2011 Honda Fit - EPS binds up

Electric power steering begins binding with outside or engine increase in temp. When cold it works perfectly. The steering wheel has to be pulled back to center or pulled to make a turn.
Feels like the rack has no lubrication except when it is not warm. Very odd…the bind is bad when it is warm / hot!
No one will work on it. Car has 80k miles on it.

No one? Or no one cheap? Take it to a Honda dealer, I’ll bet they will work on it.

Steering is nothing to mess with. You need to get this fixed.


It appears this is a common complaint with this vehicle.



NHTSA has 8 complaints for steering intermittent failures on Fits from 2011. It does seem that there are a lot of complaints as mentioned above. No recalls, no investigations by NHTSA, and no manufacturer communications.

Ask your shop to make sure all the EPS inputs are correct: Vehicle speed, engine rpm, eps angle, steering torque. Power and ground too. Is the EPS warning light on? Any diagnostic codes in the gauge control module? Does the problem occur more at low speeds? High speeds? Low to high speed transitions? Has your shop tired adjusting the steering rack?

Has your shop lifted the front wheels and turned the steering wheel, checking for weird noises or binds? Steering problems can be caused anywhere between the steering wheel to the front wheels, not just the EPS unit and rack. Make sure your shop checks for binding in the steering column, tie rods, ball joints/struts.

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The original post said " No one will work on it " :thinking:

… and there has to be a lot more to that statement than we currently know about…


I’d replace the steering unit first. Then see how it works.

Add “electric power steering” to the long list of features that I would avoid like a deadly disease.

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If you buy something relatively new, you may have to get a 3/4 ton truck to be able to avoid electric power steering! I’m not sure what models do or do not have it anymore. The 2013 F150 I owned had it, as well as my wife’s current 2013 Highlander. Used to own an 08 Malibu that had it (and had to be repaired under warranty). Has worked fine so far in the Highlander for 150k miles or so. Manufacturers have had some issues with it for sure, though.

I think it was implemented to save .00005 mpg’s as it eliminates a pulley on the serpentine belt. Could be wrong on that theory, though. I assume it’s how they implement some of the “driver assist / lanekeeping” technology (which I think I’d like to avoid myself at this point) on the new stuff. So I suppose it has other uses than just my fuel saving theory.

Had a 2000 Honda with EPS with 108K on it when I sold it. No issues.

My 13 Mustang has EPS with 80K on it, no issues.

Wife’s 14 Audi has EPS with 40K on it, no issues.

Don’t be afraid of 25 year old technology just because you don’t like change or don’t understand the technology.


Well, we have lots of these in my area.


I was curious on the fuel savings from EPS. Based on a number of articles I found, most said it saves 4%, and some saying up to 5%.

There is a consensus among the articles that the switch from hydraulic to EPS was driven by stricter MPG and emission standards. Though hybrids benefit from it and EVs need it.

Aside from the weight savings of EPS, the parasitic draw on an idling engine with EPS is over 30 times lower than the equivalent hydraulic system.

Other benefits include:

  • It saves money on the assembly line due to fewer parts to assemble and no need to install hydraulic fluids and hoses.
  • It opens up some badly needed space in the engine area.
  • Power steering can be used even when the engine is off, though it’s not clear who is utilizing this.
  • And as noted, it’s opened up new opportunities with driver assist and lane-keeping technology.
  • Research continues on further integrating EPS with ABS.

While my friend’s Rav-4 burned oil at an alarming rate for its last couple of years, the electric PS never had any issues, up through 134k miles.

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I never considered this or tried it on the one car I have with EPAS. It doesn’t seem to have power steering with the key on, though. Not that I need it to :thinking:

Car dies in the road, makes it easier to steer it while pushing it to the side of the road. Would’ve killed for that the one time I borrowed my father-in-law’s 05 Focus wagon and the frigging alternator conked out (again, I think that was the 3rd or 4th one that died on him…) during rush hour and I was stuck blocking a lane waiting for a tow. Thankfully a cop saw me and got in behind me to keep me from getting rear ended while waiting for AAA

You didn’t need power steering, you needed a push.

I would’ve needed the power steering too. I was in the left hand lane, not the right. If I was in the right lane already, I would’ve tried to push it and fight the steering

Many patrol cars are equipped to push other vehicles. Electric power steering doesn’t work if the battery is dead or when the engine is off.

traffic was too busy to push it out of the way. Doesn’t matter now anyway, that car is long gone.