Jim Grant's Tech Tips
Continental, Weak Power Steering
Q: It seems when I'm parking and turn the
steering wheel it becomes really stiff and I get a "check power assist"
message . It only does this when I'm in a tight spot and really turn the
wheel hard. Once I turn off the car the steering is back to normal.
sounds as if your Continental is equipped with an Electronic Variable
Orifice (EVO) system. EVO is an elegant way to say computer assisted,
assisted power steering. Are you with me? You have a highbred type of
power assisted steering on your vehicle that has 3 basic forms of operation;
full power steering assist at low speed for parking effort, minimum assist
at high speed for good road feel and directional stability, and high assist
at high speed for evasive maneuvers, for dodging suicidal squirrels crossing
the road. The Vehicle Dynamics Module (VDM) alters the characteristic
of the power steering system based on inputs from different computer sensors
on the vehicle. If the Check Power Assist warning light is coming on there
is likely a diagnostic trouble code in the computer that can be retrieved
that should explain your loss of power assist. With this information the
corrective repairs can be made.