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Hi,

My Ford Focus 2013 automatic went back into a garage under warranty for a clutch replacement and the mechanic phoned me to tell me he's also replaced the steering rack as apparently the car had some play (never noticed it and steering was soft) so he replaced the rack but now my steering is really heavy, this due to the new rack needing to wear in?

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5 minutes ago, unofix said:

how much was the steering rack ?

Car was under warranty so the gearbox and rack fixes were free so i'm not sure but this was done by Evans Halshaw, surely they wouldn't take a 'faulty' rack off then just put another used or faulty rack on lol? do new racks need time to wear in?

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6 hours ago, Craig32 said:

Car was under warranty so the gearbox and rack fixes were free so i'm not sure but this was done by Evans Halshaw, surely they wouldn't take a 'faulty' rack off then just put another used or faulty rack on lol? do new racks need time to wear in?

No, new racks don’t wear in. Think about it, all new cars would have heavy steering until they “wore in”

The car has electric assisted power steering, this would be very heavy if it isn’t working properly but would still work to steer with a lot of effort. It could be he / she didn’t plug it in properly so you now have only manual steering. 

Sceptical people with a distrust of dealers may think this sounds like a dealer having the warranty company over. Being 2013, this is presumably an aftermarket used car warranty. 

Here is where to start

Look at the steering rack, it will be very obvious if it has been changed on a 2013 car. Especially so because of the sunny, dry weather. 

it it new or not? 

A new one will be clean like this one , an old one will be filthy. 

 

 

 

72D88050-D67C-402E-BF66-44A80E9CB943.jpeg

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5 hours ago, Slowly said:

No, new racks don’t wear in. Think about it, all new cars would have heavy steering until they “wore in”

The car has electric assisted power steering, this would be very heavy if it isn’t working properly but would still work to steer with a lot of effort. It could be he / she didn’t plug it in properly so you now have only manual steering. 

Sceptical people with a distrust of dealers may think this sounds like a dealer having the warranty company over. Being 2013, this is presumably an aftermarket used car warranty. 

Here is where to start

Look at the steering rack, it will be very obvious if it has been changed on a 2013 car. Especially so because of the sunny, dry weather. 

it it new or not? 

A new one will be clean like this one , an old one will be filthy. 

 

 

 

72D88050-D67C-402E-BF66-44A80E9CB943.jpeg

The car isn't electric power steering its fluid though? I bought extended two year warranty with Evans Halshaw as i knew when buying a Focus the powershift gearbox might give me a problem which it did but they fixed gearbox all under warranty, i believe the rack is new, cant see why the garage would tell me mine is shot and needed replacing only to replace it with another worn out used one just for same problem and have to fix it under warranty again? i have heard from many people now that the rack doesn't need to wear down so clearly its not a case of driving it will solve it, mechanic is coming round in a few hours to take a look, mechanic told me "it might be because of the new rack" but is still coming to look at it as the car is not pleasant to drive anymore, Focus are a fairly decent size so soft steering is useful and before it was changed i could turn a corner with one finger now it feels like i'm manually turning a corner using both my arms.

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Mechanic came and test drove car and pretty much told me its because i have been used to driving it with a worn rack for 3+ months and now a new rack is in its how the car should steer, sorted i guess. 

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Could be suspension related like a dry ball joint, can even be the pump, low/bad fluid. Lift the car and get somebody to steer side to side and check the operation and state of associated steering components and listen for anything giving resistance. Check the powering steering fluid level/colour (red or green) if fine try to purge air from the system. Open the power steering lid get an old towel and wrap around beneath the hole to catch any spillage, turn on the engine and steer lock to lock several times. Also low inflated tyres can cause drag 

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Did they carry out any servicing at the same time?  Might be worth checking the tyre pressures, it's surprising how heavy the steering gets even with one low tyre.

I'm still not convinced anew rack should be heavier than a knackered one.  Is it EHPAS or full hydraulic?  If EHPAS there might be a steering weight adjustment on the dash (sport/normal/comfort) as there was in the Mk2s.

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19 hours ago, Craig32 said:

The car isn't electric power steering its fluid though? I bought extended two year warranty with Evans Halshaw as i knew when buying a Focus the powershift gearbox might give me a problem which it did but they fixed gearbox all under warranty, i believe the rack is new, cant see why the garage would tell me mine is shot and needed replacing only to replace it with another worn out used one just for same problem and have to fix it under warranty again? i have heard from many people now that the rack doesn't need to wear down so clearly its not a case of driving it will solve it, mechanic is coming round in a few hours to take a look, mechanic told me "it might be because of the new rack" but is still coming to look at it as the car is not pleasant to drive anymore, Focus are a fairly decent size so soft steering is useful and before it was changed i could turn a corner with one finger now it feels like i'm manually turning a corner using both my arms.

If your car is 2013, it should be a Mk 3 unless it is a very late reg mk2. 
Therefore, presuming we are dealing with a mk 3 here, then the steering will very probably be electric recirculating ball. Some variants apparently still had a fluid rack but I know not which they were. 
 

If electric, note that there are many things that can cause issues with electric only systems in general from broken encoders to low or no supply voltage. 
There is no such thing as fluid-powered, power steering. In a car with hydraulic fluid rack, the fluid isn’t powering it, it is itself being powered by a pump, either electric or mechanical and the compressed fluid simply actuates the rack by pressure from being pumped. 
Pumps can be electric (electro-hydraulic) or mechanical and driven off the serpentine belt. The mk 2 used both systems.... 
 

Power steering is supposed to provide assistance when you need it most, just as it did before it was “fixed”. Yours, it appears now does not. Have a look at the rack, is it new? 

Al

 

 

 

 

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If you need a lot of effort to turn the steering it sounds like they've buggered something up

If you needed little effort before and now lots, sounds as if they've buggered something up.

Ask them to show you the old PAS rack? And the old clutch pack while there at it. I bet they "can't find" either.

Give them the car back and make them fix it.

Drive a similar car to prove it's not you (which it won't be)

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steering doesn't get lighter with wear, the garage maybe talking BS, OR your explanation is too vague, does it clearly have PAS that is consistent, but slightly firmer than it was ????

if its vastly firmer they probably fitted the wrong part and or something isn't connected, software is muddled etc.

 

I thought they all have variable rate assistance,

2008 mk 2 had conventional PAS with variable rate

later 2009 moved to EHPAS (hybrid electric hydraulic) with the reservoir hidden under the right headlamp

then most Mk3 went to crappy electric designed to fail with far too much self centring effect, it often plays up with an aged battery (no assistance upon start up then gets over itself)

I have seen a Mk3 with the conventional set up of an early Mk2 .... Note: the FORD fluid gives lighter steering than the Comma CHF stuff - which DOESN'T actually meet the Ford spec !  Did the garage use FORD GREEN fluid ?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Comma-CHF1L-Central-Hydraulic-Fluid/dp/B003BPP3DU

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Steering has lightened up massively from simply driving it so i'm not sure what to say, my steering is fluid not electric. 

 

I got curious and had the car looked at and everything was done fine and correct fluid etc, told me to drive it a few more days and if it was still stiff then take it back but after 3 days it went light so now i don't mind, i know people say wear wont fix it but somehow in my case it did as nothing was changed all i did was drive it and it lightened up.

 

I do have another question though, anyone here got the powershift? i swear it never changes to 5th unless doing over say 50mph? when i'm doing 30 or 40 i never hear it change to 5th? weird.

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2 hours ago, Craig32 said:

i never hear it change to 5th? weird.

I would be more worried if I could hear it change. Just look at the rev counter and you will be able to tell.

A little test would be when you think it is still in 4th keep driving at a constant speed and select Sports mode, now using sports mode try and select 5th gear, do the revs drop or stay the same ?

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7 hours ago, Craig32 said:

Steering has lightened up massively from simply driving it so i'm not sure what to say, my steering is fluid not electric. 

 

I got curious and had the car looked at and everything was done fine and correct fluid etc, told me to drive it a few more days and if it was still stiff then take it back but after 3 days it went light so now i don't mind, i know people say wear wont fix it but somehow in my case it did as nothing was changed all i did was drive it and it lightened up.

 

I do have another question though, anyone here got the powershift? i swear it never changes to 5th unless doing over say 50mph? when i'm doing 30 or 40 i never hear it change to 5th? weird.

it will not wear lighter.... it can't wear lighter,

something was wrong and for some reason its behaving less badly at the moment. 

the garage saying  "drive it a few more days and if it was still stiff then take it back" is both criminally negligent and irresponsible..... legally after working on a car they have legal responsibility to ensure it safe...   drive away = we got rid of you for now ....  and ideally won't be brave enough to come back !!!  = is NOT a competent, responsible garage

show us a photo of the reservoir in the engine bay ?

 

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