High jump in RPMs when turning steering wheel

Hi everyone,

I’m experiencing a strange issue with my 2010 Mazda6 that is extremely unsettling on a day-to-day basis. When I’m at very low RPMs and foot off the gas my RPMs jump insanely high when turning the steering wheel causing me to panic brake. I have no idea what’s going on.

  1. My regular RPMs when idling is around 700
  2. When I’m in Drive or Reverse with my foot off the gas, RPMs go up slightly to around 750 (normal expectation)
  3. But if I turn my steering wheel in either direction, very often the RPMs spike up to 1500 causing the car to jump. Although this NEVER happens if my steering wheel remains straightened out.
  4. For some reason this is more prominent when the car is on an incline (ie, hill, parking garage…etc)
  5. This has also occurred when I’m in Neutral as well and I start moving my steering around, spikes up to 1500

I understand that it is entirely normal for the ECU to increase RPMs a bit when turning the steering wheel, but not to this insane level. Anyone have any advice/suggestions for me? Thanks!

Have someone check if the power steering pressure sensor is working correctly.

Tester

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You really need to get this into a competent mechanic that can hook up a scanner to the car’s competer to take data when this happens. ASAP!

I don’t know what is causing this, but it could result in a serious if you don’t get this fixed.

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I agree with Tester.

You can borrow a scanner for free from Auto Zone (etc.). Even if you don’t want to act on it yourself the knowledge prepares you for dealing with a mechanic.

Thank you all. By scanner, are you guys referring to a simple OBD2 scanner or something else?

A scanner is capable displaying live data.

Parts stores let you borrow CODE READERS.

Not helpful unless the Check Engine light is on.

Tester

Gotcha, thanks. If I get my hands on one of these, anything in the live data I should pay attention to? There’s no codes coming through my OBD2 reader and no check engine light.

Look up OBDII live data scanners for computers/smartphones on your search engine.

Price dictates capabilities.

Tester

Oh sorry, I do have a OBD2 live data scanner with me. Just wondering if there might be certain fields/statistics in the output I should keep an eye on when this issue happens? Thanks!

Small update - Looks life if I disconnect the power steering pressure switch, the issue disappears completely. I think my first step is to replace the power steering pressure sensor, for now I’m driving with it disconnected.

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