top of page

Steering Assist Is Reduced Drive With Care (Warning Explained)

Updated: Jan 9

If you see a warning on your dashboard that says "steering assist is reduced drive with care", it's important to know what to do. Steering assist is a feature in many modern cars that makes driving easier.


Steering assist uses sensors and algorithms to determine how much steering is needed to stay on track. If the steering assist system is not working properly, the steering wheel will feel heavy and harder to turn.


If you get this warning, reduce your speed and pay extra attention to your surroundings. Avoid sharp turns and sudden movements to prevent the car from losing stability. You will not be able to react to hard cornering as easily.


An invalid coolant temperature signal from the engine control module (ECM) can cause the steering assist is reduced drive with care warning. This can lead to heavy steering due to the steering module's inability to compensate for thick, cold grease.

 

Table of Contents:


a steering assist is reduced drive with care error message on a car dashboard

What Steering Assist Is

Steering assist is a feature found in many modern vehicles that helps to make driving easier and more convenient. It uses sensors and algorithms to calculate the amount of steering input that is needed to keep the car on track and maintain a steady course.


This can help to reduce fatigue and make driving more comfortable, especially on long trips or in challenging conditions.

There are several different types of steering assist systems, including the following.


  • Electric power steering (EPS)

  • Hydraulic power steering (HPS)

  • Hybrid power steering


EPS uses an electric motor to assist with steering, while HPS uses a hydraulic pump. Hybrid power steering combines elements of both EPS and HPS.


Each type of steering assist system has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice for a particular vehicle will depend on a variety of factors.

Steering assist is designed to work in conjunction with the driver, rather than replacing the driver's control over the vehicle. If the steering assist system experiences a malfunction or becomes disabled, the driver may need to exert more effort to steer the car.


In these cases, a warning message may be displayed on the dashboard, reminding the driver to "drive with care". It is important to take these warning messages seriously and to have the steering assist system checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible.


Can You Drive Without Steering Assist?

Steering assist is a helpful feature that can make driving easier and more convenient, but it is not necessary for operating a vehicle. Many cars, including older models, do not have steering assist or power steering, and drivers have been successfully navigating the roads without it for decades.


That being said, driving without steering assist does require a higher level of skill and attention from the driver. Without the assistance of the system, the driver must manually steer the vehicle without assistance.


This can be more challenging in certain situations, such as during high-speed manoeuvres or in adverse weather conditions. It can also result in driver fatigue setting in more quickly.


If you are driving a vehicle with a steering assisted reduced drive with care warning, it is important to be extra vigilant and to pay close attention to the road at all times. You should also be prepared to make quick decisions and to react appropriately to any hazards that may arise.


It is also worth noting that some advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), such as lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control, may be disabled or partially disabled when steering assist is turned off or not working.

While it is possible to drive without steering assist, it is important for drivers to be aware of their own limitations and to exercise caution while operating their vehicle.


Causes of Steering Assist Is Reduced Drive With Care

Steering assist is a feature in many modern vehicles that helps to make driving easier and more convenient. It uses sensors and algorithms to calculate the amount of steering input that is needed to keep the car on track and maintain a steady course.


If the steering assist system experiences a malfunction or becomes disabled, the driver may need to exert more effort to steer the car. In these cases, a warning message may be displayed on the dashboard, reminding the driver to "drive with care".


Common cause of the steering assist message include low power steering fluid, a simple ECU fault that can be fixed by restarting the car, or it could be something more serious. There are multiple possible causes of this issue such as those listed below.


ECM Issue

One of the main causes of steering assist issues is an error or fault in the electric control module (ECM), which is like the brain of all electrical functions in the car. The ECM is responsible for evaluating and measuring the coolant level and temperature, and adjusting them as needed.


When the coolant temperature drops, the fluid in the steering module becomes thicker, which can make the steering feel heavier. If the ECM provides inaccurate readings, it can affect the steering module's ability to provide accurate responses to the conditions on the ground.


This can lead to the error code appearing on the dashboard, indicating that the steering assist is reduced.


Stuck Open Thermostat

Engine thermostats play a crucial role in regulating the temperature of the engine by controlling the flow of coolant fluid into the radiator. When the thermostat is stuck open, it allows too much coolant to flow through, resulting in an unnecessarily cool engine temperature.


This can cause the steering assist system to malfunction and trigger an error code on the dashboard.


Cooling Fan Stuck On

A radiator fan that is stuck on high speed can rapidly cool the engine, leading to a drop in temperature. This can cause the grease in the steering module to become thicker, making it more difficult to move.


As a result, the driver may experience a heavier than normal steering feel and receive a warning message on the dashboard indicating that the steering assist is reduced.


Temperature Gauge / Sensor Issue