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Weird Steering Issue In My Focus

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#1 delta-delta

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:02 PM

Hi, this is my first post here. :)

I've been having a look through for similar issues to what I'm having on the forums, and have found a few pointers, but they all check out.

On Sunday (couple of days ago), I drove down from Leeds to London. As I was coming off the motorway I noticed a weird sensation through the steering wheel. Didn't think much of it, but as I was driving it kept happening.

It's kind of ahrd to explain, but I'll give it a crack. Driving in a straight line, everything is fine. When I'm turning into a corner, everything feels OK, but as I unload the steering and starighten the wheels up, the steering wheel sort of judders. It's like the steering wheel hesitates to turn back, then moves a couple of cm, then hesitates again.

When I say hesitates, it's not stopping, it's a little heavier, then a normal, then a little heavier, etc.

I haven't it anything, or certainly nothing that I had noticed. I've checked the brake fluid and it looks fine, not perfectly clean, but not dirty either. I've run the steering from one lock to the other and it seems fine. No wobbling at any speeds, just this weird hesitation when unloading the steering.

My 54 plate Focus was serviced & MOT'd at the beginning of November 2012 at a main dealer and it's only done 33k, so not sure what it could be.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

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#2 btmaldon

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:34 PM

Have you checked the power steering fluid? Only other things I can think of is a semi seizure in the steering rack universal joint or somewhere else in the steering mechanism. Or a sticky valve in the power steering pump. Does sound unusual for such a low mileage car

#3 jeffnat68

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:14 PM

I had the same problem on a Honda jazz.It felt notchy when straightening up.Apparantly its the electric power steering.Pretty sure the focus use electric power steering so may be the same problem.Not sure if this helps but I was not worried by it, it just felt weired.

#4 btmaldon

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:29 PM

I think the Focus only had electric power steering on the Mk2 and 2.5 diesels and Mk 3's

#5 delta-delta

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 11:29 PM

Thanks for your replies :)

It's chucking it down with rain, so I'll take a look at the power steering fluid tomorrow and report back.

#6 DanGersFord

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 12:29 AM

Thanks for your replies :)

It's chucking it down with rain, so I'll take a look at the power steering fluid tomorrow and report back.


How did you get on? That was my initial thought after reading the post, that the power steering fluid might be low. Has the car been lowered or anything? Wheels maybe catching the wheel arch?

#7 delta-delta

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:54 AM

OK, I checked the powers teeering fluid and it's fine, there's plenty in there and there's no dirt in it whatsoever.

On the way to work today, I tried a little experiment. On a flat road, driving slowly through traffic and loosened my grip on the steering wheel and could see it move maybe 1 or 2 cm left to right. As I sped up the wobble got faster. I think this might be a reason why I didn't see or notice it until I got off the motorway.

Is it possible it is something to do with the wheels? When I'm stationery and move the steering wheel, there's no weird feeling.

The car's not been modified in any way, it's completely standard.

Thanks for your help so far!

#8 DanGersFord

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:38 AM

Drive for a few minutes with the radio off and listen for a slight, persistant thumping noise. Possible wheel bearing?

#9 IINexusII

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:42 AM

I think the Focus only had electric power steering on the Mk2 and 2.5 diesels and Mk 3's


Is that true? i thought our MK2/2.5 is a standard power steering system and the MK3's have electric

#10 btmaldon

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:25 PM

Is that true? i thought our MK2/2.5 is a standard power steering system and the MK3's have electric

Mk2 and 2.5 petrols have normal power steering. Diesels (may be not all) have electric. All Mk 3's have electric.

If you enter the menu on your display and can adjust your steering between Comfort Standard and Sport, you have elecric steering.

#11 delta-delta

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:54 PM

I've driven with the radio off and couldn't notice any thumping sound. I've checked the tyre pressures and they're OK.

I got underneath and took a look at everything and can't see anything that looks damaged or overly corroded.

The only thing left that I can think of checking after having a ganders at my Haynes manual is jacking th fron up and having a fiddle with the wheel for any play. Will help me get a better look too.

Unless anyone can offer anything else, I think it's going to be trip to garage :wacko:

Thanks again for all your help so far

#12 Stoney871

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:15 AM

Could be worn bushes or a tracking problem.

#13 Andy H Dibley

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 07:03 AM

OK, I checked the powers teeering fluid and it's fine, there's plenty in there and there's no dirt in it whatsoever.

On the way to work today, I tried a little experiment. On a flat road, driving slowly through traffic and loosened my grip on the steering wheel and could see it move maybe 1 or 2 cm left to right. As I sped up the wobble got faster. I think this might be a reason why I didn't see or notice it until I got off the motorway.

Is it possible it is something to do with the wheels? When I'm stationery and move the steering wheel, there's no weird feeling.

The car's not been modified in any way, it's completely standard.

Thanks for your help so far!


Hi there,

If you're getting a wobble on the wheel, check for babies in the tyres or an unwanted nails or tack. Had a similar thing, thought I had buggered a wheel or something as I had a persistant wobble that got worse at speed, on the motorway it was quite noticeable. Then when I had a chance to check, I had picked up one of those large felt roofing tacks. It was enough to throw my wheel balance out. If you can't see anything, you could also have lost a balancing weight from your wheel.


Mk2 and 2.5 petrols have normal power steering. Diesels (may be not all) have electric. All Mk 3's have electric.

If you enter the menu on your display and can adjust your steering between Comfort Standard and Sport, you have elecric steering.


FYI, I have a 2008 petrol with Electric steering, or at least I'm able to adjust the steering settings.

#14 delta-delta

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:54 PM

Hi all, apologies in the delay getting back.

I had look for any nasties I'd picked up on the road and couldn't see any, but also noticed my tred was wearing a little thin. One of the tyre walls was also slightly cracked.

I've since had 2 new tyres fitted to the fron and the issue has gone away, so not sure if it was a weighting/balancing issue, but it's all sorted now. Maybe the cracking tyre was causing a balancing issue?

Thanks for all your help during this :)

#15 Andy H Dibley

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:07 PM

Nice one DD!

Could've been a missing weight that the tyre fitter has now fitted!

Cheers for finishing up the thread though :-)

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