If you have the Power Steering Assist Fault come up on your Ford F150 the best thing you can do is immediately get your truck looked at and serviced. There is the potential for this problem to be very bad and potentially dangerous.
However, if you’re curious, we will discuss some of the potential causes and steps you may take if you so desire. It is not our recommendation to follow these steps, especially without the help of a professional.
The best place to start to identify the issue and potential fix is to get a OBD2 code reader and look up the potential causes/fixes to the error message.
How to Diagnose a Power Steering Assist Fault Message?
If you have the “Steering Assist Fault Message” show up on the screen of your Ford F-150, as mentioned before it is best to bring it to a dealership or mechanic to be inspected.
However, if you are interested in diagnosing the problem at home, the next thing to do is to get an OBD2 scanner.
This scanner will be able to read a code from your car providing you with information as to what the exact issue is that’s causing the error message.
The OBDLink MX+ scanner is a great choice.
OBDLink MX+ OBD2 Scanner
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Once you get this information, you can then look up the code on AutoCodes.com
Some of the potential codes you may get are:
- C102D: High Friction Inside Power Steering
- B1D23: Power Steering Overheat Sensor
- C1897: Steering VAPS Circuit Loop Failure
- U0126: Lost Communication with Steering Angle Sensor Module
- C1B00: Steering Angle Sensor
- C200B: Steering Shaft Torque Sensor 1
- U0131: Lost Communication with Power Steering Control Module
- U0420: Invalid Data Received from Power Steering Control Module
You can read more about them on AutoCodes.com which will give information such as possible causes, symptoms and potential fixes.
Most of the codes listed above are more challenging to fix, so if you see this code and don’t have significant experience with auto repair, you should take it to a repair shop.
Possible Causes for Power Steering Assist Fault
There are many things that could cause this error to occur on your Ford F150. In the newer F150 trucks, there is an electronic power steering assist system rather than the standard hydraulic system. This means there are more electrical components that can fail.
Most of the problems and fixes are quite complicated and pricey, but there are a couple that are easier to identify.
Poor Wheel Alignment
The first is that poor car alignment could cause a power steering to fail. A way to identify this is to check your car alignment at a repair store (which you should get frequently anyways).
Loose Connection To Power Steering
Another possible cause is that a connection is loose in the power steering wiring. To identify this problem and potentially fix it, you can lift the hood of your F150 and locate the power steering cable, unplug it and plug it back in. This was the fix for the guy in the video below.
Any of the wiring involved in the power steering system can be damaged by any means. There could be animals that chew on the wires or even wear and tear. In the video below, one mechanic identifies a potential problem on F150s where the wire actually rubs against the skid plate. Damages like these can cause any of the sensor system errors in this article, and could potentially lead to bigger problems.
Bad Rack and Pinion
One of the most common solutions to the Power Steering Assist Fault is a bad rack and pinion. This is the entire gear system of the power steering. It is a very expensive part to fix, but may be necessary in some cases. This is also known as a faulty steering gear. These are the base components of the power steering system.
Faulty Power Steering Control Module, Harness, or Connection
The power steering control module is the unit that provides motor torque connecting the steering column to the gear. This is what is responsible for the power steering, rather than the prior hydraulic fluid.
Faulty Steering Angle Sensor Module, Harness, or Connection
The steering wheel position sensor plays an important role in determining the amount of power coming from the steering system. This sensor monitors the angle of steering input which transfers to the power steering system through electronics.
There is a position sensor for the steering shaft (also known as steering column) which is a main component of the steering system that monitors the placement of the steering shaft. Inside the Steering Column is the Power Steering Control Module that determines how much steering assist is required. The sensor in the column provides information for the output for the assist.
Faulty Steering Column
Other than the sensor specifically having fault, the entire column may be identified as being faulty. The column, Power Steering Control Module, motor and sensor are services as a complete unit so when one component is damaged or broken, the entire piece will need to be replaced.
Faulty Intermediate Steering Shaft
The intermediate steering shaft is the shaft that connects the gear box to the steering wheel. This part can rust and become sticky. The part costs less than $100 so it is a relatively cheap fix compared to the entire rack and pinion which usually cost $1,200 for parts.
You can see a good example of this fix in the video below.
Faulty Steering Shaft Torque Sensor, Harness, or Connection
The steering shaft torque sensor sits on the steering pinion which is one of the most critical components of the power steering. This sensor measures the amount of torque (essentially turning power) to the wheel and translates that through the electronic control unit to apply the necessary motor power.
Possible Fixes to Ford F150 Power Steering Assist FaulT
First steps you can do to try and alleviate the problem is to:
- Restart the vehicle
- Unplug and replug the power steering cable
- Inspect all power steering cables
- Check the intermediate steering shaft
And then after all of those steps are done you will need to resort to the code reader.
OBDLink MX+ OBD2 Scanner
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Based on the code provided, you will likely just need to inspect and replace the part that is damaged.