A steering angle sensor is a safety device that is part of the steering and suspension system and the traction control system on a modern vehicle. The sensor works along with the traction and stability control system to help keep your vehicle under control on the road.
The steering angle sensor (SAS) is typically mounted on the steering column, between the steering wheel and the dashboard. It comes in one of two types: analog, where the vehicle’s computer senses differences in voltage as you turn the steering wheel, or digital, where a small LED light provides the data for the computer. In either case, the computer uses the data to identify the position of the steering wheel, rate of turn, and relationship of the steering wheel to the wheels on the ground. It then calculates whether to provide variable assist to the power steering and stability control systems to enhance vehicle control.
If the steering angle sensor goes bad, it is likely that your vehicle’s computer will disable the stability control system. Signs that the sensor has failed include:
To replace the steering angle sensor on a vehicle, a technician must first disconnect the battery to disable the supplemental restraint (airbag) system. From there, the steps vary from one vehicle make and model to the next, but typically include the following:
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