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Old 02-01-2019   #1
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Power steering fault

The power assistance for the steering stops from time to time.If the engine is switched off and restarted all is well, Ideas ? Red light comes on


The car is a 55reg 1.2 petrol about 117,000 miles, I fear the time may be coming to replace it
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Last edited by Frank B; 02-01-2019 at 20:50.
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Old 02-01-2019   #2
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Re: Power steering fault

I had this but did have the red steering wheel light come on too. New battery fitted and it's not happened again <touching lots of wood>

Spike
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Old 02-01-2019   #3
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Re: Power steering fault

Weak battery gets my vote. Fit a cheap voltmeter and see what it's showing when the steering goes astray.

A new main earth lead (battery to engine and chassis) makes sense as they do corrode. Your car does have a high mileage so alternator brushes might be worn. Get the alternator tested.

Battery tests often come up showing ok when in reality the charge capacity is low. Make sure it's properly load tested.
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Old 02-01-2019   #4
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Re: Power steering fault

Yep, its usually the battery, but I have just dealt with 2 pandas with dodgy main earth cables - oddly, both had just got new batteries!
(One owner almost certainly didn't need the new battery, but was Halfords-ed into it. The other looked like it hadn't had a penny spent on it in years, so probably did.)

So don't forget to check that cable too.
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Old 02-01-2019   #5
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Re: Power steering fault

If the earth (under battery box) looks grungy it probably is. You can get new ones with crimped bolt eyelets for not much money at motor factors.
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Old 02-01-2019   #6
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Re: Power steering fault

TBH even if it looks pretty much OK it may well be stuffed. On some you can tell by moving them a bit. They either feel notchy (broken bits of cable grating against each other inside the plastic covering) or produce green dust.

Easy to do on a 1.2.

Much more of a pain on a MultiJet.

Haven't done a 100HP one yet, but almost everything else under the bonnet on them seems to be somewhere between the hassle levels of a 1.2 and a MultiJet, so maybe only 2 skinned knuckles and some moderately bad language.
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Old 02-01-2019   #7
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Re: Power steering fault

A jump start cable clipped to the engine block and battery negative will provide a sure connection that bypasses the original lead. If you can be sure it's solidly attached** you could leave it connected and see if the faults resolve.

** Not necessarily easy to do.
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Old 11-01-2019   #8
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Re: Power steering fault

Battery and earth strap checked at local garage, battery had one dead cell so its been replaced. Hopefully this will cure problem, Battery only about 13 years old and not under warranty ! disgraceful


Thanks for the suggestions
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Old 12-01-2019   #9
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Re: Power steering fault

Quote Originally Posted by DaveMcT View Post
If the earth (under battery box) looks grungy it probably is. You can get new ones with crimped bolt eyelets for not much money at motor factors.
Just noticed how "grungy" Becky's is whilst checking her over the other day after the new clutch was installed. I feel a visit to the Factor's coming on.
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Old 14-01-2019   #10
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Re: Power steering fault

Earth straps look ok and can often be resistance tested ok. Problems show when engine start load is applied. If it's the bare wire plaited type looking rough, assume it's part of the problem and replace.
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Old 15-01-2019   #11
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Re: Power steering fault

Quote Originally Posted by Pugglt Auld Jock View Post
Just noticed how "grungy" Becky's is whilst checking her over the other day after the new clutch was installed. I feel a visit to the Factor's coming on.


Make sure you get one with a good current capacity. I bought one listed as 'suitable for the 100hp' but it caused lots of issues and smoked on cranking. Turns out it was well under-rated.
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Old 08-04-2019   #12
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Re: Power steering fault

Just bumping this thread to say I had a spate of power steering cutouts but it seems to have stopped since I cleaned and retightened the battery ground connections. (2010 1.2 eco)

The bolt where the main battery ground meets the engine braided earth strap (on the chassis leg below the battery) did not feel tight when I removed it. Not actually loose, but very little resistance when I started to unscrew it.

Anyway, no recurrence in the last couple of days, so fingers crossed.

I must say, the power steering failure is most alarming - it doesn't just cut assistance, it actively hinders any turning of the wheel (I once had it cut out in a mode that just stopped assistance so I've felt the difference). My wife has experienced this once and absolutely will not drive the car again until I'm certain the problem is fixed. She wasn't strong enough to turn the wheel with the power steering fighting against her. Fortunately this was just manoeuvring in a car park, but it could have been very nasty.
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Old 08-04-2019   #13
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Re: Power steering fault

My wife's car was losing PAS in cold weather due to weak alternator. It would switch one after 1/2 mile of driving, but was never unuable. Steering was heavy (of course), but once rolling the car was fine to use. New alternator and all was well again.

If your steering really is fighting back, you might have a torque sensor problem.

The steering is sensitive to system volts so a cheap voltmeter blutacked to the dash will tell you if the volts are falling too low.
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Old 16-04-2019   #14
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Smile Re: Power steering fault

hi, i asked for advice on the same problem a while ago, re- my friends 1242 petrol panda.we fitted a brand new battery(,after checking alternator/wiring) no more problems since.:thumb. it seems the electric steering requires a lot of power regards, steve
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Old 17-04-2019   #15
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Re: Power steering fault

My Panda eco 1.1 needed a new battery this Febuary after 9 years. Its power steering was not affected by the dying battery, but the dashboard clock was not keepin time at first, and then it would reset to mid night whenever engine started.

Fitted a new battery ordered from Amazon for 59 inc. free delivery. It is a Bosch, and it cured the clock problem.
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