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Old 06-21-2011, 10:39 AM   #1
herbz
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Highway lane drifting

Hey all,

My new Focus only has about 350 miles on it, about half of which are highway. I was wondering if anyone else has the following problem.

When driving on the highway, I feel it's a bit hard to keep the car in its lane. It seems like the electric steering "locks" the car into a "straight" line, but often times that "straight" path heads toward the lane divider. So I'll be going towards the left lane divider, then correct right, then head towards the right lane divider, then correct left, etc. etc. It never seems to just want to go straight ahead.

I wish car manufacturers would just keep electric crap out of cars. Unfortunately that's where the demand is. I ordered the base focus with the base radio because I'm a purist and like things simpler, way less problems. Reading all the MFT problems people are having seems to justify my decision. Unfortunately electric steering is not an option I can uncheck.

Hoping Ford will be able to troubleshoot this. But I was wondering if anyone else has noticed this yet.

Other than that I love this car.


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Old 06-21-2011, 11:02 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herbz View Post
Hey all,

My new Focus only has about 350 miles on it, about half of which are highway. I was wondering if anyone else has the following problem.

When driving on the highway, I feel it's a bit hard to keep the car in its lane. It seems like the electric steering "locks" the car into a "straight" line, but often times that "straight" path heads toward the lane divider. So I'll be going towards the left lane divider, then correct right, then head towards the right lane divider, then correct left, etc. etc. It never seems to just want to go straight ahead.

I wish car manufacturers would just keep electric crap out of cars. Unfortunately that's where the demand is. I ordered the base focus with the base radio because I'm a purist and like things simpler, way less problems. Reading all the MFT problems people are having seems to justify my decision. Unfortunately electric steering is not an option I can uncheck.

Hoping Ford will be able to troubleshoot this. But I was wondering if anyone else has noticed this yet.

Other than that I love this car.
I've done quite a lot of highway driving and did not notice this at all. Pretty much always stays dead center and I don't even need to do the usual knee driving to move stuff around quickly. It could just be road conditions causing it to seem like it's pulling left or right.

I'm taking a 900 mile road trip next week, so I guess if it's there I'll notice it then, but I've already put like 1k miles on the car since getting it and I haven't seen this issue.

I do have the titanium with the sports package, maybe it has to do with the less stiff suspension?
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:15 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Squeak22 View Post
I've done quite a lot of highway driving and did not notice this at all. Pretty much always stays dead center and I don't even need to do the usual knee driving to move stuff around quickly. It could just be road conditions causing it to seem like it's pulling left or right.

I'm taking a 900 mile road trip next week, so I guess if it's there I'll notice it then, but I've already put like 1k miles on the car since getting it and I haven't seen this issue.

I do have the titanium with the sports package, maybe it has to do with the less stiff suspension?
Could be any of what you mentioned. Thanks for the post. I'll keep driving until initial oil change/tire rotation. Hopefully it will improve.

I have an SE 5 speed manual w/ sports package for the record.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:17 AM   #4
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Take it to dealer, tell them the problem, and have them check the alignment?
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:56 AM   #5
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I had the same situation when making a 4k trip a couple of wks ago. It seemed like the type road and wind conditions factored in. With light winds it seemed less noticeable. You're right..... the steering seems much more sensitive, At this point it doesn't seem significant but will mention it when taking it in for service. Will appreciate your feedback also.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:59 AM   #6
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Id second the alignment check. Make a big deal out of it theyll check the specs on it
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herbz View Post
Hey all,

My new Focus only has about 350 miles on it, about half of which are highway. I was wondering if anyone else has the following problem.

When driving on the highway, I feel it's a bit hard to keep the car in its lane. It seems like the electric steering "locks" the car into a "straight" line, but often times that "straight" path heads toward the lane divider. So I'll be going towards the left lane divider, then correct right, then head towards the right lane divider, then correct left, etc. etc. It never seems to just want to go straight ahead.
The EPAS steering gear has drift/pull compensation that is intended to mitigate some of this. Most roads have a crown so driving down a 2 lane road w/ a crown your vehicle will drift to the right, same thing in left lane of a highway.

Next time you sense the condition take note of the road crown to see if that explains what is happening. Switch lanes if you are on freeway to see if that changes condition. The drift/pull compensation should sense the slight steering input and null it out so you don't feel the pull on the wheel but only to an extent. Check your tire pressures to make sure that is not it, can also swap LF & RF tires to see if that resolves issue, tire conicity (one side bigger diam than other) can also cause a pull.
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazzdog View Post
The EPAS steering gear has drift/pull compensation that is intended to mitigate some of this. Most roads have a crown so driving down a 2 lane road w/ a crown your vehicle will drift to the right, same thing in left lane of a highway.

Next time you sense the condition take note of the road crown to see if that explains what is happening. Switch lanes if you are on freeway to see if that changes condition. The drift/pull compensation should sense the slight steering input and null it out so you don't feel the pull on the wheel but only to an extent. Check your tire pressures to make sure that is not it, can also swap LF & RF tires to see if that resolves issue, tire conicity (one side bigger diam than other) can also cause a pull.
I'm not sure its alignment out youre pressure our uneven diameter if the car is pulling left and right... Its probably just more sensitive than youre used to. I'd give it more time so you and the car are more used to each other. If the problem persists then sew if the dealer can reprogram the EPAS.
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:36 PM   #9
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I'm kinda glad I'm not the only one! Mine does it too & it's going back to the dealer on Friday. It's definiately something in the electric power steering because it doesn't do it all the time. It seems to start happening about a half hour or more into a long drive. The steering seems to lock in one position and when you go to move the wheel (either way) to make a slight adjustment, it resists until you put enough force into it to, and then it moves too much sending you to towards the other lane, it immmediately locks into that position and you can't make a minor adjustment to get back to center. You end up zigzaging in your lane for miles and miles. It's exhausting! We went on 1200 mile trip this weekend and had to change drivers every hour or so because of this. We pulled off at at rest area and I pulled the fuse for the steering module and it actually steered perfect (better than normal) for about a half hour and then it started up again. With my luck it won't do it when I take it to the dealer and they'll think I'm nuts!
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:49 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by brewslayer View Post
I'm kinda glad I'm not the only one! Mine does it too & it's going back to the dealer on Friday. It's definiately something in the electric power steering because it doesn't do it all the time. It seems to start happening about a half hour or more into a long drive. The steering seems to lock in one position and when you go to move the wheel (either way) to make a slight adjustment, it resists until you put enough force into it to, and then it moves too much sending you to towards the other lane, it immmediately locks into that position and you can't make a minor adjustment to get back to center. You end up zigzaging in your lane for miles and miles. It's exhausting! We went on 1200 mile trip this weekend and had to change drivers every hour or so because of this. We pulled off at at rest area and I pulled the fuse for the steering module and it actually steered perfect (better than normal) for about a half hour and then it started up again. With my luck it won't do it when I take it to the dealer and they'll think I'm nuts!
Found this which is the likely culprit:

http://media.ford.com/images/10031/EPAS_MKS.pdf

Wonder if it can be disabled.
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