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Steering stiff & car won’t start?

  • 19-08-2021 10:34am
    Registered Users Posts: 1,393 ✭✭✭ Leftwaffe

    Hi lads,

    I’ve a 2010 Ford Focus and I started it earlier, drove 20 yards and engine malfunction warning came up and it stopped dead. Steering wheel now extremely hard to turn and the car won’t start at all despite the starter ticking over very well.

    any thoughts? Is this an electrical issue? Got the car serviced last week so wasn’t expecting this…


  • Steering will be hard to turn if the engine is not running.

    Not your ornery onager

  • Did the engine warning light come on before the car stopped? Any other warning lights like high temperature?

  • Total guess. If it is the 1.6 PSA Diesel I’d reckon alternator belt snapped and took out the lower crank angle sensor.

    if the rev clock is staying stuck at 0 when your staying to start would indicate this.

    happened to me a few years ago while out in the overtaking g lane

    was the car making a chirping sound when you started for the last few months ?

  • Got it checked and diagnostics showed no errors at all. It seems to be an electrical issue as mechanic looked over the engine fully and said all is ok. Only possibility is that it could be an injector.

    Got it started and it ran fine. Then engine malfunction warning with oil light, battery light, etc. Still ran but with slow to build speed. Turn on again and then it’s fine. Getting the electrics looked over.

    Thanks for the replies lads.

  • No it had been driving fine to be honest just needed a service.

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  • When it starts it’s fine, then driving engine malfunction warning and a few lights in the dash come on. Oil battery and yellow engine sign.

  • Check your battery’s voltage. Maybe an alternator issue.

  • Had a similar issue with my 1.6 diesel cmax. Would be driving along then power steering would vanish and the dash would light up like a Christmas tree with engine malfunction.

    I sorted mine by unplugging an obd reader I had left in all the time.( Could be a just pure luck but never happened again after I unplugged)

    Another issue it could be is the instrument cluster, they give trouble.

  • Something similar with my ford focus, randomly occured and used to get "engine malfunction" warning on the dash. Dash would light up and car refused to start. Was told to turn off the ignition, give the dash a slap and try again, surprised that this actually worked.

    Turned out to be a fault within the dashboard that was triggering the immobilizer, had it with a ford dealer who said it was a common issue. They reset the panel and hasn't occurred since.

  • Another mechanic telling me it isn’t electrical now and that it might be an injector or something like that. I haven’t a clue what that means.

    tried the old hit it a slap and it worked, not sure if it’s coincidental or not. It lost power shortly after though, still drove but engine malfunction warning displayed. I don’t know what to think and nobody seems to know for definite.

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  • Had a similar issue with wife's petrol focus a few weeks back. Dead cells in battery. Got it jumped but it was down on power (on a 1.4 petrol that's bad!) and the clocks weren't even lit. After confirming alternator was fine, swapped out the battery and it was fine.

  • Turned out it was a faulty air filter. Had gotten the car serviced the week before the issue arose. Mechanic put a new filter on during service. Told him about the issue and blamed electrics.

    Took it to three different places and eventually someone figured out what it was. Have the faulty filter with me now and taking it back to the mechanic…

  • air filter?? and what the f has that got to do steering?? nah can't be that

  • I have literally no idea but the steering only locked up stiff when the engine malfunction warning came on. Then when the warning would go away it would be fine. Thats why one mechanic thought it was electrical. It's driving perfect now

  • If the engine stalls, does that not kill the power steering?

  • If engine goes to limp mode it kill all auxiliary. So much as I remember there is electrical power steering. How it is possible they did not diagnose it right on first place? Sure it takes time but it is not the rocket science.

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