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Matt, Mechanical Engineer
Category: UK Car
Satisfied Customers: 21357
Experience:  BEng hons Mech engineering, in auto industry 22 years
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Focus ST: I have a focus St 2013 plate with 7000 miles.

Customer Question

Hi I have a focus St 2013 plate with 7000 miles. Had it since new and services up to date etc. about 4 weeks ago car handling/response changed overnight...steering heavy/light and wheel tries to veer either left or right depending on its mood. Sensation is highly exaggerated on rough/uneven roads. Grinding/vibration through floor pan and pedals and steering wheel. Excessive heat on alloys/brake calipers....thoughts? The steering wheel seems to fight against you when turning into corners and car feels unbalanced when approaching bends
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Car
Expert:  Matt replied 2 years ago.
I'd check for worn suspension joints - jack the car up so the wheel is off the ground (you’ll need to do this for all 4 corners) and shake the tyre from top to bottom and from side to side (with someone holding the steering wheel on the front) there should be no play in either direction. Any play in 1 direction will usually require a joint to be replaced, if there’s play in both directions then the wheel bearing may be at fault. If theres play only up and down its the strut top mount - to find this one you have to shake the suspension strut it self up and down with the wheel off the ground - so you may need to remove the wheel to check this one.
Now with the car jacked up on that side with the wheel about 2 inches off the ground use a steel bar under the wheel and lever the wheel up and down slightly, you should be able to look at the end of the axle and see if the suspension arm is moving up and down separately to the axle.If so replace the bush
To feel if there's a worn strut top bearing then lightly hold the spring by hand and have your assistant move the steering from left to right with the wheel on the ground - a worn bearing will feel 'notchy' through the spring. The wheel needs to be on the ground for the test to load up the bearing
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Matt, however with 7,000 miles on the clock i would be very disappointed if it were indeed suspension joints, but i will give it a go.I had previously reported the issue during my 2 yr service interval recently and as part of that a 30 point check was performed by Ford(?) technicians........i was told it was how 'STs drove' and nothing was at fault. Seems weird the car now drives completely different(cabin noise increased etc) and passengers are now commenting on its ride quality.
Expert:  Matt replied 2 years ago.
Its possible that a joint has been damaged by a pothole or other sudden impact
From your description I'd say that either a wheel bearing is damaged or a bottom ball joint
Expert:  Matt replied 1 year ago.
do you still need help?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
sorry for the delay Matt, but i had to wait a while before my Ford garage would fit me in.......anyway they couldn't see anything wrong and i am know being told it is how the ST drives.......which is not really helping me......i adjusted the tyre pressures slightly lower than 2.4 bar which has helped with the ride comfort but the pedal vibration and steering issue is still there.
Expert:  Matt replied 1 year ago.
I'd suggest as the next thing to ask / try is for a reset of the stability control system, if hhe car has a traction control off button or sports mode then try it in that to see if this helps as its possible the stability control is being a bit keen due to a faulty wheel speed sensor and so is activating the brakes all the time to control an imbalance which isn't there
If thats OK then try taking the car to Independent for a 2nd opinion
Expert:  Matt replied 1 year ago.
do you still need help?

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