Car (South Africa) - - TECH -

Re­cently, my car, a 2006 Dai­hatsu Sirion 1,3, de­vel­oped a prob­lem. The electric power steer­ing (EPS) light on the dash would light up at the same time that power steer­ing is lost. All di­ag­nos­tic checks point to a steer­ing-col­umn fault. This prob­lem has oc­curred in­ter­mit­tently af­ter I had the brake pads re­placed; could there be a link?

Ac­cord­ing to some ad­vice I’ve re­ceived, the en­tire steer­ing col­umn has to be re­placed at a cost of over R10 000, which I find hard to ac­cept. I have checked all fuses but they ap­pear fine. Any ideas what else I can try to re­solve the is­sue that would not cost an arm and a leg? BARRY KING Stel­len­bosch

Un­for­tu­nately, it’s a known Dai­hatsu Sirion mal­ady. The EPS mo­tor sits on the steer­ing shaft with a con­trol unit and, there­fore, a dealer will re­place the en­tire as­sem­bly at great cost (we have heard of quotes of up to R40 000) when this fault raises its ugly head.

There are a cou­ple of checks you can do be­fore re­plac­ing

the as­sem­bly, though: • Check all the re­lated fuses and re­lays, and clean the con­tact points. Ap­par­ently, one fuse/ re­lay box is lo­cated in the pas­sen­ger-side footwell and the other un­der the bon­net. • Check the con­di­tion of the bat­tery and al­ter­na­tor be­cause low volt­age cre­ates prob­lems for the EPS. • Re­move the electric mo­tor from the steer­ing shaft for in­spec­tion. Open the mo­tor and check the brushes (re­place them if needed) as well as the con­di­tion of the ro­tor and ar­ma­ture. Clean off all the car­bon de­posits and retro­fit the mo­tor.

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