- What Is Steering Assist?
- What Does “Steering Assist Is Reduced, Drive With Care” Mean?
- Possible Reasons Why your Steering Assist is Reduced
- How To Remove This Error Message From The Dashboard?
- What Should You Do If You See This Warning?
- The Takeaway
Whether you’re a regular driver or someone who regularly takes their car to the shop for routine maintenance, you’ve likely come across the above phrase at least once or twice.
But, what does it mean?
“Steering Assist is Reduced, Drive with Care” is a message that appears on your car’s dashboard when there is a problem with the electric power steering system.
It could result in a loss of control or increase the risk of a crash if the driver is not prepared for it.
This article will explain what this message means and how you can fix it. We’ll also tell you why it comes up in the first place and what you can do to get rid of it.
What Is Steering Assist?
Steering assist is an automated protective system installed in modern vehicles. It provides power to the steering wheel in case of an emergency.
The steering assist has a connection with the ECM (Engine Control Module). Engine Control Module reads and controls the temperature of the coolant.
Any defect in the coolant can reduce the temperature in the car engine.
The low temperature hardens the fluid present in the steering wheel and affects its smoothness.
In this condition, the power steering assist gets activated, and it provides more power to the steering wheel and controls the stiffness.
What Does “Steering Assist Is Reduced, Drive With Care” Mean?
When the coolant temperature gets low, ECM starts processing incorrect readings.
Ultimately, this dysfunction displays a warning message on the car dashboard, i.e., “Steering Assist is Reduced, Drive with Care.”
This warning message makes us aware of the current situation of the car’s steering system.
Possible Reasons Why your Steering Assist is Reduced
There are always some technical reasons behind any mechanical issue. We cannot diagnose and repair a fault without knowing the causes which trigger that typical issue.
Some of the possible reasons are discussed below, which point to the problem of why a steering assist reduces.
The Inefficiency Of Module To Detect Coolant Temperature
As we have discussed earlier, ECM is a module that detects and controls the temperature of the coolant.
When the temperature in the engine coolant falls low, it affects the capability of the module to perform its functions.
In this case, the module censors become inefficient and do not detect the temperature reading.
This problem refers to the steering assist is not engaged, and ultimately the error message pops up on the dash.
Extensive Use Of Steering Assist
Improper and unchecked use of the power steering assist can also cause steering assist reduction.
Using the steering assist option for an extended period when a car is not moving reduces steering assist.
In this case, the vehicle’s dashboard warns us about this fault by saying, “Steering Assist is reduced; drive with Care.”
Leakage Of Steering Fluid
Power steering wheels contain a special fluid that enables easy and smooth turns. Steering fluid may drip and leak over time.
The leakage fluid negatively impacts the car driving, making the steering rigid and tough to handle.
When the fluid in the electric power steering system reduces, the message appears on the dash warning us about the fault in the steering assist.
Fluid usually leaks from a pump hose, especially when the hose wears out.
Therefore, we should inspect the pump of the power steering wheel to locate and fix the leakage.
Fluid may also leak through the loose clamps attached to the power steering wheel’s pump.
Rigidity In Electric Power Steering (EPS)
The automatic system of the car always keeps an eye on the power system to ensure that it is working effectively.
When the EPS becomes rigid for specific reasons, the system senses this issue and disables the steering assist.
When the steering assist is disabled, a warning message is delivered to the driver through the dashboard, indicating a reduced steering assist.
Change In The Electric Supply System Of Vehicles
Steering assistance may also be reduced if we unplug any wire component and leave it the same.
Power steering assist works with the help of an electric motor to provide the required energy to smoothen the steering wheel.
So, any problem in the electrical supply of cars can affect their efficiency.
Steering assist reduction may occur if we change the car’s battery and do not assure the proper electric connection to the steering assist system.
It can also be reduced due to the introduction of new electric appliances, even if their connectivity is perfect.
It is one of the unusual reasons for displaying the “Steering Assist is reduced, Drive with Care” message on the dash.
How To Remove This Error Message From The Dashboard?
We have explained why the “Steering Assist is Reduced, Drive With Care” error message occurs on the car’s dash.
But this warning message may also pop up on the dash without any mechanical issue in a car. It may stay the same even after the problem is fixed.
If you do not detect any fault in your car or have repaired the fault, the warning message does not disappear.
Then you should switch off the car engine and restart it two to three times. Doing this may be helpful to get rid of this warning message.
If shutting the car engine off and on does not work to remove the error message, there may be a complicated issue beyond your expertise.
Therefore, you should consult a mechanic and let him solve this problem.
What Should You Do If You See This Warning?
As we know that the warning message “Steering Assist is reduced, Drive with Care” refers to a low fluid level on the steering wheel, an electric supply problem, and a faulty module.
Preferably, we will check the fluid level in the steering wheel reservoir. A mark on the reservoir indicates to fill the fluid up to that point.
If the liquid has reduced below that mark, we should fill the reservoir with the suitable fluid up to that point.
Keep in mind that the reduction in the fluid level is most probably due to leakage. Therefore, locate the leakage and fix it before filling the fluid.
We should also check the electric wiring that provides power to the steering assist.
If an electronic system operates the vehicle, repeatedly switching off and on the car’s engine can also solve the problem.
If the problem stays the same despite trying all these experiments, you should promptly take your car to the experts in the nearby workshop.
If your car’s steering assists message, “Steering Assist is Reduced. Drive with Care”, flashes on your dashboard, there could be several reasons.
These reasons include the module not detecting the coolant temperature, changes in the electric supply to the cars, extensive use of steering assist, leakage of steering fluid, and rigidity in electric power steering.
In short, if you see this warning on your dashboard while driving, you should pull over immediately and get professional help because if you lose control of your vehicle while going at high speed, things can go bad very quickly!
Patrick started his love affair with cars in his childhood. Over the years, he claims a sturdy hold on his driving skills, along with a thorough understanding of cars. We can expect some interesting, holistic, and pleasurable blogs with his flair for writing and his love for cars.
Being a car enthusiast, Patrick has experience comprising of two decades in which he has ridden some of the meanest and strongest machines in the automotive industry. His previous avatars include an automotive professional, photographer, and journalist, and you will certainly experience the roundness of experience in his piece on this site.
In his second decade of reviewing cars and analyzing tools, Patrick is all set to give you convincing, reliable, and the latest information regarding what’s happening in the automotive industry. Currently, he owns a BMW Z3 but cannot get his eyes off Aston Martin DB5. He is a car enthusiast; he loves cooking and listening to music, especially jazz. Here are some of the pieces written by our ace author.