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Steering Assistance Malfunction - intermittent

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Around a year ago my Focus 1.6 12 plate informed me that it had a steering assistance malfunction - service req'd - and the steering became heavy. I switched the car off, restarted it and everything was back to normal. From that day to yesterday it didn't happen again.

And then yesterday morning I started the car and it happened again. Same thing, restarted the car, everything fine. Drove round town all day, parked up several times, each time restarted car, no issues.

Then this morning, the warning came on, steering heavy, restarted car, everything fine. From what I can deduce so far the warning starts after the car has not been used for several hours, i.e. Overnight. I'm puzzled, any ideas?

Btw, the car has just come back from a Ford dealer for a heater matrix replacement. Could this have a bearing in anyway? Car was fine for four days after collection.

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