Auto Service World
Feature   November 1, 2003   by Rich Diegle

Over-Sensitive Chevy Steering

If Only Vehicles Could Talk

I know vehicle owners occasionally refer to automotive technicians as doctors. Wouldn’t it be great if, like people, vehicles could tell us what their symptoms were? It would definitely make diagnosing problems much easier. Let’s image that you were an Automotive Doctor (AD) and your patient, a 1998 Chevrolet Silverado (CS), could talk. Here is how that “office visit” might play out…

(AD) “Good afternoon, Mr. Silverado. How are you today?” (CS) “Overall, I feel fine but sometimes my steering can be very over-sensitive.” (AD) “Are you experiencing any other symptoms? Have you displayed any trouble codes?” (CS) “No other symptoms and I haven’t thrown a code in quite some time. It’s just that my steering effort can intermittently change from being normal to over-sensitive and back again at anytime. Sometimes the problem lasts until I go through the next key ‘off-on’ cycle.” (AD) “This is very interesting. Do you ever feel out of control while you’re having this problem?” (CS) “Not really, it’s just annoys me because I know my steering system isn’t operating properly.”

(AD) “Actually, I’ve seen this exact problem addressed in an automotive technical service bulletin. It can also affect any 1997 or 1998 Chevy and GMC truck or van model that is equipped with an Electronic Variable Orifice (EVO) steering system. The condition may be caused by high electrical resistance in your steering wheel speed sensor. I’ll have to perform a quick test to verify the cause. This is what that test will entail…

First, I will disconnect the three-wire connector from your steering wheel speed sensor.

Next, with your key in the OFF position, I’ll use a digital multi-meter (DMM) to test for resistance between your CKT 1057 (ORN/BLK) and CKT 1059 (LT BLU) wires.

Then, I’ll rotate your steering wheel slowly from lock to lock and record the highest reading.

If the reading is above 12K ohms, I’ll have to replace your steering wheel speed sensor and bearing assembly with a General Motors sensor kit (P/N 26076106).”

Later that day

(AD) “Good news; the test results revealed that you did have excessive resistance in your steering wheel speed sensor, so I replaced it with a new one. You shouldn’t have any further problems with over-sensitive steering.” (CS) “I’m so relieved it wasn’t something more serious. Thank you so much.” (AD) “You’re welcome. My patient’s steering health is very important to me.” (CS) “How much do I owe you?” (AD) “See the receptionist on your way out. I believe you have a $50 deductible and your extended-warranty should pick up the balance.”

ALLDATA is a registered trademark of ALLDATA LLC

Written by ALLDATA Technical Editor, Rich Diegle. Rich is an Advanced Engine Performance Certified, ASE Master Technician with an AA Degree in automotive technology and 22 years of dealership and independent shop experience.

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