2006 K12 Micra Steering problems (and others)

On February I traded in my 2007 Renault Megane saloon. I live on my own and wanted a smaller runabout that was cheap to insure and run. I have an auto licence and getting hold of a small auto is pretty difficult, especially when like me you're on a limited budget.

The garage that I had bought the Renault from had a 2006 Micra. I had ideally wanted a newer car, even by a year or two, but looked at it. It's not perfect, a couple of small paint scrapes and being the Initia model it's pretty basic but I took it for a test drive and was happy with it.

I paid around £2100, and got a £900 trade in for my Megane which I thought was generous. What drew me to this was the fact the car had only about 46000 miles on the clock. I used the KnowYourCar app and checked it's MOT history which seemed good.

All went well until about a week ago.

The engine management light came on, and stayed on, rather than flashing. This I understand is the lesser mode where its not "you're in deep crap" mode. Sometimes the light would go out and shift would be a bit harsh and the rev counter wouldn't work.

I took it to my local garage that I trust they suggested an oil change as gear ratios was being read.

The day after I had said I would consider it, the NATS light came on. However, there was no alarm problems but occasionally the car wouldn't turn over, taking three or four tries with the key. I tried both ignition keys.

However, worse was to come. The garage had checked and suggested the oil change and on the way out the power steering went totally. There was no power steering light though. The light does come on in the self check when you turn the key before starting the engine, so it does work.

My brother works in a plant hire and knows cars and checked it today. The battery level was fine, commenting it was a good battery, and the voltage was decent. Fuses n the drivers compartment and under the engine were checked and all were fine. Oil level is fine, ditto with coolant and brake fluid. ATF is a bit low, but that wouldn't affect power steering.

Without power steering I feel like I have the turning circle of a Boeing 747, and despite what someone might say I feel its potentially dangerous if it just cuts in and out when driving. When it does work, if anything the steering feels a bit too light. I have driven a range of cars, all automatics, and know they all have their characteristics and although I haven't had this Micra long, when the power steering is working I do feel that it doesn't feel 'right', its TOO responsive, if that makes sense.

I went back to the garage I bought it from and first off the guy there says he had never heard of EPS steering failing, and then he said it was 'wear and tear; which seems like a contradiction.

He then went onto his phone and suggested I buy a motor off Ebay that was priced at £70-80. I'm not happy buying parts like that off ebay as you never know the condition or if its even the right one. Basically he's saying that its not their problem and I refuse to spend £500 upwards on something that might be a solution.

What was even more suspicious was something in a wiring loom under the engine compartment. The car is fitted with aftermarket rear parking sensors, but I don't think this will have anything to do with this rather slapdash looking job.

Advice anyone?
 

Attachments

Quote; “I went back to the garage I bought it from and first off the guy there says he had never heard of EPS steering failing, and then he said it was 'wear and tear; which seems like a contradiction”.

The motor trader is having a giraffe! Electronics & EPS failures in the K12 are common & well known.

New or reconditioned replacement EPS modules require calibration setting up & security code program matching to your vehicle upon installation.

As always DYOR research & the following link may help outlining the experiences other MSC members have had with K12 EPS problems?

https://www.micra.org.uk/search/229708/?q=K12+EPS&o=relevance

What progress have you made with your multiple electronic/electrical issues as listed?
 
Where are you located, I can probably help with the steering issue. I can check the state of the steering.

Jason.
 
Where are you located, I can probably help with the steering issue. I can check the state of the steering.

Jason.
I'm located in Ayrshire in Scotland. Troon to be precise, about 20-25 miles south west of Glasgow.

pimval, he says flat out he's never heard of EPS steering failure and that he had sold a few Micras. He had heard of leaks, which even I know would come from power steering fluid in hydraulic systems rather than electric.

This is the listing he pointed me too, and frankly I wouldn't trust that due to the bad wording of the advert and the fact that the motor seems to be in poor condition


The NATS light comes on, but does not affect the alarm or immobiliser as far as I can see.

Sometimes the engine management light comes on, when it does, the power steering becomes a lot easier to use.

The Power steering warning light never comes on however, although it does activate briefly in the usual self test of all the warning lights on the instrument panel so that warning light does work.
 
The unusual fact is the PS light isn’t illuminated. Have you checked the connections? But even if the EPS is not plugged in the PS light should be on?

I suppose Birmingham is too far for you to travel to?

The NATs light is normally because one of the units have been changed. Be careful, if you remove the battery it might not start after that!!

Jason.
 
The unusual fact is the PS light isn’t illuminated. Have you checked the connections? But even if the EPS is not plugged in the PS light should be on?

I suppose Birmingham is too far for you to travel to?

The NATs light is normally because one of the units have been changed. Be careful, if you remove the battery it might not start after that!!

Jason.
The only thing that's been done to the car since I got it was a replacement wiper blade and a replacement sidelight bulb on the drivers side. The battery hasn't been changed, charged or otherwise disconnected. This all just happened suddenly. I've tried both keys in case there is a fault with either one but no joy, the NATS light stays on. As I say, the PS light comes on with the rest of the warning lights for the self test cycle but not otherwise.

Anything to say about that wiring loom picture?
 
The eps you’ve been pointed at is in a very poor state, although the column bracket is not treated, and does show signs of rust normally this one looks like it’s been heavily wet and I’d expect would of damaged the torque sensor.

Even if you buy one, you’ll need the security cleared as well.

But... saying that, I suspect you have bigger issues, to have loss of steering assistance with no PS lamp is unusual, and the NATs light on and the intermediate ECM warning lamp shows something isn’t right.

You may have a bad CANnus, have you got a CANbus reader and take an extract of the CANbus in ignition on? I will be able to see what’s happening with the eps from that?

Although I can help with the eps, I don’t want to lead you up thr garden path because I don’t know if that’s the problem without more data.

The wiring loom doesn’t seem to help me for the eps system?

Not sure what else to suggest.

Jason.
 
What exactly is a bad CANnus?

The wiring loom to me just didn't seem right with that loose green wire. Unless thats a wire related to the aftermarket rear parking sensors.
 
Here's a question, could the NATS light coming on interfere with the power steering electrics in some way? Understand I'm just theorising here.

I'm trying to think in a reason why this is happening yet the Power Steering warning light itself is not coming on.

What do you mean by a bad CANbus exactly?
 
The NATs light has no affect to the eps system. The NAT light is driven independently from the eps. The eps is very simple in theory. It only needs battery, ignition and CANbus.

IF THE BCM module detects a bad security code then the NATs light is illuminated.

There was a issue during EPS manufacturing where the EPS create the CANbus to be corrupted and the CANbus created bad messages,

Until you give further data, like a CANbus extract or do some further diagnostics it’s hard to find the fault. If I had the car I could plug in and tell you exactly what’s wrong with the eps. But there’s many faults here!

Jason
 
Appreciate the response, it was just a total beginners guess and understand I'm trying to think of any cause here. I'll try and get it read again and see if I can get a record of the errors.

Sometimes the engine management light comes on briefly and then the power steering will engage properly, if anything it feels a bit light, but that might just be a total contrast to the heavy steering I'm getting when it's not working. I have tried ignition and unlocking with both keys in case of a faulty key.
 
Have you check if any fault codes are stored?

I bought a nissan code reader for another nissan, but it covers the micra too. It does sound like more of a common electrical issue , though changing the oil is a real cop out by someone grasping at straws.
 
Have you check if any fault codes are stored?

I bought a nissan code reader for another nissan, but it covers the micra too. It does sound like more of a common electrical issue , though changing the oil is a real cop out by someone grasping at straws.
The oil change was only when the Engine Management light came on and there was some harsh gear shifting. There had been fault codes stored then related to gear ratios. That was when the oil change was suggested. This was before the power steering problem manifested itself. Afterwards, they themselves say its more serious than just an oil change.
 
Fair enough, I'm taking it in on Tuesday to get the fault codes read anyway.

Here's the summary with how it's working now...

NATS Lights on....at the same time power steering is disengaged. Power Steering warning light works on self test at ignition but never comes on at any other time. Fuses have been checked, battery has been checked.

IF, the EML comes on, Power steering will be operational until ignition is switched off, if anything it feels a bit light. Most times light only comes on for a short time though. However, the fact it feels a bit too light might I suppose be a contrast to struggling with it when its not working.

Every other electric system in the car seems fine.

I am looking to see if there are replacement cars anywhere as this has made me wary, but I'm on a budget and most automatics are large cars like Audis, Mercs and Volvo's Along with higher running costs and road tax which is what I was trying to get away from. A lot of cars in my budget are high mileage anyway. The only other car I saw recently was a 2008 Kia Ceed at just under £2800 which sold quickly and a 2006 Kia Ceed with a spotty MOT record and 106000 miles on the clock. Apart from that was a Nissan Note 2012, but it was just under £5000 for a high trim low mileage and the garage was only giving a 30 day warranty which I thought was a bit low for that price level.
 
My nan lives in Saltcoats not a million miles away... Your ecu in the pic is missing the cap and all that salt air will get in there?
 
If there is a reversing parking sensor installed, I assume the wire they've tapped into is the brakelights or some sort of transmission sensor something, so that when the brake lights come on or the car is slotted into reverse there is a signal received by the installed aftermarket equipment so that it knows that you're going backwards and turns on the beeping noise or the screen or whatever it is that the parking sensor does.

What could have happened is that it's somehow buggered up the ECU or NATS, and that somehow is turning off the power steering? Looking at it in the picture there seems to be 2 wiring splices? a blue and yellow one underneath also?

A leak is one thing, but a leak will cause constant issues. It's very strange for your car to go from having hulk-strength power steering to having none at all, which makes me think it's electrical as does the christmas lights on your dashboard. EPS module is matched to the car, which mean it probably goes through NATS (to check that the correct ECU is with the correct EPS module), you're having NATS issues if the NATS light is flashing so that seems logical.

If I were you I'd have check the fuses first looking for a hairline crack or a loose connection in a relevant fuse that could cause an intermittent issue, then check the chip reader in the key barrel under the steering wheel, then check the immobiliser/ECU and make sure it's all good there. Having 2 keys you can be pretty sure it's not the chip in the keys. If all of those are working fine then I'd start to think about replacing the motor for the power steering incase there's some sort of internal short.

Some of these things are going to require a trip to nissan or a car repairer/autoelectrician who knows what he's doing so you're going to have to weigh up the costs involved with chasing down these electrical gremlins vs the cost and stress of getting a new car. It could be that this car is more trouble than it's worth, or it could be a hidden gem that the previous owner got much less than it was worth for it because he/she couldn't fix an issue that turned out to be an minor fix in the end. There's many stories of somebody getting a car cheap because it wouldn't start and it being something as simple as a rotor arm worth £5 and now the new owner's got a great lowmileage car for next to nothing because it was sold as a "non runner" at the time
 
Okay, here are the error codes

U1000 Can Comm
P0606 ECU Fault
U1001 Can Comm
U1000 - car has lost connection with the ECM engine control module

U1001 - same thing as above. Somebody said that 1000 is more likely to do with the wiring/grounding and 1001 is to do with the nissan ECM itself

p0606 ECU fault seems self explanatory but some people have reported that it just spontaneously resolves or that it was the wiring to the ECU.



The first thing I would check with those codes and those problems, is the grounding for the motor that does your power steering. Maybe it's rusted up bad connection and in the process b*llocks'd up everything else when the current has had nowhere else to go. This also possibly explains the thing where the check engine light coming on the dash solved the powersteering issue for a second
 
U1000 - car has lost connection with the ECM engine control module

U1001 - same thing as above. Somebody said that 1000 is more likely to do with the wiring/grounding and 1001 is to do with the nissan ECM itself

p0606 ECU fault seems self explanatory but some people have reported that it just spontaneously resolves or that it was the wiring to the ECU.



The first thing I would check with those codes and those problems, is the grounding for the motor that does your power steering. Maybe it's rusted up bad connection and in the process b*llocks'd up everything else when the current has had nowhere else to go. This also possibly explains the thing where the check engine light coming on the dash solved the powersteering issue for a second
Thanks for the response, but I'll be honest that most of this is over my head. My knowledge of car mechanics is pretty nil, but I thought that wiring loom looked a bit dodgy. Is that connected (no pun intended) to what you're talking about. After all MaxWheeler mentions that his Nan lives in Saltcoats, and Troon is a coastal town, where I live, though I bought the car from a garage in Kilmarnock a bit inland but I don't know where the prior owner lived. I've been looking to see other motors at a lower budget, but when it comes to Autos most are bigger cars, often premium brands like Audi, Mercs, or large saloons like Volvos, Ford Mondeos and Vauxhall Vectras/Insignias. I was after something smaller engined and cheaper to run and insure and road tax. This is what made the Micra so attractive, it's by far the smallest car I've ever driven in terms of body and engine size but was ideal.
 
Still no reply, they can't want business that badly.

Strangely the last couple of days the steering has more consistently worked.
 
Still no reply, they can't want business that badly.

Strangely the last couple of days the steering has more consistently worked.
i had paint spraying companies be arsey with me once, including one i visited in person who said they would price it up, had me fill out a customer form so they could email me with a quote and then just... never did

A lot of people in the motortrade are as unreliable as the cars they fix lol
 
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