Hypothetical: Power Steering Loss - Pontiac G6 Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-28-2005, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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Hypothetical: Power Steering Loss

So I've seen this discussed on here, and on GMInsideNews, and it seems like no one knows the answer. Let's see if we can't find the solution and put this issue to rest.

So, as the title says, hypothetically, let's say the power steering system craps out. Since it's NOT power-assist steering (unless you have the GTP), and it's fully-electric power steering, WHAT does one do if that electric motor craps out and the wheel does freeze up? Obviously, it's not like traditional power steering where you can still steer, just with significantly more effort. We all know the G6 has no formal steering wheel lock. When you power off the car, the electric motor shuts down, becoming the wheel lock. So if the motor fails, you CANNOT turn the wheel.

Does anyone know the real answer? What is the emergency procedure to help you control the car and get off the road safely in the event of a total loss of power steering? Is there a fuse you can pull or some way to allow the motor to "unlock" the wheel enough so you can get off the road, or are you truly SOL and you have to PRAY you don't hit a curve or in any way become stuck in a situation where your life - or another driver's - is in danger?
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-28-2005, 06:36 AM
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Electric power steering still has a mechanical connection to the wheels.

http://www.freescale.com/webapp/sps/...02Wcbf07jS1504

that link shows how the setup is similar to a pump type steering. Instead of a pump it uses an electric motor. believe it or not the simplicity of the design should make it more relaible than pump power steering which has many more components that can fail... pump, hoses, fluid etc...

If the motor dies you will still be able to steer but (the same as it would with a pump) it will be harder to turn.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-28-2005, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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But if you ever noticed, when you kill the engine, the wheel locks up. This is something I've only experienced with an electric power steering car. If that's any indication of how the wheel feels when the system fails, I can't imagine it being steerable on the road...
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-28-2005, 02:03 PM
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Ok I see your point... However, how did you kill the engine? If u turned the key to off there might be a lock of some sort.

So basically if your driving down the road and lets say you alternator goes and your engine dies. Your telling me the person driving has no ability to steer the car? I don;t know much but I find it hard to belive that any car company will design a car like that.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-28-2005, 03:49 PM
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Although this applies to 2004 Malibu it has same steering system. You might want to read this document regarding results of NHTSA investigation

http://199.79.180.162/prepos/files/A...4018-20177.pdf

Last edited by e2helper; 10-28-2005 at 03:53 PM.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-28-2005, 05:00 PM
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I would be willing to bet that the crashes were caused by someone who didn't have the strength to turn the wheel with no power steering. A similar result would be seen if a power steering pump suddenly seized up as well.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-28-2005, 05:35 PM
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This is a retarded thread. Your wheel will NOT lock up, won't happen, the steering feel without assist (electric or hydraulic) is exactly the same if you suffer a power loss. EPS is just as "steerable" in the event of a power loss as any non-EPS car. Our cars do not have a steering lock when the car is shut off. Even if it did have a lock the trigger to engage the lock occurs when the transmission is put into park. Try this: go out on a deserted road, shut the engine off and try to make a turn. The car will respond to you just with much more effort than it would with assist. I think you may be getting EPS confused with what we engineers call "Steer by Wire"- in steer by wire there is no mechanical link between the wheel and steering rack. Steer by wire uses sensors to determine the degree that the wheel is turned and then process that signal to turn a motor connected to the rack to make the car turn. EPS just has a motor attached to the steering column to help turn the conventional column- just like a hydraulic system. Anth_97's link shows typical placements of the motor.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-28-2005, 06:18 PM
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Thank you, bigbengt67
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-28-2005, 07:00 PM
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Alternative Theory....

...and yes, it is only my 'theory' as i have nothing to base this on but the comments from different members.

WHAT IF; the problem is NOT in the steering as we may think, but in the "Ignition Switch'? here's my thinking. a few members have mentioned that their G6's have done 'strange things' while trying to start. for instance, mine has only done this twice in the time span that i have owned it, but when turning the key to the 'start' position to crank the engine, it STAYS IN THAT POSITION for a second or two after the engine has started and finally returns to the 'run' position. now, this is my theory, if the Ignition Switch is failing in one direction, why not in the other? that is, what is to keep it from 'backing up' and going to a 'partially off' position while driving, causing the steering column to lock as if the car was shut off? this would explain why it seems to only happen for a second or two, just as i have expenienced it happening for a second or two sticking in the opposite direction causing the starter to engage after the engine had started.

again, just a thought.......
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-28-2005, 07:43 PM
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Steering column doesn't lock with ignition switch being turned off on a G6
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-28-2005, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e2helper
Steering column doesn't lock with ignition switch being turned off on a G6
HUMMMM apparently i have a 'flaw' in my theory, huh? just went out to the garage to 'test' the fact that the steering wheel does NOT lock when the car is parked....guess what, IT DOESN'T!!!! i thought ALL steering wheels locked when the ignition switch was turned off.

guess my problem was 'I WAS THINKING!!!!'

(thanks for the correction and therefore, nevermind....)
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-28-2005, 08:49 PM
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HEY, just what kind of 'theft deterent' is it that allows someone to get into your car and let them push your car onto a trailer or something? you say, well they still have to get it in neutral, right? what about the 6sp's???? i mean, can't you just 'pop' it out of gear, when parked, and push the car anywhere you want?

something just doesn't sound right here......
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-29-2005, 03:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G6Action
(thanks for the correction and therefore, nevermind....)
NP, you will find same condition on previous Grand Am (1999-2004 model year). Reason for this is the ignition switch mounted on the instrument panel makes it more complicated to lock the steering column. The thing that locks when ignition key is turned off on the G6 is the gear shifter position. On auto trans with ignition OFF you can't pull shifter out of PARK position. On a manual transmission you can't pull the shifter out of reverse. And you need to put the shifter in those positions to remove the ignition key.

This answers question from last poster as well.

Last edited by e2helper; 10-29-2005 at 03:55 AM.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-30-2005, 06:55 PM
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as stated in the manual. if the engine stalls u would be able to steer so u could stop safely. if the whole system goes then u would need extra effort to steer
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-30-2005, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadman
as stated in the manual. if the engine stalls u would be able to steer so u could stop safely. if the whole system goes then u would need extra effort to steer
i think we understand that....the problem is not the 'extra effort' that would be required, its the fact that even with all the 'extra effort' of a 6'2", 275lb man behind the wheel, IT WOULD NOT MOVE, EITHER DIRECTION, PERIOD!!! i CAN however, move my steering wheel with reallly only a little 'extra effort' with the car parked and NO KEY in the ignition. this would be the same as a vehicle without any power assist, of any kind, and i have no problem moving the wheel then,

i wonder....maybe i can ask my dealer to 'disconnect' my electronic power assist and i will just drive it with 'Manual Steering'. hummmmmm????????

i guess until it happens to you, one can't fully understand the situation. for your sake, i hope you never have the opportunity to fully understand.......
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