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Adsguk

Odd Steering Mk1.5 Focus

14 posts in this topic

Hi there

I am new to this forum and am i need of some help/advise of a fustrating steering issue.

Gradually the steeriing on my focus mk1 has become inaccurate and iconsistent. When turning right the steering feels vague and floaty, when turning left it feels sharp but heavy and needs constant steering corrections on the wheel to keep it where its going.

I have tried changing the front tyres to cure this but had no luck, have renewd Power steering fluid but no much difference. I have had a garage check the steering and claimed there was some play in the ball joints only to have 2 other mechanics say that there is no sign of wear and all seems fine.

Some days the steering is better than others but i have noticed that it has developed a strange rumbling/rubbing noise around 25mph + from the front wheels. Im not sure if this is related but sounds like how maybe a worn bearing would sound. The car has done 100k miles and is 1.6 Zetec.

if anyone could advise me with what this could be so i have some sort of idea and can norrow things down, would be much appreciated.

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Have you had the tracking, alignment and camber checked? if you pop to your nearest kwik fit they do free tests and give you a report - That at least starts to identify if the wheels are playing any part in the issue.

As for the steering itself, it sounds like you have a possible steering rack issue.if you have replaced the pump and fluid, have you checked for any damage to the pipes? it could be a damaged pipe is causing the loss of pressure and the innacurate steering?

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the rumble is the front wheel bearings i had the same issue floaty steering till i got mine replaced

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I'm with Artscot, prob front wheel bearings.
Not an expensive extra, but track rod ends are a cheap change while it's stripped....

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the wheel bearing is part of the hub on the mk2 not sure on the mk1 but its not cheap at £160 a side parts labour and vat included

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I changed my own. Mk1 & mk2 front wheel bearings similar procedure. I removed the whole strut so as not to have any pinch bolt problems. Got a local garage to press old one out and new one in.

I detected a wee bit of play in driver's side track rod end, so changed them while I was at it. They were less than a tenner each

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The mk2 should have the hub replaced i was told hence why its hubs that you find for sale i think you need a ridiculous size press to do it

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Thanks for the replys, I was told that bearings are quite common to go on the Mk1. All steering components ive been told seem ok ie bearings ect. It does feel like there is a bit of play on the drivers side, slight floatiness over rough surfaces too - Like its driving on bald tyre.

So am i right in thinking bad bearings affect steering. How much ideally are these to replace?

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How would I go about detecting which wheel bearing is likely at fault? All garages seem to be unhelpful in helping to identify which one. If it helps the steering likes to veer on the right side a bit, to the point where its pretty annoying!

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spin the wheel and you will hear a rumble from the wheel

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Have spun both front wheels, didnt seem to hear any rumble from the wheels. I did the whole push and pull at 12-6 and 3-9 thing on the wheels and didnt seem to be much play...im stumped.

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Ok have managed to narrow it down. Apparently there is no play in the steering, bearings are fine - no rubbing noise when going around bends which would indicate bearing problems if there was any (wouldnt just make it in a straight line)

I took it to Kwik Fit- Not the best place imho but the guy also owned a similar Focus so should know about them. They reckoned all steering components seemed fine, tyres, suspension ect, aswell as bearings. The person i spoke to said it may be down to the fact Ive only had a 2 wheel alignment in the past and may need a 4 wheel alignment done.

So i have narrowed it down to it may be a steering rack problem, a problem with the pressure in the p steering pump - as virtually no steering feel on one side and eagerness for steering to push to the right. Or it may be down to the alignment.

Which one of these sounds most plausible as im a little lost as to where to start.

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Definitely get a full alignment done and also have the fluid levels checked.

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By having fluid levels checked do you mean power steering fluid. If so, the levels appear fine. I have noticed that after having alignment done it goes out again a few weeks later, would 4 wheel tracking solve this.

Also dont know if its relevant to the problem but would wheel balancing also cause the steering to feel different?

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