Demystifying the Steering Angle Sensor: How It Works and Its Impact on Your Steering Wheel

Wheel Alignment and Balljoint Centre
Apr 13, 2024By Wheel Alignment and Balljoint Centre

Have you ever wondered how your car's steering wheel alignment is maintained so precisely? One essential component that plays a crucial role in this process is the steering angle sensor. Despite its small size, this sensor has a big impact on your driving experience. Let's dive into how the steering angle sensor works and why it's important for your vehicle's steering system.

What is a Steering Angle Sensor?

A steering angle sensor is a device that measures the angle of the steering wheel and the rate at which it is being turned. This information is then sent to the vehicle's electronic control unit (ECU) to help determine the direction in which the driver intends to steer.

steering angle sensor

How Does It Work?

The steering angle sensor typically consists of a rotary or linear potentiometer that detects the steering wheel's position. As you turn the wheel, the sensor sends signals to the ECU, which uses this data to adjust various vehicle systems, such as stability control and power steering.

Impact on Steering Wheel Alignment

One of the key functions of the steering angle sensor is to ensure that your vehicle's wheels are properly aligned. By providing real-time data on the steering angle, the sensor helps maintain accurate alignment and a straight steering wheel, which is essential for safe and predictable handling.

Driver's hands on the steering wheel inside of a car

Importance of Calibration

Like any other sensor, the steering angle sensor needs to be calibrated regularly to ensure accurate readings. Improper calibration can lead to issues such as misaligned wheels, uneven tire wear, and compromised vehicle stability.

Signs of a Faulty Sensor

It's important to be aware of the signs that indicate a malfunctioning steering angle sensor. Some common symptoms include:

  • Dashboard warning lights related to the steering system
  • Inaccurate steering wheel position - Steering wheel off center
  • Difficulty steering or erratic steering behavior
Symbolic light show on car dashboard.

Professional Maintenance

If you suspect that your steering angle sensor is not functioning correctly, it's best to have it inspected and serviced by a qualified technician. They can diagnose any issues and perform the necessary calibration to ensure optimal performance.


The steering angle sensor may be a small component, but its role in maintaining your vehicle's steering wheel alignment is significant. By understanding how this sensor works and the impact it has on your driving experience, you can appreciate the importance of proper maintenance and calibration for optimal performance and safety on the road.