babyface123

**help** Steering Assist Failure Message And Engine Stops

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Hi all,

I have a problem that as baffled all mechanics that has came into contact with it.

The fault

When I am driving down the road everything will be fine, Then randomly without any warning the car will simply not allow me to accelerate and roll to a stop, when the car does eventually come to a stop (complete stop the car doesn't even idle) I get the normal warning lights like the oil pressure/battery but I also get a audible sound accompanied by the left red lamp being illuminated. the amber power steering lamp also comes on and the message reads steering assist failure.

most of the time the car will restart fine but sometimes it can take up to 5 times to restart the engine. all warnings are cleared when the car restarts.

The fault started off once every few months but now it is guaranteed to happen every few miles and the car is now unsafe to drive.

Replacements

I have had the fuel injectors changed because they were leaking and the fuel filter replaced. But the problem just seems to be getting worse and more frequent. is there some sort of safety feature that shuts off the fuel supply to the engine?

Pic and Video

The picture shows all of the fail lights after the car has come to a stop. the video show the car just after the car has physically stop me from accelerating the car does come to a stop quicker because I applied the brakes. it feels like fuel is no longer being fed to the engine but why?

Any help would be massively appreciated

cheers

Alex

post-51921-0-24383200-1394057430_thumb.j

car video.MOV

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for starters, i wouldnt take much notice of the warnings and lights, from what you have described, it sounds like the engine is cutting out instantly, as if you have turned the key off...so the lights/warnings you get from that point would be expected.

id be less inclined to believe its fuel as it is so instant, sounds more electrical to me.

taking it for granted that no warning lights etc, appear before the engine dies, plus nothing showing on diagnostics.

starting point has to be to check your power cables/earths..maybe focus on the ignition switch/circuit.

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steering assist failure...

I would be tempted to look at either the electric steering pump or the fuel cut out switch.

The fuel cut out switch is for when your car is involved in an accident, not sure where it is on yours but normally they are around the front footwell.

Hope this helps.

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Thanks wase16II. I normally wouldn't take much notice of the normal engine stoping warning lights but is the steering one a normal warning that would come on? The car has got a lot worse sines I had my fuel filter replaced! It seems like the fuel pump is just stopping! But then it's starting again straight after I restart the ignition. Could the ECU be getting information it's not happy with and stop the engine receiving fuel. I can't see this being a safety feature because it's got me in a fair few dangerous situations like stuck in the fast lane of a motorway! I have had a few mechanics say that the ECU could be faulty but I don't want to replace it until I know for definite that's the problem.

Thanks bigrog. Not a single mechanic has said to me it could be the power steering even though the warning is there to see. I have also been led to believe that if the fuel cut of switch had been activated I physically wouldn't be able to start my car.

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thats my point..if the steering assist warning comes on AFTER engine has cut out, then that warning would be expected as its an electrical component, if you have suffered an electrical power loss then the steering assist will fail..

the fact you have mentioned replacing injectors, taking it for granted that this car is diesel, in which case there wont be a fuel cut off switch, not in the same way a petrol model would have.

it could well be fueling, but im more inclined to believe it will be electrical, based on the fact it restarts instantly...anything from battery, leads, earth points, crank sensor, cam sensor...thats what i would be focussing on initially, unless a diagnostic shows up any other problems anyway.

fueling wise, maybe filter issue, might be worth fitting another just to eliminate if no fault found elsewhere, but could also point to something like fuel pressure sensor...so many possibles, so understand how its not been found unless you can recreate the problem in the workshop.

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Fuel pump intermittent fault?

I'd say electrical for sure.

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Thanks for all your help!

My mechanic doesn't really want to touch the car anymore, he keeps telling me that I should take it to a ford dealer. I think he feels a bit out of his depth because its not registering fault codes. Tomorrow my friend is bringing in a live data reader and we are going out for a drive to see how the engine performs and what signals are being sent out of the ECU when the fault appears. This should help to rule out if the fault is the ECU or not. we are all Aircraft electrical engineers in my work place so I am adamant we will fix this car! or we will die trying lol. I am also going to take the fuel pump relay out after the data reading and clean it to see if that rectifys the fault.

I'll keep you all posted on how I'm getting on and all the results found after the live data read. if anybody has anymore ideas that may narrow the problem down it would be very much appreciated.

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still not sure if this is petrol or diesel...plus help to know exact model

if diesel, they dont have a fuel pump relay

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my car is a 1.6 TDCI, 57 reg. Its hard to fault find on an electrical circuit where I cant find a single diagram! do you have an idea of how the system works and what could be causing a sudden lack of power to the fuel pump? if the diesel does not have a fuel pump relay what takes over the relays job? surely the same sort of feature is installed on diesels?

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will have a relay for fuel pressure sensor, which will do a similar job to pump relay...pump is basicly mechanical, but obviously there are a number of electrical sensors to monitor and control that pump.

diesels can be very difficult to diagnose if the problem is drop in pressure...noticed you stated injectors have been changed, but problem got worse after filter change..

Fords are very fussy with there filters, need high quality ones as they dont like the cheaper after market type..

think your biggest problem is finding if it is fuel or an electrical failure...has any scanner been plugged in for codes

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Ok I'll take the fuel pressure relay out tomorrow and give it a good clean. Im a bit weary pointing the fingers at sensors because they tend to bring up fault codes. I have been told that the fuel rail sensor has been known not to bring up fault codes though. The mechanic who replaced the filter did say he replaced it with a genuine ford filter because of that very reason of ford cars being fussy about their filters. I have had scanners plugged in and no fault codes have been logged.

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cancel that..wont have relay for fuel pressure, thinking of another car...no fueling relays beyond that for glow plug timers..will have an engine control relay though

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Did you find the answer to this problem? I'm experiencing the same thing and am looking at changing camshaft position senor and speed sensor

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Did you find the answer to this problem? I'm experiencing the same thing and am looking at changing camshaft position senor and speed sensor

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Hi Adam,

The fault was a absolute nightmare, even ford didn't know where to go with it at first. They settled on it either being the ECU or the fuel rail sensor, they changed the fuel rail sensor first because it was the cheapest option and it fixed the fault. They looked further into how the fuel rail sensor works and if the ECU is not getting a valid response from the fuel rail sensor it will simply not allow fuel through to the engine. I guess it's safer than allowing loads of fuel through.

Hope this helps

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I would check the earth points on the engine and look at the body ones also.

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Mine has the same fault appear and the engine cuts out. When I restart it, it won't go past 3000 revs so I checked the egr sensor cable and the connection seems loose. Once I push it in tight the car runs properly for a while but the same happens again. 6 times it cut out on a journey of only 15 miles. On the way home several hours later it drove absolutely fine. That said, do you think that maybe I need to replace the cable for the egr? 

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3000rpm would be limp mode. i assume the EML is on at that point. if there is a connection problem how do you know it is the connector on the cable and not the connector on the egr?   I think you need to get a fault code reader on the car to see if the fault code relates to EGR. and carefully examine the connector and pins. any corrosion etc on the pins?

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Dear babyface123 

I have a problem with IDENTICAL symptoms to those you've described, in your 2014 post about your fiesta cutting out.

Having read the thread, am I correct in thinking my first action should be to renew the Fuel Rail Sensor?

Kindest regards 

(and praying, despite my being non-religious, for a reply...)

Mark 

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