Can a Bad Battery Cause Electric Power Steering Problems?

In this article, you’ll learn whether a bad battery can or cannot cause any electric power steering problems.

It can be scary and frustrating if you have trouble turning your power steering in the middle of the road. But what is the reason for this sudden malfunction? Can a bad battery be the issue? Well, you’ll get a clear answer from the below article.

Generally, a weak battery causes all sorts of trouble for your vehicle. This includes electric power steering problems too. When the battery cannot hold the charge your vehicle requires, it unnecessarily strains the electric power steering system. Because of that, you’ll have difficulty turning the electric power steering. Or some cases, the steering warning light will flash, and the steering’s electric components won’t function.

Read on to get an in-depth explanation.

Relationship Between a Bad Battery and Electric Power Steering

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Driving a vehicle with an unresponsive power steering wheel is not good for safety. If the power steering wheel belt is working fine and there are no low power steering fuel level notices or issues, these issues shouldn’t arise. So, the next cause should be the bad battery.

A bad battery can cause an issue in the electric power steering system. When the battery is weak, it cannot produce the voltage the electric power steering system needs.

Here’s a clear explanation.

Weak Battery Equals a Bad Alternator

For instance, the alternator requires a good battery to function properly. And at the same time, the battery requires a good alternator for the charging process. When the battery is bad, the alternator automatically becomes bad. A bad alternator won’t produce the needed voltage for electric power steering (EPS).

More Effort for EPS

Turning the power steering becomes much harder when the EPS doesn’t get enough voltage. This can lead to tight steering control.

However, sometimes a steering warning light will flash on the dashboard. Then, all the power steering’s electric components will be turned off, and the power steering wheel will become unresponsive.

When everything is normal, the warning light will go away, and the steering will become responsive.

Here are some symptoms you might detect when dealing with a bad battery.

  • Strange noises from the steering column
  • Heavier power steering wheel
  • The steering warning light flashing
  • Unresponsive steering wheel
  • Sudden power cuts to the steering
  • Power steering fluid level low

If you detect one or more of the above symptoms in your vehicle, it might be because of a bad battery. So, charge or replace the battery soon as possible. Also, check the vehicle with the help of a qualified mechanic.

What to Do When You Detect Power Steering Issues?

The first thing you should do is take the vehicle to a qualified professional. However, if the steering system is completely offline, you might have to either call a tow truck or bring the mechanic to you.

How to Detect and Fix Electric Power Steering Problems?

Important: Follow the below instructions only if you are 100% comfortable with the process. Otherwise, contact a mechanic.

Troubleshooting electric power steering is a relatively easy task. But it would be best if you had some level of skills. Here is a simple troubleshooting process for electric power steering.

  • First, check the fuse. If it is not working, replace the old fuse with a new one.
  • Then, check the power steering fluid levels. If everything is okay, move on to the next step.
  • Next, check the power steering pump.
  • Finally, check the battery using a digital multimeter.

Quick Tip: If you still get power steering problems after all the above checkups, the issue might lie on the ECU. So, contact a professional and complete the troubleshooting process.

Take a look at some of our related articles below.

Video References

Auto Repair Guys

Robert DIY

Million Mile Sprinter

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About Sam Orlovsky

b1d87d2ee85af3e51479df87928bdc88?s=90&d=mm&r=gCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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