The power steering warning light on a car’s instrument dashboard may come on for several reasons. The cause may vary according to the type of power steering system in your car. For vehicles with hydraulic power steering, the most common reason for the power steering warning light is that the fluid level is low.
Why is My Power Steering Light On?
The power steering light on the dash is bound to cause some worry, especially as it usually comes on alongside a loss of power steering, which will make it much more difficult for you to steer your vehicle. You might already know how difficult it can be if you have ever driven a car with manual steering rather than power steering. And if you have always had power steering in your cars since starting to drive, suddenly being without it can be a bit of a shock.
What is the Power Steering Light?
The power steering system light will appear in vehicles that have hydraulic power steering if there is an issue with the system. Car manufacturers have been making cars with power-assisted steering systems for a few decades to make driving easier. Original power steering systems used a hydraulic pump that moved fluid into chambers in your steering system. When the engine is running and you turn your steering wheel, the pump fills one of the chambers, making it easier to turn the wheels. However, over the years, as power steering systems have gotten more common, electric power steering has taken over and the technology has become less expensive. These systems do not require any fluid and tend to be quieter, so they are more common today. If there has been a fault detected with your car’s power steering system, a power steering symbol warning light will appear on your dashboard.
What Does it Mean When the Power Steering Light is Flashing?
The reason for the power steering light flashing will depend on your make and model of car and whether you have a hydraulic or an electric power steering system. Most of the time, however, a flashing power steering light on the dashboard will usually mean that your car has lost or is about to lose power steering. This could be due to a loss of power steering fluid through a leak in a hydraulic power steering system or an electrical fault that has caused the electric power steering system to fail depending on the car that you drive. If you see a flashing power steering light and your car is becoming harder and harder to steer, you should pull over and call roadside assistance or take your car to a mechanic as soon as possible to have the problem diagnosed and fixed.
How Does the Power Steering Light Work?
The steering wheel warning light will usually appear on the dashboard in the shape of a steering wheel. Sometimes it is accompanied by an exclamation mark. If your car has electric power steering, the light may display EPS. The warning will usually be red or yellow.