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Increase efficiency by disabling electric assist in steering

20519 Views 82 Replies 31 Participants Last post by  IamIan
This is for the traditionalists and the hard-core milleage freaks.
By removing the fuse of the electric assist power steering you will conserve battery power that would otherwise be used every time you turn the wheel. It also gives you better feel of what is going on between the road and the tires at higher speeds.

This is a very simple, quick and easy mod you can do in 20 seconds just before you drive to work tomorrow to feel it for yourself.

Open the hood.
Look for 40A power steering fuse as shown on fuse box decal.
Remove the 40A power steering fuse and store in your cup holder.
Drive the car and feel the real effort it takes to drive without power steering. :shock:

It's not that bad really, it feels firm during normal driving.
I first tried it an auto-x and it felt like I was wrestling a bear when turning fast at low speeds. But at higher speeds I had a better feel what the tires where doing. On the highway I drove home and it feel firm but nice.
I'll try it on and off a few times and decide what I prefer after a few days.

Tell me what you think after you try it.
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No worries, just try it for yourself.
When the fuse is removed the light "EPS" goes on.
When the fuse is put back in everything goes back to normal and the "EPS" light turns off.

The reason Honda went to EPS instead of hydraulic is because it only draws power when you are turning. hydraulic system needs to stay pressurized so it's constantly using power even when driving in a straight line.

BMW Minis also have electric steering.
I suspect the electric assist is 40A because it uses the 12V system.
The motor assist fuse is 100A but that's at 144V.
I don't think it takes 1/2 the driving power to steer the car.
Ideally we could hack into the ECU computer and change all these variables with a Palm Pilot computer.
I've read that it takes $10,000 in labour to hack into a car's ECU and figure out how to change variables like that.

On second thought a switch could be a good idea.
Specially if it was activated by a speed sensor so you always have electric assist when the speed drops below 40 mph for collision avoidance safety and comfort.

Has anyone pulled the electric assist steering fuse and driven around at low and high speeds yet?
As someone has mentioned before, it would be much better for safety and convinience if switches are activated to disable EPS only in 4th and 5th gears.
That is much better then turning the system on and off manually.
Knowing that I don't recommend disabling the EPS.
The ABS system is designed to allow you to brake and turn at the same time by reducing the braking force when the wheel is turned.

Disabling the EPS will not allow the advanced ABS computer algorithm to put priority on steering instead of braking so a collision will be more difficult to avoid.
Just a few days ago I read in the Insight Service Manual that when the electric power steering (EPS) motor starts overheating from turning the wheel quickly back and forth many times,
the EPS gradually reduces steering assist until it stops assisting to allow the motor to cool. This is something I have never noticed during an auto-x so it must take more then 1 minute to overheat.

There is no reason why the steering system would get damaged when EPS fuse is removed. But like explained above, with the EPS fuse removed the ABS is not as affective at allowing the car to brake and turn simultaneously.
But braking and turning simultaneously is very poor technique specially in an an emergency collision avoidance situation. But very people have the training and practice to do this well, unless they race on weekends :wink:
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