for this will be close to 1000. A properly remanufactured column with an uprated torque sensor will likely outlast a new column.

Also see this thread for more information on this topic.
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Last edited by jrkitching; 29-11-2018 at 11:20.
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Old 29-11-2018   #11
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Re: Red Steering Wheel Light

I've been quoted 650 for a new steering to replace it all. I don't know whether the time has come to trade it in for a new Panda, but I'm all confused now with what to do. I trust the mechanic as he is a family friend so I know wouldn't charge me anything he didn't have to.
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Old 29-11-2018   #12
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Re: Red Steering Wheel Light

He might not be a specialist on Fiats and is probably getting a brand new steering column. The price quoted for the job looks extremely high to me.

This is simply an eBay search, others may have recommendations based on experience.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FIAT-PANDA-ELECTRIC-POWER-STEERING-COLUMN-TORQUE-POSITION-SENSOR-EXCHANGE-UNIT/201027966831?fits=Model%3APanda&epid=1334318921&ha sh=item2ece33576f:g:L6gAAOSwDw9bLjVv:rk:2f:1

But you can see, parts should be about 200 including delivery costs to return your old steering column.

Fitting is easy for anyone with a set of spanners and it might have to be electronically aligned. All garages should have the ECU interrogation tools. But to put that in perspective, MultiECUscan software does that for 50. It runs on a windows laptop. https://www.multiecuscan.net/

In my opinion 300 should cover the job. See what the professional members have to say.
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Last edited by DaveMcT; 29-11-2018 at 11:17.
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Old 29-11-2018   #13
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Re: Red Steering Wheel Light

If the battery is the original, you really should change it. 7 years is very good going and the cold weather will soon be here. A new one costs about 50 and you may well find the steering issues go away.
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Old 29-11-2018   #14
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Re: Red Steering Wheel Light

As above, most likely problem is the battery.

Not guaranteed, but well worth taking a punt.

Had the exact same problem on an older (04) 1.2 Panda last month, same error code, same diagnosis from a local trusted garage (which should have known better). Older owner, not mechanically minded.

I changed the battery as it was the cheapest option available and it is still fine.

Biggest clue was the clock time being wrong.

I checked the service book (which was stuffed full of invoices) and found the battery was about 7 years old.

As the quote for fixing it was most of the value of the car, the poor old owner was convinced it was heading to the big scrapyard in the sky, so 44 for a new battery was a pleasant surprise.

The cold weather and darker evenings pushed the old battery past being able to cope.
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Old 29-11-2018   #15
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Re: Red Steering Wheel Light

Quote Originally Posted by Lorna87 View Post
I've been quoted 650 for a new steering to replace it all. I don't know whether the time has come to trade it in for a new Panda, but I'm all confused now with what to do. I trust the mechanic as he is a family friend so I know wouldn't charge me anything he didn't have to.
650 is too much for this job if a remanufactured column is used; exchanging one is only about an hour's work if you know what you are doing; perhaps two hours for a competent mechanic doing it for the first time.

I'd say a fair price would be about 300 parts & labour for the column swap, and another 50-60 for a good quality replacement battery.

I'd recommend trying the battery replacement before proceeding further; you're going to need one soon anyway.
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Last edited by jrkitching; 29-11-2018 at 11:27.
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