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My 2012 Ford Focus with 61,000 miles began not starting intermittently about the time I got the notice to take my car in for a computer TCM update. So literally one month ago today I take it in to the dealer and they do the update. The VERY next day I get transmission malfunction warning lights on dash and immediately take it back to dealer who replaces the TCM, and catalytic converter all under warranty.

When the car does not start AT the DEALERSHIP, they say it needs a new battery. Replaced battery-( took old battery and put into old truck and it is still working wonderfully by the way)

when I left the dealership and took my car home, I notice if radio is on when I shut off the car, it is turned off when I start it again. Not a big deal for me, I can turn the radio back on.

However, 2 weeks later and again car still intermittently does not start. Call dealership, take it back and they can not replicate so nothing they can do.

Then few days later again while trying to get thecar to start I get "transmission malfunction service immediately" light and back to dealership. They clear the fault, say nothing there, can't replicate, can't do anything. But the fault WAS THERE when I dropped it off and the cleared it!

Take car back home and again intermittently not starting. Dealership says I have to tow it in. Only this time when I finally get it to start, I get the " steering assist fault, service immediately". I have NO POWER steering. Still manage to drive it to dealership.

Dealership says after starting and stopping car numerous times, they got the "steering assist fault' and I need to buy a new steering assist module at a cost of $2200.

The service adviser tells me she was able to start and turn it off 19 times with no problem. I told her I could do that in my driveway all day long, it was when I DROVE the car somewhere it happened.

They have my car now, I am so frustrated and disgusted by this. My car was working good until they changed out the TCM.

As I have been researching and I have been passing on possible causes I find online but don't know that dealership techs are actually being told or checking those things- fuses, ignition relays, etc.

What else can I do?
 

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AnnDee, when this happened to me I spent a weekend trying to isolate the fault and couldn't get it to clear. And my OBD2 scanner wouldn't pick up the fault. In other words, in my case my electric power steering was indeed fried. It's worked fine since they replaced it under warranty.

Here's what I am seeing from your post:

1. Trouble starting car.
2. Told to bring in for TCM update (software?)
3. Transmission malfunction one day after TCM update.
4. Dealer replaces TCM and catalytic converter under warranty. Why the catalytic converter? That has nothing to do with the transmission.
5. Car doesn't start. Battery replaced and old battery works in a different car.
6. Radio doesn't remember on/off setting when you turn off the car.
7. Drove to dealership due to "transmission malfunction service immediately" message. Dealer resets the alarm.
8. More starting problems back home, then "steering assist fault, service immediately." Dealer says tow it but manual steering works so you drove it to the dealership (this is what I did in my case).
9. $2,200 wants for new power steering assembly.

That's a lot of electrical stuff happening one after the other. If the dealership is dragging their feet you need to escalate it to Ford.
 

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I had a similar issue but my mechanic after a TCM & two clutch packs.... I had steering assist come on--lost SYNC---found that by having the trans out so many times there was corrosion on the main junction cable---once he cleaned it up & reloaded things--all ok.. a lot of techs are parts replacer instead of really looking into diagnosing.
 

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Dealership just stated that Ford is not willing to assist because
1. I am not original owner of car
2. It is outside all warranties

I"m second owner. It's only 61,000 miles.
you have got to be kidding me.

So, basically, I have to go get my car or pay the $2,200 ransom for a suspected steering assist module.
All this after having it in the shop 4 times in last 30 days, starting problem still not diagnosed, fixed or cared about.

** Update- Dealership did nothing to car so I went and picked up car and surprise! Steering working normal suddenly, car starting first try. So now, who wants to guess how many times it will start before messing up again?
 

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ANNDEE- I really believe the DCT is computer related with the steering etc. I think there should be a recall on the whole shabang!! Id contact legal council. It's a safty issue when you loose your steering!!
 

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I am having the steering issue as well. Seems to be a problem following the "seems like annual" TCM update. Problem exists when starting on occasion, but more frequently after Ford has touched something. I can clear the problem by rebooting the car...engine off, door opened then closed. Seems like Ford likes extending warranties, but not for this particular issue. Sadly for me, I am not the original owner, and all of the warranties have expired. I HAVE worked in the automotive industry as a QAE, and can tell you that one of our biggest responsibilities is "Warranty Reduction". What that means is "How can we limit responsibility, yet still appear to produce a quality product?". The warranties are designed by engineering to expire just before a part is EXPECTED to fail.
 

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I had serious issues with the loss of steering & fault codes!! I truely think this deserves attention -recall & bullitin! It took a diligent mechanic to see with my trains out twice for clutches & tcm that the main juction cable gets stretched & coroded! It should be replaced & corrected with this repair! It's a very tight fit! Hopefully there are never any injuries over this! I again feel these items both need londer warrantties! (10 years! 150k miles!!)
 

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Check the wiring connections to and from your steering gear.

The steering gear has two connectors, one is the power and ground (this is the large wires), this one needs to be attached to provide power to the system (both the EPS motor and the ECU). The second connector is equally important, it has 3 wires. One of them is the "Ignition-Run" line which actually "wakes-up" the EPS and allows it to provide assist. The other two wires are the CAN network (which do a lot of things).

The system WILL work, and provide assist at a default level if the CAN wires have issues, but if any of the other three wires have issues you will either not have assist or will lose assist. It is very important if someone (including the dealer) has worked on your car that these wires are properly connected.

I'd say a pinpoint test (which the dealer should do) is always the best way to diagnose a steering system. The dealer can also read DTC's from the steering system, if it has a hardware fault (one of 5 or 6 DTCs) then it will need to be replaced. But since your system recovered it does not sound like one of these DTCs was present (these DTCs usually set once and then lock out assist on the system).

If your dealer can give you information on the DTCs that were in the system, and the status of the Pin-Point test it would go a long way to understanding if you had a defective system, or if you have a wiring problem.

Also, these units need to be programed by the dealer. So even if you could find a part in a junk yard (not recommended, but I know people do this) you still need to have the dealer program the module with the latest SW and Calibration (usually a $100 charge).

I should say the above is just my opinions, as this is very close to the stuff I do at work (see my profile for the usual disclaimer).
 

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Steering Assist Error

I too have gotten the "Steering Assist Fault" error. Thankfully while parked at home, but in the meantime having to get rides to work. Is there any work around to get things working again? I can't afford $1,500.00 worth of work at the dealership because: 1. I'm not the original owner and 2. The car is well out of warranty.
 

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I too have gotten the "Steering Assist Fault" error. Thankfully while parked at home, but in the meantime having to get rides to work. Is there any work around to get things working again? I can't afford $1,500.00 worth of work at the dealership because: 1. I'm not the original owner and 2. The car is well out of warranty.
You can drive with the manual steering. It requires more effort and would take some getting used to versus assisted steering. You'd also need to adjust your driving style because evasive maneuvers would be limited by your strength alone.

Other than that your only solution is to replace the system. Even if you somehow found a manual rack replacement (which would be a custom job) it would still have a much heavier feel than a working EPS system. You could get one designed to have a slower rack ratio (giving you more mechanical advantage at the expense of turn circle) and you'd not have the effort of back driving the ball nut and the motor. Further labor costs would be identical since you'd still have to drop the sub-frame to insert the manual rack.
 

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The car can absolutely be driven in manual steering mode--just drives like a 40's truck---I truly feel that its the main cable that they disconnect when the remove the trans for the DCT repairs--it's very tight & corrodes with in & out--(my mechanic discovered it as mentioned in my other post) It happened to me 30k miles ago!! Ford should warrant this whole DCT thing 10 years 150K unconditionally!!
 

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I've had this error come up twice now, just started last week. Went away after restarting the car both times. The transmission has never been out of the car. I wonder if it's a voltage issue as the car still has the original battery. I park inside a warm underground parking garage at home and it hasn't done it in there, only after I've been parked outside for a while and it's cold out. Nonetheless I don't really feel like chasing potentially serious issues on this car any more, I think it might just be time for a new car.
 

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I think it definitely is electrical---(I'd change the battery for sure being a 2012---mine occurred 30k miles ago and I did change battery---these cars are so computer electrical driven anymore--all cars--it's a cheap try and also the main junction cable has connection issues--I think the 12's being the first year have issues period!! Warranty them for 10 years 150k miles like Hyundaii!!
 

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Just dropped off my 2012 with this problem. I could usually reset it by turning the car off and then on again. Looks like I am going to be out at least $1500 by the sounds of these posts... Shame, though it is the only major problem (besides the dreaded transmission woes and getting a new TCM) since I bought the car.
 

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I called the dealer because I had a similar issue, but mine seems to keep resetting by turning the car off and back on. It's happened 4 or 5 times over the car's life. The dealer said worst case, it would cost around 1700.
 

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I have constantly been having this problem for the past couple of years withMy 2012 Focus SE. The dealership has been no help, as it is an intermittent problem. What usually works is to shut the car off, wait a couple of minutes, then turn it back on. This does seem like the type of problem that Ford should stand behind, but we know how much they value their customers. $ over people.
 
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