Power steer­ing

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Help! -

For sev­eral months, my 2008 Ford C-MAX 1.8 petrol with the Zetec en­gine and 65,000 miles has had an in­ter­mit­tent fault with the elec­tro­hy­draulic power steer­ing. A warn­ing beep goes off and gives the dash­board warn­ing ‘Power Steer­ing Mal­func­tion’, fol­lowed by the dash­board warn­ing light go­ing or­ange. The warn­ing then goes away, but the am­ber light stays on. There is no change to the steer­ing, al­though I think it some­times changes it­self to ‘Com­fort’ mode. This warn­ing oc­curs when you start the car or af­ter 10-30 min­utes. It does not seem to be con­nected with cold, heat, wet­ness, dry­ness, road gra­di­ent, brak­ing or even steer­ing, al­though it has been oc­cur­ring more fre­quently and the warn­ing nearly al­ways comes on some­time dur­ing a jour­ney. The fault is ap­par­ently not unique to my car and there are vague sug­ges­tions on the in­ter­net about it be­ing due to the con­nec­tor to the steer­ing pump and an earth con­nec­tion.

The ve­hi­cle is in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion and free from rust. I don’t think it would be suf­fer­ing from cor­roded con­nec­tions, al­though I haven’t tried to clean these con­nec­tions yet be­cause ac­cess un­der the head­light is rather dif­fi­cult. My vil­lage garage has no clue and I can­not find a power steer­ing spe­cial­ist near Cam­bridge.

When it first oc­curred, I topped up the sealed-for-life reser­voir with about 70cc of Ford’s spe­cial oil, which seemed to keep it at bay for a few weeks. Mind you, I did not know how high the reser­voir should be filled. An­drew Webb The light will il­lu­mi­nate when it de­tects a fault in the Can-bus sys­tem and should also re­tain a fault code, which should be re­triev­able us­ing the Ford di­ag­nos­tic sys­tem. There are some sim­ple checks that can be done us­ing a me­ter and these do con­cern the in­tegrity of the con­nec­tions. Even though your ve­hi­cle may be in good con­di­tion, there may be cor­ro­sion within the elec­tri­cal plugs.

As I am sure you have al­ready dis­cov­ered, the reser­voir is eas­ily filled once the off­side head­lamp has been re­moved. To ac­cess the pump, the un­der­shield must also be de­tached. Once you have ac­cess to the unit, undo the elec­tri­cal plugs and check the con­di­tion of the ter­mi­nals, then us­ing a con­ti­nu­ity me­ter en­sure the re­sis­tance is less than 5 ohms to the earth con­nec­tion and that the volt­age from the sup­ply side is greater than 10V.

As you have also had to top up the steer­ing fluid, I would care­fully check for any leaks. I have seen these steer­ing racks leak from the steer­ing col­umn shaft, al­low­ing the fluid to be soaked up by the driver’s un­der­floor mat­ting.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.