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C4 Power Steering issues and ECU resets

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Fri Aug 20 2010, 09:58am
Hi, I'm looking for some help on a problem I'm having with my 05 C4 VTS.

The power steering has developed a fault where it intermittently doesn't work when you turn the car on. I've spotted some other threads where people have mentioned disconnecting the battery to reset the ECU's, turning the key in the ignition three times and also one where you earth the battery.

I had the same problem 18 months ago for a couple of days and it seemed to sort itself out, but this time no such luck.

The problem is that now its more off than on, the earthing method (see below) sort of works on occasion but only until I turn the ignition off again.

I've been into the main dealers today and they've said new pump £700, I asked them if they've tried resetting the main ECU and they said that wouldn't help.

I still can't get past the idea that if it was the pump surely it wouldn't work at all ? Any guidance would be much appreciated, or other ideas for ECU resets. Has anyone tried going to a garage and asking to just have all the ECUs reset, would this be worth a try ?



Earthing ECU reset method

firstly turn on the ignition not engine running,
open bonnet remove battery positive lead and then turn off ignition.
then touch the positive lead to earth,this powers down all ecus and resets erasing intermittent faults in the process.then reconnect the battery lead.
if the vehicle doesnt start straight away leave the ignition on for 2-3 mins as it has gone into anti scanning mode
1 User said Thank You to for this Post :
 thassy (05 Aug 2014 : 03:25)
Fri Aug 20 2010, 10:26am

Member No: #1
Joined: Aug 07 2006
Location: Northumberland
Have you checked that the fluid level is OK?
Fri Aug 20 2010, 10:55am
Thanks for the reply.

I've not checked it myself as I wouldn't know where to look but I would have hoped the dealer would have checked this before suggesting a new pump !! Also when it is working it works fine so I assume it has got fluid in it ?

I've just had a thought that it rained quite heavily the night before it started acting up. Could this be a factor ? Are there any areas that a novice can unplug and spray some WD40 on (I've started clutching at straws ?

Many Thanks

Fri Aug 20 2010, 12:00pm

Member No: #2
Joined: Aug 12 2006
Location: Manchester
You would be surprised at how often they forget to check fluid levels.

It is an issue that has cropped up before due to low fluid though, so should be your first port of call before replacing the pump.
Fri Aug 20 2010, 12:44pm

Member No: #1
Joined: Aug 07 2006
Location: Northumberland
It may well be the pump but it was worth a look at first because if you read the last para of mike5483 second post..........

Mike5483 wrote ...

This steering issue though has gone on for so long. It only occurs if I haven't been steering for a while, imagine you are parked up and you have to pull out of the space and to the right to join the traffic flow.

The instance the nose rises on pullaway, the steering just goes completely heavy and you have to yank the wheel round like your driving an old Cortina or something. After that its ok, unless your on a long straight road.

The A1 was quite scary, all those roundabouts... I nearly hit someone one the outside of me there, cause I got caught out by the slow heavy steering (car just went straight on) when trying to take one of the later exits on one of the roundabouts.

And yet, the dealers cant find a problem.

The problem is, its such a time between attempts that they might only be able to try and find it three times in a day, cause after one attempt you have to let it settle.

I dont know whether its suspension, or steering. My bet is steering, for some reason.

The resolution was:

Mike5483 wrote ...

.................. my steering problems seem to have been resolved and for the princely sum of just over £10.

Power Steering fluid is all it needed. The groaning was the pump sucking on air (I hope its not damaged).

I though the system was totally electronic and there is no mention of Power Steering fluid in the owners book.

However, 0.8litre of Power Steering fluid later and its like a new car, the steering feels lovely again, no weighting up, no PAS failures, no kick back through the steering wheel.

Now what bothers me is its been in 2 or 3 times previously for this and nobody has ever mentioned fluid, plus it went in for a service last October and wasn't picked up then either.

Fri Aug 20 2010, 02:02pm
Thanks for the pointer.

I've managed to find the steering fluid reservoir but unfortunately it appears to be at the right levels. So no luck on it being an easy fix.


Tue Sep 27 2011, 06:27pm
Hi did you get to the bottom of the problem, my C4 appears to have started with the same problem. When I first start the car and the steering is heavy as if i hadnt turned the car on at all, once i set off moving the steering free's up to how it should be and is totally fine until i turn the car off. if i start the car again straight away the steering is heavy again... it has me baffled, ive checked the fluid and it spot on so any help will be great!!!
Thu Mar 29 2012, 03:53pm
hi ,
I also have the same fault on my 08 GP, does it do any damage by running the car without power assistance?

I have looked at the dipstick on the steering reservoir and it is halfway up the stick is that okay as the max / min levels are unclear?

I dont want to run the car if it is causing damage.

My c4 has been fine until this morning when the PAS fault light came on as i started from cold, and then as i drove away it has still not cut in after 3mile to work, i tried it again at lunchtime and it worked okay.

then came to drive away at the end of work and its not working again, this is how
its been since then.GRRRRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrr"!
Fri Mar 30 2012, 01:24am

Member No: #1
Joined: Aug 07 2006
Location: Northumberland
@baggie73 you need to get it looked at as if it 'locks' up whilst your driving, well it could be pretty serious.
Sun Apr 29 2012, 10:10am
Hey guys I've just been hit with the same steering problems for my 180VTS I'm looking at ways to have the ECU reset as the steering is electronic. But does anyone know of maybe a better way in which my problem can be sorted??
Sun Apr 29 2012, 10:29am
No help to you, I know, but Vauxhall Merivas have had a history of sudden failure of the power steering, leading to heavy steering. Stopping the car and waiting a few minutes before restarting seems to cure it for a while, then it comes back. Vauxhall cure is new steering column for a shed load of money - naturally. Some owners repot the steering failing again, when leaving the garage after new column fitted. Which? have done a report on this - google "Meriva faults" and it will appear.
Mon Mar 17 2014, 12:03pm
Member No: #34725
Joined: Mar 16 2014
Location: pretoria
Hi have you manage to sort this out? My 2.0 VTS coupe has also started with this.

In the morning when I start the car I have power steering and after about 5 mins it's gone and it will randomly come back.

Any advice on this?
Wed Mar 19 2014, 04:29pm
Member No: #34771
Joined: Mar 19 2014
Location: Highlands
I had this for about 4 weeks last year - my fluid levels were ok, I tried an electrical reset - all for no immediate benefit.

The steering was down 50% of the time for a few days, then 95% of the time for a couple of weeks, then 50% again for a week or so. Then it 'cured' itself for a 6 months and 3000 miles or so.

Then yesterday it reappered again for the first time. Must say I am a bit baffled.
Wed Jun 04 2014, 11:55am
Member No: #35824
Joined: Jun 04 2014
Location: Leicester

My 2005 hdi vtr+ as just developed the same issue power steering then no power steering and so on. Been to my local garage and they couldn't find any mechanical problems so done a diagnostics test and there wasn't any fault codes in the system at all. Also have no lights on my dash i have also changed my battery and had my alternator checked witch is fine. Also my fluid is correct and at the correct level so now im totally baffled by this if any one knows of a cure would be much appreciated

Cheers all
Wed Jun 04 2014, 12:09pm
Member No: #574
Joined: Jul 08 2007
Location: Dorset
The problem with the Meriva are down to a failure of a sensor in the steering column. I wonder whether there is a similar issue with Citroens. I have had experience of this fault on my inlaw's Meriva. Despite the car being 2004, it was fixed for free by Vauxhall by fitting a new steering column.
1 User said Thank You to routemaster1 for this Post :
 Brooksy80 (04 Jun 2014 : 12:23)
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