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2011 F 150 Electric Power Steering Issues

temj12temj12 Posts: 450
I have a 2011 F 150 with electric power steering issues. I have come across others who are having the same problem. The issue is what feels like a loose joint in the steering shaft. Some people refer to it as popping. It feels like a loose ball joint would feel. I have had it to a local Ford dealer and they essentially "blew me off." They can find nothing when they put it on a lift and do a visual. It is something that would require more than that. It does not occur when you are making turns. It is when you are driving straight, especially when you hit small bumps in a row. I am concerned about the safety of it. The truck has 10,000 miles. It seems to occur more with higher temperatures. I have filed a report with NHTSA.gov and they have responded back that they are looking into it. The only way anything will come of it is that other people have filed a report with the same problem.
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Comments

  • brtruckbrtruck Posts: 7
    I have a brand new 2012 with the exact same issue. The truck has a whopping 400 miles on it. I live in AZ and in the mornings it feels OK, but in the afternoons when it gets hotter, it gets worse. I thought I was crazy because it made no sense. I have taken it in to Ford and gotten no where. It feels like a chatter or popping in the steering wheel. It is over smaller imperfections and does not feel suspension related because it has nothing to do with larger bumps. Have you had the problem since new? Any info you can provide would be great to address with Ford. I love my truck when it is parked, but when I drive it, it makes me nuts. Thanks.......
  • temj12temj12 Posts: 450
    I thought that this problem applied to the 2011 model because that was the first year of the electric power steering. I have thought of trading mine for a 2012, but that won't be happening now. I have also taken mine to a Ford dealer to find the problem. They test drove it and could not find a problem. A test drive around the block is not going to produce the problem. They said that they put it up on the rack and could find nothing wrong. You would have to go into the steering shaft to find the problem. The service advisor "blew me off" by saying that I was not used to electric power steering, referred to as epas. I told him that I knew the difference between the ease of the power steering and the problem I had. I have contacted two other dealers to see if they have dealt with the problem and they say no. I have filed a written complaint with NHTSA.gov. If there are enough complaints, they will force a recall. If you go to F150online.com and type in electric power steering problem, you will find others with the same problem. I don't think I can stand to drive this truck over a long period of time with this problem. I, too, like mine other than this, but this is a ridiculous problem. The reason they are not coming up with an answer is that they are not having to pay out enough warranty claims. You will find of the aforementioned site that they have replaced parts in the steering, but in some of the follow-up the problem came back. Let me know if you come up with a dealer finding a solution.
  • brtruckbrtruck Posts: 7
    I finally found someone to listen in Phoenix. I have a great tech that looked/drove the vehicle and has a 2 part approach he is going to try. First, he is going to replace the lower steering linkage. It may not be expanding/contracting properly in the heat. If this does not fix the problem, then he is going to replace the steering rack. Apparently, as best as I can understand, the steering rack is a computer that may be affected by the heat. I will post back if one or the other fixes the problem. Parts are a week out. I, like you, cannot drive it much longer with the current condition.
  • temj12temj12 Posts: 450
    Thanks for getting back to me. Please let me know what you find out. We live in Michigan and Tennessee. I can't get anyone in Nashville to work with me, but I have a dealer in Michigan who will listen to me. I intend to bring a copy of your message and any follow-up to him when we are back in August. I have called him and asked him about it; he was not familiar with the problem. However, he said that he would work with me and get it fixed. I have been looking at Dodge trucks as an alternative, but I don't want to leave Ford if I don't have to do it.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I have noticed that not just a few of the new EPS designs will go in "derated" mode, not "full" assist, if the power semiconductor devices begin to approach the point of overheating.

    It sounds as if Ford may be using a slightly different technique to prevent EPS overheating, converting from a tightly closed-loop servo system, continuous, "finite" assist, to more of a "Bang-Bang" servo technique.

    A "Bang-Bang" servo system will not provide power assist until the difference between the desired stearing position differs from the actual position by a specified, wider amount.

    Porsche seems to think that an electro-hydraulic system is a better answer, a small electrically driven hydraulic pump.
  • brtruckbrtruck Posts: 7
    They replaced part of the steering shaft. It did not fix the problem. They are doing the EPAS unit this week. Will keep you posted. The tech drove the truck after the steering shaft was replaced in the heat of the day and confirmed the problem. It was shaking the steering wheel and making the usual clunking noise. It is 100% heat related. We had a few cooler days with overcast skies and the truck drove perfectly on those days..........
  • temj12temj12 Posts: 450
    Thanks very much for the update. I have been watching this thread to see what they had to do.
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    Sorry to hi-jack this thread, but I urgently need information on Ford electric power steering failure modes.

    2013 Escape FWD 2.0: Dramatic torque steer at launch, but more serious, at ~ 40 MPH WOT kickdown. Huge amount of correction required to keep the vehicle in one lane. I'm required to constantly input alternating left-right-left major corrections.

    It also has very poor on-center feel.

    1) Any suspected causes?
    2) I like to find schematics of the control system ... where's a good place to look?

    FWIW, One of my reference popints is my 2011 Ford Edge, which also has electric power steering, but negligible torque steer.

    Both the Escape and Edge are claimed to have "Torque Steering Composition"
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Likely not going to get much help here in the Pickups board for those crossovers. Us4e the "Browse by Vehicle" entries to the right to get to the Escape and Edge forums where you may get faster assistance.

    kcram - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Host

    MODERATOR
    Need help navigating? kcram@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    kcram:
    I've been to the Escape forum & will try the Edge forum.

    My hopes here are for a technician, or other person with technical knowledge, who can provide me with guidance toward a source of diagnostics of Ford electrical power steering. Or schematics of the Ford electrical & electronic components in the system.
  • temj12temj12 Posts: 450
    Have you made any headway on your epas problem? When you say shaking, is the
    shaking a thing that you feel in the steering system through the steering wheel or is the steering wheel visibly shaking?
  • brtruckbrtruck Posts: 7
    The truck has been at the dealer for a total of around 10 days (keep in mind it only has 900 miles on it). They have done three repairs so far: 1. changed intermediate steering shaft - did nothing. 2. Changed out the EPAS unit. 3. Lubed the entire steering shaft/system. They did the last two items at the same time. The result is that it is better, but not totally fixed. It makes the same clunking through the steering wheel, but not with such force. I do not know exactly how to describe it, but it almost feels like the steering pops down and then back up with a hallow feeling. If it was an older vehicle, I would say it feels like a bad ball joint, but it does not happen only when I hit bumps and is heat related as mentioned before. It is totally random. The people I am dealing with here have been great, but do not know what to do. They have confirmed the issue, but are now waiting for me to meet with the regional engineer next week. Unfortunately, I am afraid the truck will make a liar out of me when we drive it. I am going to look for a way out of the truck as it has already taken up way too much of my time. Too bad, because otherwise I really like it.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Yaw sensor is loose (internally?) or needs to be replaced.
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    Where is the sensor located? What does it look like? What does it sense ... what components send it signals?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Yaw sensor will be floor mounted somewhere near the center of "rotation" of the vehicle. Senses if the vehicle line of travel, motion, is in line with the direction set by the stearing.

    For instance if the rear tends to come about, skid, oversteer, the stability system will momentarily brake the front wheel on the outside of the skid/oversteer. Newer systems with EPS will also BIAS the steering effort AGAINST the driver exacerbating the situation. Sorta forcing you into a counter-steer effort.

    Some systems react so quickly the driver has no opportunity to recognize what just happened, in the indicator light extingusihes too quickly.

    IN you case a loose or failing yaw sensor might cause a reaction's onset and finsh so quickly....
  • temj12temj12 Posts: 450
    You describe it well. That is exactly what I have, just as I thought. If yours can't be repaired, I am thinking why should I try. I may just get rid of it, if I can. I will wait and see how you come out. I understand your concern about the problem not showing up when the regional engineer looks at it. I think that he probably won't be too anxious to find the problem. Otherwise, it would be what to do about it if the repairs have not resulted in a "fix." What you and I don't know is how many other situations they have had. They have had recalls with the Focus and the Explorer on their epas. If you have looked at the thread this week, there was one person who was having problems with the steering on his Escape. Grant it, they are different problems than you and I and others are having, but they have major problems with their electric power steering.
  • brtruckbrtruck Posts: 7
    edited August 2012
    Given what I know now, this is what I would do in your situation. First, do not waste your time with the intermediate shaft. For reference, if you look under the hood, this is the piece of the steering shaft that has the blue circular small damper (I think) on it. Replacing this did nothing. My gut is telling me that it was not the EPAS in my case either. That was a complete part change out and reprogram. If the EPAS was the problem, then replacing it would have completely solved the problem. In my case, it is better, but not solved. That leaves lubing the whole steering system. This is the only thing they did that I could see making things better but not totally fixing the problem. Maybe, when it gets hot, some steering components expand. With not enough lubrication, maybe something was happening. Just a guess. This is the easiest repair as well. No parts and they should be able to do it while you wait. Also, unlike my truck, they won't have to tear down the front end of yours. However, keep in mind that my truck is not fixed, it is better. But, if you have been able to tolerate yours for 11k, than this may make you happy. My truck was bad enough that it distracted me the whole time I was driving. Now, it only bugs me on occasion.
  • temj12temj12 Posts: 450
    edited August 2012
    Would you let me know where you are on your EPAS repair? Thanks.
  • brtruckbrtruck Posts: 7
    They put a second EPAS unit in last week. It again improved the truck, but did not fix it. Today, it actually seemed to be getting worse again. I have been working with the regional engineer and Ford is aware of a problem. I have no solution. I am shopping for a new truck........ I would push for a new EPAS unit and see what happens. Maybe you will get lucky.
  • temj12temj12 Posts: 450
    Like you, mine is affected by the heat. When we had temperatures in excess of 100 degrees this summer, you could really feel it. It has cooled here in recent days and I am not feeling it as I did. I purchased the truck March, 2011. I did not notice it for those warmer months then. Then came winter and I did not feel it. I am sure it was because of the cold weather. Please know that it has really annoyed me, but I did not have it for several months. If you don't mind, let me know what kind of truck you get. I have looked at the 2012 Dodge Ram with the Hemi several times. They are offering great deals here on the Dodge. I just don't like the shallower bed. I like the deep Ford bed.
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