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Steering Angle Sensor Reset

Damien Coleman
Snap-on® Diagnostic Software Specialist 

How to Perform a

Steering Angle Sensor Reset


What are the signs of a faulty steering angle sensor?

1. Check Engine Light: The engine control module and traction control systems use data from the steering angle sensor. A faulty sensor can trigger the check engine light

2. Traction Control Light: The traction control system relies on the steering angle sensor data. If the sensor provides incorrect information, the traction control light may illuminate

3. Incorrect Steering Wheel Alignment: A faulty sensor can lead to incorrect steering wheel angle readings, causing improper wheel alignment, leading to vehicle pulling or uneven tire wear

4. Malfunctioning Stability Control and Traction Control Systems: A failing steering angle sensor can cause unexpected interventions or failures of stability and traction control systems, affecting vehicle stability and traction

5. Unusual Steering Wheel Sensation: Drivers may experience a heavy, difficult to turn, loose, or imprecise steering wheel due to inaccurate steering angle readings affecting vehicle stability control

6. Increased Tyre Wear: A faulty sensor can affect how tires interact with the road surface, leading to uneven tire wear and reduced control and performance

7. Inaccurate Reading on the Steering Wheel: If the displayed steering angle on the dashboard doesn't match the actual position of the steering wheel, it could indicate a sensor problem



Why is a steering angle sensor reset important?

For example, if you turn the steering wheel on a vehicle with dynamic headlights, the headlight aim can will move left to right to better illuminate your path; or, if a car with electronic stability control is going off line during hard braking, to keep the car pointing in the correct direction the engine control unit monitors the steering angle sensors and affects braking to the individual wheels so control of the vehicle isn’t lost.

Steering angle sensors are usually located in the Column Integrated Module and with a MODIS Edge it is simple to see fault codes when the sensors fail or go out of tolerance. They can also lose synchronisation if the battery has been disconnected for long periods of time.

Using a MODIS Edge, the sensors can be reset to the manufacturer’s specification and data lists can be used to confirm operation.

If a vehicle comes in to a bodyshop with steering and handling problems, there are several steps that should be taken in order to complete and validate the repair.

It’s important to not only make sure that any wheel alignment adjustments are made, using a Snap-on wheel alignment system, but also that the necessary diagnostic work is also done in order to reset any sensors and clear any fault codes.

By utilising an advanced Snap-on system's expert-level measurement features you can quickly establish bent or damaged suspension parts to help ensure that you order and replace the correct components.

Once those checks and repairs have been completed, a Snap-on car diagnostic scan tool such as the MODIS Edge can be used to make sure the vehicle is ready to be returned to its owner.


What are the common procedures I may need to deal with?

One of the most common procedures to follow is resetting the vehicle’s steering angle sensors, which is especially important if components have been replaced.

Connect the MODIS Edge up to the vehicle and select the 'Scanner' option from the homepage, then, once the vehicle has been identified, navigate to the 'Wheel Alignment' menu.

Using a 2014 Peugeot 207 1.6L T-Diesel as an example, select the 'Steering Angle Sensor Calibration' option.

The model’s steering angle sensor must be re-calibrated if the toe-in is adjusted, if the sensor or the ESP ECU is replaced, if work is carried out on the steering column or column support, or if any other work is carried out on the front axle.

From there, follow the on-screen prompts and the steps advised, then begin the calibration.

Once the calibration process has ended, start the vehicle’s engine and ensure that the ABS warning light is no longer illuminated.

Then, a short road test should be carried out to confirm that zero calibration has been completed.

It is important to reset the steering angle sensors after wheel alignment work because of how they impact other systems within a vehicle such as Dynamic Headlights, Electronic Stability Control, Adaptive Cruise Control and Active Stability Control.