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MG MGF Technical - Power Steering

Can anyone tell me if there is an easy way to reset the part of the engine management that controls the power steering function. Problem is while I was trying to find a vibration from the exhaust system I was revving the engine to see if I could determine at what engine rev the sound happened. Unfortunately, I forgot about the 'feature' of the engine managment switching off the power steering when you do this so now I have no power steering and the warning light remain on. ARGH!

My initial thought was just turn the ignition off and wait a few minutes before trying again - this did not work, I still have now power assistance. I phone my dealer, but all the mechanics had already gone (5:15 when I phoned) and the receptionist (loverly as she is) could only tell me I'd need to book the car in for it to be attached to the testbook and have the system scanned for problems. This would mean a half hour booking and wasting of 30 just to have the bloody thing reset because I *know* that's all it needs.

So, if anyone knows a simple method for resetting the power steering without causing any problems or faults with with regards to the testbook could they please let me know. I really don't want to waste my time and money on getting something as daft as this fixed by a dealer. :(

Paul Lathwell

When i have cut the power steering out (for fun cos i read about it) i start to drive and afte a few meters the power steering kicks back in!

i was gutted cos i wanted to try it without the power steering on. pulled the fuse, not doing that again! bit of a fight to get it round corners

I know it's easy to reset, but I don't know how, I can't find it in the manual. Someone here will know, when mine cut out it cut back in again after turning off the ingnition and restarting .

Matt, if you ain't already done it, change the front tracking to toe in Odeg 5min or so. I have found the steering more responsive and I'm getting much more feedback now. If you don't like the power steering this may be the reason (of course the bushes help a bit too :-)

It may be ok for some F's but the Rover settings wear out my tyres and make the handling S**T IMO.
Tony Smith

Thanks for the replys. Like Matt I found that the power steering came back to life shortly fater starting to drive again.

Incidentally I did not think the steering was that heavy once you got moving, only a pain at parking speeds.
Paul Lathwell

Should cut back in if you switch off and switch on again. Well, it has done with me.

I drive without the PAS fuse 50-60% of the time now.
Much more feel. Doesn't suit everyone... hence I get a bollocking if I forget to
put it back in before Jo drives. :o)

Paul Nothard

Tony, a have the re alignment done, and your right it is a lot better taht it used to be.

There might be something funny with my car then, with the fuse out there is more than more feel, it is a real struggle to get the steering wheel turned, a real real struggleand not just at parking speed, i only drove a few miles because i really didn't feel safe and i know my then Fiancee (she left me) would not have been able to get round corners at all!

I can't remember what my alignment settings were at the time, could some dodgy alignment make it this tough?

The power steering cut out a while ago and yes, it is a pain especially with 215 F1s fitted. Going around roundabouts was, er, interesting. A trip to the gym for a work out before I try that again.

I confirm that the PAS does reset automatically when restarting the engine. If it fails to do this then there is something else wrong!

Just a point have you checked the fuse?

Ted Newman

And I can conform Matt's observation that the MEMS/EPAS controller will reset the steering to 'normal running' spontaneously after a short time driving- especially if the rpm is kept lowish (below 3000rpm or so if I recall correctly).

Didn't find 195/50 on 15" rims too much of a handful. Like Paul says, the amount of extra feedback you get is surprising- even at road speeds where there shouldn't be any assistance (but there clearley must be).

Personally I'd like to put in a high current relay so I could press a dash board switch to isolate the EPAS at will :o)

Anyone else interested in this modification? It'd be good to thrash the idea out first before undertaking the work...

Rob Bell

Just to confirm, my power steering reset shortly after I next started driving the car again. Switching off and then restarting did NOT reset the system neither did leaving the car switched off and locked and returning later to try again. Only after I drove the car was the power steering reset.
Paul Lathwell

Can anyone, Roger perhaps, explain why such a relatively light car with mid-engine placement was ever fitted with power assisted steering in the first place? Surely no F's or Loti are raced with such an abomination.
George B.

Rob i think the switchable by-pass for the PAS is an interesting idea. I haven't got the expertise to be able to advise but i would be interested if others can suggest a safe method.

Would this end up working the opposite of the Fiat Punto 'girly' button for the steering, (not my words!, but as seen in the current ad).

Hi all,

Have anyone noticed how hard the stering is when car is on stands and You turn the steering-wheel ?
Big surprise to me last winter as I was undertaking suspension mods. Felt just as whole EPAS system "hangs on " even with battery removed. Just wonder wich way the EPAS-clutch works when whole system is at rest !
How tight /loose is a non-EPAS car with front-wheels in the air ?

Regards , Carl.

Paul, I think that a 'girlie' button should be quite easy to engineer (yup, I know the advert- can't see who it sells cars though!).

The plan is to put a 70-80 amp heavy duty relay in the EPAS circuit that defaults to the closed circuit on power on. This would mean that when the car was started, the EPAS be be by default 'on'. Press the dashboard button however and the system would switch off- and the dashboard EPAS warning light would illuminate to indicate status. Push the button again, and the EPAS circuit would re-energise.

It would require a little bit of designing to be done. Can anyone help? I can only describe my electronics ability as basic (I did a GCE 'O' level in it some years ago- so you guys out there are bound to have a much better idea of how to engineer this than me!!!)

Carl, the EPAS, when switched off, presumably defaults to 'fail safe' and disengages the clutch mechanism- but this is a guess. Bet your guess is actually better than mine!!!

Rob Bell


don't you think switching on the current while driving would "disturb" the EPAS ECU ? Doesn't have the EPAS to be powered from the start to work properly ?

If it is achievable, that would be a great idea at a low cost (although a 80 amp relay isn't just a few quid ?).


Fabrice, you are right- the relay would likely comprise the bulk of the cost- the rest is all relatively cheap. I thought that a suitably modified air-con switch would be perfect.

The idea of the default-on setting would be so that when the car is started, the EPAS is powered up normally. The driver could then make the choice to disable it.

As a safety feature, it may be sensible to only allow a change of EPAS on/off status whilst the handbrake is applied.

I do not think that switching the unit on and off should cause too much of a problem- the sprinters are for ever removing and re-inserting the fuse- and to no mal-effect (to my knowledge anyway).

Rob Bell

I take it back, the relay is remarkably reasonable. A 70 amp automotive relay from Maplins costs only 5 GBP:

Cat# NC43W Auto Relay - 70A

Hmm, looking up :o)

Rob Bell

Hi all,
This is going to be a long and difficult one for me not that fluent in English..... Anyway,just got up from the garage after checking a few things regarding the EPAS system.

1. EPAS is engaged via a clutch when working as usual. This electromagnetic clutch sits next to electric motor. When the torsion bar moves due to our stering effort a weighted current gives additional torque via a wormgear to steering rack and steering feels a bit lighter than without EPAS. So far so good.

2. We pull the fuse to get rid of additional tourqe from EPAS system. Clutch that is close to electric motor never engages so that one never turns when we steer. BUT looking at the wormgear that is a 90 deg.gear transmission , torque is now applied the wrong way !!
We actually force the wormgear to turn all the way up to clutch. With no additional "help" from EPAS torsion bar is now working at full extreme and so is the rotary potentiometer that normally just moves slight before EPAS gives additional torque. ! The total strain on components must be much higher in this case than with "normal" working EPAS. I am not sure but it would be safe to belive that in ANY condition with EPAS working as intended the electric motor - even without the need for any torque - coasts along and prevent strain on system... This could be the explanation for the feel of overreacting EPAS at high speed.

3. So the question is ; Is it really safe /good for the system in the long term to be taken out just by pulling the fuse ?? If there was a possibillity to easily change parameters so electric motor at ALL road-speeds just could "coast along " this would probably give much less strain on system.

What do You think ??

Regards , Carl.

Yes, me again.
What if we instead of shutting down the EPAS system i did some "treatement" on the signal(s) entering the confuser box ? A multivibrator that gives 2 impulses out for every one in from the reedrelay at speedometer ?? In this way it would be possible to fool the unit to think we were going twice as fast and ease off input current /torque to electric motor ...... A simple switch on panel where 1:1 or 1:2 ratio was choosen... Well, worth a try when I got the time.


This thread was discussed between 15/06/2000 and 19/06/2000

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