bmw increased steering effort

BMW Increased Steering Effort [Meaning & Fix]

Facing a tough steering wheel and an ‘Increased steering effort’ warning in your BMW?

In this guide, I’ll uncover the main causes and offer effective fixes. Let’s begin.

Troubleshooting BMW’s Steering Warning

Meaning EPS (Electronic Power Steering) issue, causing harder steering
Common Causes Bad battery, EPS sensor, steering rack, loose EPS harness
Quick Fix Often resolved with a new battery or by checking connections

Understanding Your BMW’s Steering Effort Warning

The “Increased Steering Effort. Drive Moderately” warning message on your BMW dashboard or multifunction display can be confusing.

What does it mean exactly? In short, the increased steering effort is basically just an indicator that there is some type of problem with your steering system and that the EPS (Electronic Power Steering) is not working.

As soon as this warning comes up, you will notice that the steering becomes much harder to turn, and making small turns becomes much more difficult.

This is because the EPS is not working, and you turn the steering wheel by hand.

What Causes the “Increased Steering Effort” Alert?

Now, let’s look at the leading causes of this problem.

Technically many things could cause this warning, but based on my experience as a mechanic and my research on the issue.

I have narrowed down the list of possible causes to four.

These include a bad battery, faulty EPS sensor, damaged steering rack, and a loose EPS electric harness. Let’s go into more detail

1. Bad Battery

The most common cause of this warning light is a bad battery. If the battery cannot hold its charge or is old (3-5 years), it will cause all sorts of electrical problems with your BMW.

The EPS system uses a lot of power when activated, so if that power source is not working correctly, it can cause the Electric power steering not to work as it should.

The PCM will pick this up and display an “Increased steering effort, drive moderately” message to alert you.

2. EPS Loose Wiring Harness

The EPS Loose Wiring Harness is the second most common problem with BMW steering systems.

The EPS system consists of several wiring connectors that communicate with each other and send information back to the PCM so that it can control and activate the steering assist.

Sometimes the connections inside these connectors will break or become loose. The “increased steering effort” warning will be triggered if this happens.

3. Faulty EPS sensor

Another common cause of this problem is a Faulty Electric power steering sensor(s).

Your BMW steering system consists of sensors that detect the steering wheel’s position and send this information to the computer.

When one of these sensors is faulty, it can cause problems with how much effort is needed to turn your wheel and make driving more difficult.

If there is a fault with the sensor, it will not be able to properly communicate with the PCM and tell it how much pressure you put on the wheel.

4. Damaged Steering Rack

The final possible cause of this problem is a damaged steering rack. This is the component that connects your car’s wheels to its axles and allows them to turn when you turn the wheel.

If this component is damaged, then it can cause abnormal resistance in your steering wheel, making it difficult to turn without putting more effort into it than expected and triggering the warning message.

The steering rack on BMWs rarely fails. However, if you recently hit a large pothole or curb, then it could have been damaged.

Effective Solutions for BMW Steering Issues

1. Solution for Bad Battery:

In most cases, replacing the battery should resolve the issue. If the car has been idle and the battery is relatively new, driving the car for a while may help recharge the battery.

A bad battery is often the primary cause of the problem.

2. Solution for EPS Loose Wiring Harness:

Inspect the connectors to ensure they are all securely attached. If you discover a loose connection, reattach it using electrical tape or a wire connector.

This simple fix can often resolve the warning.

3. Solution for Faulty EPS Sensor:

If one or more steering wheel sensors are malfunctioning, they will need to be replaced by a BMW dealer or a qualified mechanic.

Sensor issues can significantly affect steering effort.

4. Solution for Damaged Steering Rack:

If the steering rack is damaged, possibly due to an impact like hitting a pothole or curb, it will need replacement. This task should be handled by a BMW dealer or a qualified mechanic.

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