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Power Steering Failure

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Old 01-17-2007, 05:41 AM
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Power Steering Failure

My power steering failed last night.
It was fine when I shut the car down last, but on a cold re-start, the fail light was on and the steering was unassisted.

I know this failure has been covered already a bunch of times here, but I was hoping someone had "DIY"ed it at some point so I can internalize the parts layout before I start unbolting things.

I suspect that the connector for the intermediate harness is dirty/rusted/disconnected/moisture saturated or whatever.

Where is this connector, exactly? The FSM generally points to it being on the rad core support. Is it under the battery tray, the overflow bottle or the intake box?

Has anyone shot a meter across that harness from the rack connector all the way to the PCM box?

BTW - Checked the fuse (took me a minute - I never really gave that fuse on the battery positive a second look before, so I wasn't sure where it was. Pays to scrutinize the FSM) and it is OK.
Tried a battery ground pull, but still no joy.
I figure the sudden cold snap condensed some moisture or some mineral deposit.
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Old 01-17-2007, 01:43 PM
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By the look of the long and raging list of responses, I take it the answer to my question is "asphinctersayswhat?"
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Old 01-17-2007, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by MazdaManiac
By the look of the long and raging list of responses, I take it the answer to my question is "asphinctersayswhat?"
Either that or some knuckle head is going to blame it on your turbo.
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Old 01-17-2007, 02:30 PM
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Well, actually, in an indirect way it might be related to the turbo.

I had a coolant boil-over this summer and, from what I can gather, the connector I'm looking for may have been the recipient of some of that errant coolant.
Its also possible that some wire chafing happened.

Either way, I doubt its the rack or the control module.
If it is, I'm working with a friendly dealer here in Phoenix.
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:59 PM
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That happened to my car a few months ago,
I sprayed the connectors with contact cleaner and problem solved.

On my case the problem was mineral deposits......................

Manuel
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Old 01-17-2007, 04:20 PM
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Thanks Manuel!

Can you tell me as precisely as possible where the connectors are (other than the one on the rack itself)?

I'd rather not have to pull the intake and battery if I don't have to.

What needs to be pulled to reach these:
Attached Thumbnails Power Steering Failure-clipboard01.jpg  

Last edited by MazdaManiac; 01-17-2007 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 01-17-2007, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by MazdaManiac
Thanks Manuel!

Can you tell me as precisely as possible where the connectors are (other than the one on the rack itself)?

I'd rather not have to pull the intake and battery if I don't have to.

What needs to be pulled to reach these:
I had similar problem a few months ago, but it has been working fine for 2 months since last time I disconnected the whole harness related to the power steering, and reconnected them all. The connectors you referred are under the bottom intake tray, next to the battery box, so you have to take out the intake tray. Those are the intermediate harness/connectors for the power steering motor & the torque sensor.

Sammy

Last edited by sammytcl; 01-17-2007 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 01-17-2007, 06:06 PM
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Got it.
I pulled the intake and tray and started cleaning all of the connectors.
I'll hit the connectors on the torque sensor itself, as well.
I'll scope the connection from the sensor to the control unit and see if it is strange.
I'll post back once I get it all reassembled.
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Old 01-17-2007, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by MazdaManiac
Got it.
I pulled the intake and tray and started cleaning all of the connectors.
I'll hit the connectors on the torque sensor itself, as well.
I'll scope the connection from the sensor to the control unit and see if it is strange.
I'll post back once I get it all reassembled.
A descent DIY (with pictures ) on this would be would be great .....
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Old 01-17-2007, 06:30 PM
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Sucks dosen't if Jeff.
I had the same thing happen last year. Coolant boilover and next morn the PS light came on.
Drove it to the dealer ship and they replaced the rack,PWS (x3) to the warranty tune of $3059.30

After all that parts swapping the tech found the defective harness and replaced it . Works to this day.
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Old 01-17-2007, 07:35 PM
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I suspect most people that had the rack and/or CU replaced only needed a cleaning.

I should have taken pictures, sorry Brettus.

Essentially, you just pull the airbox and the two connectors in question are staring you right in the face.
Both are gray and oriented vertically, which is stupid since they fill with whatever spills on them. Of course, the overflow bottle has a release drain that is pointed directly at these connectors, so if you have a boil-over, they get saturated.

One of the connectors carries the power for the rack itself and has two super heavy wires running through it.
The other is a 3-pin connector that carries the torque sensor data.
Pull 'em, clean 'em and assembly is the reverse of disassembly.

Took about 2 hours, comprised of 1/2 hour of work and a 1.5 hour break in the middle.

Works like new again.

Thanks to everyone that responded!
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Old 01-17-2007, 07:59 PM
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I just checked my car and yep the two connector are gray as you mention,one have two big cables and the other have 3 green cables in one of the ends.

Manuel
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Old 01-17-2007, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by RX8PR
I just checked my car and yep the two connector are gray as you mention,one have two big cables and the other have 3 green cables in one of the ends.

Manuel
Just disconet the positive power cable from batt. wait for 40 secs. and connect then again for the EPS Ecu reset. This fail is common when the altenator go down from 11.5 VDC or lower the EPS light come on.i Resolve it changing the alternator for a 200 amp alternator. once changed the alternator i have no more problem with the EPS Unit.
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Old 01-17-2007, 11:31 PM
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funny.

was not here to help for this.. i knew they were under the bat plate... nice to know that the angle is bad for moisture...

nice write..

beers
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Old 01-17-2007, 11:40 PM
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Isn't a power issue and a full reset didn't fix it. Plus, I keep my car on a charge box when I'm working on it, so I have way more power than I need.
Charge voltage was 14.5v

It was a failed connector. I cleaned it and now it works.
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Old 01-17-2007, 11:43 PM
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Glad ya got'er fixed Jeff. With limited headache.
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Old 01-17-2007, 11:46 PM
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Mine failed.. they replaced the control unit..and it worked for 2 days....... I cleaned the connectors....and it worked for about three months.

At that time the sensor in the rack failed..and they replaced the rack and the int harness under warranty.

I don't know if the sensor failure was a new failure...or if the poor connection damaged it in some way ( I know...doesn't make sense )

I do know that when you install a new rack...it's a bit tempermental resetting the sensors so the DSC works properly. It doesn't like it if the steering angle and the rack position sensor don't agree
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Old 01-17-2007, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Easy_E1
Glad ya got'er fixed Jeff. With limited headache.
Thanks! It wasn't a big deal, I just wasn't in the mood to waste time today on that.

Originally Posted by TeamRX8
it shouldn't matter if coolant saturates them or not, those connectors are suppose to be waterproof ... errr, glycol proof
Supposed to be. They aren't, just like all the other connectors on the car.
They "resist" moisture, but if you pour hot coolant over them and then heat-cycle it, it will pass some material through the grommets and mating surfaces via capillary action.

Really, the only "water-proof" connectors on the car are the ones that are totally un-insulated, like the starter motor.
The connectors on the tranny are better because they have a rubber boot.
The connectors on the OMP, APV and coils are just stupid.
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Old 03-06-2007, 12:59 PM
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Well, it did it again last night.
Only this time, It happened at WOT in 4th gear at nearly 120 MPH!
Fortunately, I was going down a perfectly straight section of road.

I guess I'll go clean the connectors again.

Do I remember correctly that some people had the intermediate harness replaced to solve this issue?
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Old 03-06-2007, 01:04 PM
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yes.

damn glad your ok jeff
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Old 03-06-2007, 01:21 PM
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Any idea what the cost on that part is?
I'd rather not be bothered with a warranty visit...
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Old 03-06-2007, 04:33 PM
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Well, cleaning the connectors fixed it again. I don't know what the problem is exactly because they looked clean.
Probably not enough spring pressure on the contacts.
If it fails again, I'll pull the intermediate harness, re-crimp the mating surfaces of the connectors and probably re-wire it for good measure.

BTW - just for grins, I tried a battery-pull for a couple of hours and it didn't clear, so it isn't just a "glitch" in the detection scheme.
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Old 03-08-2007, 11:59 AM
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sorry - dont know the cost
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Old 03-08-2007, 12:31 PM
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Cool Glycol this....

Mine went after a boil-over too.

Dealer replaced the piece, IIRC it was in the $200 range.

S
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Old 03-08-2007, 02:31 PM
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Thanks! Dannobre got me the PN and price. Its around a buck-20.
Probably worth it to buy one rather than construct one since I'd be reusing the connectors, anyway.

This time, it appeared that the torque sensor connector on the rack itself was the culprit.
After cleaning the upper connectors on the rad, the fault remained. It cleared as soon as I cleaned the one on the unit itself.
I used a fair amount of dielectric grease this time. Hopefully that will keep out the gremlins.
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