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Power steering erratic and weak.

9275 Views 11 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Deadman
My 2012 Renegade 1,000 XXC has always had a funny sounding power steering unit, but it usually worked, so I never got excited about the noises. Well, today it stopped working! :th_smiliefrustrated It works at times and then it does not work at times and you need to muscle that beast around. Its VERY obvious when the power steering does NOT assist because I have it set to Max assist.

Any suggestions on what all to check?

It does work sometimes, so its not a completely dead unit, so its going to be a hassle to diagnose it I think.

FYI my machine has about 1,500 miles on it and stock suspension and tires.

Thanks in advance!
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I had a 2010 and the only times I ever had issues, I had a loose battery cable. They have to be very tight. I wood start there first. My buddy has a 08 650. Was not running right one time, told him to check his battery cables. He laughed and said yeah right. Well he checked and sure enough loose battery cable. Cam am's just aren't happy computer wise if they aren't getting full voltage. Dps is the first thing the computer shuts off when it senses low or erratic voltages
That was my first thought, as it seemed to work on and off and that made me think that it works but isn't working right for whatever reason.
I'll pull the battery to reset it and tighten it down good!
After that, check the wires for the DPS unit, look for discolored wires indicating overheating.
I just checked the battery connection and cleaned it and reinstalled it with no change.

I rode it and noted something interesting. When its idling it NEVER makes the electric buzzing noise, but the instant I give it a little RPM, then the buzzing goes crazy and never stops.

I looked close at the DPS unit itself and it almost appears as if fluid leaked out of it, because the flange surface where the 2 halves are bolted together is all stuck full of dust like it was damn with oil and the dirt stuck to it. Is it possible that there was fluid in the DPS unit? I assumed it was just an electrical unit, but the dirt makes me think fluid possible leaked from it.

I've got videos on my iPhone, so I'll try to get it uploaded.
I wouldn't think the dps would have any fluid in should be a closed unit like a electric motor, right?
Here is the video of the power steering "whining or squealing". This is NOT the belt, so please don't confuse it with the annoying belt squeal. Mine does the belt squeal, but on different conditions.

The squealing ONLY happens when you raise the rpm above idle, even in Neutral. At idle it won't squeal at all.

Any thoughts?

I watched the video like 10 times and at first i found it sounded EXACTLY like the belt, but after watching a few times, that's for sure not the same squeal as the belt makes. So at idle it doesn't make this noise even when turning the handlebars back and forth??
I heard it...I swear it sounds just a car does when it's out of or low of power steering fluid.....I heard cars do that many times...
I heard it...I swear it sounds just a car does when it's out of or low of power steering fluid.....I heard cars do that many times...
Exactly what I thought too!

Yes it never makes this noise at idle no matter what you do with the handlebars. If you run the rpm up just a tiny bit over idle it will squeal and buzz like this. Sometimes you can not turn the handlebars at all and as long as you bring the rpm's up, the dam thing buzzs and squeals like this.

My power steering is irratic and twitches and jerks and feels like it assists at times and does not assist at all at times. No pattern, no rhyme or reason to it. It seems if I find a "stuck" spot where the power steering won't turn past then it buzzs louder and you can tell its struggling.

I'm taking it to my neighbors shop tomorrow, so he can test the battery and charging system. DO I need to check for anything other than like 13.5 volts for the stator output? Then loadtest the battery of course….. Anything else, since I'll have it at his shop?

I get no DPS light on the dash.
I wonder if I should get the dealer to reflash it?
Ok, the DPS light of death just came on and the power steering is nearly dead. I'm taking it to the dealer to get plugged in and go from there! Sure hope its not $1,100 unit I need! Ekkksss
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