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Old 11-24-2012, 11:02 PM   #1
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2012 steering issue.

We bought a new 2012 Focus SE without sport package in Feb. with a early Dec. 2011 build date. We also have a 2013 SE with appearance package build date Sept. 2012. As soon as we drove the 2012 the steering felt odd , very little center feel and have to stay alert as will drift out of lane if not paying attention to it such as looking down at speedo etc. But on first trip of 1600 miles, a round trip to Seattle, got used to it. I chalked it up to first car with electric power steering. Wife now drives it and i drive the 2013. The 2013 is like night and day! Smooth and very good sense of straight ahead. She drove it last night and after we got to gas station i asked here how it felt to her. She said wow! Why doesn't mine drive this nice. Now my question is this , is 2013 with "sport suspension" steering different? Note that it (2012) has 5500 miles now and i cross rotated the tires. They show no wear at all and did not change feel or drifting, it feels like it is stiff just off center and does not return to center like the 2013. Please , any thoughts on this . Note , have not done transmission update yet, does update change steering calibration etc. or just update the transmission?


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Old 11-24-2012, 11:18 PM   #2
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wasn't there a tsb for the steering on early 2012 build cars? it address wondering at highway speeds iirc.
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:23 PM   #3
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Dec. 2011 would not be an early build , correct?
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:26 PM   #4
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Dec. 2011 would not be an early build , correct?
Mine is a Dec. 2011 build and I had the same problem you described. I had my electrical steering assembly replaced and it's much better now.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:28 PM   #5
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I have a 5/31/12 build.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:36 AM   #6
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the tsb is # 12-02-07 and it applies to vehichles built to dec. 2011(build date has been changed a few times not sure of exact date) , the transmission update doesn't affect steering.,check this thread/http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=282053 you may have a few weeks wait for parts when i had it done 3+ week wait on parts,still didn't solve problem.

Last edited by sgmfocus; 11-25-2012 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:01 AM   #7
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I have a 12-6-11 build date and I had the steering wander problem at highway speeds. They replaced my steering rack (TSB 12-02-17) and now it drives smooth and straight on the highway....except now my steering is ULTRA SENSITIVE mostly at low speeds. Any type of small imperfection in the road, which previously with the old rack, if I drove over, the car would continue straight, now if I hit the same imprefections my car will shift direction dramatically. I have to keep 2 hands on the wheel to make sure I have complete control of the car. Previously with the old rack, I could drive and keep the car straight literally with ONE FINGER. One dealer I took it too said "NORMAL OPERATION" which I find VERY hard to believe. I think I am going to try to take it to a different dealer this week and see what they say.

It is actually a bit exhausting to drive the car because it is constantly shifting direction at low speeds when it hits any type of minor imperfection in the road. However on freshly paved streets it will drive nice and straight without any steering input. The old rack I could drive on some of the worst roads, and it would still maintain a straight path. I am incredibly frustrated.

The steering is so sensitive I am contemplating taking a huge loss and trading it in. That's how bad it is now with the NEW AND IMPROVED steering rack. But like I said...it actually drives great on the highway. (too bad most of my driving is under 40mph)
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Some Guy From NY View Post
I have a 12-6-11 build date and I had the steering wander problem at highway speeds. They replaced my steering rack (TSB 12-02-17) and now it drives smooth and straight on the highway....except now my steering is ULTRA SENSITIVE mostly at low speeds. Any type of small imperfection in the road, which previously with the old rack, if I drove over, the car would continue straight, now if I hit the same imprefections my car will shift direction dramatically. I have to keep 2 hands on the wheel to make sure I have complete control of the car. Previously with the old rack, I could drive and keep the car straight literally with ONE FINGER. One dealer I took it too said "NORMAL OPERATION" which I find VERY hard to believe. I think I am going to try to take it to a different dealer this week and see what they say.

It is actually a bit exhausting to drive the car because it is constantly shifting direction at low speeds when it hits any type of minor imperfection in the road. However on freshly paved streets it will drive nice and straight without any steering input. The old rack I could drive on some of the worst roads, and it would still maintain a straight path. I am incredibly frustrated.

The steering is so sensitive I am contemplating taking a huge loss and trading it in. That's how bad it is now with the NEW AND IMPROVED steering rack. But like I said...it actually drives great on the highway. (too bad most of my driving is under 40mph)
mine is just the opposite great under 35 mph exhausting over 35 ,i went to dealer yesterday for them to check again(3rd time since end of August when rack was replaced).on mine it feels like the wandering starts in rear and travels forward to front steering(on road test service manager noticed it without being told).He's thinking it could be tire related wants me to bring it back so they can take it to get a Roadforce balance done on the tires(its supposed to show if theres a problem with tire that doesn't show up on a spin balancer).Just something you might want to check on yours and mention it to dealer see what they say, will update after i get tires checked his week.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Some Guy From NY View Post
I have a 12-6-11 build date and I had the steering wander problem at highway speeds. They replaced my steering rack (TSB 12-02-17) and now it drives smooth and straight on the highway....except now my steering is ULTRA SENSITIVE mostly at low speeds. Any type of small imperfection in the road, which previously with the old rack, if I drove over, the car would continue straight, now if I hit the same imprefections my car will shift direction dramatically. I have to keep 2 hands on the wheel to make sure I have complete control of the car. Previously with the old rack, I could drive and keep the car straight literally with ONE FINGER. One dealer I took it too said "NORMAL OPERATION" which I find VERY hard to believe. I think I am going to try to take it to a different dealer this week and see what they say.

It is actually a bit exhausting to drive the car because it is constantly shifting direction at low speeds when it hits any type of minor imperfection in the road. However on freshly paved streets it will drive nice and straight without any steering input. The old rack I could drive on some of the worst roads, and it would still maintain a straight path. I am incredibly frustrated.

The steering is so sensitive I am contemplating taking a huge loss and trading it in. That's how bad it is now with the NEW AND IMPROVED steering rack. But like I said...it actually drives great on the highway. (too bad most of my driving is under 40mph)
Toe in. The car may need a front end alignment. Toe in is what is causing your issue. Not enough toe in probably.
It may have zero to do with the steering rack. They did not do a proper realignment when they replaced the rack
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Toe in. The car may need a front end alignment. Toe in is what is causing your issue. Not enough toe in probably.
It may have zero to do with the steering rack. They did not do a proper realignment when they replaced the rack
Well it is a VERY LONG STORY. but while you are right, they did NOT do a proper alignment when they reinstalled the rack...just a month ago I had a different dealer do an alignment on my car, and gave me a copy of the print out of the specs before & after the alignment. It was out of spec, and now it is in spec.

I really do not want to sell this car, it will be a strain finanically but I cannot deal with how sensitive it is when driving. Literally if I am not focused 100% on what the car is doing, it will steer out of the lane I'm in rapidly, due to hitting small bumps in the road. Like I said, flat newly paved roads and it will drive straight with little to no input from the wheel.

I am looking at my print out now and the toe was off originally until they corrected it.

Front Total: (range 0.00 to 0.40)
Before: -0.06
After: 0.21

Rear Total (range 0.18 to 0.58)
Before: 0.15
After: 0.45

Also the toe was the only thing off between the 2 alignments, everything else was in spec.

Any other ideas? My main concern is either this new rack is also defective, or it was improperly torqued which I understand could cause wandering. Can anyone confirm this?

edit:
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