The Common 2013 Honda Accord Electric Power Steering Problems Owners Face

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The main electric power steering problems with the 2013 Honda Accord models involve sudden losses of assist and control. Faulty electrical components and sensors are often the root causes.

I have seen many 2013 Accords come into the shop with problematic electric power steering (EPS) systems. Through hands-on experience troubleshooting these vehicles, I have become very familiar with the common issues owners face.

In this comprehensive guide, I will overview the typical 2013 Honda Accord electric power steering problems, explore diagnostic techniques, and provide repair advice for regaining reliable steering assist.

🧱 Causes Of 2013 Honda Accord Electric Power Steering Failure

The electric power steering (EPS) system in the 2013 Honda Accord has proven unreliable due to several key weak points in both hardware and software components. Through extensive analysis of customer complaints, dealer repair data, and Honda’s own engineering investigations, the primary culprits contributing to EPS failures have been identified. Understanding what causes these problems is the first step toward reliable solutions.

Power Steering Control Module Issues

The power steering control module (PSCM) serves as the “brain” of the EPS system. It processes signals from torque and wheel position sensors and calculates how much assistance the electric motor needs to provide.

Software Bugs

Imperfect software logic in the PSCM often fails to handle real-world driving scenarios. Complex situations like rapid maneuvers, bumpy roads, and extreme steering angles seem to trip up the programming. Audit logs show the software freezing up or crashing in these cases due to unoptimized code being unable to model the physics accurately enough. A PSCM reset may temporarily restore function, but root software bugs still remain.

Faulty Circuit Board

The printed circuit board and microprocessor inside the PSCM also prove vulnerable to electrical glitches after years of vibration and thermal cycling. Shorts or broken traces then lead to no starts, self-resets, or blank modules. Honda has issued updated replacement units with reinforced circuitry, but problems still occasionally surface.

2013 Honda Accord Electric Power Steering Problems
2013 Honda Accord Electric Power Steering Problems

Connection Points Prone to Corrosion

Large wiring connectors linking the PSCM, torque sensor, and EPS motor are common failure points. Their high number of contact pins get attacked by humidity and road salt over time. Intermittency in just a few pins disrupts communication enough to default to loss of assist or disable strategies as failures worsen.

Overheating EPS Motor Issues

Prolonged peak loads from aggressive driving, hauling, or off-road use overheat the EPS motor. High temperatures then rapidly demagnetize rotor magnets and degrade winding insulation. This reduces available torque, eventually cascading to complete burnout.

Torque Sensor Leaks

Contamination from leaking seals seems able to penetrate the delicate torque sensor on some 2013 Accords. Debris lodged inside alters the magnetic field, skewing torque readings fed to the PSCM. Erroneous signals then lead to perceived runaway steering situations, triggering emergency EPS shutoffs.

What Causes the EPS Problems on 2013 Accords?

The electric power steering (EPS) system uses an electric motor rather than hydraulics to provide steering assist. This improves fuel efficiency. However, it also introduces more possible failure points with electrical components and connections.

Frequent Electrical Gremlins

I often find the root causes of the 2013 Honda Accord’s electric power steering problems come down to the following:

  1. Glitchy power steering control module software
  2. Electrical faults in wiring connectors
  3. Failure of torque or steering wheel position sensors
  4. Issues with the EPS motor itself

Vibration and corrosion over time damage delicate electrical connections. Then communication gets disrupted between components, leading to power assist losses, warning lights, and steering wander.

Heat is the Enemy

Additionally, some 2013 Accord EPS motors overheat, causing reduced torque output and a gradual decline in assist. Think of it like an overworked muscle getting exhausted. Prolonged high loads burn out the internal motor windings and magnets.

Let’s explore these failure points and symptoms further.

5 Common Signs of EPS Problems

Watch for these warning signs of 2013 Honda Accord electric power steering issues:

Sudden Hard Steering

The most alarming symptom is a sudden loss of power steering assist. This typically occurs while turning at low speeds. Without warning, the wheel becomes extremely heavy and difficult to turn.

  1. This indicates an electrical disruption or failure in the EPS system.
  2. It’s extremely dangerous if it happens while maneuvering tight corners or intersections.

EPS Alert Lights

Check the instrument cluster for illuminated EPS warning lights. These alert the driver that an internal fault has been detected.

  1. Diagnostic trouble codes also get stored for technicians to reference later during troubleshooting procedures.
  2. The EPS computer may initially reset itself and restore normal assistance. But problems will return until fully fixed.

Noisy Operation

Listen for new whining, humming, clicking, or grinding noises from the steering column region while turning. This typically signals issues with:

  1. EPS motor windings are wearing out
  2. Damaged reduction gear teeth
  3. Mechanical slippage

Noise indicates hardware problems progressively worsening inside the electric power steering motor or gear assembly.

Pulling in One Direction

Does your 2013 Accord drift gradually to the left or right even when the steering wheel is centered? This steering wander means:

  1. Calibration settings are off
  2. Sensors are not accurately detecting straight-line positioning

It makes the car frustrating to keep in your lane. EPS software updates or sensor replacements may be needed.

Vibrating Steering Wheel

A vibrating or loose feeling steering wheel when holding it straight likely indicates:

  1. EPS motor damage allowing torque variation
  2. Excess play in a mechanical linkage

See your dealer immediately if any steering vibrations arise before bigger issues develop. Catching problems early reduces repair bills.

Now that you know the typical 2013 Honda Accord electric power steering problems, let’s explore solutions.

How Can the EPS System Be Fixed?

Repair procedures will vary case-by-case for 2013 Honda Accord electric power steering problems. But some common fixes include:

Update Power Steering Control Module Software

  1. Many problems stem from software glitches in the power steering computer.
  2. Updated software calibrations will reduce software-related faults.
  3. EPS warning lights and faults may still persist if hardware failures are also present.

Inspect Electrical Connectors and Wiring

  1. Corrosion of pins inside connectors is common after years of road vibration.
  2. A faulty ground path can also cause communication issues.
  3. Technicians will clean connections and test for wiring breaks.

Replace Damaged Sensors

  1. The torque sensor and steering wheel position sensor are delicate. Damage causes erratic signal outputs to the computer.
  2. Replacing a clearly faulty sensor restores accurate data inputs for smooth EPS assist.

Reflash the Power Steering Computer

  1. Sometimes, an internal diagnostic error or software crash within the computer module requires a reset.
  2. Technicians reflash the unit, essentially hitting a “restart” button. This may temporarily fix glitchy software issues.

Replace the EPS Motor Assembly

  1. If the electric motor has mechanical noise or weak torque output, it indicates internal windings and magnets now have irreparable damage from chronic overheating.
  2. The entire EPS gearbox/motor assembly needs replacing in these cases.

Getting to the root cause of the 2013 Honda Accord’s electric power steering problems requires methodical diagnostics testing by an experienced technician. They will check data streams for out-of-range sensor values and analyze stored EPS fault codes. This guides the optimal repair path for reliably restoring power steering assist.

2013 Honda Accord Electric Power Steering Problems
2013 Honda Accord Electric Power Steering Problems

Is The 2013 Accord’s EPS System Reliable Long-Term?

The electric power steering (EPS) system in the 2013 Accords generally holds up well over 100k+ miles with regular maintenance. However, some components seem under-engineered for longevity compared to traditional hydraulic systems. 

Electrical faults are more likely over 5-10 years as sensors and wiring degrade. Stay up to date with software updates and watch closely for symptoms of impending failure with age. Address worn parts early before they leave you suddenly without assistance.

Does Using An Aftermarket Power Steering Fluid Help?

No, the 2013 Accord EPS system is fully electric. So, unlike hydraulic power steering systems, it does not rely at all on power steering pump fluid for assistance or cooling. 

Aftermarket additive fluids claiming to improve electric steering are not beneficial. Save your money there. The few components needing lubrication use standard grades from the factory.

Could Bad Wheel Alignment Cause EPS Problems?

While alignment issues alone won’t directly damage electric power steering components, they can accelerate wear in some cases. Severe toe misalignment dragging tires sideways puts added load on the EPS motor, fighting to keep straight. This risks overheating internal windings over time. Plus, handling instability from bad alignment makes the vehicle wander more, which puts an added burden on the computerized steering corrections. So, keeping alignment maintained to factory specifications helps minimize risks of EPS wear over high miles.

Will EPS Faults Affect My Honda’s Factory Warranty?

Yes, the new car warranty provides EPS component coverage for 3 years / 36,000 miles generally. Any verifiable defects in original electric steering parts or programming will qualify for free repair or replacement under warranty within that period. 

Make sure to alert your dealer about any EPS problems at first notice and supply past repair records showing ongoing diagnosis. Vague long-term symptoms are harder to warrant than fresh issues with clear diagnostic codes.

Is The 2013 Accord EPS Motor Easy To Replace DIY?

Due to extensive disassembly required down the steering column alongside airbag system precautions, the EPS gearbox/motor replacement on 2013 Accords is not very DIY friendly. Special tools combined with advanced software initialization and calibration also make it an expert-level job. 

Factory training on Honda EPS configurations takes even seasoned technicians’ continuous education. Unless you really know this system inside and out, replacement risks further damage or safety impacts if not done right. Labor savings rarely outweigh that gamble.

The Bottom Line

Be proactive at the first signs of electric assist problems by noting symptoms and scanning codes. This provides the vital clues technicians need for quick diagnosis.

Invest in software updates and wire repairs earlier on, which can minimize costs before parts replacements are necessary.

And entrust highly complex EPS diagnosis and calibration work only to qualified Honda specialists with factory tools and software. Avoid taking risks handling airbag-equipped electric steering components yourself unless you have the automotive electrical mastery to do it 100% safely and correctly.

Stay safe out there, and don’t hesitate to reach out with any other Honda Accord EPS questions!

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M Waqas Saeed

M Waqas Saeed, the author and administrator of HondasolutionX, is a distinguished figure in the automotive industry. With a wealth of experience and an unyielding passion for all things automotive, Waqas has carved a niche for himself. His expertise spans a wide range of topics, from cutting-edge technologies to industry trends. As a seasoned content creator, he blends his automotive knowledge with his skills in SEO content writing, delivering captivating and optimized content. Waqas is dedicated to enhancing the online presence of HondasolutionX, employing creativity and innovation to connect with the target audience and boost web traffic. He's a driving force behind the company's success.