05 May 2011

Mitsubishi Lancer MIVEC electric power steering Service required error

This is not so much a post about fixing the issue as it is about the process of fixing the issue.

I have had my car for about 2 years by now.  After about 6 months of owning the car I had a strange problem come up.  The alert message came up informing me that the power steering needed service.  When this happened the power to steering was removed and you had to manually put in the effort to turn the wheel.  The strange thing is that turning the car off and then on again would fix the problem.  Sound familiar?  This happened a few time and taking it to the Mitsubishi dealer did not help much as I need to have the error active for the advance electronic diagnostic tools to detect and diagnose it.  Then the problem disappeared for 18 months.

The other day the error came up again.  I was near a Mitsubishi dealer so I drove there and left the car running, the diagnostic was run and it gave a really extensive troubleshooting list of things to check and do,  Check this sensor adjust this voltage etc etc.  The dealer then advised I bring the car in and leave it for an extended period so that they can try and fix this strange intermittent error.

On the way home that afternoon I stopped for fuel, I noticed the front left tyre was quite deflated.  After correcting the pressure the steering error message disappeared and has not come back.

Now for the moral of the story.  Sometimes the  answer to a complex electronic system error is a really simple right in front of your eyes answer.

I informed the Mitsubishi technician about the solution and his answer was "Of course that makes perfect sense. The differing tyre pressures would affect all the load sensors on the one side, causing a unexpected imbalance that would be flagged as an error"

It would be really nice if the troubleshooting instruction from Mitsubishi started of with "Check the tyre pressures...."

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