The steering wheel symbol is a common feature found on the dashboard of vehicles. It serves as a crucial indicator that provides information about the status of the vehicle’s power steering system. Understanding what this symbol means can help drivers identify potential issues and take appropriate action. In this article, we will delve deeper into the meaning of the steering wheel symbol and its significance.
What does the steering wheel symbol mean?
The steering wheel symbol, often depicted as a circular steering wheel with an exclamation mark or an arrow, typically illuminates on the dashboard when there is a problem with the power steering system. This symbol is usually red or yellow, indicating the severity of the issue.
Possible meanings of the steering wheel symbol:
1. Power steering failure: If the steering wheel symbol lights up in red, it indicates a complete failure of the power steering system. This means that the steering wheel may become extremely difficult to turn, requiring significant physical effort from the driver. In such cases, it is crucial to pull over safely and seek professional assistance.
2. Power steering assist reduced: When the steering wheel symbol appears in yellow, it signifies a partial failure or reduced power steering assist. This means that the steering wheel may feel heavier than usual, making it more challenging to maneuver the vehicle. While it is still possible to drive the car, it is advisable to have it inspected by a mechanic as soon as possible.
3. Steering angle sensor malfunction: In some vehicles, the steering wheel symbol may indicate a problem with the steering angle sensor. This sensor is responsible for detecting the position of the steering wheel and transmitting the information to the vehicle’s electronic control unit. A malfunctioning sensor can affect various safety systems, such as stability control and traction control. Professional diagnosis and repair are necessary to resolve this issue.
4. Other power steering system faults: The steering wheel symbol can also illuminate due to other faults within the power steering system, such as a leak in the power steering fluid, a faulty power steering pump, or a broken belt. These issues can impact the overall performance of the power steering system and should be addressed promptly to avoid further damage.
The steering wheel symbol on a vehicle’s dashboard is a crucial indicator that alerts drivers to potential issues with the power steering system. Understanding its meaning can help drivers take appropriate action and prevent further damage or accidents. Whether it signifies a complete power steering failure or a reduced power steering assist, it is essential to address the issue promptly by seeking professional assistance.