Cadillac CTS-V Forum banner
21 - 40 of 42 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,807 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 ·

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,578 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Man, the search button on this forum is helpful. Thanks for posting all the help.

FWIW, I put an Air Raid in my '09 V sedan (M6) a while ago. Since then, I've gotten an intermittent but increasingly persistent "Service Power Steering" message, along with the associated increased steering stiffness. I also got the "Park Assist Deactivated" messages that z11375ss mentioned in post #6 of this thread.

I read that I should check my ground cable under the air box and the output of my alternator. The car has been idling with ~14.7V, so that's not the issue.

About a year ago, I took the box back out and cleaned the body surface and the ground cable surface... but my dumbass failed to recognize that the Air Raid sheetmetal air box that bolts to that grounding location is PAINTED! So I had nice clean grounding surfaces bolted to a painted air box surface. I just finished wire-wheeling the air box tab that gets sandwiched at that grounding location and the problem is gone.

I was starting to forget how fun this car is to drive. (y)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
I'm getting the same message: "Service Power Steering."

After searching I found this thread.

It happens randomly, and kicks off my Competitive Stabilitrak. I've checked my voltage in the DIC when it happens and its read in the 12's, 13's, and 14's.

To that, is there a way of knowing if the alternator is kicking the bucket? Is it a progressive charge that reduces its capacity based on battery voltage, to prevent overcharging? Or is the wide range of charging voltage normal? When I'm on the highway it's never a solid number. It could be 12-14.4. Just seems odd.

I'll try the grounding bolt and replace the alternator. I'll be damned if the alternator fixes it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,619 Posts
The battery voltage should not jump around. It should remain fairly stable in the high 13 to low 14V range, even at idle (the occasional "transient" is OK, there are many electrical loads that turn on and off that will effect Voltage, but the charging system compensates quickly if it's working correctly). If you're in cruise on the highway and it's moving between 12 and 14, there is almost certainly a problem. Though I can't say that'd cause the problem you're seeing. There are lots of different ways to have an electrical problem that look like wobbly voltage on a meter...

It's probably not the alternator itself, there's not a lot that can go wrong besides bearings, there aren't any brushes or anything, just solid state circuits and what amounts to a set of electromagnets. But there's a rectifier and regulator that can definitely go bad. I've never done the alternator on my car, I don't know if it's got an integrated regulator or one you can service/replace. Someone on the thread forum will know, though... if the regulator can be replaced, that'd be the place to start assuming you've already done the obligatory ground connection checks.

Alternators can be tested. A competent repair shop ought to have a tester. Or a battery shop. Maybe even a place like CAP or ADAP would be able to test it for you. It's not quite as definitive (because you can't put the maximum electrical load on the alternator like a dedicated tester can), but you can do it DIY if you have a DMM and an assistant. Start the car and check the DC voltage at the alternator. It should be in the high 13s to low 14s and fairly steady. If it isn't have the assistant give the car a little more gas. Assuming the voltage comes up, holding RPM, turn on the headlights, fog lamps, wipers, rear defogger, and put the AC on high/recirculate. Anything that draws power, turn it on, the more the better. The voltage at the alternator should not change much if at all. If it drops and doesn't come back up within a few seconds, the regulator is bad. If the DC voltage looks OK, switch the DMM to AC and check the voltage at the alternator again. If it reads anything except zero, the rectifier in the alternator is bad. If the voltage is steady in the 13.5-14.5 range and there's no AC voltage, the alternator isn't your problem...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,185 Posts
The battery voltage should not jump around. It should remain fairly stable in the high 13 to low 14V range, even at idle (the occasional "transient" is OK, there are many electrical loads that turn on and off that will effect Voltage, but the charging system compensates quickly if it's working correctly). If you're in cruise on the highway and it's moving between 12 and 14, there is almost certainly a problem. Though I can't say that'd cause the problem you're seeing. There are lots of different ways to have an electrical problem that look like wobbly voltage on a meter...
When I was diagnosing my engine's "Chirp" noise I thought the alternator was going out so I monitored for several hundred miles the voltage on the DIC.

A lot of the time it was 12.9....then would go back up to 14....then back to 12.9. Like it was trickle charging the battery while I was driving.

The only time it stayed 13.9-14.1 was when I turned the headlights on for nighttime driving.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,619 Posts
Hmmm. Mine is steady in the 13.9-14.1 range. There's the occasional drop to something in the low 13s, but it happens very infrequently and doesn't last long... I've always assumed it was associated with a fan kicking on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I'm getting the same message: "Service Power Steering."

After searching I found this thread.

It happens randomly, and kicks off my Competitive Stabilitrak. I've checked my voltage in the DIC when it happens and its read in the 12's, 13's, and 14's.

To that, is there a way of knowing if the alternator is kicking the bucket? Is it a progressive charge that reduces its capacity based on battery voltage, to prevent overcharging? Or is the wide range of charging voltage normal? When I'm on the highway it's never a solid number. It could be 12-14.4. Just seems odd.

I'll try the grounding bolt and replace the alternator. I'll be damned if the alternator fixes it.
did the alternator fix it, could it be my battery possibly ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
If you receive the "Service Power Steering" warning in the DIC, it may be your alternator that's the problem. Scroll in the DIC for volts and if it reads below 14v, the alternator is likely the culprit. I had this Service Power Steering message with a little groaning from the pump and firmer steering last weekend and I was ready to replace the power steering pump. I searched for this issue and found a few threads here that said to check the voltage first because it could be the alternator. Sure enough, I was 13.X at speed with it dropping to 12v at idle. I knew 12v wasn't right so I monitored it for a few days and voltage was reading from 11.6 to 13.5v. I ended up replacing the alternator and now the message is gone, the steering it back to normal and voltage is above 14v at idle.

From one of the other threads, if voltage falls below a certain point, the computer cuts voltage to the steering system to save on power. The cut in power triggers the "Service Power Steering" message instead of "Check your effing alternator!"

I had to dig through various posts to get this info. I'm making it it's own post so others can find it easier.
Got the message "service power steering" and "active battery saver" with that weird noise driving. Battery was at 11.9v at idle. Replaced alternator as mention. Fixed the issue, noise went away and idles at 14.5v.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
So my car will randomly pop up and say service power steering, and I will loose power steering and if my t/c is off it will turn traction on, scrolled to volts and normal is 14v then rise to 14.7 and sometimes 15v then go back down to 14-14.6 those voltage numbers are my normal any ideas….
Also recently service suspension popped up aswell
 

·
Registered
'14 Coupe
Joined
·
467 Posts
Check for codes and see if you have "BCM" code or something similar to that.
Check your under hood fuse box and re-tighten it. I took mine off and used dielectric grease on terminals and all the fuses/relays (make sure you tighten it till the little orange/blue things pop up). You can do the same with BCM as well (grease).
 

·
Registered
2011 sedan, stick , black diamond model, pano, Recaro car, stock
Joined
·
10 Posts
I figured out the problem. It was the ground underneath my AirRaid. If you get anything like this garbage on your dash it may be this ground or perhaps an engine ground. I took apart my AirRaid and lo and behold the bolt wasn't even there. I put a new bolt in with Locktite and dialectric grease and voila! Problem fixed. Nothing turning up on the dash and I can haze the tires at will. Very happy! Hope this helps someone.
Hi Mate!

Thanx for your post. Same happened me. Airaid filter just cleaned and the small grounding cable not screwed propperly back. Next days
started randoomly flashing SERVICE POWER STEERING in dash. Alternator voltage dropped from solid 14.7 down to 12.9 V when AC was on.
Fixed the grounding and :)i'm happy not needed a new alternator.

In Europe nobody knows how to service a V. Zero GM support, they don't care.
Parts are 4 times expensiver like in US.

Cheers from Canary Island SPAIN
I figured out the problem. It was the ground underneath my AirRaid. If you get anything like this garbage on your dash it may be this ground or perhaps an engine ground. I took apart my AirRaid and lo and behold the bolt wasn't even there. I put a new bolt in with Locktite and dialectric grease and voila! Problem fixed. Nothing turning up on the dash and I can haze the tires at will. Very happy! Hope this helps someone.
Thanx for your post. You saved my 500bucks for a new alternator.

Small grounding fixed after cleaning the airaid filter. And nothing in dash. Alternator voltage back to 14.7V

Cheers from Europe Spain
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
If you receive the "Service Power Steering" warning in the DIC, it may be your alternator that's the problem. Scroll in the DIC for volts and if it reads below 14v, the alternator is likely the culprit. I had this Service Power Steering message with a little groaning from the pump and firmer steering last weekend and I was ready to replace the power steering pump. I searched for this issue and found a few threads here that said to check the voltage first because it could be the alternator. Sure enough, I was 13.X at speed with it dropping to 12v at idle. I knew 12v wasn't right so I monitored it for a few days and voltage was reading from 11.6 to 13.5v. I ended up replacing the alternator and now the message is gone, the steering it back to normal and voltage is above 14v at idle.

From one of the other threads, if voltage falls below a certain point, the computer cuts voltage to the steering system to save on power. The cut in power triggers the "Service Power Steering" message instead of "Check your effing alternator!"

I had to dig through various posts to get this info. I'm making it it's own post so others can find it easier.
I was prepared to call BS on this advice. If you get a power steering error on dash and the steering is heavy, how is it not power steering? To make sure I was doing things correctly, I even spent a couple hundred bucks over the local auto parts store to get a genuine GM alternator. I changed the alternator and have driven the car for some miles, NO error message. Got Bearings got this right - absolutely. I've always felt computerization of cars was annoying with all those sensors, but it was an effective diagnostic tool. Now I am really thankful for forum help as the error messages may be misleading - to say the least. Thank you all, especially Got Bearings?.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Had this happen in my 2012 cadillac cts coupe. I started getting the Service Power Steering notification with a loss to power steering. The mechanic, who hasn't taken advantage of me before, identified it as the Electronic Parking Brake Control Module. I read this forum and then asked him to check the alternator and voltage before proceeding. They did and said indeed the alternator wasn't pulling enough voltage. They replaced the alternator and I picked it up and while on the drive home I got a Battery Saver Active notification as well as Service battery Charging System notification. As I pulled it into my garage I also got a Engine Overheated Idle Engine notification. I parked it for several days and when I started it everything functioned fine. I figured things just weren't fully charged from when I picked it up at the shop. Everything has been fine since replacing the alternator....UNTIL... a week later and it is randomly throwing the Service Power Steering error again. This time service power steering notification coincides with air conditioner blowing, but without cooling. Any ideas? I appreciate all your help and contributions.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,578 Posts
Did they install a factory alternator or aftermarket?
 

·
Registered
'14 Coupe
Joined
·
467 Posts
Aftermarket HO alternator is the way to go on these things, specially if you are running extra shit like HX pumps, meth, power inverter, etc.
On airaid, where the ground wire is connected to the chassis, leave it alone, and don't put that bolt through the airaid heat shield bracket, leave it free-hanging. Also, engine grounds on the back of both heads, pull on them iot ensure they are not coming off or dry rotting. That will give you BCM + PS, and eventually major coil/ignition issues as well 🤙
 
21 - 40 of 42 Posts
Top