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vulnox

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'11 XLT 202A
Looks as if it is an ASSIST system.

http://media.ford.com/images/10031/2011_F150_EPAS.pdf

I'm no auto design engineer, but it looks as if the EPAS is just an electric motor assist instead of hydraulics in traditional power steering, SO, theoretically, the car should still be steerable in the event of a failure. Sounds like vulnox is right - something else potentially going on here to lock the steering up.

Not good either way though.
Exactly, I have never met an electric motor that can lock itself when it doesn't have power without some outside mechanical influence. I have seen a lot of electric motors too (Electrical and Computer Engineer). It may exist, but it seems like something Ford would have to add with the express intent of killing someone.

I hope it doesn't become a wide spread issue because that would put it on par with the Toyota gas pedal issues as far as on the road danger is concerned. Something tells me there is more to it though.
 
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IZwack

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Exactly, I have never met an electric motor that can lock itself when it doesn't have power without some outside mechanical influence. I have seen a lot of electric motors too (Electrical and Computer Engineer). It may exist, but it seems like something Ford would have to add with the express intent of killing someone.
Unless the system has a clutch or some way to disconnect itself from the rest of the R&P (which is I hope how it was designed - default the system to disconnect when the engine is off), then the driver is fighting the gearing in the EPAS system when its not powered. So its not that the motor is "locked", its that the driver must provide torque/energy not only to steer the vehicle, but also to overcome the gearing in the EPAS (and ultimately, the motor) - assuming again that it doesnt have a disconnect mechanism.
 

MTN

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After talking with Ford "engineers", my dealer could not diagnose the problem and they authorized a new Power Steering Rack. Ford: "Ah... we dunno.. I guess throw a new Rack in.. see if that helps." Give me a break.

I have not had any problems since they put the new Rack in a month ago, but I agree this is serious and dangerous defect that Ford needs to look into. I lost power steering, then Advance Trac then the Terrain Management System and then turn signal capabilities.
 

Joe Dirt

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It honestly seems like most dealerships are completely clueless on this vehicle. Whether it is the drivetrain, body, or MFT, Ford is severely lacking on dealer education on this thing. It started from the introduction- thank God for this forum, or nobody would know anything at all about this rig. It would be comical if it wasn't so sad. In no way should members of a forum be the ones to tell a dealer what is wrong with, and how to fix, their newly redesigned vehicle. JMHO.
 

Lecon Chuitt

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My sister has a Malibu with electronic steering. Hers goes out often and when it does it takes all my stength to turn. I shut the motor off and restart. Everything is fine until the next time it goes out.
 

AtTheBeach

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Steering Failure

This happened just a few days in our new Explorer with about 5,000 miles. My wife muscled it to the curb (which she said was no easy feat). Glad my teenager wasn't behind the wheel at the time!

It's presently in the shop where the dealer has decided it needs a new "steering gear" and has ordered that. No word of anything about a new "rack." What is that exactly, anyway, and how does it differ from a steering "gear?"

My research shows other owners are not reporting this problem with much frequency...and I'd be anxious to hear of others and how the issue was resolved in service.
 

MTN

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The "Rack" that I am referring to is short for an entire new "Rack and Pinion." Ford replaced the entire guts of my steering. I think the part cost Ford about $500 to $600 bucks, plus labor. I am no mechanical genius, but I know this is a major component to a vehicle that is likely never replaced for the life of a car. I have monitored this site and the Explorer Facebook page and I would say there about a half dozen people that have had the same experience. For me, it started with the "Power Steering Assist Fault" warning coming on and then going off when I recycled the engine. Then, I completely lost power steering. I was lucky because my 3 year old was not with me when this happened. Ford can keep replacing the part but eventually someone is going to get in an accident. I guess they will just wait and see.
 

muchnick

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Power Steering Assist Fault issue

MTN -

I just had the exact same issue occur in my new 2011 Ford Explorer Limited. While I was driving the vehicle, the power steering immediately shut off and displayed the 'Power Steering Assist Fault' followed by a 'Service AdvanceTrac' warning.

Luckily I was pulling into my neighborhood and going less than 10 MPH so I wasn't in any immediate danger. I was able to pull off to the side and reset the vehicle. The error messages I stated above were alternating. After turning off the vehicle, I immediately restarted it then received the Terrain Management issue and warning. The 4WD knob was no longer functioning. I was able to drive it to my driveway with the power steering restored. I then turned it off yet again, waited a couple minutes and restarted it. This time the messages and issues were gone.

I took it into the dealership the following morning without issue. They kept it overnight but like others on this thread, were unable to find anything wrong with it. They didn't even have a record of an error message showing up in the computer. I was instructed to take it home and let them know if it occurred again. Not the kind of assurance I was hoping for given that I have 4 small children. No attempt to replace the power steering rack.

I was able to take a picture of the error messages. See attached images.





vulnox - One quick comment, I wouldn't underestimate the potential impact of the issue. I've had vehicles without power steering and this wasn't the same. I had to really work the steering wheel to get it pulled off to the side of the road. While making the turn, the steering immediately kicked off forcing the vehicle to go straight veering me off my turn path. If I was going 40-50 MPH I would have been in a ditch.
 
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calb

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AtTheBeach and muchnick - do the two of you have the approximate build date of your vehicles? Wondering if they are close or not?
 

muchnick

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Assembled on 5/26/11 in Chicago.
 

MTN

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My build date was 12/2/10. So, to hear that yours is 5/26/11 and you experienced the same problem I did, is troubling to say the least. Apparently this was not just a bad "batch" of power steering racks and is a systematic defect.

Cory, you obviously read these posts, what is the status of Ford's and/or NHTSA's investigation into this ongoing dangerous condition in our new Explorers?
 
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MTN

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My dealer and Ford "engineers" saw no history of the problem or any encoded error messages during their diagnostic tests either. Nothing showed up. They were scratching their heads. Luckily (I guess) my Power Steering and Advance Trac Warnings stayed on as I limped the trucked into the dealership.
 

CAC11

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Sounds like the same problem here - so, yes, I'd say there is an issue. Going into the dealer again Wednesday.

Hope Ford gets a handle on this ASAP. We're driving around with a car full of kids and they keep putting us back on the road.
 

muchnick

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The issue just reoccured again for me this morning. I'm headed back into the local Ford dealership to have them take another look and arming them with this thread.

More to come.
 
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MTN -

I just had the exact same issue occur in my new 2011 Ford Explorer Limited. While I was driving the vehicle, the power steering immediately shut off and displayed the 'Power Steering Assist Fault' followed by a 'Service AdvanceTrac' warning.

Luckily I was pulling into my neighborhood and going less than 10 MPH so I wasn't in any immediate danger. I was able to pull off to the side and reset the vehicle. The error messages I stated above were alternating. After turning off the vehicle, I immediately restarted it then received the Terrain Management issue and warning. The 4WD knob was no longer functioning. I was able to drive it to my driveway with the power steering restored. I then turned it off yet again, waited a couple minutes and restarted it. This time the messages and issues were gone.

I took it into the dealership the following morning without issue. They kept it overnight but like others on this thread, were unable to find anything wrong with it. They didn't even have a record of an error message showing up in the computer. I was instructed to take it home and let them know if it occurred again. Not the kind of assurance I was hoping for given that I have 4 small children. No attempt to replace the power steering rack.

I was able to take a picture of the error messages. See attached images.





vulnox - One quick comment, I wouldn't underestimate the potential impact of the issue. I've had vehicles without power steering and this wasn't the same. I had to really work the steering wheel to get it pulled off to the side of the road. While making the turn, the steering immediately kicked off forcing the vehicle to go straight veering me off my turn path. If I was going 40-50 MPH I would have been in a ditch.
Where is the attached image of the problem, I dont see any attachments to this post
 

calb

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My build date was 12/2/10. So, to hear that yours is 5/26/11 and you experienced the same problem I did, is troubling to say the least. Apparently this was not just a bad "batch" of power steering racks and is a systematic defect.
It may be random too. It would be nice to get build dates if there any other examples of this.
 

MTN

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Those are the same warnings I received. All of those (including the two orange icons in the bottom right) stayed on. If the local Ford techs at your dealership want to talk to mine - I took my truck to Gillingham Ford. The number is 216/398-1300. My service advisor was "Terry." Terry will remember the issue and me ('11 black Explorer) if your tech explains the problem. Let me know how it works out.
 

FordService

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Hey all,

Cory has been out sick these past few days. I assure you, we are listening and currently reviewing this concern. If you are experiencing a loss of steering, please PM me with your VIN, contact information, mileage, & servicing dealer name/state, along with the details of your specific issue. Our team will look further into this. Your continued patience is appreciated.

Seni
 
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jrmexplorer

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Hey all,

Cory has been out sick these past few days. I assure you, we are listening and currently reviewing this concern. If you are experiencing a loss of steering, please PM me with your VIN, contact information, mileage, & servicing dealer name/state, along with the details of your specific issue. Our team will look further into this. Your continued patience is appreciated.

Seni
Seni's back! (at least temporarily) (but hope cory gets better)
 

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