The constant search for better and more effective safety technologies in the automotive world has significantly transformed the way we relate to our vehicles. Nowadays, modern cars are designed not only to excel in terms of performance and comfort but also to prioritize the safety of all occupants.
As a result, major brands have incorporated advanced electronic systems into their vehicles that work together to create a safer and more reliable environment on the roads. Among these systems, today we highlight the Steering Angle Sensor - or SAS. Although many drivers may not be familiar with the SAS, this component is essential for the smooth and secure operation of the vehicle.
If you don't know what the Steering Angle Sensor is, what it does, and its importance, today we explain everything. Also, find out where you can buy the best sensors online and discover the prices!
What is the Steering Angle Sensor?
The SAS is a fundamental component of the electronic stability system in automobiles. Although each manufacturer has its own name for this advanced safety system, its primary function and components are virtually identical.
As the name suggests, the SAS is one of the monitoring devices located near the front suspension or inside the steering column, responsible for measuring and transmitting accurate information about the steering wheel's angle to the vehicle's electronic control unit.
Until now, this device was analog, measuring the direction changes created by the steering wheel and transmitting that information to the car's control unit. Nowadays, steering angle sensors are digital, composed of an LED light that measures the angle of steering input.
How does the SAS work?
Although it may appear as a small and discreet part of your car, the role played by the SAS is of utmost importance for the vehicle's safety and performance. Alongside other electronic systems like stability control and steering assistance, the SAS helps create a more controlled and reliable driving experience.
But how? The steering angle sensor provides real-time information to the electronic control unit about the exact position of the steering wheel, allowing the vehicle's electrical system to make instant decisions in response to the driver's actions. In practical terms, when you turn the steering wheel, the SAS detects the angle and transmits that data to the electronic control unit. From there, the control unit can interpret that information and activate other systems that respond to your actions, maintaining your car's performance and the safety of your journey.
What is the importance of the SAS?
As we've seen, the SAS establishes direct communication between the steering wheel and the electronic system, enabling the latter to react to the driver's actions. For example, when navigating a curve, the SAS informs the control unit about the degree of steering wheel rotation, allowing the stability control to adjust the force distribution to the wheels to keep the vehicle stable and prevent skidding. Thus, the SAS is extremely important in ensuring driving safety.
On the other hand, this sensor also plays a crucial role in steering assistance. Advanced assistance systems, like electric power steering, can use SAS information to adjust the amount of assistance provided to the driver in different situations. This not only makes steering smoother but also contributes to safety, especially when maneuvering in tight spaces or on curvy roads.
Finally, the SAS has a significant impact on airbag activation. In case of a collision, the electronic control unit uses SAS data to determine the impact angle and collision force. This helps the airbag system decide which airbags should be deployed and with what intensity, optimizing occupant protection according to the type and severity of the accident.
✓ Establishes direct communication between the steering wheel and the electronic system;
✓ Plays an essential role in steering assistance;
✓ Is an effective support for the airbag system.
How to detect a SAS failure?
While the steering angle sensor is designed to last the vehicle's lifespan, like any other sensor, it can wear out or fail completely due to multiple factors beyond the control of most vehicle owners. When it breaks or starts failing slowly, it will display some common warning signs or symptoms. Discover some of the most common signs of a damaged, defective, or faulty steering angle sensor:
✓ Traction control light illuminated: when the SAS fails, there's a malfunction indicator on the instrument panel that alerts that the electronic stability system has been deactivated and requires mechanical service.
✓ Loose steering wheel: as the SAS is designed to monitor steering wheel actions, when damaged, the transmitted information may be incorrect, causing the electronic stability system to provide direction information or adjustments at the wrong time. In most cases, this will result in a 'loose' steering wheel, as the assistance provided doesn't match the vehicle's action. If you notice a loose steering wheel or that the steering is not responding as it should, then it's time to address the issue.
✓ Failures after a front-end alignment: since steering angle sensors are connected to various points within the steering system, a front-end alignment can cause issues with the SAS.
5 tips on how to replace the SAS
✓ In case of failure and irreparable damage, don't delay. Replace your steering angle sensor.
✓ Consider the fact that incorrect wheel positioning or a sudden battery disconnection can lead to SAS failures. In such cases, calibration with a specialized technician is possible.
✓ To install a new part, contact a specialized technician. The procedure involves dismantling some other parts, particularly the steering column.
✓ Pay attention to the fact that after removing and reinstalling the part, adjustment may be necessary. Otherwise, it won't function correctly.
✓ Don't postpone computer diagnostics and the replacement of the faulty part. Its failures can lead to dangerous situations on the road.
Where to repair or replace the SAS?
In summary, the Steering Angle Sensor is a key puzzle piece in automotive technology. Its ability to provide accurate and real-time information about the steering angle not only enhances the driving experience but also directly contributes to the safety of vehicle occupants and other road users.
Therefore, it's extremely important not to ignore your vehicle's signals and not to delay the repair or replacement of the SAS. Equally important is entrusting repairs and solutions to qualified and experienced professionals in the field. At Nova Luz we have a team with the expertise and the right tools to diagnose the problem and replace the steering angle sensor if it's causing issues.
Look for reliable suppliers. By investing in your automotive safety, you're also protecting yourself and all your passengers while enjoying the roads with peace of mind and confidence.
At Nova Luz, you'll find a selection of the best airbag tapes for over 40 car brands. Count on a national team of excellence, with numerous airbag tape models in stock and free returns. If you prefer, you can schedule your appointment at our warehouse in Vialonga, where we replace the airbag tape in 40 minutes and in the presence of the customer.
If you need help or advice, don't hesitate to contact us. Our team of experts will be more than happy to assist you.