Steering along the right line

Snap-on's Diagnostic Product Specialist, examines steering angle sensors

Published:  27 March, 2014

By Lee Collins

The steering angle sensor (SAS) is an essential component in the ESC system which measures the position of the steering wheel and speed at which it is being turned by the driver, in more technical terms, the SAS calculates changes in the steering geometry between the steering wheel and the road wheels. Mounted on the steering column and using different techniques, such as anisotropic magneto resistance and photoelectric principles, the SAS sends data back to the ESC's Electronic Control Unit (ECU), transferring information across a Controller Area Network (CAN).

This sophisticated technology can understandably strike fear into even the most experienced technician. However, as with virtually any other area on the vehicle, it can be easily addressed with the right diagnostic equipment and system knowledge, making resetting or recalibrating the SAS after wheel alignment and when components in the steering system are replaced, a straightforward process. Scan tools, such as Snap-on's MODIS Ultra or VERUS Pro equipped with the latest 14.2 diagnostic software release, enable technicians to carry out functional tests of the entire ESC system, including the SAS, as well as resetting and recalibrating the system through dedicated menus. This in turn enables wheel alignment to be fully completed and by having the right diagnostic equipment and software avoids work being lost to a competitor down the road.

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