EPS Power steering column, what ACTUALLY goes wrong?

What car you driving then?

I stick with basic K11s, now on my third Shape/Equation bought 4 years ago, a 1998 1300cc on 48K with no P/S, ABS, central locking or sunroof & no problems!

In its 23rd year, the less superfluous non-essential marketing sales gimmicks tat, the less there is to go wrong & fail the MOT unnecessarily.

Rule thumb apply the KISS factor in action for cheap as chips old banger motoring that just keeps going with no unnecessary expenses & simply avoid the troublesome Renault equipped K12, K13. & K14 masquerading with badges engineered by Nissan.

I just put petrol in the back & myself & the Mrs in the front out & about when the Sun is out, having fun doing whatever we like without wasting my time working on the tin box on wheels.

Happy K11 days, long may they continue. :)
 
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huttojb

Club Member
EPS System Guru
I stick with basic K11s, now on my third Shape/Equation bought 4 years ago, a 1998 1300cc on 48K with no P/S, ABS, central locking or sunroof & no problems!

I do not own a MIcra personally but I do understand everyone’s frustration. I do like my luxury. I drive a Merc C300 2020 plate as my daily drive

DA2CF04F-4279-48FA-9D09-96F274EF8F7C.jpeg

But I also own this.....


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I do not own a MIcra personally but I do understand everyone’s frustration. I do like my luxury. I drive a Merc C300 2020 plate as my daily drive

View attachment 71103

But I also own this.....


View attachment 71102 View attachment 71101


Needless to say, I am no longer inspired by tin boxes on wheels & just want something cheap as chips & not wasting any unnecessary resources on it that just keeps going, does the job for me.

In the early 90s, I ran a W124 series 230TE at 8 years old & 80K & during 6 years use the following failures included ABS, electric sunroof, drivers electric window regulator, cabin duel heater temperature controls, open circuit lamps monitoring module, excess engine oil consumption & a parasitic battery drain. That’s just the issues I remember from 25 years ago
.
I was into industrial process controls electronics/electrics & therefore DIY maintenance at marginal costs but wasted more time investigating, testing & working around these issues then on any other of my numerous vehicles in 46 years of driving.

Commercial awareness applied the Kiss factor subsequently as it ever was.
 
I think there was a point mid 90's when the car's peaked. Just the right balance of electronics without all the later canbus nonsense.

The old carbs and points may be simple, but there is a lot less work to maintain with more standalone fuel injection and ecu.
 
I would just like to publicly thank @huttojb , this guy is a genuine not for profit rare gem of a chap, I drove 360 miles round trip and he helped me out big time, he saved me a fortune and I can only praise this guy!
thanks very much for today and to any forum members who think he is some kind of fraud I can catoguarly tell you he is a genuine person who is doing a lot to help , and has helped me today, also he saved me a small fortune,
THANKS VERY MUCH @huttojb really appreciate it indeed !!!!
 
EU pressure forced manufacturers to alter the cars safety and emissions, the newer the car the more electronic spaghetti we encounter, I have a Suzy Ignis as my runabout from 2000, brilliant engine no trouble apart from usual brake and suspension replacements.
Did you know that Insurance companies are gearing up to scrap the newer cars with LED lights as these are fixed units and can cost around £680 apiece to replace!!!! so avoid new and keep the old timers running if we can still get the parts.:unsure:
 
I never need parts running K10 & K11s since 1997 & in 23 years nothing ever goes wrong, treat it right & it looks after you.

It only gets minimal basic DIY annual servicing & consumable parts only for long term durable reliable cheap as chips motoring.

If it aint broke, don’t mess about with it & it just keeps going. Nissan got the K10 & K11 right first time right from the get go.

I put petrol in the back, the Mrs & me in the front, out & about when the Sun is out having fun doing whatever makes us happy.

That’s what it was built for. :)
 
@huttojb
Hi Jason,
The EPS on my girlfriend's K12 1.4 went a few weeks ago. Bought a second hand unit from a scrap yard. We had this fitted the other day but now the engine won't start. When being towed, it feels like the power steering is working. I presume this is to do with the second hand unit being married to another car? Please can you advise what is best to do. Second hand unit is currently fitted, however we also have the broken unit in the boot.

Many thanks,
James
 
@huttojb

St Jason of the Micra Sports Club, giving up his time and knowledge to help strangers again.


For he's a jolly good fellow, for he's a jolly good fellow
For he's a jolly good fellow (pause), which nobody can deny
Which nobody can deny, which nobody can deny
 

huttojb

Club Member
EPS System Guru
Lol @Micratec, @jamesmbrooks actually toed the car all the way to Birmingham, must of been a scary drive, no ignition, no breaks, no steering!!! Omg, he was brave. At least he was able to drive home safely.
 
Hi

This is my first time on this site and so my first post , hope I’m doing it right. I’ve read a few threads about the issue with the power steering. My daughter has an 05 plate Micra and 2 years ago I paid over £300 to have a reconditioned steering column and kit to be fitted , this week the PS light has come on and my daughter had to be towed back ,because she’s been at Uni until now she’s only done 3000 miles in it since having the column replaced, it seems that Jason ( Hottojb) is the guru hear 😊.I’m completely useless when it comes to cars so asking for advice on what to do , the good need is that I live very close to Birmingham so wondering if you could advise please Jason . Many thanks , hope I’ve done this correctly
 

huttojb

Club Member
EPS System Guru
Hey @Robbo999967. I think I gave my opinion on reconditioned units and my suspicions on what they do previously. It is very poor and you have probably purchase a previous faulty unit where they have changed common component not actually knowing the real reason of failure, cleared the fault, lost straight ahead positioning (possible pulling or not returning to centre with great power), lost calibration because they removed and replaced OR reprogrammed the NVM with another one. The list of poor processes go on.
I’ll drop you an private message with my address and you can come and I can look at it for you.
Jason.
 
Hey @Robbo999967. I think I gave my opinion on reconditioned units and my suspicions on what they do previously. It is very poor and you have probably purchase a previous faulty unit where they have changed common component not actually knowing the real reason of failure, cleared the fault, lost straight ahead positioning (possible pulling or not returning to centre with great power), lost calibration because they removed and replaced OR reprogrammed the NVM with another one. The list of poor processes go on.
I’ll drop you an private message with my address and you can come and I can look at it for you.
Jason.


Jason, my daugther bought a 1.0S Mar 05 Micra 55k miles, a month ago which was sitting on the driveway until passing her driving test and took it out today to get some tyres and on the way back the PS fault light came on and steering heavy. No issues before when I drove it. Can you help?
 

huttojb

Club Member
EPS System Guru
Unable to pop over to have a look, there’s some water in the way.
usually the PS Light is self contained in the eps. Not sure why a large none use time will attribute to eps failure, unless there is damp in the car.
have you tried to clear the fault and does it come back.
the fuse ‘crap’ is that, don’t worry about that, never heard of the 70amp fuse having an issue. Do not put WD40 on the unit as it will leak into the optical sensor and you’ll have a dead unit!
 
Cheers for that...will defo avoid WD40!
Will have someone locally check the fault codes and see if that sorts it and will post back
 
Been speaking to jason and let me tell you this guy knows his stuff about these k12 powersteering.also his very very helpfull.just ordered a unit off him for a customer car.his the guy if anyone else is in trouble.👍thanks
 
Will drop you a PM.
Can anyone help me with this issue? I have a 2004 micra (K12) recently with PS light came on. I bought a 2nd hand part 28500BG02A but it didn't fit. I found another seller on ebay who claims that they sell re-programmed steering clumn with my unique VIN number. But when I called them up, they said they don't actually need my VIN number and that if I plug it in it will just work?! I don't know if I trust this guy. Any advice on PS issue on the micra would be appreciated!
 
Just curious, and more for convesation, why are there so many parameters in the PS unit? And what can go wrong with a generic unit installed if you try it and it appears ok?

The vauxhall system is pretty simple in terms of design, a torque sensor, position sensor and big motor. It senses the steering wheel turn and applies power to the motor. There's even mechanical adjustment on the sensor to get the left - right assist balanced.
 
@vexorg i will reply when I get home.
Hi mate,

Just been reading through this whole thread and still yet to work out the answer to my EPS issue, however I'm understanding it all a lot more. I'm happy to pay for your time if you fancy calling me (or me calling you), if it helps I'm a technician and my governer is happy to pay for your time. Thanks, Michael
 

huttojb

Club Member
EPS System Guru
Hey @TheLemur
Just dropped you my number over pm. Of course I will not charge for a chat if it helps. Not sure if I’ve already spoke to you, been so busy at work lately and been meaning to give a bit of a better explanation on here, just have not got round to it!
 
Hi all the PS light came on my partners car yesterday got it home with no power steering and left it for awhile then went out to start it and there was no PS light I drove it and it stayed off .
The car hasn't been driven for a month due to the lockdown and doesn't get used that much could this have anything to do with the PS LIGHT coming on ? . Now the light is off will it stay off or is this the start of PS failure. TIA
 

huttojb

Club Member
EPS System Guru
Could be a start of something but there was a few faults that happened once and never occurred again, without knowing details it’s impossible to say. But hopefully you are ok.
Jason.
 
Could be a start of something but there was a few faults that happened once and never occurred again, without knowing details it’s impossible to say. But hopefully you are ok.
Jason.
I'm hoping it's a one off as replacing it isn't cheap and it looks like there are a few different motors
 

huttojb

Club Member
EPS System Guru
Finally got around to do this,

So I worked at TRW from 2000 until 2010 where I had some wonderful years. This is me in the centre, when we first started manufacturing of FIAT (Blurred everyone else out as I did not want to put there picture out there)

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So TRW developed the concept of the EPS unit back Pre-2000 and it went into Production around 2001. TRW in Birmingham was the development centre and centre of excellent for EPS and the model was to develop and NPI (New Product Introduction) and then ship it to a sister plant to continue the manufacture.

Originally we did the Fiat Stilo system from around 2000 – 2001, then it was shipped to Livorno in Italy. Then we did the Renault Megane system (including Renault Modus) in 2001 - 2002 but this was quiet short and then shipped to Pamplona in Spain to continue.

Around 2002 we started manufacturing the Nissan K12 Unit (originally the Nissan March K12 (Japan version)). This was very advance for its day and a starting point for TRW to produce further technology. The system was designed for future technology like; steer by wire, assisted parking, lane assist etc.. I remember TRW creating a concept from the Nissan K12 unit to do lane assist and steer by wire. It was the foundation of what is being developed now. there was a comment above about the older eps units and it was more reliable, and potentially but without a more advanced EPS unit you would not have the current technology on a car now days.

I was lucky enough to be at the plant for the life cycle of the EPS units and the plant again was very advanced.

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Unfortunately I was also one of the last people on site when the TRW lost the contract to Nissan - Sad times.

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The system has 4 major components. ECU, Sensor, Motor and column. I have spoken about most of the ECU and fault handling previous in this thread so I am not going back over that. But something people probably do not realise the unit does; Active Steering Position. The system knows where straight ahead is, and assists the vehicle to straight ahead allowing less friction with the mechanical geometry on the vehicle and in-turn allowing increase fuel efficiency. This is why I get angry when I see people removing the column and selling just the gearbox of the system. The system is aligned from Column to torsion bar, to ECU. Any removal and mis-placing could cause the vehicle to pull to one side. The ECU has a reference point and if this is changed by removing the column or disassembling your just asking for problems.
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I have made my feeling clear about the re-man companies dis-assembling this unit and re-assembling, not having a clue how the system really works… it’s a crime! In my opinion this is such a dangerous process to reduce the unit down to this state and anyone should stay away from this.

I know we (TRW) had massive issues attaching the column to the gearbox and attaching the column without causing side load. You must understand that sideload may cause incorrect torque demand and the system might assist without being required. If one of these units start turning, there’s not much stopping it!

The unit has a revolutionary patented design of an optical torque sensor. The Optical Torque Sensor was on the Fiat, Renault and Nissan units. Again, people do not realise that any contamination in the torque sensor greater than 35 microns (I think – something like that) would cause a failure. The Optical torque sensor has 2 disc attached to a torsion bar allowing torque to be measure. The disc would more relative to the torque applied allowing assistance to be applied by the motor/worm wheel.
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Disc Torq CW.JPG


This sensor was later removed on more recent models Fiesta, Bravo etc.. and they opted for an off the shelf sensor (Hella).

A hot topic always is the security. I can only imagine that Nissan decided in their DFMEA that if a unit from one vehicle was removed and put on a different vehicle potentially it could cause serious injury. I do agree with this as although the units are essentially the same (RH vs LH are different) they do have different tunes (assistant maps) for each vehicle type (Petrol, Diesel, Sports+, C+C). So therefore there is a software dongle. On first ignition if the ‘dongle’ is empty (not learnt) then the BCM would write a Dongle (Code) to the EPS, this is checked each time the vehicle starts and will immobilise starting if the code is different.

I have done some investigation on this and it seem that the Dongle is in the Meter (Cluster), USM (Fuse Module) and the EPS.
CAN Dongle.png


I know people mess with the NVM chip but how do you know what engine type is mapped, boost curves, torque vs speed map, ECU Calibration data. The system was designed to showcase the functionality and at the time I believe TRW won awards for the system.

I could go on for ages talking about the EPS, I did enjoy working with it and spent a lot of years working there, but I bet a lot of you do not realise the Nissan K12 EPS unit was also fitted to the Renault Clio Cup vehicle and also the Renault Megane Rally Championship vehicle. It is and was a very good system with a lot of technology and benefits.

Clio Cup EPS fitted.png


Obviously, now days the EPS has gone to a new level with self park etc.. but a lot of this originated from the Micra K12 System. Unfortunately I do not work there anymore but I will never forget what I learnt.

Speak soon.
Jason.
 
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