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I experienced something very frightening yesterday with my 2013 honda accord v6. While driving about 40mph in a straight line I suddenly lost power steering. I had the EPS light show on my dash. I pulled over and restarted the car 2 or 3 times before the power steering came back to normal. It hasn't happened since. The sudden massive increase in steering wheel force required when EPS shuts off could potentially be very dangerous and I am now frightened to drive this car.

I brought the car to a honda dealer and they were able to confirm that an error code was logged after the incident:

DTC 71-01 Motor Angle Sensor (SIN/COS Signals)

Unfortunately they were not able to diagnose what the root cause of the above issue is. They followed all of the honda-supplied debugging procedures and ran a full reset & diagnostics on the EPS sub system. They weren't able to find any problems with it and their conclusion that the issue was "intermittent" and that I should continue to drive the car. They made this sound as if it was some freak event that is extremely unlikely to occur.

I noticed several other customers have run into this issue Honda Accord Steering - 2013 HONDA ACCORD Problems With Steering many this happened several times in a row.

It seems like there are 2 possible scenarios at play:

1) this is a symptom of the EPS system beginning to fail. This would imply I am likely to see this issue repeat, eventually resulting in a complete failure of the EPS. 2) This is some known event that occurs with some incredibly low probability. I am no more likely to experience this again vs a brand new EPS system.

It sounded like the dealer thought this was in category 2 (freak event).. If that is the case what is the chances of this happening?? Why have so many customers reported this happening 2 or 3 times in a short timespan?

It seems to me case 1 is the more likely scenario.

What should I do next?

  • Supposedly you have electric power steering and not hydraulic. While the sudden increase in steering force may be somewhat frightening, do note that most increase occurs at low speeds. When driving at high speeds, the steering assist required is minimal. I would therefore say that the loss of power steering is not a huge safety issue (consider this: there have been cars without power steering), and thus, I would continue driving the car. If the problem occurs again and again, perhaps replacement of the electric power steering system is required, but it will be expensive! – juhist Feb 17 '17 at 18:52
  • I have same car 2013 and same happened to me few days ago. I'm hopping to here about a recall from the company and they will replace the EPS system. – Ayelet Cohen May 29 at 13:01
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Has this only happened once? Assuming everything checked out I'd agree with the dealer tech. Looking through a couple professional sites this doesn't seem that common. You could spend hundreds of dollars on diagnostic time and not be able to repeat the problem. If this has happened to you multiple times something is truly wrong. You need to either leave the car with the dealer until they can duplicate the problem or diagnosis this yourself. As to others reporting this happening multiple times, it could be a misdiagnosis or technician error. You'll never know unless a follow up was posted.

If you have an oscilloscope buy some 10' leads backprobe the signal, power and ground wires on the motor angle sensor (or at the EPS control module) and drive until the problem happens again.

There are software updates to provide partial steering assist when in failure mode see TSB 15-055. Check with the dealer to see if the TSB applies.

As a last resort, if you can afford it trade the car in for something else.

  • Yes this only happened once. But when it did happen, i had to restart the car multiple times before the issue went away, so it persisted across car starts. – bradforj287 Feb 17 '17 at 23:25
  • @bradforj287 I'm unfamiliar with the EPS control logic on that particular MY, in most cases if a code exists it will disable the EPS. It could require a number of good self tests before it sends the code to history and re-enables the EPS. Without being able to look at scan data or having access to Honda's service Information for this system, it'd be hard to verify this. – Ben Feb 17 '17 at 23:32

protected by Community May 29 at 14:16

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