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2011 - 2018 Explorer Power Steering Issue

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by Locustlanefarms, June 21, 2011.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. 03WIExplorerLtd

    03WIExplorerLtd Active Member

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    Unfortunately I will not buy another Explorer due to chronic rusting, tight interior, and to a lesser extent issues like the PS failing (those things can happen).
     
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  3. Flying68

    Flying68 Active Member

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    Not sure my EPAS is failing or not but wondering if the symptoms I am having are any where similar to others. So the last couple of weeks I have noticed clunking from the front end when turning (either direction). Mostly pronounced on tight turns or when one side is under load, but today a colleague and I were in the parking lot and just turning the wheel side to side while in park and could definitely hear the clunking. Visual inspection of the strut springs showed that they moved smoothly and the clunking wasn't just happening near the stops, it would also happen in the middle of the travel. The sound was definitely coming from down low (lower suspension area). Other symptoms I have noticed are that you can feel it grab, like it is getting caught on something, through the steering wheel. While moving sometimes you have to even turn the wheel out of the turn instead of letting it just roll back on its own. So I am left with either a tie rod end (but why would it grab), something getting caught (we didn't see anything that would and verified the wheel well liners weren't catching), or the steering gear is going out. Do the codes show up on a normal OBD II reader or does it have to be able to read Ford specific codes?
     
  4. Flying68

    Flying68 Active Member

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    Well the dealer called and said they found the noise and it is coming from the steering gear. They said it isn't tripping any codes. He said that is unusual because he hasn't ever seen one that failed without tripping a code. So they are going to make sure it has the latest software and keep trying to see if it will trip a code. Either way I will pick it up and drive it. They said it would be a few days anyway before they had a new one in. $2100 to fix it if I have them replace it unless it trips a code.
     
  5. blwnsmoke

    blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    If they verify the sound is coming from it, they can replace it under warranty. Mine was replaced under warranty due to a thud sound when turning the steering wheel.. no codes needed as the dealer duplicated the issue. Not everybissue woth a vehicle sets a code but if the dealer can duplicate it, they can go to Ford for approval.
     
  6. Flying68

    Flying68 Active Member

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    I will talk to them about it but I have 143k miles on the thing now and 15N01 is pretty specific that if no codes are present it isn't covered by the recall program. I am going to look through my shop manual this weekend and see how involved replacement is. Looks like I can get the part for $850 + $400 core, but then would need alignment and probably programming.
     
  7. blwnsmoke

    blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Yea, sorry, that program requires codes. I have an ESP so mine was covered by just verifying the noise. Sorry, wasnt aware of your mileage.

    Yes, alignment and programming are required.

    I would talk to the parts dept and show them the online prices. My parts dept matches the online sites. If they match the $850 price, then have your dealer do the work as a customer supplied part job
     
    Last edited: January 25, 2019
  8. ExPlat

    ExPlat Elite Explorer

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    Rather than starting a new thread I'll use this one because I have the 'clicking' noise now too.

    One more failure in this troubled 2016 MY car's life with only 32k miles on it. About a week ago it was a faint noise on the drivers side that has escalated to a loud clicking whenever I turn to the right or back up and turn. It transmits to the steering wheel and drivers side floorboard.

    I have an appointment at the Dealer's next Tuesday to diagnose the problem (and find out if my ESP will cover it). So far the extra cost of the 1st day rental and upgraded rental options have paid off far more than I would have imagined.

    I sure hope this is a quick fix because we just sold our house and we're moving to another state at the end of the month. Yeow.
     
  9. Flying68

    Flying68 Active Member

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    Are you already out of the 3/36 bumper to bumper? Also that doesn't sound like the steering gear, sounds more like a CV joint.
     
  10. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    He has the Ford ESP so it would take over if the 3 year warranty is up.

    Peter
     
  11. ExPlat

    ExPlat Elite Explorer

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    Yes, out of the 3/36 BtB warranty but have ESP. Now that you mention it, it does sound like a CV joint, thanks for the idea. :chug:
     
  12. ExPlat

    ExPlat Elite Explorer

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    Took the car in this morning instead of tomorrow because the clicking and clunking was getting bad. The Service Advisor and I are old chums, call each other by name, ask about the families, have gotten to know each other pretty well over the last 3 years and the umpteen repairs. Now he just gets me a loaner (with my ESP) and takes the car in without too much comment, nice.

    It was the EPAS unit that failed. Parts are on the way, supposed to pick the car up in two days. This is a pricey repair but my warranty covered it except for the $100 deductible.
    Being philosophical about it, we're so happy it can be fixed before we move next week.

    I change big parts more than the oil. Maybe the next change will be the car.
    -
    BTW, I was given a new base Mustang as a loaner, has the 2.3 turbo engine. Not impressed at all. Noisy ride, low speed surging is terrible.
    Also saw the new Ford Ranger pickup on the showroom floor, good looking rig but it has the 2.3 turbo engine, sticker for the fancy one was $45k.
     
    Last edited: March 18, 2019
  13. 03WIExplorerLtd

    03WIExplorerLtd Active Member

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    Are the latest and greatest epas better than the older ones I hope?
     
  14. ExPlat

    ExPlat Elite Explorer

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    My car wasn't ready yesterday as promised or today, I'm now told the EPAS won't 'program' with the 'network'. The concern now is that the entire new rack and pinion is bad so the Tech has a call in to the Ford Engineering help line. I'm not happy.
    I reminded my SA that we are moving next Wednesday and he was duly concerned that he'd forgotten about that and said he'd go into the shop and see if there was something that could speed this repair up. Hmmm, that comment bothered me.
    This whole thing bothers me and basically I'm fed up with this PIA car.

    Edit:
    This morning I'm told the Lane Keeping function is showing a Fault when they try to program the unit. Head scratching and calls to Ford are ongoing. Egads...
     
    Last edited: March 22, 2019
  15. ExPlat

    ExPlat Elite Explorer

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    I picked up the car from the Dealer this morning after 6 days at their shop. The receipt states there were 'no codes present'. The physical diagnostic pinpointed noise coming from the center of the Rack which justified replacing the steering gear. I was told the Tech had to reset each component on that particular CAN-BUS individually to make the EPAS re-programming work correctly.

    While it was there I had them flush the transmission, a little preemptive maintenance on my part. The Work Order states they also added 'conditioner' to the fluid.


    Edit: spelling
     
    Last edited: March 24, 2019
  16. Palmz43

    Palmz43 Member

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    38k on our 2016 Explorer and the steering rack was replaced due to a loud clicking sound during low speed turns or stationary and turning wheel. Thankfully as I just bought the car the dealer handled the entire repair out of their own pocket.
     
  17. RhinoQuartz

    RhinoQuartz Elite Explorer

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    It wasn't just a clockspring replacement?
     
  18. Palmz43

    Palmz43 Member

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    No, the sound was coming from the wheel well area. They first did the tie rod and strut mounts which fixed it for a day but then it came back. New steering gear fixed the issue.
     
  19. TBrooks

    TBrooks New Member

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    I apologize for an introduction such as this, but I find it important to report and share such issues. Personally, I think this thread should be sticky and up top as the danger it presents to warn potential buyers as I certainly would never have purchased my Explorer knowing such gross negligence exists within Ford. This has been a known issue since 2011, coincidentally the same duration that they've known about the DSP6 dual clutch auto transmission issue that they continued to push into production until at least 2016 that seems to be gaining momentum with a class action lawsuit that exists in my daily driver, a 2015 focus, but thats another problem and not nearly as fatal. What You Need to Know about Ford's PowerShift Transmission Problems

    Greetings, I'm an owner of a 2015 Explorer Sport with 77,000 miles. On Sunday 4 August 2019, the truck attempted to kill my wife and 2 month old son while traveling on 495 south near Washington D.C. She experienced identical symptoms to others on the message board, and I've received the same responses from Ford. What really grinds my gears- after explaining that my wife had the steering system lock up on her with my 2 month old son in the back, forcing her to stop in the middle of a highway the dealership asked me if I wanted to sell the truck. Transferring the murder machine to another unsuspecting family seems the only real solution.

    495 has a posted speed limit of 55, but when the roads are open most do 65-70 as it is 4 lanes wide. She heard the alarm ring and immediately lost any ability to steer the Explorer forcing her to illegally cross multiple lanes of the highway effectively dead reckoning until she could stop the vehicle. With the vehicle stopped the vehicle in the best position possible, but with 100% loss of steering she still ended in a highway lane. Could she have continued to dead reckon across multiple lanes until she eventually came to a shoulder? Possibly, but that was a decision made in the situation and who are we to question actions during such hostile situation without being in it. She had traffic routing around her on both sides at highway speeds with our 2 month old in the back, she called me crying hysterically not knowing what to do. She took pictures of the error messages displayed, shut down the vehicle and restarted. Upon restart, steering was restored and all error messages disappeared from the display.

    If not for her own safety then for the baby in the back her adrenaline certainly spiked, I fully believe beyond doubt if the wheel could have moved she would have.

    Yesterday I drove the vehicle and had no issues, no mechanical sounds out of the ordinary nor any display problems so this is an intermittent issue. Despite being intermittent, I hate to think what would have happened if she were on a back road and the lock caused her to swerve into oncoming, a tree or on the highway to swerve into a dump truck or 18 wheeler. I consider my family and myself fortunate that no one was texting on 270 south that day and had the situational awareness to move from flashers and the effectively disabled vehicle.

    The vehicle was purchased to provide a safe and comfortable ride that would protect my family in the event an accident ever were to occur, instead I purchased an instrument that will cause one.

    I have filed a case with the NHTSA and attached images of the error messages for anyone interested.
    I own a 2015 Focus and a 2015 Explorer, we have a 2004 honda civic with 167,000 miles that we picked up to move the baby as neither ford vehicles are roadworthy in their current state and I remain conflicted as to what to do with them.

    Ford-
    When other companies needed government bailout's, I cheered for you as I believed in your company providing a good product with honest business practices - Over 17 years of driving I've owned a Mustang, Taurus, Escort briefly and now the two vehicles mentioned. You've taken my money and continue to threaten my family's well being. The only real power we have is the power to purchase, I'll never buy from you again and hope to inform as many people as possible of the incident and your behavior.

    I committed my family and finance to you and you are effectively a gunman holding a revolver to the head of my family with 1 round in it and you continue to pull the trigger.

    edit - I stated 270 south, it was 495 south. Corrected.

    EE1C6DCA-DB2C-41CD-901D-2B846D0267A1.jpeg FF7F5E7D-380C-462C-B05B-A1007F3DAFB7.jpeg
     
  20. 03WIExplorerLtd

    03WIExplorerLtd Active Member

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    Wow. Did you have the recall performed to prevent that issue from occurring? Not sure if 2015s were part of that or not.
     
  21. Flying68

    Flying68 Active Member

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    @TBrooks sorry to hear. I have experienced some bad sounding noises and the occasional "weirdness" from my steering also, however, you need to be aware that there is a mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the tires. Even if the EPAS fails, the vehicle is not undrivable. You should be able to safely direct it to the side of the road or highway or onto a safer road. Coincidently the faster you are going the easier it will be to steer. Without EPAS, the steering will act much like an old truck with a manual box where it is much easier to steer at speed and much more difficult and heavy to steer at low speeds, as far as I know it will not "lock up" but it will become heavy and require effort to steer including using force to come out of a turn (can't let it free spin back). Also the vehicle is not Christine and did not attempt to kill your family. It had a failure of a feature. There has been no mandatory recall / replacement of the system because the NHTSA has concluded that the vehicle can be safely controlled in the event of a failure. There is an existing program covering the EPAS and that information would be available on owner.ford.com if it covers your model. I would take it to the dealership and have them pull diagnostic codes. Because you drove it again, they may have cleared those codes, but it is worth a visit to see if they have latched or if there is updated software. If this happens again, take it immediately to a dealer to have them pull the codes.

    Looking at your pictures though I can't be certain that it is even EPAS. It may be a failure with the traction control or other system. Thanks for posting though, it is good to be aware with potential issues of newer vehicles.
     

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