SteveGSXR600K1

Steering assist malfunction - Service required

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Hi all,

I got the dreaded 'Steering assist malfunction - Service required' appear at startup after work last night, and also this morning. Each time I stopped/started the car and all was fine. This morning, after driving 25 miles to work, it started again fine on two occasions, and then again fine when I drove back another 25 miles to the dealer. Due to the message, I got the local Ford dealer to have a look and they said that their diagnostics came up with:

B112B:07-68 BCMI steering wheel module

U0236:00-6C BMII lost comms with column lock module

U300:49-08 PSCM control module internal electronic failure

U0140 lost comms with BCM (remote function auctor)

The SBD said to replace steering gear/with module included on it.

 

Well, before I part with £1400, does anyone have any ideas if it could be something else? This car gets on my nerves. I had an issue with the keyless entry on the drivers door, which sorted itself out after a few days. Wondering if it's having another funny 5 minutes and its the steering modules turn to be 'faulty'.

I was wondering if the battery was low and causing the problem. For the past week or two, with the cold weather, every morning and night, the battery must be under some stress as the autolights come on, the internal heaters come on, the front and rear heated screens come on, and then it's got to start the car. As the assisted steering is electric, I wondered if the error was that the electric pump didn't get enough volts because the battery had been temporarily drained below a trigger level .... just guessing!

I'm charging the battery up tonight to at least eliminate that issue.

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It will be the steering gear and module unfortunately. Fairly common

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It does look like it Ian. I wouldn't mind, but I'm not going to notice any difference to the way the car drives, etc, after the work's been done. So it's basically knocked off £1400 off the value of the car to me which was £5200 before. It must have known I was looking for another car! I know every car/manufacturer has their faults, but I've definitely been put off by Fords now. I was going to look for a Focus Zetec-S 2.0 diesel, but I could now be looking at the same problem at some point down the line. 

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I read somewhere that this problem is more common with Focus's fitted with 18" alloys. Don't know how true that is, but maybe puts more stress on the pump due to the wider profile.

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its an electronic fault in the module im told rather than a stressed motor as such, the ones ive done have all been 16in wheels.

if it happens to my car i will be trying  a reconditioned rack/module. theres a company up north from what i remember that sell them on ebay.

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HI , this is my first post so I can finally be of help !!!! I have dealt with this exact fault and yes , it is 99.99% the EPAS Steering Rack. They are indeed £12-1400 from the dealer. Orrrrr a good used one can be sourced from many places for much less and a local garage can fit for 3-4 hours labour (maybe a bit more but took me 1/2 day and I'm no professional). So maybe save yourself some moneys there. I got mine from a ford specialist breakers with 3 months warranty on the part and it was from a car with only 15k miles on it, self fitted on the drive, tracking and geometry at local dealer and all sorted for £500 (and 1/2 a day of my time and skin from a few knuckles).

Good luck getting it sorted and make sure you get all your geometry and tracking done before it comes back to you. Sorry I cant be the bearer of good news!! 

 

P.s Do any of you Ford Techs know whether I needed / Should have got the PCM/EPAS re coded/programmed at all? I have power steering but its nothing on my van which is incredibly smooth and responsive. I am showing no codes but SteveGSXR6 may not be so lucky if a SH unit requires programming?? 

 

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Hi all 

I am among what seems a large amount of people with the same issue. 2011 focus. Can I ask can the electric motor/pump be replace on the steering rack or is it a matter off buying the complete unit i.e. The rack and the motor 

thank you in advance 

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On 28/06/2017 at 6:26 PM, Gavlaa said:

Hi all 

I am among what seems a large amount of people with the same issue. 2011 focus. Can I ask can the electric motor/pump be replace on the steering rack or is it a matter off buying the complete unit i.e. The rack and the motor 

thank you in advance 

As it is a common mk3 problem I would double think this solution. It does not seem the mk3 is as reliable as the mk1.

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Hi hope the following helps.  I have a Ford Focus Titanium 2011 model.  Following a drained battery when I needed a jump start, which seemed to do the trick, I subsequently had the Steering Assist Malfunction - Service Required warning light and the heavy steering on start up.  Turning off the ignition and turning back on initially solved the problem, but worried the steering would go while driving I took it to the local Ford dealer and left it with them for the day.  On conducting diagnostic testing two faults were identified.  It was stated that my battery needed replacing, as it was nearly completely drained, and that the steering assist module was faulty and that I would need to replace the whole steering rack at a cost of £1750.  I asked for a new battery to be put in the car and, given the cost of a replacement steering rack, said I would consider whether to have the work done, as I was of the mind to trade the car in.  This was over a week ago and since the change of battery I have not had any problems.  The warning light has not reappeared and the assisted steering kicks in on start up.  A new battery may not solve everyone's problems, but it seems to have worked for me and has saved me the cost of a new steering rack - £1750. 

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I had this once, took the car to ford for a software update and it went away.

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13 hours ago, John2104 said:

Hi hope the following helps.  I have a Ford Focus Titanium 2011 model.  Following a drained battery when I needed a jump start, which seemed to do the trick, I subsequently had the Steering Assist Malfunction - Service Required warning light and the heavy steering on start up.  Turning off the ignition and turning back on initially solved the problem, but worried the steering would go while driving I took it to the local Ford dealer and left it with them for the day.  On conducting diagnostic testing two faults were identified.  It was stated that my battery needed replacing, as it was nearly completely drained, and that the steering assist module was faulty and that I would need to replace the whole steering rack at a cost of £1750.  I asked for a new battery to be put in the car and, given the cost of a replacement steering rack, said I would consider whether to have the work done, as I was of the mind to trade the car in.  This was over a week ago and since the change of battery I have not had any problems.  The warning light has not reappeared and the assisted steering kicks in on start up.  A new battery may not solve everyone's problems, but it seems to have worked for me and has saved me the cost of a new steering rack - £1750. 

I saw the same warning (Steering Assist Failure) on my Focus ST about 6-12 months before I sold it. Only saw it 2/3 times, months apart in each case and never did anything as it disappeared after a few seconds. I had no idea it was such an issue until reading this thread. I'd had another rogue warning on the system [reduced acceleration] that flashed up every now and then and spent more than £400 trying to trace it - the dealer could never find any faults. This 'fault' never caused any driving issues and only appeared a 2/3 times a year and at random times.

Back to the steering issue... Each time it was in winter and after the car had been stood for a longer time than usual. The car even had a full service and passed an MOT. I had the battery replaced and never saw the warning again. The car and it's steering drove perfectly throughout the time

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I am having a similar issue on a 2011 mk3 1.6 ti-vct 105 in that occasionley i see the steering malfunction warning when the car is started on a morning but it clears itself after turning off then back on. No problems when driving feels fine.

I had read somewhere on these forums that this early model may not have electric power steering but i cant seem to see anywhere  under the bonnet to top up the fluid? Anybody have anymore insight into this?

any advice appreciated cheers

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On 01.10.2017 at 2:00 PM, mrcraigyd said:

I am having a similar issue on a 2011 mk3 1.6 ti-vct 105 in that occasionley i see the steering malfunction warning when the car is started on a morning but it clears itself after turning off then back on. No problems when driving feels fine.

Me too, same issue !!! Any advice appreciated !!! Regards !

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PAS issues like this are often caused by insufficient electrical power (although obviously mechanical parts can sometimes break as well).  For example if the battery doesn't have above a certain level of charge/power or the alternator isn't able to supply sufficient power, the ECU will start shutting down "non essential" systems and on Ford's PAS is usually one of the 1st systems to go.

A few years ago the original battery on my Focus was dying AND the alternator was getting a little tired, I started to progressively get the "steering assist malfunction" message more often, especially when the car has been stood for longer than 12 hours or it was particularly cold (both situation would have caused my battery charge to be lower).  A new battery fixed the issue and I've not seen the error message again in the 2 years since the battery was replaced.

A lot of places will do a free battery test so it's a cheap place to start compared to a new steering rack!

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21 hours ago, fratello said:

My battery have only 5 month, is genuine ... so I think it's not responsable for this issue.

Don't make that assumption.  Batteries can fail rather than just "wear out".  You can only eliminate the battery by measuring the voltage at the battery terminals after the car has had a long run and has sat for a couple of hours.  If it's a lot less than 12.8V you have either a battery issue and/or a charging issue

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mine too a 2011 focus.. had the rack replaced 3 months ago! same issue just no power steering... really criminal ford dont admit its a common problem!!

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On 02/12/2017 at 3:23 PM, fratello said:

My battery have only 5 month, is genuine ... so I think it's not responsable for this issue.

battery could be fine, doesn't mean the alternator is though...it might not be charging the battery properly.

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This warning has just come up on my car turned it off and back on and it’s fine, I have had a replacement battery last year, and soemthing the car has a key not found in car warning that hasn’t happened for a few months now but I think we’ll hoping this is only the battery causing these problems as they are calcium battery’s I believe and the one I got was a second hand generic one 

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I had the issue in the winter after I got my 2011 focus last year. The dealer I bought it from told me it had been sat with a dead battery for a while so he replaced the battery for me. I did still occasionally see the warning usually the day after jet washing the car.

I had all software updates installed to resolve an idling cutting out problem and I haven't had the message since. 

I have noticed occasionally heavy steering on start up which rights itself after a second or 2 so I am guessing Ford modified the sensitivity of the sensor or changed the warning message settings.

You can get all the software updates installed as part of an official Ford service or just pay for half an hour labour to have then installed. I was going for the pcm update specifically but they updated all modules.

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I am starting to have this problem. I just replaced the battery and after this the problem occured to me. It happens mostly in the morning at first start and get the error message or the steering powers in with delay. If I put the key in on position and let it in this position serveral seconds more, than the steering powers on right after engine start. I hope it is either the alternator not charging the battery well or a faulty electrical contact.

I could try an software update but my ford service told me they will do it but offer no guarantee if after the update something will not work properly (It's stupid I know) because it's an service that they do on my request not based on their decision.

Can someone advice more specifically if there is something I can look for. Is there maybe and faulty relay or an faulty electrical contact or should I let the alternator be checked. Is the steering commanded by an module? If yes which module is this, can it be replaced? I really hate to spend about 1500€ to replace the complete steering.

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sadly the issue you have is related to designed to fail trash ...just like every other manu, (except Japanese or Hyundai)

take it off and send to one of 5 UK based specialists that will fix it for 1/3 the price of a made to fail ford one, on return it will be one guaranteed for life

this nasty (what should be illegal way of stealing your money) started to be implemented in 1995 with 15 year horizon... by 2007 it was a 7 years one, and they are getting greedier each year. if it was built in germany in 2018 expect it to be DEAD by 2022

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i got one to replace tommorow on a connect. luckily its under warranty. 

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Well, I just want to say thank you to all the above for your comments, very useful indeed, I have specifically signed up today to advise on what happened to me, as I feel this will help many "googlers" (like me) into the future.

I have a Focus Titanium 2011 Mk3 / third generation. I live in Essex in the UK.

My wife was greeted randomly with the the dreaded "steering malfunction" on the dash board whilst out shopping. However, after switching the vehicle off, waiting a few minutes, she managed to get the power steering back. Now, importantly, prior to this, she had said to me, that upon starting the car, occasionally the steering would take 2-4 seconds to kick in which was unusual, and what I mean by that, is for the steering to switch from stiff to light, in technical terms, for the electrics to spin up in the module and assist with the steering.

So, before we got stuck in our driveway, I called a few Ford dealers, took it straight in to one on that same day, and left it with them to advise. Over this time, I perform extensive research on this issue online. It appears to me that I'm not the only one with this situation.

So, the call comes in from the dealer, yes Sir, our techs have plugged diagnostics in and unfortunately its the Power Steering rack that needs replacing, I did not need to be told the price, I already knew (£1200-£1400).  Now being an IT engineer, I have a logical head. I started talking to the service technician to see if he was aware that when the battery is low, the power steering rack (believe it or not) is one of the first items to be switched off. I quickly established I was talking to a trainee, he passed me to his service manager, we then got talking in depth (he was an ex mechanic). Well, to cut a long story short, I demanded he test the battery (they hadn't touched it previously), eventually, over a week, I got a response, with "yes sir, your battery is low and at 75% its voltage output, but we can't get our diags to say its faulty and we can't get it charged so it will provide 100% output either". Because I had previously brought a new battery from this dealer 2.9yrs previous (3yr warranty), I pushed and pushed until eventually they took the battery over to their commercial department, connected it to another more manly Ford battery tester, eventually got a fault code, and replaced it under warranty. They then fully charged that battery (as they ship below 100%) and fitted it to the vehicle.

A service technician then took it for a test drive, started, stopped, the engine, re-test drove, all worked perfect. Steering Malfunction error gone, power steering also kicking in immediately (before there was a 2-4 sec delay at times) and job done. I should add at this stage that the vehicle was also in for its coolant recall from Summer 2018. Reading info on this fault also advised to perform a software update on the epos (?) module or something else that run software in the vehicle, I honestly cannot remember if that was applicable on this model, but I can say some form of update was also done, as it was part of the recall tasks. So if you're in this situation, you may want to mention this software update as well as the battery, and get it done. It was free for me as it was part of the recall, but if it saves you £1400, its worth paying to get it done.

Anyway, after the coolant pipe upgrade was done, we picked up the car, and all has been perfect since, and best of all, the whole procedure did not cost me a penny, although I cannot promise the same will happen to you... This entire process took 1 month, but I was just pleased I managed to save all that money. Some things to note, our Ford Focus does not do many long runs. Because of this, the battery shot itself within 3 years (they're not like they used to be). If like us, you're not travelling at 70mph for at least 10 miles a day and only making small journeys to schools or shops, please bear in mind, you'll probably need a new battery every 3 years and you could face this steering fault as part of the 'battery voltage saving feature'!

I hope this essay helps someone, it was worth the effort based on the input and information everyone else has already posted. Thank you all.

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