You are likely to have had the “steering assist is reduced, drive with care.” message, especially if you are a driver.
You might wonder, what does this message mean?
The steering Assist Reduced message displays on your car’s dashboard whenever an issue occurs in the electric power steering system.
This issue can lead to loss of control and increase the chance of your car crashing.
This article analyzes the meaning of the “steering Assist is Reduced” message and what you can do whenever this message comes up.
In addition, we will explain what causes the message to display on your dashboard and what you can do to remove it.
What Does Steering Assist Is Reduced Mean?
The “Steering Assist is Reduced” Error message is triggered by an inaccurate coolant temperature reading from the Engine Control Module (ECM). The ECM’s job is to read the temperature of the coolant and adjust its temperature accordingly. A low coolant level causes the grease in the steering module to harden, which makes the steering wheel stiffer.
The message arises due to an interruption between the communication modules, and it is given out by the power steering control module.
When this happens, it will indicate an issue, regardless of whether it has been resolved.
Suppose the coolant temperature significantly decreases and the sensor does not detect it. In that case, the “Steering Assist is Reduced” error message will be displayed on your dashboard, indicating the non-engagement of the steering assist.
There is no defect that you can physically see on the vehicle that causes this issue.
However, the “Steering Assist is Reduced” error message will disappear if you follow the instructions carefully in this article rather than just changing any physical parts of your vehicle.
Many drivers make the wrong decision when trying to fix the “Steering Assist is Reduced” error message.
They hurry to change the physical parts, which they spend a large amount of money when purchasing, and in the end, the problem persists.
The message could be on the dashboard when the battery is changed or when you disconnect one part or any other part in the car.
Errors that have been on the system for a long time can give the impression of being recent.
In a situation whereby the “Steering Assist is Reduced” error message is coming up, you might discover that the steering works perfectly even when the error is displayed.
Although this might not be the case, there’s a strong possibility that this is not a definite reason because the error could have come up due to another reason.
Using a systematic diagnosis, you can find out what the problem is and also use the troubleshooting approach that gets rid of possible presumptions.
Also Read: Service Power Steering Light (Meaning, Causes & Fix)
What Is Steering Assist?
A steering assist system is an automated safety feature installed in modern vehicles. In an emergency, the Steering assist supplies power to the steering wheel.
There’s a connection between the engine control module and the steering assist. The ECM monitors and controls the coolant temperature.
If the coolant is defective, the engine temperature can decrease.
The reduced temperature solidifies the fluid in the steering wheel, affecting how it functions.
For this case, the steering assist’s power is activated, giving additional power to the wheel and enabling it to run smoothly.
Reasons Why the Steering Assist Is Reduced Message Comes On
The cause of any mechanical issue is always technical. Therefore, it is impossible to resolve a problem unless you know the reason behind the specific problem.
Here are a few reasons why the “steering assist is reduced” message that comes up on your dashboard
1. The Inability of the Module to Detect Coolant Temperature
As stated previously, the Electronic Control Module reads and manages the coolant temperature.
When the engine coolant temperature decreases, it affects how the module effectively carries out its purpose.
In this situation, the module sensors turn out to be incompetent and fail to observe the reading of the temperature.
This means that the steering assist isn’t activated, which triggers the “steering assist is reduced” message on the dashboard.
2. Frequent Use of Steering Assist
Another reason for the steering assist is reduced message is when the steering assist is not checked properly and misused.
The steering assist can be reduced when you use the assist option for a long time when the vehicle is not in motion.
In a situation like this, the vehicle’s dashboard gives you a signal regarding the problem. The signal will read as “Steering Assist is reduced, Drive with Care”.
3. Steering Fluid Leaks
The steering wheel consists of a specific fluid that allows smooth and easy turns. Unfortunately, this steering fluid can start to leak after some time.
The fluid leakage affects the car’s driving experience, making the steering strong and difficult to control.
This will cause the “steering assist is reduced” message to come up on the dashboard, warning that there’s a problem with the steering assist.
In most cases, steering fluid leaks are from the pump hose, especially if the pump hose is old and worn out.
Therefore, the pump hose should be examined to repair any leakage. Fluid may also leak from the loose clamps attached to the steering wheel’s pump.
Also Read: Power Steering Fluid Leak – Causes & Repair
4. Rigidity in EPS (Electric Power Steering)
The car system is designed to watch the power system, ensuring the system is in proper condition.
In a situation where the Electric Power Steering is stiff, the system detects the issue and weakens the steering assist.
When this happens, the “steering assist is reduced, drive with care” is passed to the person driving the vehicle via the dashboard, displaying that the steering assist is reduced.
5. Change in the Electric Supply System of Vehicles
The steering assist can be reduced when you disconnect cables without connecting them back.
The steering assist functions well alongside the electric motor, which gives the needed energy to reduce the stiffness of the steering wheel.
This means that if there’s an issue with the electricity supply in the car, it can affect how effectively the car works.
When the electric connection of the steering system is not done properly when you replace the car’s battery, the steering assist can also be reduced.
Even when this connection is done properly, the steering assist can be low when new appliances are introduced.
This is one of the uncommon causes for the “steering assist is reduced, drive with care” warning message to come upon the dashboard.
Steering Assist Is Reduced (How to Fix)
We have explained why the car’s dashboard displays the error message “Steering Assist is Reduced, Drive With Care.”.
Regardless, this message can also come up when there are no mechanical issues with your car. And sometimes, even when the issue has been resolved, it can still come up.
Put off your car’s engine and turn it on again for at least 2-3 times if the “Steering Assist is Reduced, Drive With Care.” warning persists after it is examined and fixed. Doing this might help in removing the message from your dashboard.
If this technique fails to work, there might be a severe problem. For that reason, visit an experienced mechanic to resolve the issue.
Check out this video for more tips on how to fix Steering assist is reduced message
What Should You Do When You See The Steering Assist Is Reduced Message?
As you are aware, the “steering assist is reduced” message on your dashboard simply means that the fluid level in the steering wheel is low, there’s a defect in the module, and there’s a problem with the electric supply.
First, check the fluid level in the power steering fluid reservoir. There’s a mark which shows where the liquid should get to on the reservoir.
Whenever the fluid level is below the mark on the reservoir, the reservoir must be filled with the proper amount of fluid.
Keep in mind that the reduced fluid can be caused by leaks in the system. Hence, before you do the filling, find where there’s leakage and repair it.
Also, inspect the electric cable connection that generates power to the steering assist.
Switching the car’s engine on and off repeatedly can fix the issue if it persists after you have fixed the cause.
Suppose the issue persists after you’ve tried all these possible solutions. In that case, It is advisable to take your car to an expert at any nearby workshop.
Also Read: Can You Drive Without Power Steering? (Answered)
Frequently Asked Questions – Steering Assist Is Reduced
Why Does My GMC Say Steering Assist Reduced?
The steering assist reduced message is due to the incorrect coolant temperature signal from the Electric control module. The module finds a correct coolant temperature that can make amends for thick and cold grease. The colder the grease, the more the thickness, making it difficult to move and leading to steering wheel stiffness.
How Do I Reset My Steering Assist?
The easiest method for resetting the steering wheel is to reboot the car. Turn the car’s engine on and off. When you do this, it automatically resets the car’s electrical system. Do this repeatedly for about 2 to 3 times to remove the warning message displayed.
How Much Does It Cost to Fix the Power Steering Assist Fault?
The standard amount to change a power steering control module is around $827 to $857. The service cost is around $114 to $143, while the parts go for $714. Excluding other fees and taxes, your vehicle’s model or location may also influence the cost.
What Does Steering Assist Is Reduced Drive With Care Mean in a Cadillac?
When this message comes up, it shows that a fault has occurred due to an interruption in the module’s communication, and it comes up through the help of the power steering control module. It can continue to display like a recent fault even when the error is resolved.
What Causes Steering Assist Fault?
In the hydraulic power steering system, the car would most likely have a restricted steering assist when fluid pressure is reduced. Sometimes, the Steering assist becomes unavailable. You might also encounter loss of power assist if there is an issue with the hydroelectric or electric power steering system.
Conclusion – Steering Assist Is Reduced
The message “steering assist is reduced” comes up due to an interruption in the module’s communication. It displays with the help of the power steering control module. When the issue or fault has been fixed, it can still display the message on the dashboard as if it’s a recent problem.
This error message is mostly seen in Tahoe, Silverado models, and GM’s Sierra. When the error does not go off, it is necessary to take the vehicle to an expert in any workshop for inspection.
There’s a possibility that changing the car’s components might not be of help as most of this problem is not about the physical parts but the electrical system.