P0550 Power Steering Pressure Sensor Circuit Malfunction

Description and meaning of DTC p0550

This generic powertrain diagnostic trouble code (DTC) typically applies to all OBD-II vehicles equipped with a power steering pressure sensor. That may include but is not limited to vehicles from Infiniti, Nissan, Toyota, Lexus, Mazda, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Kia, etc. Before hydraulically and electrically assisted steering systems were invented, manufacturers used an unassisted rack and pinion steering system. This made steering at low speed extremely difficult and inefficient. For this reason we invented the power steering system. Generally speaking, a hydraulically assisted system will include a belt driven power steering pump, steering rack/box and various hoses/lines and sensors. The Engine Control Module (ECM) or Powertrain Control Module (PCM) works in conjunction with the power steering pressure sensor to monitor the pressure within the system and adjust accordingly. The ECM illuminates the check engine light with P0550 and associated codes when it recognizes one or multiples condition outside a specific desired range within the power steering pressure sensors's circuit. Most times, I would say, this code is thrown by the ECM because of an electrical issue but at times, mechanical problems could possibly be the cause. P0550 Power Steering Pressure Sensor Circuit Malfunction code is set when the ECM/PCM monitors a general malfunction within the sensor's circuit. It is one of five related codes, which are P0550, P0551, P0552, P0553, and P0554.

p0550 diagnostic trouble code symptoms

Symptoms of a P0550 diagnostic code may include:Erratic idleEngine stalling symptomsIntermittent assist when steering (choppy turning)Hard to steer vehicleWhining noisesLeaking fluidPoor handling

DTC p0550 - possible causes

Causes for this code may include: Broken or damaged wiring harnessPower steering fluid leakFuse/relay defectivePower steering pressure sensor defectiveECM issuePin/connector problem. (e. g. corrosion, melting, broken lock tab, etc. )

How to fix OBD-II diagnostic trouble code p0550

Be sure to check for technical service bulletins (TSBs) for your vehicle. Getting access to a known fix can save you time and money during diagnosis. ToolsSome of the things you may need when diagnosing or repairing the power steering circuits and systems:OBD code readerPower steering fluidDrain panMultimeterBasic socket setBasic ratchet and wrench setsBasic screwdriver setBattery terminal cleanerService manualSafety Tips Let engine coolChalk wheelsWear PPE (Personal protective equipment)NOTE: ALWAYS verify and record the integrity of your battery and charging system before further troubleshooting. Basic Step #1Always keep it simple at first. Check your power steering fluid level and top up as necessary. Check your parking space, any signs of a leak? If so, investigate further. If the fluid is low, it's going somewhere so make sure to repair any mechanical leaks before proceeding to any electrical diagnosing. Take a good look at the sensor itself, I've personally seen these sensors leak through the sensor itself, so make sure it's dry and there is no obvious signs of damage and/or leaks. NOTE: These systems use high pressures that could cause harm so be careful, pinhole leaks are dangerous and are a serious hazard. If you are not familiar with the dangers of working with hydraulic systems, please bring your vehicle to a reputable repair facility. Basic Step #2To rule out the sensor, you will need to test it. Refer to your service manual for the specifications needed. Usually, the sensor itself is mounted to a power steering pressure line. Most times these are hard aluminum/braided rubber lines and can be accessed from under the hood. NOTE: A common leak found is where the rubber meets the hard pressure line, sometimes it separates and causes a hard to find leak. Basic Tip #3Locate the electrical connector on the pressure sensor. Inspect for any oil residue/soaking. If the connector is soaked in oil, obviously the leak is a problem but the oil must be cleaned before reconnecting. A connector showing signs of melting and/or corrosion must be repaired. NOTE: Make sure to disconnect battery before performing any electrical repairs. Basic Step #4Check for physical damage. In this case I'd say the sensor is exposed to some harsh conditions. If the lines aren't fastened properly, the sensor may be rubbing on something and over time could cause an electrical problem of some sort. Fasten any loose lines, especially the one with the sensor mounted to it. Basic Step #5You may be able to verify the integrity of the power steering pressure sensor circuit(s). To pretty much rule out any problem with your wiring harness, you could disconnect the circuit at the sensor and the ECM. Using your multimeter, refer to your service manual and verify that all the desired values are in check. If everything seems fine up to this point i would recommend you bring the vehicle to your reputable repair facility.

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