The power steering of my 2005 Smart ForFour doesn't start immediately when I start the car. I first have to turn the wheel left and right a few times. Then I hear the soft click sound of a relay at the foot of the passenger seat, and then the power steering is on.

This problem started a few weeks ago and it doesn't seem to get worse (yet). I just got back from the mechanic where they told me it's an all electrical system and I need to go to another place that specialises in this stuff. They could replace the whole system but that would cost me close to €1500.

Before I spend any more money on it I would like to know if someone here is familiar with the problem. And if so, what's the right place to look?

  • Is the amount of time before the relay clicks consistent? Is the temperature cold? Hot? Is there correlation between the temperature and the amount of time it takes for the relay to click? Before the relay clicks does it feel like the steering is binding? – Ben Feb 9 '17 at 21:09
  • I always have to turn the steering wheel 30º to the left, then 30º to the right, then back again to get it started. Sometimes it starts after turning two times, sometimes after four, but never more. Once I started driving without turning and it never came on so I had to stop the engine and start again to get it going. It also only turns on when the engine is running. As far as I can recall, temperature doesn't have anything to do with it but I'll keep an eye on it in the upcoming days. What do you mean with binding? That it's feeling a bit gooey? Because that's indeed that it feels like. – wout Feb 10 '17 at 10:06
  • After evaluating it a bit more, it seems that when the car has been standing in the sun, the power steering turns on faster than when it has been parked in an underground parking for example. – wout Feb 18 '17 at 8:52

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