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Matt
Matt, Mechanical Engineer
Category: UK Car
Satisfied Customers: 20580
Experience:  BEng hons Mech engineering, in auto industry 22 years
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I was driving down the motorway and the power steering

Customer Question

Hi I was driving down the motorway and the power steering failed on 2006 ford cmax when I pulled in turned the car off no dash lights came back on
JA: Have you checked the fuses? The dashboard bulbs?
Customer: No it won't start there's no nothing
JA: What is the model of your '06 Ford?
Customer: 1.6 tdci
JA: Are you fixing your vehicle yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Nothing so far fan belt hasn't snapped is the powersterring electric
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: No I think that's all
Submitted: 15 days ago.
Category: UK Car
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Am I going to get any advice for the £25 I just paid
Expert:  Matt replied 14 days ago.

This sounds like an electrical actuator or sensor at fault .Usually when you can cycle the ignition key on / off and then restart the engine and the fault is gone temporarily this indicates that this is an electrical component causing this issue.

This could be a wiring issue as things tend to expand when hot and its possible a poor or partial electrical connection is being pushed apart on one of the major sensors so check the connection plug and wiring to the following;

Airflow meter

Crank position sensor

Cam position sensor

O2 sensor

Throttle pedal position sensor

unplug each in turn and use some switch / contact cleaner spray on the pins to ensure its all grease / dirt free

Also worth checking the connections to the fuel pump for the same reason - unplug each in turn and give them a good squirt of switch / contact cleaner - Not WD40

and also unplug and inspect the main power relays and fuses for signs of overheating or corroded terminals - so the ones for the ECU and the fuel pump

And also unplug the wiring loom connections in the engine bay one at time and inspect for corroded or recessed pins.

Also its worth checking that the electric pump that feeds the injectors is working correctly, it should run for a few seconds then switch off when you first turn the ignition on. If the connections to this are corroded or damaged then the pump could stop at any time. Check that its relay switches in and out and the relay contacts are clean and bright – replace the relay if in any doubt and do the same for the fuse, ideally measure the voltage at the pump and check its getting 12V

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
you don't think it's the alternator ?
Expert:  Matt replied 13 days ago.

Hello

well thats possible as a general lack of battery power will give all sorts of odd shut downs and sensor issues

you can check that the alternator is actually charging the battery in the car by taking a battery voltage reading with the engine off then another with the engine running. The 2nd reading should be higher than the 1st and climbing steadily. And also check that the alternator is secure to the engine as this provides the ground for the charging circuit and make sure that the engine / gearbox earth strap is secure and the contacts are clean and bright.

if the alternator appears not to be working - take it to a electrical specialist and ask them to test it as sometimes you can replace just the diode pack and this will repair the alternator without requiring replacement

And one last thing is – how old is the battery? – As even good quality ones need replacing every 5 years and faulty battery just won’t hold a charge

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