If you’ve ever experienced the message “Steering Assist Is Reduced, Drive With Care” on your car’s dashboard, you know how alarming it can be. This warning message indicates that there may be an issue with your car’s power steering system, which can make it harder to steer your vehicle. Understanding what causes reduced steering assist and how to diagnose and repair the issue can help you stay safe on the road.
- Reduced steering assist can make it harder to steer your vehicle and may be caused by a variety of factors.
- Symptoms of reduced steering assist include difficulty turning the steering wheel and a warning light on the dashboard.
What Does Steering Assist Is Reduced Mean?
This message means that there is a problem with the electric power steering system.
When the “Steering Assist is Reduced Drive with Care” message appears, it means that the PSCM has detected a problem with the power steering system. This could be due to a variety of reasons, such as low temperatures causing the grease lubricating the power steering system to harden, or a malfunction in the electric motor.
As an experienced mechanic, I recommend taking this warning message seriously and pulling off the road carefully once the light appears. If the driver is not prepared for the reduced steering assist, it could result in a loss of control or increase the risk of a crash.
Once safely pulled over, plan on taking it to your mechanic or service center as soon as possible to diagnose and fix the problem.
Causes of Steering Assist Is Reduced, Drive With Care
If you see the “Steering Assist Is Reduced, Drive With Care” message on your dashboard, there could be several reasons why. Here are some of the most common causes of reduced steering assist:
1. Low Battery Voltage
The most common cause of the “Steering Assist Is Reduced, Drive With Care” message is due to low battery voltage and a stored trouble code in the steering assist control module.
If your car’s battery is not working correctly, it can disrupt the electrical system, and your car may show the message the reduced steering assist message on the dashboard.
2. Bad Power Steering Control Module
The power steering control module is responsible for controlling the power steering system. If there is a problem with the module, it may cause the message to appear on the dashboard.
3. Low Power Steering Fluid
The power steering system requires fluid to function correctly. If the fluid level is low, it can cause reduced steering assist. Check the fluid level in the power steering fluid reservoir. There’s a mark which shows where the liquid should be. If it’s below the mark, add more fluid.
4. Bad Thermostat
The thermostat is responsible for regulating the engine’s temperature. If it’s malfunctioning, it can cause the engine to overheat, which can lead to reduced steering assist. Check the thermostat to make sure it’s working correctly.
5. Bad Car Battery
The electrical system may be disrupted if your car’s steering assist is not working right after a long drive.
If you are experiencing reduced steering assist, you may notice a few symptoms. These symptoms can be physical or related to the vehicle’s performance. Here are some of the most common symptoms of reduced steering assist:
- Difficulty turning the wheel: One of the most noticeable symptoms of reduced steering assist is difficulty turning the wheel. You may find that the steering wheel feels heavier than usual or that you need to use more force to turn it.
- Vibration in the steering wheel: Another physical symptom of reduced steering assist is a vibration in the steering wheel. You may feel a shaking or pulsing sensation in the wheel when you are driving.
- Steering wheel not returning to center: If you have reduced steering assist, you may notice that the steering wheel does not return to center after making a turn. This can make it difficult to maintain control of the vehicle.
Vehicle Performance Symptoms
- Vehicle drifts to one side: When you have reduced steering assist, you may notice that the vehicle drifts to one side or the other. This can make it difficult to keep the vehicle in a straight line.
- Difficulty maintaining speed: Another symptom of reduced steering assist is difficulty maintaining speed. You may find that the vehicle slows down or speeds up unexpectedly, even when you are not changing the pressure on the accelerator pedal.
- Warning message on dashboard: In some cases, you may see a warning message on the dashboard that says “Steering Assist Is Reduced, Drive With Care.” This is an indication that there is a problem with the steering assist system and that you should take your vehicle to a mechanic as soon as possible.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to have your vehicle checked by a qualified mechanic. By having your vehicle inspected and repaired, you can ensure that you are driving safely and that your vehicle is performing at its best.
How To Fix
Once the issue has been identified, the mechanic will recommend the appropriate repair or replacement. Here are some common causes and their corresponding fixes:
The most common fix to a steering assist is reducing warning is simply replacing the battery, The vast majority of client I work with that come in with this issue are back on the road within 30 minutes.
However, in some rarer circumstances there can be other solutions at hand. You can find some other potential fixes in the list below:
- Old Trouble Code Stored: If there is an old trouble code stored in the system, it can cause the warning message to appear. The mechanic will clear the code and test the system to ensure that the message does not reappear.
- Faulty Temperature Sensor: If the temperature sensor is faulty, it can cause the power steering assist system to malfunction. The mechanic will replace the sensor.
- Stuck Open Thermostat: If the thermostat is stuck open, it can cause the engine to run too cool, which can affect the power steering assist system. The mechanic will replace the thermostat.
- Faulty Steering Assist Module: If the steering assist module is faulty, it can cause the warning message to appear. The mechanic will replace the module.
- Faulty Alternator: If the alternator is not functioning properly, it can cause the battery to drain and affect the power steering assist system. The mechanic will test the alternator and replace it if necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to drive with reduced steering assist?
Driving with reduced steering assist can be dangerous, especially in emergency situations where you need to make sudden turns or maneuvers. If you see the “Steering Assist is Reduced” message, it’s best to take your vehicle to a mechanic to diagnose and repair the issue before driving again.
Can low coolant levels cause reduced steering assist?
Yes, low coolant levels can cause reduced steering assist. The grease in the steering module can harden when coolant levels are low, making the steering wheel stiffer and triggering the warning message.
How do I reset the “Steering Assist is Reduced Drive with Care” message?
To reset the “Steering Assist is Reduced Drive with Care” message, you’ll need to diagnose and fix the underlying issue that triggered the message in the first place. Once the issue is resolved, the message should disappear. If the message persists, it’s best to take your vehicle to a mechanic to diagnose and repair the issue.