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Old 04-28-2022, 03:29 PM   #1
2008Saturn2468
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Default Saturn Aura 2008 SAS Calibration Questions

Hi all,

I have a 2008 Saturn Aura. 2.4L with electronic steering.
I recently had issues with steering wheel jitters and occasionally shutting down of the power steering. I replaced the steering angle sensor purchased from Auto Zone. I also purchased a ENCEL AD610 PLUS diagnostic tool to calibrate the new sensor. After installation, the steering jitters have gone away and the power steering does not shut down.
The ANCEL AD610 Plus has these three functions under the SAS module.
*Steering Angle Sensor Centering
*Steering Position Sensor Calibration
*Steering Tuning Selection

When I run the Steering Angle Sensor Centering test, I believe I found "center"? While on flat ground driving, the steering wheel does seem to center out and I don't feel any steering assist taking place. The wheel is centered while driving straight.

When I run the Steering Position Sensor Calibration I get an error message saying "Request Rejected by the Control Module/Request Sequence Error"

When I run the Steering Tuning Selection, I can see live data and I have an option to select "Calibrate" but it doesn't seem to do anything, zero directions on how to use any of these functions.

Of course Tech Support for the ANCEL unit is from China so response times are off hours. The tech support from them has been absolutely useless, I can't describe it any other way.

Besides not understanding how to use each of these calibration modules or sequence I should be following, the only problem I'm having is the car is harder to turn left that it is to run right. It takes just a little more effort to turn left at any speed I'm going.

May be important to say that prior to taking out the old sensor the car's steering was perfect. No tire wear, not clunking, knocking from the front end.
I believe I've installed the sensor correctly lining up the arrow with the grooves as well as the upper section of the steering wheel lining up the grooves correctly. It seems they both truly only go back together in one position.

Another note: ANCEL tech support insisted I had something wrong with the front end. Again the car drove perfect before replacing that "jittering" sensor. I did lift both tires up off the ground and inspected things. Strange, with the steering wheel and tires positioned straight and I turn the car on while the front end is up in the air, the steering wheel turns all the way to the right totally on it's own. If I put the steering wheel all the way to the left, with the front end up, turn off the car then restart, again the steering wheel will turn itself all the way to the right again. Is this the sensor and steering motor doing this, not calibrated?

Any help would be greatly appreciated to resolve this...
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Old 04-28-2022, 05:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: Saturn Aura 2008 SAS Calibration Questions

While I'm not an authority on electronic steering systems, I would try finding service manual info as a start for background info or online sources for specific Aura steering systems or general info on how they operate, diagnosing, troubleshooting, dealer or diy maintenance/repair using dealer or aftermarket tools. As a diyer, I have Saturn service manuals. Alldata.diy and Mitchell are second to none in providing similar service manual info. What's never covered are aftermarket scantools and whether or not they're capable of providing the same functions GM/Saturn scantools have. Scantool use in Saturn service manuals relate to GMs Tech II, not aftermarket tools. This makes treading into aftermarket scantools caveat emptor - buyer beware. Whether or not your scantool can help with steering testing/calibration procedures may lie in either the tool not quite compatible to Auras or the replacement steering sensor may not be compatible or faulty since you have no way to determine where fault lies. If there's a forum of ENCEL AD610 PLUS users, ask for help.

Search for electronic steering systems and how they operate as well as tips on diagnosing and testing, with or without tools. In theory, steering, whether hydraulic or electric, front wheels should remain in position from the last steering input. If turned slightly to left, releasing the steering wheel should not have power steering continue turning left or right. If turning slightly right, releasing the steering wheel should not have power steering continue turning right or left. This should apply whether front wheels are on the ground or off the ground unweighted.

With wheels off the ground unweighted, steering turning to the right suggests the steering sensor detects (incorrectly) a right turn input and applies power assist to turn right without manual input. This suggests the sensor or other mechanism fault whether physical or electronic. More effort turning left suggests the steering sensor isn't centered but applying right turn against manual efforts to turn left - fighting the steering wheel while turning left. My guess is the sensor is either faulty, not centered or physical misalignment. If sensor and scantool are fine, my guess is calibrating cannot occur as the scantool detects the sensor isn't centered. Other terms this may be described as the null point where the sensor doesn't detect either right or left yaw signals. There may be more to aligning the sensor than second guessing.
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Old 04-29-2022, 08:42 AM   #3
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Default Re: Saturn Aura 2008 SAS Calibration Questions

Sure sounds like the SAS is defective, installed wrong or needs calibration. I'm not familiar with the electronic steering but perhaps the Encel scanner just isn't up to the job.
You could try to find someone that has access to a Tech 2 tool. It's the tool GM Techs use, or at least used to be.
The SAS does more than output steering angle, it also outputs the amount of torque being applied during steering input.
This video might help give you some ideas of the signal levels to expect.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhmTJLZPLFQ
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Old 04-29-2022, 09:35 AM   #4
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Default Re: Saturn Aura 2008 SAS Calibration Questions

Thank you Gentleman!
I convinced Auto Zone to replace the sensor I purchased and will re-install a new one this weekend, double checking the installation. I'm also going to spray/clean all the connectors this time.

Another question; when the old sensor started to go bad (jittering steering wheel) it shut down the power steering motor 2x while commuting home. I pulled over, re-started the car and it was good. 3rd time shutdown for good. I drove the car carefully 30 minutes in manual steering to get home. Could I have damaged the power steering motor in doing so, thus being part of the problem here maybe between sensor and power steering motor?

Just another comment about the ANCEL AD610 PLUS I purchased. My wife has a 2014 Murano. Check Engine Light is on and I know why. My $50 Code reader identifies/clears that code no problem. This ANCEL unit didn't even detect that check engine light code and actually turned on her ABS light when performing a check.
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Old 04-29-2022, 10:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: Saturn Aura 2008 SAS Calibration Questions

When the sensor input become unreliable enough to shut the power steering off it does that to protect you from it steering you off the road, similar to what was happening when when you had the wheels off the ground. Imagine that happening on the road.
You can look at the steering and torque sensor data with your scanner. It likely failed the calibration because of bad signal/s.
My Aura had hydraulic steering but still had the sensor. I had occasions where it would go bad and trip the Stabilitrac codes and shut the associated systems down. Most often I could just pull over, restart the car and it would be fine.
Think of the SAS problem as an old fashioned volume control that gets scratchy and makes a hell of a racket. Well the computer basically hears the same thing when it goes bad and doesn't know what to do with the signal so kills power to the motor until the signal returns to normal.
Here is a pic of the guts of the SAS. The multiple wipers constantly move back and forth on the resistive traces, just like a potentiometer. They tend to get noisy at the center where the steering wheel spends most of it's time. You can see the flaw in the system is the mechanical contact which is sure to wear out and fail causing jitters from the noisy signal or complete shutdown of the steering motor.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SAS apart.jpg (72.2 KB, 4 views)
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Old 04-29-2022, 10:35 AM   #6
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Default Re: Saturn Aura 2008 SAS Calibration Questions

You would not hurt the motor steering manually. The steering shaft goes right through it and the motor adds power assist.
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Old 04-29-2022, 07:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Saturn Aura 2008 SAS Calibration Questions

From a past thread (2013); http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=196498

GM recall (2014); https://plants.gm.com/media/us/en/gm...-steering.html
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Old 04-30-2022, 07:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: Saturn Aura 2008 SAS Calibration Questions

Thanks for the info Fdryer,
I have same issue as the gentleman in that thread. I contacted them and they claim, no recall on my vin. Ugh...still trying.
I did replace the sensor again today with a new replacement from Auto Zone. Same problem, harder steering left than right.
Question: if they have a recall on that power steering assist motor on my 2008 Saturn Aura, is the new unit modified or the same exact thing? Easy enough to replace, I may have to put it in myself and fight for re-imbursement $$. OR do you think I should find a GM dealer who has the correct diagnostic tool to calibrate first? Or at least try to calibrate.
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Old 04-30-2022, 08:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: Saturn Aura 2008 SAS Calibration Questions

Like all recalls,not all VIN have the affected parts. Parts are manufactured by multiple manufacturers. If it was an affected VIN that already had the recall done, it would have been recorded.
Are you sure you don't have an issue with the rack and pinion or something else sticking in the front end? The sensor live data readings could tell you if the steering control module is reading the 4 sensor outputs correctly. If not finding someone with a GM Tech II may be the way to go. There are many other professional scanners that are up to the job, you could call around to shops in your area and ask if they can do it.
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Old 04-30-2022, 08:45 PM   #10
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Default Re: Saturn Aura 2008 SAS Calibration Questions

I'm no expert on electric steering systems. If this were my issue, either I already have service manuals or tried alldata.diy or Mitchell for service manual info. Both services have up to date service bulletins. Recalls may also be found on NHTSA site. I would educate myself first with as much info as needed before venturing into a repair shop or GM. As a rule, dealers are in business to provide service whether or not they repair a fault while making money at our expense unless a vehicle is covered under warranty or extended warranty on issues discovered after safety reports are filed and investigations either internally or from NHTSA mandating a recall. An example are all the Chevy Bolts with inherent battery fires giving GM a public black eye as GM attempts to move into the ev market. There's a trend of new products sometimes not 100% successful even after thorough lab and real world testing before a product is incorporated into new vehicles. Electric steering systems has its own set of problems when they occur, requiring diagnostics and troubleshooting to determine which way to proceed.

It's presumed GM has the techs and tools to diagnose, troubleshoot and repair problems but not every dealer operates with professional expertise. My guess is service manuals give the best 'advice' apart from dealers always looking after their overhead operating costs. Being informed seems better than going to a dealer unprepared to ask questions when informed and able to question repairs. At best, this repair may be as simple as realigning with a new sensor and calibrating, at worst replacing the entire power steering unit under the steering wheel and calibrating it along with a front wheel alignment to ensure everything is covered then a test drive before returning the vehicle to a customer. Service manuals from alldata or Mitchell should have up to date service bulletins if replacement parts are revised with improved parts. It's up to individual dealer discretion if asked.
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Old 04-30-2022, 08:51 PM   #11
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Default Re: Saturn Aura 2008 SAS Calibration Questions

You may find something helpful in this online workshop manual but in my experience it's not complete. I have found it to be a source of helpful info to fix my Aura.
https://workshop-manuals.com/saturn/...loss_of_power/
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Old 04-30-2022, 09:27 PM   #12
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Default Re: Saturn Aura 2008 SAS Calibration Questions

I really think you should investigate mechanical problems first, since you say it steers hard one way and not the other. I had the knuckle on the intermediate shaft seize up where it attaches to the rack and it caused hard steering. Something like that on electric steering could cause the torque sensor, because of increased steering effort, to go out of range and throw codes, etc.
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Old 05-03-2022, 08:27 PM   #13
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Default Re: Saturn Aura 2008 SAS Calibration Questions

Gents,
Sorry for delayed response. Great info much appreciated. I'm going to look into the service manuals you all reference as well as the link above provided. With respect to some of the comments regarding mechanical issues, the car actually steered perfect before the original sensor started the jitters and loss of power steering as it got worse. I do recognize I may have incurred mechanical issues ironically at the same time, but I guess I'm hoping there is nothing wrong there. I'm not that versed on the mechanical components of the steering, but will learn if I need to. I may be able to get my hands on a GM diagnostic tool through friends as well. Will certainly post updates as they happen. Much appreciated again for all the responses.
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