Steertrak answers your questions on wheel alignment, steering and handling.
Q: I have a Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) fitted to my vehicle which has a faulty steering angle sensor. Does it need calibrating if I change it?
A: The VSC detects stability loss such as the beginning of a skid and applies the brakes to individual wheels and/or employs engine braking to maintain control. The ESC constantly monitors the ride dynamics and can intervene even faster that an experienced driver.
The system needs to accurately know the vehicle straight ahead position and relies on the steering angle sensor for this. If the sensor is changed it will need to be re-calibrated. This is also the case after a major change in the wheel alignment. The calibration is vehicle specific and nearly always requires the manufacturers own computer system plugged in.
The most simple procedure involves turning the steering wheel full lock left and right whilst other vehicles need to be driven in calibration mode with the computer attached to allow the vehicle to reorient the sensors. There are also steering angle sensors on other steered axles and specialised alignment tools are often needed to set these up during calibration.
Thanks to Barry from Essex for sending in this question.
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