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I have recently purchased a C4 VTS 2, diesel on a 54 plate (my first C4) and I have had a recurring problem with the power steering since day one. Whenever I start the car, regardless of how long it has been since it was previously running, the power steering wont kick in straight away. I've tried to establish what triggers it to start i.e. time, speed etc. but all I can come up with is that it's roughly equivalent to two full rotations of the wheels (at a guess). Any ideas? Is this another C4 quirk (like my depollution fault)? 

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I think your power steering may be electrical and that if your battery is not fully charged it might be giving the fault you mention. Similar posts have appeared before but whilst not on the C4 were cars with electric pumps. First I would use a volt meter to see what your battery is giving before you start the engine and if it is much below 12.7 volts it needs charging up.

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On 1/12/2022 at 1:00 PM, paul.h said:

I think your power steering may be electrical and that if your battery is not fully charged it might be giving the fault you mention. Similar posts have appeared before but whilst not on the C4 were cars with electric pumps. First I would use a volt meter to see what your battery is giving before you start the engine and if it is much below 12.7 volts it needs charging up.

My basic multimeter (no decimal point) shows 11v at rest and 13v with the engine running. To my mind that's more than the 12.7v you mention, therefore the pump should operate normally? I've tried a variety of different options to try to overcome the problem, but it all seems to hinge around 1 or 2 revolutions of the wheels before the pump kicks in? 

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If it is the battery, the problem is the voltage when the car is being started. If it is only 11 volts then it is far too low. However, once the alternator is running the voltage is increased and after a while the battery is charged a bit and then the steering is ok. Before starting the engine, a charged battery is about 12.7 volts, flat below about 12.3 volts. Unless your car has a smart alternator (unlikely on a 2004 car), with the engine running you should have about 14.4 volts. I would get a digital volt meter, they are less than £10, even from Halfords. A couple of examples

https://www.screwfix.com/p/lap-ac-dc-digital-multimeter-600v/75337?tc=FT6&ds_kid=92700055262507126&ds_rl=1244066&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI29n5n9659QIV6ujtCh0MegjfEAQYASABEgJFD_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

https://www.halfords.com/tools/hand-tools/insulated-and-electrical-tools/rolson-digital-multimeter-710273.html

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On 1/17/2022 at 9:38 PM, paul.h said:

If it is the battery, the problem is the voltage when the car is being started. If it is only 11 volts then it is far too low. However, once the alternator is running the voltage is increased and after a while the battery is charged a bit and then the steering is ok. Before starting the engine, a charged battery is about 12.7 volts, flat below about 12.3 volts. Unless your car has a smart alternator (unlikely on a 2004 car), with the engine running you should have about 14.4 volts. I would get a digital volt meter, they are less than £10, even from Halfords. A couple of examples

https://www.screwfix.com/p/lap-ac-dc-digital-multimeter-600v/75337?tc=FT6&ds_kid=92700055262507126&ds_rl=1244066&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI29n5n9659QIV6ujtCh0MegjfEAQYASABEgJFD_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

https://www.halfords.com/tools/hand-tools/insulated-and-electrical-tools/rolson-digital-multimeter-710273.html

I will certainly try charging it up and seeing what happens, but I have my doubts. If I have been driving for any amount of time, stop the engine and then start it again, I have the problem. Similarly, if I let it idle for 10/15 minutes, I still have the problem. I will also try with no electrical loads on and see what happens then. 

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