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Hi All,

My daughters 2010 1.6 diesel has developed the dreaded power steering failure! at the moment it resets if it is turned off and then back on, I recently bought her the car from a garage where it had sat around for a good six months. my first thought is the battery, just had a look and it has a cheap and cheerful 027 on it, this looks recent but will charge it up and see.

Does this car have the stop start feature? obviously if it does the battery is no good, I don't want the feature but would like to know if it is fitted to the car. Hopefully it is just an electrical issue that is causing the steering issues but if it is the steering unit it's self where is a good place to buy a recon unit and how hard are they to change?
 

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When I bought mine, the garage had fitted a small cheap battery. Stop start didn't work, and actually caused the battery to die on me once.
Got it changed, all is good.

But I also had to wait before I could collect it as they had to fit a brand new steering column as it had failed. Apparently this is a common issue, so fingers crossed that's not your problem.

Steering columns aren't too hard to find as it's a part shared with the Fiat Punto.
 

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If the battery was allowed to drop low while at the garage during that six months then that could have knackered it a bit - lead acid batteries suffer a bit if the voltage is allowed to drop too much, especially repeatedly. If a battery is weak it tends to start to show when colder weather kicks in, and the EPS certainly seems to be a bit sensitive to battery performance. If her usage of the car is low and/or just occasional short journeys that won't help with giving the battery a chance to get properly charged up from starting (especially if it was on the low side already when picked up from the dealer). It's certainly plausible it's the battery. The other issue some owners have reported which can also cause it is dodgy earth points - the negative lead from the battery connects to the bodywork and the gearbox I believe, and the gearbox point is prone to corrosion leading to it not connecting so well. If the battery's a bit knackered from having been allowed to drop low/age then its capacity will be lower so a full charge still won't give us a much juice as a healthy battery - you can use a multimeter to check voltage (although beware of surface charge when testing) and also check when running to ensure alternator is performing ok, although I think I've read reports where batteries have been tested by garages as fine but owners have still found a new battery has resolved the issue.

There's a guide to the EPS (electric power steering) on here that's worth a quick read:
https://www.mitoregister.com/useful-info/

In terms of stop start - my 2010 1.4 T-Jet doesn't have it. The owners manual suggests that cars with stop/start have a button in the set of buttons with the fog light buttons that's an S with some arrows around it (I think also on a car with stop/start the dash may say stop/start unavailable if it's not working). So she may well not have it. If she doesn't have an owners manual (or you want an electronic copy anyway) you can download one for your model year from here https://aftersales.fiat.com/eLum/Login.aspx (although these days you have to register it seems - you didn't used to have to!)

importantly though - you said "recently bought her the car from a garage" - in which case the consumer rights act will apply and in the first 30 days you have the right to reject the car for faults, then between 30 days and 6 months after purchase the onus is on the garage to prove the fault wasn't present at time of sale (and if they can't prove it they're on the hook for repair, which is usually the case with most faults that aren't wear/tear items). So it's worth considering just having them sort it for you. If that's not convenient then maybe get it on record with them that you've had this fault but that you're going to try charge the battery/replace the battery as a first step to see if that helps, that way if that doesn't resolve it you've put a marker down nice and early on the fault with them which should help if they do push back about solving it later.
https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-ri...car-i-bought-has-a-problem-what-are-my-rights
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the input Guys, it's much appreciated.

Skaffen there's a lot of info to be getting on with there! I have now sussed out the car does not have the stop start feature so as you have suggested I will at least ring the garage and tell them of the issue and see where it goes. I think I will be buying a high output Varta silver battery and see if that solves it. I will let you know how I get on.......
 

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I fitted a Varta Silver to mine a couple of years ago when I had EPS issues as they seemed to have a good reputation (and not too expensive either via ebay) - it replaced the original battery which, at 7 years old at that point, was definitely past its best :).
 
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