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About Paul0123

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    S Max
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  1. I thought I would share my experiences with the S-Max power steering as reading material , it may help somebody else you never know. I have had a frustrating intermittent fault with the power steering since buying the car 2nd hand car a couple of years ago. Essentially the steering ranges from good to notchy feel from centre to stiff (I am used to this as I drive older classic cars with no power steering).Having read some of the material online I was desperate to avoid the costly approach of replacing everything until you discover what the problem is . I did take it to a garage that had ford approval (i think from memory) they couldn't find the fault because its intermittent, however they did get an auto electrician to check the car out for faults, they drained and replaced the fluid , they tried to send the pump for testing but the company did not have any interface looms for my particular model 2.0 Diesel. Anyway all back together the car worked a treat ......for 10 days! My thoughts at this point was it was electrical as when it was good it was perfect, generally I feel when mechanical components fail , they fail - period.Being a saddo, I started to monitor the steering daily and note it down, any then plot it over 6 months . At that point it was very obvious that there was roughly a fortnightly cycle i.e. good for 2 weeks then a couple days transition to 2 weeks bad then a couple days transition, and so on. I then considered if the components inside the rack could be sticking perhaps because it wasn't as random as I 1st thought. I opted to drain a bit of fluid and replace with some PS conditioning fluid - the steering was instantly better from a current 'bad' phase, however , my glee did not last as about 20 odd days later the fault came back. On further investigation I discovered that the actual fluid in my steering system was ATF - the 'red stuff' and it should be Green as specified in the Haynes manual. (it had always been red from when I purchased it , I suppose the garage just replaced it with the same. After further reading on the internet I decided to replace the reservoir/filter unit and flush out the old oil and replace with Green. It seems the green fluid can withstand higher temperatures than the Red so it does not breakdown as quickly, I am no expert so this might not be gospel.I continued to monitor the steering daily, since fitting on the 23rd of September. Over the next week or so the steering felt 95% Good. At the end of September into early October I drove to Belgium and France covering just under 1000 miles. During that time about 600 miles in, the steering began its old bad habits for the journey home, it started to fail on and off, but I have to say by the time I got home for the first time the car was really difficult to steer , failing on both sides.When I switched the car off I was thinking well at least if its failed permanently I can now demonstrate it to the garage. I didn’t drive the car for the next couple of days, but when I did, remarkably the steering was perfect again and this was the 8th of October. Since that time and we are now in the first week of January it has behaved well. After such a long time of it failing on and off, I still wait for the old tug on the steering wheel, but have to conclude that it was either due to the old (wrong) oil either prematurely breaking down, through getting too hot affecting the movement of parts within the steering rack / system mechanism, or dirt contamination now flushed away, anyway fingers crossed at the mo. Hope this helps someone as mystified as I was.