First, I should say that my Fusion has an EPAS (Electronic Power Assist Steering) which means that there is no hydraulic pump but rather an electric motor which provides the assistance to the steering system.
In January I had the “Service Power Steering Now” indication on the IPC (Instrument Panel Cluster) as well and an AdvanTrac (Ford’s traction control system) light. Also, the power steering was not operational even after restarting the car and disconnecting the battery. I did some reading online and found that corrosion on the battery cable can cause this issue. It turns out that my battery cable had actually cracked in one place from excessive corrosion and was beyond repair. So, I ordered a new harness and changed the entire cable. Even after the cable was replaced the fault didn’t clear and the power steering was not available which makes driving quite the workout.
I took the car to the Ford dealership to have the computer reset. The first several mechanics didn’t know what to do. Eventually, someone pulled an old grey bearded man resembling Santa Claus from the back who was able to hook up a laptop and reset the computer. When I restarted the car the faults were gone and the power steering worked!
It is now August. Yesterday the exact same thing happened, loss of power steering the the above faults returned. I took a peak at the battery terminal and it is corroded over again! This time it didn’t crack, so a good cleaning should suffice. I spent several hours cleaning the terminals with battery cleaner and a wire brush mounted on a Dremel tool. I took the car back to the Ford dealership and got a lot of disbelief from the guys at the shop. Of course, Santa had gone back north for the winter not to return for several weeks. After much debate, I agreed to leave the car for diagnostics ($85).
Ford called back and wants to replace the entire steering gear which has the EPAS motor mounted to it for $1800. I’m pretty sure that they just need to reset the computer (a 3 minute job) so I’m having a hard time agreeing to drop that kind of cash. So, the questions are as follows:
- Was my initial fix a good fix?
- Why don’t these faults clear automatically when the problem is cleared (assuming my battery fix was correct)?
- How do I go about getting my computer reset?
-Do shops other than the dealership have the ability to do this?
-How much does the equipment cost to do this myself/what would I need?