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Old 05-27-2010, 02:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Anyone having problem with their Electronic Power Steering (EPS)? My new 2011 Sonata SE's EPS failed numerous times at ~500 miles. Failures all occurred shortly after starting the car when it had been sitting for a couple of hours. The EPS and ESC fail lights came on and I lost my power steering when I tried to make my first turn. The problem always cleared when I shut the car off and restarted. My dealer service department reset the computer in the steering column and noted that this is the first time they've had to work this sort of problem. Hopefully that fixed it for good...two days so far with no problems. Maybe a software glitch?
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Old 05-27-2010, 03:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sorry to hear of your trouble USAFA83 and lets hope the shop fixed it.

I was wondering, when you lost your EPS how much control did you have of the steering? Were you able to manhandle it to the side of the road as with the old hydraulic type?



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Old 05-27-2010, 05:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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QUOTE (w9nwrwi @ May 27 2010, 02:41 PM)
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Sorry to hear of your trouble USAFA83 and lets hope the shop fixed it.

I was wondering, when you lost your EPS how much control did you have of the steering? Were you able to manhandle it to the side of the road as with the old hydraulic type?
Yes, I'm sure most of us would love to know about this. Please keep us updated. Anything safety related should be main priority here.
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Old 05-27-2010, 07:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sorry to hear about your troubles. EPS stands for Electric Power Steering, but there're electronics involved, of course. It's a shame that EPS is becoming the PS method of choice (even for BMW), but I saw it coming on small cars due to being much cheaper than a hydraulic system, and a noticeable fuel economy advantage on small engines. All 3-series BMWs (except current M3) are using it now, and that's exactly what ALL new 5-series have, with the excuse it was needed for their optional 'parking assist' in some models. I wonder how reliable it's going to be, but at least we have 5 years of warranty on that (wish it had the 10yr/100K warranty though). Please keep us posted. You're the second person to report a problem. The other guy has a screeching sound and was told to wait until 12K miles to see if it goes away. You did much better . Take care.
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Old 05-27-2010, 07:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I've read a number of complaints in the reviews about the sonata's electrically assisted power steering. Some people feel it's too loose on highways speeds where the car will bear to the left and not keep straight.

There was also a very dramatic post on edmunds about a woman who said she and her family almost got killed and hit an oncoming car when her power steering failed while driving.

If the software for the power steering is buggy, it needs to be fixed ASAP as it can be a life threatening problem.

In any event, it's good to know for all sonata drivers that this may be an issue and if it happens not to be completely unprepared. I'm also very interested in your handling of the vehicle after your power steering failed.

The only thing that gave me pause when buying the 2011 sonata is we are basically the guinea pigs. The car is brand new and built from the bottom up, new design, new engine, new everything. There's so much new in this car that there were bound to be bugs. But having your power steering fail isn't like having bluetooth or radio problems. This can be very serious.
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Old 05-27-2010, 07:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I've driven cars without power steering before and as long as you're moving, you don't even notice a difference. I love the loose steering because the steering wheel moves without much effort at all. I would say it's more of a feature than a detriment.
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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QUOTE (Dave Priz @ May 27 2010, 07:58 PM)
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I would say it's more of a feature than a detriment.
Good point. I read Koreans like to be able to turn the steering wheel with a finger all the time, and they've been firming up the feel as speed increases. I don't mind it being light at low speeds. In fact, my M3 is the same way, and I was turned off at the beginning, but it firms up MUCH more after road speed increases (even with servotronic turned off), so I actually welcome the extra boots when parking, as the steering wheel is quite small. By the way, all other 3-series and all new 5-series (inlcuding M5) now have electric power steering. I saw that coming, but what a shame, as there's no comparison in feel from the two to me, but if you haven't experienced the steering feel of an M3 (or a Porsche Cayman), you're probably not going to feel much difference with a good electric power steering, like on current 3s. I just don't like it, but it's much cheaper, lighter, saps almost no power from the engine, and you can add features like 'parking assist', which requires an electric motor to operate the steering. THOSE would scare me as they can literally turn the steering wheel without your input, but the worst that can happen with a EPS failure is steering gets heavier, which is manageable even for a weakling at speed.
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Old 05-28-2010, 12:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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QUOTE (w9nwrwi @ May 27 2010, 03:41 PM)
Quote:
Sorry to hear of your trouble USAFA83 and lets hope the shop fixed it.

I was wondering, when you lost your EPS how much control did you have of the steering? Were you able to manhandle it to the side of the road as with the old hydraulic type?
Barely. All seven failures occurred in a two day period, all at low speeds under 5MPH--bascially immediate turns from a dead stop in parking lots or intersections. Unfortunately at speeds that slow, you need the EPS because I could barely turn the wheel at in once case I ended up in the middle of an intersection of a divided road. Fortunately that those speeds it was easy to stop the car, put it in park, and quickly restart. Fair to assume that at higher speeds it would have been easier to manuever the car without the ESP. Pleased to report that it's been four days since the dealer reset the computer and I haven't had any problems.
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Old 05-28-2010, 04:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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QUOTE (USAFA83 @ May 28 2010, 11:43 AM)
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Barely. All seven failures occurred in a two day period, all at low speeds under 5MPH--bascially immediate turns from a dead stop in parking lots or intersections. Unfortunately at speeds that slow, you need the EPS because I could barely turn the wheel at in once case I ended up in the middle of an intersection of a divided road. Fortunately that those speeds it was easy to stop the car, put it in park, and quickly restart. Fair to assume that at higher speeds it would have been easier to manuever the car without the ESP. Pleased to report that it's been four days since the dealer reset the computer and I haven't had any problems.





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Old 06-10-2010, 02:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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QUOTE (Proprioceptive @ May 27 2010, 05:37 PM)
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Yes, I'm sure most of us would love to know about this. Please keep us updated. Anything safety related should be main priority here.
Promised to provide an update on my Electronic Power Steering (EPS) problems. Resetting the computer in the steering column fixed the problem for about one week, before my EPS started failing again. My 2011 Sonata SE is now back at the dealer waiting for parts--new steering column with EPS motor and computer. Dealer was told at least a one-week backlog for the parts I need. Pleased to report that my dealer support has been excellent and they were quick to put me in the rental car while I wait. As for non-EPS handling, out of my ~15 failures only one has occurred above 5 MPH. The one failure I had at highway speeds was managable. The car handles okay once you've got some speed, just like the old non-power steering days. But as I cautioned in my previous post, at parking lot speeds you almost can't turn the car without the EPS. If it fails at low speed, just brake the car to a stop and put the car in park. Turn the car off and back on and the EPS failure clears, but in my case the EPS fails often normally after my first turn after restarting the car. Also expect to see an Electronic Stability Control failure light at the same time if your EPS failure light comes on.
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