Chevy Cruze Service Power Steering (Top 5 Causes + Fixes)

Today I will discuss another annoying problem faced by Chevy Cruze owners, the ‘Service Power Steering’ message that pops up on the dashboard of the Chevy Cruze. 

Power steering allows a car’s wheel to be turned without exerting much effort. Some Chevy Cruze models use a hydraulic system, meaning it has a power steering fluid, while some Chevy Cruze models use an electrical system. 

Therefore, there could be several reasons why the error message could be displayed.

The ‘Service Power Steering’ message is usually down to battery issues, either a flat battery or a faulty negative battery cable. However, other causes, such as faulty sensors and fuses, have also been identified. Chevy Cruzes with hydraulic power steering might also exhibit the common problems most vehicles with hydraulic power steering show.

Do not fret because I shall be looking into all the possible reasons why the ‘Service Power Steering’ message is displayed, as well as discussing practical solutions to these problems.

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What Is Power Steering, and What Is the ‘Service Power Steering’ Message?

Power steering is a system that uses either hydraulics or electrical motors to reduce the force required to turn the car’s wheel. It is an incredibly useful feature that makes life easier for the driver. 

So it would be a hassle if, for any reason, the power steering of a car stopped functioning. 

The ‘Service Power Steering’ message is displayed on the dashboard/information cluster of the Chevy Cruze. It indicates that the power steering is not functioning properly. 

The Chevy Cruze uses both types of power steering in different models; thus, there could be different reasons why the power steering is not functioning properly — depending on the model you own.

What Causes the ‘Service Power Steering’ Message/Warning Light on The Chevy Cruze?

Flat battery/Other battery issues

If the power steering system in your Chevy Cruze is electrical, one of the first things you should check is the battery. Most batteries in a Chevy Cruze usually last anywhere from two to about three years. 

If your battery is approaching the aforementioned age, have it load-tested by a mechanic. A battery that weakens means it is not charging properly, which would mean it will not be able to power the power steering system properly.

Another common issue regarding the battery is that the Chevy Cruze is known to have a faulty negative battery cable. 

The negative battery cable begins to short out and cannot ground and close the circuit properly; thus, the battery cannot provide enough current to the power steering system.

It is a fairly recurring reason why the ‘Service Power Steering’ warning light appears in the Cruze.

Also, make sure to check for corrosion on the battery leads and terminals; if there is any corrosion, make sure to have it cleaned up, as that can have an effect on the functioning of the battery as well.

Corrosion on the battery is one of the major reasons why your Chevy Cruze will start acting up, so make sure to use a good battery terminal cleaner. Here’s one that I would highly recommend. 

Battery Cleaner

NOCO NCP2 CB104 4 Oz Oil-Based Battery Terminal Cleaner

✔ Stops Battery Corrosion
✔ Oil-Based
✔ Improved Performance
✔ Proven Formula
✔ Universal

Check Price

The power Steering Fuse is Blown

The power steering fuse on the Chevy Cruze is built on an assembly that is directly connected to the positive terminal of the battery. The fuse for the power steering is the 3rd one from the right side.

Use a tester and see if the fuse is working. Here is one that you can use:

Fuse Tester

Voltage Continuity & Current Tester – 6-12 V DC – 24 V AC – Heavy Duty – 54″ Cord – Indicator Light – Electrical Tester

Check Price

A faulty fuse could be the reason for the ‘Service Power Steering’ message. 

If the fuse is indeed faulty, then, unfortunately, the whole unit of fuses will need to be replaced as they cannot be replaced separately.

Luckily, one is available for 2012-2014 models; you can check it out below.

Faulty steering angle sensor(SAS)

The Steering Angle Sensor is an important part of a vehicle’s safety system. It transmits the steering wheel’s rate of turn, wheel angle, and other important data to the vehicle’s computer. 

If the sensor is faulty and sends a faulty signal, the computer can disable the vehicle’s power steering and stability control.

It is also the reason why the ‘Service Power Steering’ and ‘Service Stabilitrak’ messages often appear together.

For this particular one, make sure to get an OEM replacement because it’s not easy to calibrate the aftermarket ones to the system, and you will end up stuck with the “Service StabiliTrak” message. 

Problems with the hydraulic system

The Chevy Cruze also comes with a hydraulic system; for this reason, it can share some problems that plague the power steering of other vehicles. The most important thing in a hydraulic system is the power steering fluid.

It is important to check if the fluid is not contaminated. Contaminated power steering fluid can cause clogging, creating friction and even failure in some components of the power steering system, such as the pump.

It can cause the sensors to display the error message I’ve been talking about this whole time.

Furthermore, ensure the fluid is at the appropriate level, as too much or too little fluid will cause the power steering to not function properly.

Hydraulic power steering works through an engine-powered pump. Because your engine is connected to your power steering pump, any corrosion or breakage can cause immediate failure of your system. 

Pumps and belts are cables that withstand a lot, but ultimately too much force and pressure can cause them to wear out and break, resulting in a faulty power steering system.

System/Software Glitch

Yes, it is as simple as the heading states. The ‘Service Power Steering’ message could simply be down to a glitch in the system software of the car.

Just turn off your Chevy Cruze, wait 10 seconds and turn it on again. The error message should be gone. 

If the error message keeps popping up periodically, take your car to a nearby dealership and have them inspect it. If the fault lies within the software, they can update it or reinstall it.

How to fix the ‘Service Power Steering’ message on the Chevy Cruze?

You must be worried, seeing all the possible causes of the error message. But do not worry. I shall assist you in finding all the possible solutions to the problems listed.

Battery Issues

Let’s start with the cheapest and easiest solution. Don’t forget to maintain your car properly and clean all corrosion from the battery terminals and wires, as just corrosion present on the connectors or terminals could cause the ‘Service Power Steering’ message to pop up.

If that is not the problem, take your Chevy Cruze to your nearby dealership and either have the negative battery cable replaced or the battery itself, whichever one is diagnosed to be causing the error message.

However, before you take it to the stealerships, you can clean the battery terminals first; here’s a cleaner that works great.

Battery Cleaner

NOCO NCP2 CB104 4 Oz Oil-Based Battery Terminal Cleaner

✔ Stops Battery Corrosion
✔ Oil-Based
✔ Improved Performance
✔ Proven Formula
✔ Universal

Check Price

If you are still getting the message after cleaning the terminals (the easy step), you can then move on to the expensive step. 

Replace Steering Angle Sensor

Unfortunately, the only fix for a faulty Steering Angle Sensor is replacing it. It will cost you anywhere from $150-$500 to have it replaced by a quality mechanic, depending on your location.

For this particular sensor, I would highly recommend OEM replacement rather than aftermarket.

I have seen people getting the same Stabilitrak message after replacing their steering angle sensor with an aftermarket one. 

Hydraulic System problems

The hydraulic system is hardy, but it isn’t invincible. Exercise caution when driving on rough roads, as too much force can cause the pumps or belts to break, after which they will need to be replaced completely.

Be sure to check fluid levels regularly; furthermore, do not forget to replace the fluid timely so it does not get contaminated.


Hopefully, I provided a thorough and detailed article regarding the numerous reasons why the annoying ‘Service Power Steering’ message appears, as well as detailing the possible solutions.

Some issues are straightforward, while some are not. Some may be quite cheap to fix, while some might be costly.

Nonetheless, I hope the solutions I have provided will help you solve all these annoying problems.


2012 Chevy Cruze Power Steering Fuse

4 Signs Of A Bad Steering Angle Sensor (& Replacement Cost)