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Well to eliminate the notion that this is normal....I drove a 3rd Focus today on the same exact 40 mile route to work and it doesn't exhibit the same problem. So now I can tell myself I wan't overthinking the steering of the car. We are sending it to the shop to see what they say, hopefully Ford doesn't give them a hard time since it's out of the TSB manufacture date range. Looks like these things are still going out with some steering problems.

Natasha---I will contact you if/when applicable. Thanks.
 

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Well to eliminate the notion that this is normal....I drove a 3rd Focus today on the same exact 40 mile route to work and it doesn't exhibit the same problem. So now I can tell myself I wan't overthinking the steering of the car. We are sending it to the shop to see what they say, hopefully Ford doesn't give them a hard time since it's out of the TSB manufacture date range. Looks like these things are still going out with some steering problems.

Natasha---I will contact you if/when applicable. Thanks.
Forget about a TSB. They make the tech's job easier, it should have no effect on determining if your complaint is normal or abnormal. If its abnormal, they will figure it out. It may not be as quick or accurate as something that DOES have a TSB to direct the tech....but they will eventually figure it out nonetheless.
 

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I don't know the skinny on this TSB but keep in mind the electronic power steering system has a feature that is intended to lessen the effort required by the driver to compensate for road crown. The system will, by way of your restraint control module accelerometers, determine when the vehicle is traveling in a straight line. If it sees that the wheel must continuously be held a few degrees of center to maintain this straight path, the module will accomodate by electrically providing a "center feel" to the wheel when it's tilted. In other words, the electronic steering will hold the wheel off center to keep the vehicle traveling in a straight line. Because this is something never before done in a conventional hydraulic assist steering system, some people complain about it and incorrectly assume there is a malfunction.
No, this is not what it's about. A number of Focus' have gone out, and the EPAS fights the driver, in the on-centre position. They want to make a slight correction to the steering, and the EPAS fights it... and so they apply more force at the wheel rim -- and then it breaks free (but it overcompensates). Same thing happened to a number of '09 and '10 Toyota Corolla's with EPAS.

It does not happen to all Focus' -- it is hard to tell how many it does affect.

There is a TSB out on the issue, and it would appear to indicate a before and an after build date. However, some have experienced the issue even after the claimed "OK After" build date. The TSB calls for a steering rack replacement, and apparently some of the single-use bolts, / etc.

Finally, it happens, usually, after a period of time at highway speeds. Sometimes its intermittent.

It most decidedly is not pull / drift control, functioning in a normal manner function. But it could be these functions, gone awry.
 

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Forget about a TSB. They make the tech's job easier, it should have no effect on determining if your complaint is normal or abnormal. If its abnormal, they will figure it out. It may not be as quick or accurate as something that DOES have a TSB to direct the tech....but they will eventually figure it out nonetheless.
Oftentimes the dealer does not experience the issue first-hand ('cause it's intermitten) and then calls the car normal.

Now I'm sure that dealerships deal with all kinds of customers, including those who are imagining stuff -- but also, they in some circumstances, seem to say "if I can't feel it, it is operating as designed". This whole issue is an intermittent / after a while at speed kind of thing.

As a further point, even in an on-line forum, those folks who have not experienced the issue on their own car, discount those people who claim they have a problem. It's hard to know just how widespread this issue is.
 

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Update: They are replacing the steering rack in the Focus I drove (built October). Although out of the TSB date range, it was expericing the same issue as the earlier builds. Sounds like the issue has not been fully resolved on newly built cars from the factory. Hopefully they will revise the TSB date range for those dealers that are sticklers on this type of thing.
 

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I picked up my Titanium 5 door on Nov 8 with 2 miles on the odometer. It had a build date of Oct 25. Looks great,fit and finish is on par with the best of the Europeans. I decided to take it on a 100 mile road trip to Sacramento. That's when I discovered a major problem. I too couldn't keep it going in a straight line. I had to constantly saw at the wheel. By the time I arrived at my destination my arms and shoulders hurt so much that I could hardly move them. I went to the Dealer yesterday. They drove it and couldn't find anything wrong. They knew about the TSB for the cars built before 8/1. The service manager said he would contact Ford and get back to me. I feel that they are trying to make me happy, we'll see
 

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I picked up my Titanium 5 door on Nov 8 with 2 miles on the odometer. It had a build date of Oct 25. Looks great,fit and finish is on par with the best of the Europeans. I decided to take it on a 100 mile road trip to Sacramento. That's when I discovered a major problem. I too couldn't keep it going in a straight line. I had to constantly saw at the wheel. By the time I arrived at my destination my arms and shoulders hurt so much that I could hardly move them. I went to the Dealer yesterday. They drove it and couldn't find anything wrong. They knew about the TSB for the cars built before 8/1. The service manager said he would contact Ford and get back to me. I feel that they are trying to make me happy, we'll see
Cardoc, exact same issue here! Got our SE in mid October and drove to Sacramento on the same route you did, 680/80 from Castro Valley and I was a mess when we got there. It takes some time to develop and the road needs to be straight for the oscillations to kick in. I would not take the car to LA on hwy 5 until this is resolved. Will be making my first try at getting this and other issues fixed at the dealer next week.

-jerry
 

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I drove it on the freeway today for about 40 miles, it seems to be getting better. I;m only at 300 miles on the odometer. The stiffnes in the wheel appears to to have disapperd , I can now make fine corrections with over correcting. I will wait until 1000 miles and see if the trouble reapears.
(I have to get a spelling checker)
 

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yes

Has anyone experienced this in a car that was built after the 8/1/11 TSB date? I have been driving another Focus that was built 10/11 and it seems to be experiencing the steering problem as discussed here.

Sometimes it is fine, and then I will be driving down a straight highway and it seems like I am constantly adjusting the steering wheel, and it has a "lump" at the center that you have to push through when you are doing small corrections on at highway speeds. It is very exhausting.

When I drive my original car, which was built last April (which didn't have the steering issue) I do not notice this. I drive the same sections of highway 5 days a week for 80 miles every day with both cars and there is something different with the newer car.
Yes there are a number of ones after that build date with the issue.
 

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[confused][eek] Just think what it would be if all of you lived in a snowy state and had to drive your focus in the snow and ice and this probblem was happening to you..... you would be in the ditch upside down. Glad its fixed[8]
 

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Mine was made on 8/15. I had the issue. After the first trip to the service dept. They did a realignment. This help the dead zone. It did not resolve the issue of over correction. After 3K the ride has gotten harder and the event that initiates the over correction has diminish but not totally gone away. Thanks to Natasha it's at a dealership Ford has more comfort dealing with. If you are in the San Diego area Pearson Ford in Kearny Mesa has the nicest front end service department I've been in. I will hopefully get my car back today. I'll report back in a couple of weeks to let you guys know if the issue is resolved.
 

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The car is still steering ok. When I first had the problem it felt like the steering gear was binding. I drove down my street at about 10 mph quickly turning the wheel back and forth about 20 times. I have had no problem since. I hope that fixed it perminently
( I still need a spell checker)
 

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Update: They are replacing the steering rack in the Focus I drove (built October).
I'm glad they are working to resolve your steering issue. [:)]

I decided to take it on a 100 mile road trip to Sacramento. That's when I discovered a major problem. I too couldn't keep it going in a straight line. I had to constantly saw at the wheel. By the time I arrived at my destination my arms and shoulders hurt so much that I could hardly move them.
Hey cardoc1,

Ouch, sorry it was so tough on your trip. Glad it's easier now, though. Please PM me your VIN, contact information, mileage, & servicing dealer name/state and I'll assist.

Yes there are a number of ones after that build date with the issue.
I replied to your PM, and I'm happy your parts arrived and your Focus is taken care of. [:)]

Cardoc, exact same issue here! Got our SE in mid October and drove to Sacramento on the same route you did, 680/80 from Castro Valley and I was a mess when we got there.
Please keep me updated. My offer of escalation is still available if you need me.

After 3K the ride has gotten harder and the event that initiates the over correction has diminish but not totally gone away. Thanks to Natasha it's at a dealership Ford has more comfort dealing with. If you are in the San Diego area Pearson Ford in Kearny Mesa has the nicest front end service department I've been in. I will hopefully get my car back today. I'll report back in a couple of weeks to let you guys know if the issue is resolved.
Thanks for the great update! I'm happy to help.

~Natasha
 

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Was hoping to hold out a bit longer but at 1,000 miles had to finally take the car in for the highway wandering issue. It was getting worse, not better and I could no longer stand driving it on the highway nor did I feel safe.

Arrived at the dealer with the forum pages printed out and they quickly found the service bulletin and assured me they knew what the issue was and the new steering gear would correct it. Crossing my fingers that this is resolved on the first try and was impressed with the dealer so far.
 

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Arrived at the dealer with the forum pages printed out and they quickly found the service bulletin and assured me they knew what the issue was and the new steering gear would correct it. Crossing my fingers that this is resolved on the first try and was impressed with the dealer so far.
Awesome! Thanks for the follow up. [:)]

~Natasha
 

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I responded to your PM explaining the best possible way to assist. If you prefer to wait and see if it has stopped wandering, that's perfectly fine, but I am here if you need me. [:)]

~Natasha
OK here it goes.

After thinking about it, I decided to go with Natasha's offer. Someone from Ford Customer Service called me. I was hesitant if anything was going to happen since the wandering was not occurring as frequent was it had been. Tammy(?) from Ford Customer service asked if I want to use my dealer's service department or another. I chose another service department that Ford had a good working relationship with. I was glad I chose the latter. The service department at Person Ford here in San Diego was night and day from Fuller. The service adviser treated me like a valued customer and not a bother. After a day they came back with a diagnosis of parts replacement. Went back in to get a rental while they waited for parts. I was given a Chevy Aveo. OMG my broken focus is 10x the car the Aveo was. What a pile of crap. No wonder why import cars ruled the sub compact class.

Natasha you gotta do something about your supply chain. I had to wait a week for the new steering gear to come in.

Well right out from the dealer the steering was stiff. I mean stiff all the time, as if I had no power steering. I thought I was driving my parent's 80's Mazda.

Drove it on my normal commute. The back end kicked out due to road construction on the freeway. The steering stayed true. With this fix driving is a bit dead. I've lost a lot of feel. Taking corners at speed has lost that loving feeling.

The end story is no more wandering after a week and a half, the stiffness has faded a bit. I have confidence in the car. I feel safe, which was the whole reason I went with Natasha's help.

I'm very glad Ford did not say that my wandering problem was just perception of how a new steering systems works. For those of you who posted that owners that have this issue are crazy. I hope you never have the unsafe feeling I've had driving this car. I hope you never worry that your car is driving itself and possibly injuring yourself and your family driving inside.

Thank you Ford for stepping up and resolving my issue.


Ford please make sure this fix is available any customer and not just Focus that are manufactured before a certain date. There are too many happy customers after the service for this to be forced upon by your customers to their service department.
 

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The end story is no more wandering after a week and a half, the stiffness has faded a bit. I have confidence in the car. I feel safe, which was the whole reason I went with Natasha's help.
Thanks for the positive message and feedback. I appreciate it! [:)] I'm sorry the steering rack took a few days to get there, but am thankful it resolved your concerns. Please keep me in mind if you have any questions.

~Natasha
 

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Quick update, despite my earlier positive attitude that things were getting fixed I just got off the phone with the dealer. Ford Engineering says my production date had already been fixed and my steering rack should not have an issue. OK....great, then why does my car weave gently back and forth on the highway? Back to visit the dealer (and my car) tomorrow but I'm already mentally prepared to drive it off and trade it in on a new Honda.

-jerry
 
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