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Thread: P0550 Code...Power steering pressure sensor..

  1. #1
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    '02 Mazda Protege5

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    P0550 Code...Power steering pressure sensor..

    Just when I fix one thing, something else goes wrong. lol. so far this week I fixed the noise which I thought was a bad alternator bearing but turned out to be a loose belt, got the fog lights to work, (someone had cut the wire to the relay for some reason) and I had a noisy blower motor which turned out to be a leaf in the turbine. now I have a "pending code" P0550 "power steering pressure switch"

    first of all, what's the difference between a "pending code" and a CEL? CEL currently not lit, and i'm still at 5/8 monitors ready since last doing work on the car (disconnected the battery)

    Seems easy enough, I assume that small single wire coming out of the PS pump is the sensor in question. Is there a way to test it with a voltmeter?

    although, it probably is bad, I noticed the idle kind of drops a bit when I'm stopped but I turn the wheel, like when parallel parking, even though it doesn't stall.

    when I unbolt the sensor, will I have to worry about pressurized PS fluid spewing out everywhere?

  2. #2
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

    2002 mazda protege 5

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    Your particular code needs to show up for two consecutive drive cycles....



    When it happens the first time it is pending code... It needs to happen a second time to pop a code.

    You can test it...


    The Diagram Dude

  3. #3
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    I'm gonna test it out later when it's cooler. Would a PS switch sensor for a base protege work on the P5? on eBay the one listed for P5 is 140 dollars but the base protege is $24.99. They look identical. not sure why the price is so different.

  4. #4
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

    2002 mazda protege 5

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    I say go for it.
    You don't even need the PS pressure switch...

    Just don't crank your steering wheel all the way... Back it off a quarter inch after max...

    ( it tells the ECU to crack up the idle.. Go gently while you're steering and you don't need to crank the idle.)
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  5. #5
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

    2002 mazda protege 5

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrathofpaul View Post
    I.. on eBay the one listed for P5 is 140 dollars but the base protege is $24.99. They look identical...
    They may have a different pressure rating but I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter..

    I never like to kick my idle up... It means I'm cranking the steering wheel too hard..
    Last edited by pcb; 07-31-2017 at 07:34 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Meh, drove around a bit and rechecked the code. code is gone. Guess I won't worry about it until I get a full blown CEL...

  7. #7
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    Update on the PS switch: I have noticed my car was misfiring slightly at idle, or at least that's what it sounded like. It would bounce within 50 rpm or so so not too bad but enough to be noticeable. and when I open the air box i hear it really well. I thought it was the wires plugs and coils so I changed all of that and eventually the sputtering came back.

    now here's the weird part. evidently the PS pressure switch on the Power steering pump is loose, like the part that sticks out where the wire clips on to. if i wiggle it, i hear the idle speed change slightly and then i hear the sputtering. so I'm assuming that's the issue causing the sputtering/misfire or whatever it is. which is weird because why would power steering pressure have anything to do with the ignition system and misfire. But maybe since everything is tied into the PCM. I ordered a new sensor so we'll see what happens.

  8. #8
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

    2002 mazda protege 5

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    I'm guessing your bad switch has a bad connection and is telling the ECU to turn the idle up and down 10 times a second.

    You're probably not having a misfire...
    You would almost certainly have a code if you were. (P0300-P0304)
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  9. #9
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

    2002 mazda protege 5

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    You could probably just disconnect the switch...
    The ECU probably wouldn't know... You just wouldn't have your car idle up when the switch should kick in.
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