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Chris (aka- Moose)
Chris (aka- Moose), Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 48381
Experience:  16 years experience
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How to reset the electric power steering in a Ford Fusion?

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How to reset the electric power steering in a Ford Fusion? Happens if one tie gets low pressure - power steering just turns off. Happened just 3 weeks ago - they checked the system & nothing wrong - just needs to be reset.

Can I get your vin# to see what the dealer did?

Once you addressed the low tire and fixed that warning then disconnected the battery to remove the power, then drove the vehicle. Did any more warnings come up and there was still zero power assist, correct?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Tire Pressure went low, before I could get air in it, Electric Power stearing kicked off, and the Power Steering and Advance Track warnings came on. Once I put some air in the tire and the "Low Pressure error" went away, other warnings stayed, power steering still off. Garage charged $100 to diagnose, found no problem with system and "Reset the Power Steering". Now it's happened again. (and yes I know I need a new tire)
So I just need to reset the Electric Power Steering system.


Keith, disconnect the negative battery cable, then disconnect the positive cable. Now touch the cables together. Leave the cables hanging free for 10 minutes. Now reconnect the positive cable, then the negative cable. Start the car and let me know what happens now.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No change - both warnings on, steering does not work

Keith, it is looking like the fault is not related to the low tire, this time. Do you have a scan tool to check the codes. Since the lights came right back on, this means a concern has been detected as soon as the vehicle is started meaning it is a hard fault.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So you're saying that the exact circumstance creating the exact same problem - is different this time. Because the first time I did disconnect the battery power (did not short the two leads), it did not fix it that time either. But the dealership could still reset it.

No I do not have a scan tool.

Is the vehicle drivable to get it to a shop to get the modules scanned?

I used your vin#, the dealership did not claim any repairs, nor is there a reset option. I feel they retrieved the codes and just erased them without repair.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes it's drivable, just no power sterring again.

They claimed no repairs because they did no repairs. They told me that no hardware needed to be fixed or replaced. They charged me $100 for a 'diagnosis' but found no problem to fix. they said, "If there had been a hardware problem the $100 could have been refunded do to the extended warranty, but instead there was nothing to fix, so nothing can be refunded and it's just for the diagnosis. And we reset the power steering."

So if they did not change or fix anything but reset the system, so there must be a way to reset it.

Are you saying that this scan tool is the only way to reset the codes/erase the codes?

Keith, I am saying there is no reset to perform. You can erase the codes with a scan tool or by disconnecting the battery. Since you have already done that, this means now there is a legit fault that needs to be repaired. Parts are needed. Your certified pre-owned warranty will cover this repair at the dealer.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I also trouble shoot for a living. I appreciate your help but I believe you're wrong. Disconnecting the battery doesn't even reset the radio presets. I've been doing some reading and the computer uses MOSFETS. That kind of transistor retains its memory even after losing power. It didn't work the first time and there was no physical problem. It is possible that this second time there really is a problem, but it seems unlikely. I'll go to the dealer Monday and redo what we did last time.

The radio maintains presets and sometimes the time for up to 6 hours of discharge since the radio has internal capacitors.

If you feel the reset was no long enough then disconnect the battery overnight to allow even the radio to discharge.

Please do keep me in the loop on what they find on Monday. Do have a good weekend and the best of luck to you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok, I've been waiting to finish this because I spent the previous week looking for correct information on how to reset the electric power steering (btw, disconnecting the battery for 36 hours does nothing). So I got it to the dealer this Monday and although it took them 2 days to get to it, they finally verified exactly what I have been saying. There was no 'legit fault' at all, they just reset the codes which turned the power steering back on.


So it is exactly what I was saying, and exactly the opposite of what you were saying - there was no fault that needed to be repaired and there is a reset procedure, which is all it needed; which is what I asked for in the first place. So I'm very disappointed in this whole JustAnswer experience and consider it a complete waste of time and money.

Keith you mentioned this has been a waste of money. You have not rated any responses positive so I have made nothing. No funds have changed hands to me for my efforts.

I think you are just not understand how the dealer is pulling the sheet over your eyes. They got a trouble code and then cleared it and it did not return, so it is fixed. I am sorry, but that is not true. They are not even claiming these repairs on Ford, because they know it is a bogus repair. They did not claim the previous repair nor this one. because if they did and did not replace a part then ford would not pay for it.

In the course of about 5 weeks this has occurred twice and been resolved twice. They are going to reach a point where they are no longer going to do this for you for free. So every time you take it in expect to pay 90$ for the hour of diagnostic charge just to clear the code. Assuming this occurs every 5 weeks of 2013 that will be 936$ expense.

If I just knew the code I could tell you how and what to repair. You can see the diagnostics for this concern, below, step one is to get the codes. There are no codes stored for any vehicle that state clear the code and the concern is resolved.

Imagine this was tire issue, nothing about the steering. The tire has a nail in it and is flat. The dealer is putting air i n the tire and calling it good. There not fixing the source or origin there fixing the result.



Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I'm sorry your arrangement with JustAnswer means money hasn't been transfered into your hands - but it certainly has transferred OUT of my hands, and what did I get for it? I asked about resetting those codes and you said it can not be done. But it can be done - It's been done twice now. You now seem to be saying it SHOULD NOT be done - but that is an entirely different thing from it CAN NOT be done.

To use your example, it is as if I asked "Is there any way to get air in a tire that's deflated?" and you answer "There is no way to put air in it - you must replace it first". It is simply a wrong answer. If I could refill the tire and it does not leak, then the problem IS fixed, if it keeps deflating then I know there is something more and I take it into the shop.

So relating that to the real problem If I could have cleared the codes myself and it never happened again the problem IS fixed, but if the problem kept returning I'd know it's a real problem and take it to the shop.

So you seem to be saying now that there is a real problem, and it occurred twice by coincidence only a few minutes after the tire pressure got low. No, the Power Steering kicked off (Message Center displays SERVICE POWER STEERING NOW) BECAUSE the tire pressure was low. The part that needs to be fixed is the tire. The error should reset itself when the tire pressure is corrected and the steering is back in balance, but it doesn't; so the codes must be reset also. I had fixed the tire I just needed to then reset the codes. The problem is not going to happen again as long as the tires are fine, so I'm not going to pay $100 every few weeks (BTW, I did not pay them to reset the codes the 2nd time).

I don't understand your conspiracy theory about why the dealer would not fix a legitimate problem and change out a part. If they were dishonest they would claim something was broken even when the diagnostics says there is nothing, change it out and charge me for it. The fact is they can not find a problem unless the tire is low - so there really is nothing to fix (I'm sure they tried to "GO to Pinpoint Test KC" to verify this).

The only way you could make this whole experience positive for me is to answer my original question - How do I reset the Electrical Power Steering (i.e. clear the codes that are telling it to turn off the steering assist) even though it's a little late for that now. And since I suspect it's done with some external computer or scanning device which is impossible or extremely expensive to obtain, the answer probably won't do me any good, but at least I'd know.

The only way you could make this whole experience positive for me is to answer my original question - How do I reset the Electrical Power Steering (i.e. clear the codes that are telling it to turn off the steering assist) even though it's a little late for that now. And since I suspect it's done with some external computer or scanning device which is impossible or extremely expensive to obtain, the answer probably won't do me any good, but at least I'd know.

When I said you can not do this. that is what I meant. You nor most all vehicle owners do not own the 3500$ Ford IDS scan tool, so they and including you can not reset this code. I am sorry but I still stand behind my knowledge of ford since I went to various Ford schools all across the US for 2 months straight prior to being able to work on a warranty vehicle. There is a problem and it is not just the tire alone. Ford will not design a feature that requires a Ford dealer to do a reset every time a tire goes low. That would be wrong on their part and black male.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

When someone says something CAN NOT be done - that means it is impossible - that no one on earth is capable of doing it. It does not mean that anyone can do it if they have the proper equipment.

Probably I don't have the tool I need, but you have no idea if I or my brother or the guy down the street has access to a scan tool.

Going back to the simple tire example it is as if your answer was "It is impossible to fill a tire {because you can not blow hard enough into the value.}" Instead of "You can inflate the tire but you need a specialized tool called and 'air pump.'"

Now that I know I must use an IDS scan tool I have asked the guy who does my wife's nails (it's a family business - but he really wants to be a mechanic), who actually does have access to an IDS scan tool (a cheaper version but he thinks it would work). So I could have saved myself a bunch of trouble and waiting 2 days for the dealership to do it.

You obviously have more confidence in Ford than I do, but even if they did not intentionally design the thing to require a reset every time a tire goes low, software bugs can be very devious, and there have been more than a few complaints about the power steering shutting down when it shouldn't. I find it ridiculous to say it has nothing to do with the low tire when it has only happened twice, just minutes after getting the low tire pressure warning.

Since I finally did get a general answer I'll upgrade your rating some. And if in the next few months it kicks off again without the low tire, and the mechanic can actually find something to fix, I'll let you know, and admit I am wrong.

Thanks for getting back with me Keith.

We can chalk alot of this up to your communication and my communication and both of our perceptions just do not jive together well. I am sure if we met in person we would of been able to communicate this better. I take full responsibility, it is hard for a tech sometimes to speak with someone whom does not work on cars.

This post will never close, it is always open to you to reply on. In the event it does happen again. I do want to know about it. I want to help you get the resolved 100% so it never occurs again or if it does occur again all you have to do is correct the air pressure and start the car and the steering is back to working fine.

I sent in an email to my teacher of the steering and suspension class I took in Cincinnati Ohio from Ford asking him about it. I got a reply this morning. He said, yes the low tire can set off a steering default to no assist concern, however that tire would have to have alot more rubber on the road and be near 5-10 psi virtually flat and by no means even drivable nor controllable. He then went on about interactive diagnostics where as the Ford IDS is hooked up to the vehicle and the car information is downloaded so the Ford engineers could assist the tech resolve the concern.

Sorry for all the confusion, thanks for offering to upgrade your rating from a negative to positive being Okay or good or excellent service, thanks for communicating with me very well.


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