Understanding the Power Steering Assist Fault in Ford Escape
Power steering assist is a feature that helps drivers effortlessly turn their steering wheels with minimum effort. This feature uses an electric motor to aid in the movement of the wheels and, therefore, makes it easier for drivers to steer their vehicles. However, there are instances when the power steering assist may fail to function properly, resulting in a power steering assist fault in your Ford Escape. This may cause the steering of your car to become stiff or more difficult to handle when trying to make a turn, putting you at risk of an accident. In this article, we shall guide you on how to fix this problem.
The problem usually arises when the power steering control module of your Ford Escape fails. There are several reasons that may cause this failure, including;
- Wear and tear- the power steering module will eventually wear out after extended use of the car.
- Corrosion- harsh weather conditions may also cause corrosion to the power steering module, damaging it in the process.
- Overuse- aggressive driving may cause the power steering module of your Ford Escape to fail. Vigorous turns and quick acceleration tend to have a negative impact on the power steering module.
- Faulty wiring- any problem with the wiring of your power steering control module may also lead to a power steering assist fault in your Ford Escape.
It’s important to note that your Ford Escape has a safety feature that allows you to steer your car manually as a backup in case the power steering assist fails. However, it’s always best to take your car to a professional mechanic to fix the problem and avoid any potential risks.
The first step in fixing your Ford Escape’s power steering assist fault is to diagnose the problem. You can use an OBD-II scanner to determine the specific trouble code related to your car’s power steering control module. The scanner will pull up a code that will indicate exactly which component has failed and will give you an idea of what needs to be repaired or replaced.
The next step is to locate the power steering control module which is usually located behind the engine on the passenger side of the car towards the firewall. Some Ford models have it tucked away in tricky areas, so you may need to consult your car’s manual for a proper location. Once you locate the module, use a wrench to remove the bolts holding it in place and then unplug the electrical connector.
Using a multimeter, you can test the electrical connections to see if any of them are faulty. If everything checks out fine, then the power steering module has failed, and you will have to get a new one. However, if you find a loose connection, you can fix it and reassemble everything.
In conclusion, the power steering assist fault in your Ford Escape can be easily resolved with the right troubleshooting techniques. Be sure to take the necessary precautions before attempting any fixes and if you’re not sure what to do, consider taking your car to a professional mechanic. Now that you have understood the power steering assist fault in your Ford Escape, you can confidently identify and resolve the issue, ensuring your safety and that of other drivers on the road.
Checking the Power Steering Fluid Level
One of the most common causes of power steering assist fault in Ford Escape is low power steering fluid levels. Your car’s steering system cannot work effectively without enough fluid in the power steering reservoir. Power steering fluid acts as a lubricant and hydraulic fluid that enables the power steering pump to operate successfully.
Therefore, if your Ford Escape’s power steering is not working as it should, it’s important to check the power steering fluid level. You can start by looking for the power steering fluid reservoir under the hood of the car. The reservoir is usually a small-clear-plastic tank and is found on the passenger side of the engine by the serpentine belt. It’s easy to spot because it has a lid with a steering wheel symbol and a dipstick that marks the fluid level.
The first step in checking the power steering fluid level is to turn off the car engine and open the hood. Once you have the hood open, locate the power steering fluid reservoir, which is usually at the top of the engine near the front of the car.
After locating the reservoir, remove the cap or lid that secures the power steering fluid in place. Wipe the dipstick with a clean cloth and re-insert it inside the dipstick tube. Then, lift it again to examine the fluid level. The dipstick has markings on it to indicate the maximum and minimum fluid levels. If the level of fluid is at or below the minimum mark, you need to add more fluid to the reservoir to bring it up to the desired level.
You can top up the fluid by pouring the appropriate type of power steering fluid into the reservoir. Always refer to your Owner’s manual to determine which type of fluid you require, as the wrong fluid can cause damage to the system.
Once you have added the appropriate amount of power steering fluid, replace the cap or lid securely and start the engine. With the engine running, adjust the steering wheel in both directions, from right to left and back to the center position. Repeat the process for at least 10 to 15 seconds, giving the system enough time to circulate the new fluid.
Finally, inspect the power steering system for any leaks, such as cracks, or loose connections, which could cause the fluid to leak out of the engine. If you observe any leak, take your Ford Escape to a qualified mechanic to fix it.
Checking the power steering fluid level is a simple task that you can do at home. It only takes a few minutes, and you don’t need any special tools or expertise to perform this check.
Regularly checking the power steering fluid level in your Ford Escape is essential to prevent power steering faults and ensure that you have a smooth and safe driving experience. By following these simple guidelines, you can detect low fluid levels and refill the reservoir on time, thus preventing damage to the power steering system.
Inspecting the Power Steering Pump Belt
If you are experiencing a power steering assist fault in your Ford Escape, it could be due to a problem with the power steering pump belt. The power steering pump belt is responsible for transmitting power from the engine to the power steering pump. If the belt is loose or damaged, it can affect the operation of the power steering system, resulting in difficulty turning the steering wheel, a whining noise from the power steering pump, or a power steering assist fault message on the dashboard.
The first step in inspecting the power steering pump belt is to locate it. The power steering pump is typically located at the front of the engine and is driven by a belt that runs off the crankshaft pulley. Look for the belt that is driving the power steering pump, and check its condition by inspecting its outer surface. If the belt is worn or damaged, it may need to be replaced.
A loose power steering pump belt can also cause problems with the power steering system. To check for a loose belt, use a flashlight to inspect the tensioner pulley and the idler pulley. These pulleys are responsible for keeping the belt tight. If the belt is loose, it may slip off the pulleys, causing damage to the power steering system.
Next, check the tension of the power steering pump belt. A properly tensioned belt will be tight enough to transmit power from the engine to the power steering pump while not being too tight to cause damage. Use a belt tension gauge to obtain the correct tension for your vehicle’s specific make and model. If the belt is too loose or too tight, adjust the tension accordingly.
It is also a good idea to check the alignment of the power steering pump belt. If it is misaligned, it can cause problems with the power steering system. Inspect the alignment by looking at the belt as it runs along the pulleys. It should run smoothly and not come off any of the pulleys. If it does, it may be necessary to fix the alignment of the pulleys or replace the belt.
Finally, take a look at the power steering pump itself. If the pump is leaking fluid, it may be a sign that the seals or components within the pump are damaged. This can cause the power steering pump to fail and result in a power steering assist fault. If you notice any fluid leakage, it is best to have a mechanic inspect the pump to determine the cause of the leak.
Inspecting the power steering pump belt is a crucial step in diagnosing and fixing a power steering assist fault in your Ford Escape. By checking the condition, tension, and alignment of the belt, you can ensure that your power steering system is working correctly and prevent further damage to the system. If you are unsure of how to inspect or adjust the power steering pump belt, it is best to seek the help of a qualified mechanic.
Replacing the Steering Gear Sensor
Another common cause of power steering assist fault in Ford Escape is a faulty steering gear sensor. This sensor is responsible for detecting the steering wheel angle and relays it to the power steering control module. If the signals from the sensor are incorrect or absent, the power assist function will not work properly, and the fault code will be displayed.
To replace the steering gear sensor, you will need the following tools:
- Wrench set
- Jack and jack stands
- Tie rod end puller
- Steering wheel puller
- New steering gear sensor
Before you begin, park your Ford Escape on a level surface and engage the parking brake. Then, follow these steps:
- Locate the steering gear box under the vehicle, on the driver’s side near the firewall.
- Disconnect the negative battery cable.
- Use the jack to raise the front of the vehicle and support it with jack stands. Remove the front wheels.
- Remove the tie rod end from the steering knuckle using a tie rod end puller.
- Remove the steering wheel using a steering wheel puller. Be sure to mark the exact position of the steering wheel before removing it to ensure proper alignment.
- Locate the steering gear sensor on the steering gear box and disconnect the wiring harness connector.
- Remove the mounting bolts securing the sensor to the steering gear box and carefully pull it out.
- Install the new steering gear sensor and tighten the mounting bolts to the specified torque. Reconnect the wiring harness connector.
- Reinstall the steering wheel, making sure to align it with the mark you made earlier. Tighten the retaining nut to the specified torque.
- Reinstall the tie rod end to the steering knuckle and tighten the nut to the specified torque.
- Lower the vehicle and install the front wheels.
- Reconnect the negative battery cable.
- Start the engine and turn the steering wheel in both directions to check the power steering assist function and make sure there are no abnormal noises or vibrations.
After replacing the steering gear sensor, you should clear the fault code using a diagnostic scanner. If the power steering assist fault code does not return, you have successfully fixed the problem. However, if the fault code reappears, there may be a wiring or module issue that requires further diagnosis and repair.
Seeking Professional Help from a Mechanic
If you have tried all the DIY methods to fix the power steering assist fault in your Ford Escape and the problem persists, it is best to seek professional help from a certified mechanic. While it may seem expensive, it is better to spend a little now to fix the issue than to have to deal with a major problem in the future that will cost you a lot more.
When searching for a mechanic, make sure they have experience working on Ford Escapes, as the power steering system in this car model is unique and requires specialized knowledge. You can also ask friends or family members for recommendations on trustworthy mechanics they may have used in the past or use online review sites to read what other customers have said about different repair shops in your area.
Before taking your vehicle to a mechanic, make sure you have a clear understanding of the issue you are experiencing. This will help you communicate the problem effectively to the mechanic, saving you time and money in the long run. Provide any relevant information such as the symptoms you have noticed, when the issue first started, and whether or not you have attempted to fix the problem yourself.
Once the mechanic has diagnosed the issue, ask for a detailed quote that includes all the necessary repairs. Make sure you understand the quote before agreeing to any repairs, including the cost, parts required, and labor fees. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to ask the mechanic for clarification.
After the repair work is complete, test the power steering system thoroughly before leaving the repair shop. Make sure you turn the steering wheel while the car is stationary and see if any warning lights appear on the dashboard. Take note of any strange noises or feelings in the steering wheel that you may notice while driving.
Finally, keep all receipts and documentation related to the repairs. This will be useful if you experience any issues with the power steering system in the future. Having a record of the repairs completed can also help if you decide to sell your vehicle or need to use the warranty to make a claim.