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Autopart Mechanic

Autopa ... 10/29/2017

2014 BMW 750Li Base 8 Cyl 4.40L

Steering & Suspension

What are the symptoms of a Bad or Failing Steering position Sensor of a car?

1 Answer

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The electronic speed control system depends on the steering position sensor to calculate the angle of the steering wheel's position as well as its rate of turn. To get this information in degrees, you can use a scanning tool.

What is Steering position Sensor?

The steering position sensor is a critical part of the ESC system that measures the steering wheel position angle and rate of turn. A scan tool can be used to obtain this data in degrees. The sensor is located in a sensor cluster in the steering column.

In years past, this device was analog in nature, measuring the voltage changes that were created by the steering wheel and relaying that information to the vehicle's ECU. Today's steering positon sensors are digital and are comprised of an LED light that measures the angle of the steering input.

Steering position Sensor is designed to last the lifespan of the vehicle. However, like any other sensor, the steering position sensor can wear out or fail completely due to multiple factors beyond the control of most vehicle owners.

Noted below are a few of the common symptoms of a damaged, bad or failing steering position sensor:

1. Loose steering wheel of car:

Steering position Sensor sometimes can relay false information to the ECM and create a potentially dangerous situation. When the sensor is faulty, misaligned, or damaged, the information it reads and sends to the vehicle's on board computer is inaccurate. This can cause the ESP to provide steering input or adjustments at the wrong time and this will lead to a "loose" condition in the steering wheel, where the amount of steering input you provide is not reciprocated by the action of the vehicle.

2. Wrong front end alignment:

Since a front end alignment is designed to align the front wheels along with the steering wheel, it can cause problems with the steering position sensor. This can cause the symptoms above to occur, such as lighting the Traction Control Light, Check Engine Light, or impacting the drivability of the vehicle.

3. Traction Control Light ON:

When the steering wheel position sensor fails, there is a malfunction indicator on the instrument cluster that alerts the driver that the electronic stability system has been disabled and requires service. When the Traction Control Light is illuminated while the system is active, it's important that you contact a local ASE certified mechanic so they can download the OBD-II error codes and determine what problem exists that may impact the drivability and safety of your vehicle


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