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CTS 2003
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, 5 months ago my 2003 CTS displayed the error "Service Steering System" and the steering became harder. I checked the power steering fluid and it was empty. I filled it with Dexron 3 (per the manual) and the message still hasn't went away. The steering is still hard as well. Did I ruin anything, or is there air in the system? I have cleared the code a couple of times, and even left it for 24 hours with the battery disconnected. I'm at a loss.
 

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06 CTS Sport/Luxury package
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9,806 Posts
Your CTS may have the variable assist steering. I know mine has it, because I had to replace my steering rack. But the only way that I could tell was by looking at my rack. With the variable steering assist, there's an electrical connection to a solenoid next to the shaft to the steering wheel. With out variable steering, that solenoid isn't there. Thus no electrical connection.

Since your CTS came up with that message, it might of found that the solenoid got stuck closed. Which is probably why it's hard to turn.

You also have an 03, where the radio has a built in code reader. Gather the code(s) and post them here. It should be able to make it easier to diagnostic the problem. I personally don't know how to gather the codes on the 03 radio, so I can't tell you how it works. Other than pressing the F1 and F6 buttons together and using the tune/sel knob to make selections of computers, as there are many of them.

KOT
 

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CTS 2003
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Discussion Starter #3
I'm not at my car right now, but I will check later. I do remember having the code c1241, which has something to do with the steering system.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm still kind of not sure what the problem is though. Would the next step be to look under my car for a loose connection? I'm sorry, I am not very good with cars. I just think that it's strange that this would happen the same time I ran out of power steering fluid.

I have taken my car to my mechanic a month ago and he wasnt able to scan the code (he doesnt have a tech2) but his educated guess was that is the sterring position sensor that is causing the problem. I noticed that in the thread you posted, a couple of people also diagnosed it to that aswell. On top of that, I found a thread that had this
i don't drift (on purpose) as it wastes valuable time.

on the other hand, i did play around in some severe rain, and was disappointed by the CTS. also, even with the stabilitrac switched "off", all of the sudden, after my second ring of the "donut", i got a "service stability system" warning, and i stopped....
thats your steering position sensor telling you it is wearing out.
if it starts coming on more you should have it replaced or disable it by unplugging the sensor, not just using the button to turn it off, that doesnt really work.

some people have noted that a faulty sensor can cause the car to swerve for no reason when on a flat straight road, i had it pushing the brake pedal against me a couple times when i went to tap on the brakes, it would only do it for a second but enough to cause worry if there was ever a time when you need to stop quickly.

i unplugged the faulty sensor but i also bought a new one... i keep meaning to have it installed but havent got around to it.
I have also had my "Service Stability system" message come on, and I have done some drifting/donuts this winter. This is why I am thinking it my be the Steering Position Sensor.

Now, like I said, I hardly know anything about the inside of a car. I don't mean to sound like I am saying your wrong, I just want to give some moe information and see if you still think it may be the actuator on the steering rack.
Thanks for your time KOT!
 

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2003 CTS 1SC Luxury Sport
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It is not the steering wheel position sensor. C1241 is directly related to the variable effort solenoid. When you ran it out of fluid you may have gotten some debris in it or overheated it causing it to stick. So to start, where is your leak that caused you to run out of fluid. If it's the steering gear just replace it and use power steering fluid. There was issues with Dex III in these systems and upon replacement use PSF. Obviously flush the system though. If you live in a cold climate there was a bulletin to use GM's cold weather PSF.
 

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06 CTS Sport/Luxury package
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Just as jran said, the C1241 is directly related to the solenoid. The only reason why you are getting the Service Stability Control System on your radio, is because that solenoid is a part of it. So that message is "blanketing" the problem. This is where you'll have the car scanned for the code for a proper diagnose. Well you've already done that with the C1241.

KOT
 
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