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2012 steering issue

Fordvirgin

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City, State
Alberta, Canada
Year, Model & Trim Level
'12 Ford Explorer Limited
I have a 2012 limited with 59,000km. In the past couple of months I have notice a change in the steering. I don't know if it relates to the other threads here but I have had no messages appear in my dashboard.
I took it in last week for the 14S06 recall and was told it didn't apply to my vehicle because no messages showed up. So nothing was updated or replaced even though I explained my steering issues. I was told they didn't notice any problems so it must not be related to the recall.
The only way I can explain it is it feels like the steering is loose...it doesn't feel solid...like I'm floating or driving on ice. I am over correcting all the time at all speeds and today in the wind it was hard to keep it on the road. Sometimes I can feel a jump in the steering...like its jagged at times. Small bumps make it veer slightly to the side if the bump isonly on one side or the other.
While at the dealer last week I also had my tires rotated and a wheel alignment. While doing that they noticed my rear shocks were leaking so they replaced those as well. All of this has made no change to my steering problems.

So...any ideas what the problem might be? It's going back next week to complete the 15S11 recall and I will be telling them it doesn't feel safe to drive.
 
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dco43054

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cmh
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20 XLT
Has the dealer checked the front end components? Have you taken the service manager for a test ride to demonstrate the problem?
 
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SHANNdaMAN

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2013 Interceptor Utility
There are several things that can cause your steering to "wander"
1.) Steering Tie Rod end ball joint worn
2.) Front Lower A-arm lower ball joint worn
3.) Front Lower A-arm bushings worn/damaged
4.) Front Strut upper mount bearing binding/damaged

You said your rear shocks had to be replaced. If any of the rear suspension control arms bushings are worn/damaged, or if the tracking adjustment rods are not aligned properly, that could cause the rear end to wander and feel like a steering error (it could also cause accelerated wear to the rear shocks)

just some things to check in addition to the steering gear.
 
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Napalm

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Memphis tn
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2016
I would wonder a bit about the front shocks/struts as well then. however 59000 Km isn't much travel. Is that right, for a 2012?

for the rest of us yanks - that's 36,600 ish miles.

with such little use - struts can fail early (the valves jam inside from lack of use)

but as mentioned general condition of the tie rods and the lower control arm ball joints is also highly warranted. but again - seems like little wear and only 4 years of age.

Meanwhile I'll propose one odd ball thing - because it's more common than shops want to admit.

flush out - change your power steering fluid. It's feasible that with sitting etc it's gotten dirty or worse - water in it. most power steering fluid is automatic transmission fluid and it's an easy to do thing.

Now doing it right requires getting the front wheels up - removing a line from the PS rack etc etc. and sure do that.

however for all my cars I do the following.

with some suction pump (I use a mityvac device) and it's collection bottle - and I suck the PS reservoir dry. yes dry - well mostly - and I refill it with fresh new fluid.

why dry - since the reservoir is on top, and on top of the pump - and the PS system is a open loop system it will self bleed any air and the pump runs all the time the engine is on. so you can suck most of it out without worry of pump cavitation. since the rack, likes and pump will still also be full of old fluid.

and I do this yearly - but for a first time - do it on one day - then do it again the next day. you won't get all of the old out - true. but more importantly you get new fluid in with new anti-foaming agents and higher lubricity. and here I'm assuming the 2012 doesn't have the EPAS - electric motor assist system.

Also check your tire pressures - occasionally when the fronts get over inflated - there is little resistance to turning. should have mentioned this first.
 
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182RG

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City, State
Winchester, VA
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'11 XLT / '13 Touareg TDI
flush out - change your power steering fluid. It's feasible that with sitting etc it's gotten dirty or worse - water in it. most power steering fluid is automatic transmission fluid and it's an easy to do thing.

2011 and up Explorers use electromechanical power steering. (EPAS) No hydraulic fluid in the system at all.
 
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SHANNdaMAN

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2013 Interceptor Utility
Meanwhile I'll propose one odd ball thing - because it's more common than shops want to admit.

flush out - change your power steering fluid. It's feasible that with sitting etc it's gotten dirty or worse - water in it. most power steering fluid is automatic transmission fluid and it's an easy to do thing.

Now doing it right requires getting the front wheels up - removing a line from the PS rack etc etc. and sure do that.

however for all my cars I do the following.

with some suction pump (I use a mityvac device) and it's collection bottle - and I suck the PS reservoir dry. yes dry - well mostly - and I refill it with fresh new fluid.

why dry - since the reservoir is on top, and on top of the pump - and the PS system is a open loop system it will self bleed any air and the pump runs all the time the engine is on. so you can suck most of it out without worry of pump cavitation. since the rack, likes and pump will still also be full of old fluid.

and I do this yearly - but for a first time - do it on one day - then do it again the next day. you won't get all of the old out - true. but more importantly you get new fluid in with new anti-foaming agents and higher lubricity. and here I'm assuming the 2012 doesn't have the EPAS - electric motor assist system.

Also check your tire pressures - occasionally when the fronts get over inflated - there is little resistance to turning. should have mentioned this first.
The newer Explorers have EPAS (Electric Power Assisted Steering) There is no fluid to flush out and change.

(edit) Oops, looks like i was beat by a minute with that answer, my not knowing how to type slowed me down, there wasn't a reply posted when i started typing mine ...
 
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Napalm

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2016
2011 and up Explorers use electromechanical power steering. (EPAS) No hydraulic fluid in the system at all.

well I suck at searching then because I was finding info that showed a fluid pump and the like on the 2011, and 12.

but not on the 13-16. I was wondering.


TO the OP again I'd verify your tire pressures while checking out your tie rods.
 
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