fiat 500 power steering problems

The Fiat 500, particularly the 2009 1.2 Petrol model with 70k miles, has been known to encounter power steering issues. These problems can manifest as heavy steering and power steering error messages, often resolved temporarily by restarting the engine.

Problem Description

  1. Issue Occurrence: Power steering error displayed after ignition left on for a while and during driving.
  2. Temporary Solution: Restarting the engine resets the error and restores normal steering function.
  3. Vehicle Details: 2009 Fiat 500 1.2 Petrol with 70k miles.
  4. Other Observations: Car starts normally, suggesting the battery may not be the primary issue.

Possible Causes and Solutions

  1. Electric Power Steering (EPS) Motor:
    • Symptoms: Steering going heavy, error message appearing.
    • Possible Cause: Failure or malfunction of the EPS motor.
    • Solution: Have the power steering motor inspected and possibly sent off for repair.
  2. Battery and Alternator:
    • Symptoms: Occasional power steering errors.
    • Possible Cause: Weak battery or failing alternator.
    • Solution: Test the battery and alternator with a multimeter. Replace if necessary.
  3. Electrical Connections and Earth Straps:
    • Symptoms: Intermittent power steering issues.
    • Possible Cause: Poor electrical connections or inadequate earth grounding.
    • Solution: Check and enhance engine and body earth straps. Ensure all connections are secure and free of corrosion.
  4. Steering ECU:
    • Symptoms: Error messages related to steering.
    • Possible Cause: Faults in the steering electronic control unit.
    • Solution: Consult specialists such as BBA Reman for common faults in the steering ECU of this model.

Additional Considerations

  • Dealership Responsibility: If purchased from a dealer, they are obligated to address these issues, especially if they occur shortly after purchase.
  • Professional Diagnosis: Have the vehicle checked by a qualified mechanic or an independent garage.
  • Check for Recalls: Verify if there have been any manufacturer recalls for the power steering system for your specific model.


Power steering problems in the Fiat 500 can be attributed to various factors, from EPS motor issues to electrical system faults. It is crucial to have a thorough diagnostic check to pinpoint the exact cause. Regular maintenance and immediate attention to such issues are key to ensuring the longevity and safety of the vehicle’s steering system. If the problem recurs, additional measures like enhancing the earth grounding should be considered.

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