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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I drive a 2002 Ford Focus Wagon and just recently the steering started to feel gritty ( almost like there was sand in the reservoir). I have checked to make sure the fluids are topped up and even felt the fluid to see if it was gritty, yet I still cant figure it out.
 

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Moved to Brakes, Suspension & Chassis.

Not good, afraid I'll suggest a friend or professional who's a good mechanic for this one.
 

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Sounds like no one changed out the p/s fluid. I'd start by flushing out the p/s fluid 1st.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Felixthecat - do you think there could actually be some sort of grit such as sand in the system. I am in a high school where there is a shop I will get my teacher to do a flush. I appreciate the help.
 

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I'm afraid Bruce misread this, and thought you'd actually felt grit in the p/S fluid.

If you had, the entire steering system would probably be shot - needing new rack, pump & lines - a VERY unusual total failure.

There are other things to check, and some experience is needed to help figure it out, that's why I suggested an experienced friend/mechanic to assist.

Steering column/rack themselves of course, but a problem there isn't very likely. The suspension is likely shot, with bad strut bearings the first guess - but all joints need inspection. Steering that won't turn smoothly needs to be checked out thoroughly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow thanks. I have a teacher at my school who is a licensed mechanic with close to 40yrs of experience. I will have him look at it on Monday. Do you think the car is safe to drive this weekend?
 

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Prob., after reading another post here I'm starting to wonder if BOTH of you are feeling the tire rubbing on Ice accumulation and just aren't familiar with the feeling.

That thread was answered already (feeling something through floor) and it got me thinking about yours.

If you've got a healthy ice buildup the tires will rub then turned, since they have to rub it away to make space for themselves when turned. Are you possibly hearing/feeling that?

This is a non-problem as long as you turn the wheel easy & let them chew the crud out of their way - and you'll feel it again over bumps or when more load is put in the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm afraid I have over the last couple of days been kicking the crud off leading in no buildup. I am aware of the feeling of that problem but this one is way different its like putting your hands in the water with the sand then taking them out and feeling the grit between your fingers.
 

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I'm afraid I have over the last couple of days been kicking the crud off leading in no buildup. I am aware of the feeling of that problem but this one is way different its like putting your hands in the water with the sand then taking them out and feeling the grit between your fingers.
So that's what hand sanditizer is. [giggle]
 

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OK then, we're back to getting some help feeling it out & checking it over.

If it got "stiff" & felt like that pump/rack would be more of a question. As it is, you want to confirm the column/rack work smoothly & start looking at the suspension next. Jack up & turning the wheel will be the first check after a test drive for another "feel'.
 

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A bearing surface is dead in steering rotation if not ice/snow. Tie rod ends or strut bearing or ball joint, rack could have internal damage as well.

Jacking up in air may unload the problem and thus hide it.
 
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