The warning – ‘steering assist reduced’ means that the electric power steering (EPS) system is not working properly. In this case, a warning on your dashboard flashes and reads: steering assist is reduced drive with care. If you see this alert, it’s essential to note it and understand exactly what it means for you as a driver.
The EPS system uses an electric motor instead of fluid pressure or gears to assist in turning the wheels so that they can be turned more easily by hand at low speeds.
When there is no power steering available, turning will require greater effort from drivers who are used to having assistance from their vehicle’s EPS system when driving around town or on windy roads.
Possible Reasons Why The Warning – ‘Steering Assist is Reduced Drive with Care’ Can Appear
1. The Engine Thermostat is Stuck Open
The engine thermostat is a safety device that controls the temperature of the coolant. When it gets hot, it opens to let coolant into the engine.
The stuck engine thermostat may cause your vehicle to get too hot and reduce steering assist. If you notice reduced steering assist while driving your vehicle, have an expert inspect your car for a malfunctioning or stuck engine thermostat right away so it can be replaced as soon as possible before any further damage occurs to other parts inside this part.
2. The Engine Cooling Fan Is Stuck On a High Speed
If your steering assist is reduced, it can be because the engine cooling fan is stuck at high speed. The engine cooling fan is responsible for keeping the engine cool, so if it’s stuck at high speed, it will cause the engine to overheat.
If your car’s temperature gauge is broken and you don’t notice, it could cause the ECM to reduce steering assist. This is because when the engine gets too hot, it can damage components in the car. The ECM reduces steering assist as a safety measure when this happens.
3. Broken Temperature Gauge
A broken temperature gauge can cause your engine to overheat due to a stuck open thermostat or an overheating water pump. If these happen, and you don’t realize it – you’ll be driving around with low steering assist until either the system cools down (which may take hours if it’s really hot) or until you stop for servicing, which takes about 3 minutes at most so long as there aren’t any other problems with your vehicle.
4. Frequent Use of Steering Assist
The steering assist function is designed to help you stay on the road and avoid accidents. However, using the steering assist function frequently can become less accurate and less effective.
This is because as soon as one uses steering assist at any speed above 40 mph, they have already begun to rely on it more than they should. This could cause issues later on when trying to drive normally again without assistance from an electronic system like this.
5. Steering Fluid Leaks
When your vehicle’s steering assist is reduced, it may also be because of a fluid leak. This can occur in either the power steering pump or the axle shaft seals.
The power steering pump uses hydraulic pressure to turn the vehicle’s wheels, and a leak in this part of the system can weaken your ability to steer.
Also, an axle shaft seal is a piece that helps prevent contaminants from entering the power steering system. If this seal fails, it can cause a leak that limits how much force you need to apply to turn the wheel.
6. Change in The Electric Supply System of Vehicles
The steering assist function works in conjunction with the electric supply system. The steering wheel and the steering mechanism are powered by electric power.
The steering assist function is also an electrical component that uses electricity. A change in the electric supply system of vehicles can change the steering assist function.
How To Fix Issues with Steering Assist
1. Top Up Your Power Steering Fluid
Add fluid if you see the steering assist warning message and your vehicle has a relatively low fluid level. The message will not appear until the fluid is below a certain level.
If you have recently added fluid and are still seeing this message, turn off the ignition and wait 15 minutes before restarting the vehicle. If no improvement occurs after adding more fluid, contact your mechanic.
2. Get A Wheel Alignment
If you scan the fault codes and discover that the steering angle sensor is malfunctioning, consider checking the wheel alignment first. A misaligned vehicle will not steer correctly and can cause excessive wear on tires and suspension parts.
If your vehicle’s wheels are off-kilter, take it to a mechanic for an adjustment, as this may be causing your car’s steering issues.
3. Replace Your Steering Angle Sensor
If you receive a message on the instrument cluster that says “steering assist is reduced,” you may need to replace your steering angle sensor.
The steering angle sensor senses when the wheels are turned and sends this information to the vehicle’s computer to compensate for any under or over-compensation in steering angles by using a different amount of power from each wheel.
When this sensor fails, power distribution between the front and rear wheels is affected, which can cause poor handling characteristics and an uncomfortable ride.
The vehicle’s computer may also detect that there has been an issue with this system and indicate on the Instrument Cluster screen that “steering assist is reduced” or “center position off” (if equipped).
4. Fix Any Electrical Faults
If your steering assist is not working properly, it could be because of an electrical fault. To fix this, you will need to locate the source of the problem and repair it.
First, locate your vehicle’s fuse box. It’s usually located under the driver’s seat or in the engine compartment. Once there, find the appropriate fuse and remove it from its slot. Then check for any signs of damage or corrosion on the terminals inside the slot.
If there are any signs of corrosion or damage, replace them with new ones and put them back in their slots.
If you want a smoother ride, Steering assist is a nice function to have in your automobile. It’s intended to assist you in maneuvering your car with minimal effort while still keeping you in your lane. However, a warning will appear on your car’s dashboard if it is tampered with.
The notice is always in the form “steering help is reduced, drive with care.” You may see such a message on your dashboard, including a blocked engine thermostat, fluid leaks, frequent steering usage, a faulty temperature indicator, or a jammed cooling fan.
However, there are solutions to this problem. They are as follows: changing fluids, repairing electrical problems, having a wheel alignment, or replacing the steering angle sensor. If you’ve tried everything and the notice is still on, it’s time to call your mechanic.
Ugo is a passionate car enthusiast with a Bachelor of Electrical and Electronics Engineering degree and hands-on experience in troubleshooting and fixing automobiles.
I combine my electrical and mechanical engineering knowledge with practical skills to address car-related issues.
My love for cars and dedication to educating others led to the creation of Fixandtroubleshoot.com!