Toyota Electric Power Steering Problems (Here Is How To Fix)

Toyota Electric Power Steering Problems

Do you know how to fix Toyota´s electric power steering problems? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.

Gone are the days when power steering would be a system of hydraulics, steering fluid, etc. Nowadays, most vehicles are opting for electric power steering, and this includes Toyota vehicles.

While there is a whole lot less that can go wrong with a Toyota electric power steering system, the issues that can present themselves can often be a lot tougher to fix.

In fact, sadly, for the vast majority of issues, you are probably going to need to get in touch with a mechanic.

On this page, we are going to walk you through everything that you need to know about power steering problems on your Toyota. We will also give you a bit of advice on fixing a couple of the issues.

How Do You Know That You Have Toyota Electric Power Steering Problems?

When you have power steering issues, you will notice that your vehicle requires a bit more effort to turn that wheel.

This is because you don’t have the vehicle’s power-assisted steering system giving you a little bit of a boost.

Some people may describe the experience as being a bit ‘hard’. The steering wheel often feels like it is sticky.

You may also notice a whirring or a grinding sound when you turn the steering wheel, although this is admittedly a far, far less common issue than the difficulty steering the wheel.

Read also >> Toyota Charging System Malfunction (Here Is How To Fix)

Do You Need To Fix Toyota Electric Power Steering Problems Quickly?

Obviously, you can drive a vehicle without power steering. Vehicles were made for decades before power steering existed.

However, the question isn’t more whether you really need to get it fixed quickly, but whether it is important when it comes to your driving.

There is no denying that power steering makes driving your vehicle so much easier. If you are used to power steering, then it can come as a pretty big shock when the power steering stops working, and suddenly you are finding yourself having to put a lot of pressure on that steering wheel.

It can make it much, much more difficult to drive.

So, while there isn’t always going to be a pressing need to get that power steering fixed as quickly as possible, we do suggest that you get it done.

It is going to make your vehicle much easier to drive. It shouldn’t be too expensive to fix the vast majority of issues either.

Can You Fix Toyota Electric Power Steering Problems Yourself?

We are in two minds about this.

While there are a few issues that you can easily fix yourself when it comes to the Toyota electric power steering system, you won’t be able to fix everything.

In fact, we are willing to wager that unless you have access to a ton of tools, diagnostic equipment, and vehicle maintenance experience, you won’t be able to fix most issues.

The problem is that most of the issues with the power steering will be down to poor steering wheel alignment, or failures in the sensors.

You may be able to carry out a bit of reset of the sensors, but that is all that you are going to be able to do.

So, as we go through the various suggestions that we are going to give you here, we won’t be telling you how to fix the problem yourself.

We will, merely, be telling you what the issue is likely to be and how the garage will be able to fix it.

Check The Vehicle’s Battery

Obviously, your vehicle’s electric power steering relies on your battery. It needs power.

When the battery in your vehicle starts to fail or gets depleted, it will stop sending power to unneeded components in your vehicle.

One of these components will, eventually, be the electric power steering. After all, your vehicle could function without it.

So, one of the first things that you should do is check your vehicle’s battery. If it is not pumping out the right amount of power, then it may be high time to either charge that battery or, if you have had it in your vehicle for several years, completely replace it.

Reset The Sensors

Sometimes, the sensors for the power steering get a little bit messed up. One solution people have found is to reset the sensors.

Sadly, there isn’t anything in the vehicle that will allow you to reset them easily, so you will need to do things in a rather crude manner.

This means that you have to unplug the battery from the vehicle. You don’t have to physically remove it, just unclip the clips on the terminals. You only have to remove the negative one.

If you leave it unplugged for about 15-minutes, the sensors should reset.

Ensure The Tire Pressure Is Even

In some cases, the power steering system can be a little bit off if the pressure on your tires is a little bit off. Minor pressure differences probably won’t cause you too many issues.

However, if one side has properly pumped-up tires and the other side is a bit on the flat side, then it could throw the power steering sensors off.

Check the tire pressure for every one of your tires. If you need to pump them up, then do so. The job won’t take too long.

Not sure what sort of pressure you need to get those tires pumped up to? Well, that is what your vehicle’s manual is going to be for! It will tell you the PSI range that you need.

Make sure that each of the tires is broadly similar. 

Realignment Of Steering Column

At this point, you are going to need to head to a mechanic. You won’t really be able to realign a steering column yourself, as you will have to completely dismantle it (in some cases), and if you don’t have that much experience with vehicles, this isn’t really a job that you want to do.

After all, if you put the steering column back together wrong, then your steering may be in a far, far worse position than before. 

When a steering column needs to be realigned, you will often find that it is much more difficult to turn the steering wheel one way than the other ways.

You may even notice a slight whirring or buzzing sound coming from the steering wheel when you turn in some directions.

This is because when the steering column is not straight, the sensors for the power steering are getting the wrong signal.

A good mechanic will be able to realign the steering column for you. 

Steering Column Needs To Be Checked

This is another situation where you have little choice but to go to a mechanic.

While it is more likely that your steering column will be out of line, you can not rule out other issues with the steering system.

Small issues with the various components can cause all sorts of power steering failures.

Luckily, a good mechanic won’t have to do much in order to get to the root of the problem. Whenever there is an issue with your vehicle, your vehicle will keep a log using the onboard computer.

The mechanic will have a special tool that they can use to download the error logs from the onboard computer, which makes diagnosing and fixing the problem a breeze.

When To Head To a Mechanic

Honestly, if the first three solutions that we gave you didn’t work, then we would probably recommend that you go to a mechanic to get the problem looked at.

As we said at the start, a power steering malfunction in a Toyota vehicle is going to be ridiculously difficult to fix on your own.

In fact, it is going to be nigh on impossible. This is because most of the issues will involve some serious dismantling of major components in your vehicle, or perhaps dealing with software issues.

We can’t imagine that you will want to spend hours and hours trying to work out what the problem is.

Since the steering wheel is a pretty major part of your vehicle, you don’t want to repair it incorrectly. So, if anything requires you to start fiddling around with the steering wheel, then that vehicle should be taken to an expert instead. 


Sadly, you will not be able to fix most Toyota electric power steering problems yourself. There are some problems that you may be able to rectify e.g. dealing with a failing battery, poor tire pressure, etc.

However, the vast majority of issues are going to require the eye of a trained mechanic. In fact, better yet, take your vehicle to a Toyota dealership so that they are able to fix the problem for you.

Do not touch the power steering system in your vehicle unless you know what you are doing.

It would involve messing around with some pretty vital components, and that can have dire consequences when you take your vehicle on the road. 


Steve P.

Steve is an automotive technician, technical writer, and Managing Editor. He has held a lifelong passion for cars, with a particular interest in cars like the Buick Riviera. Steve is based in Boise, Idaho.

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