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Old 13th July 2011, 12:07   #1
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Question Ford Figo - Steering Problem

All,

Even though I am a member of team-bhp since quite some time, I have mainly been a silent visitor on the forum. I must acknowledge that the amount and quality of information/help one can get from team-bhp is extra-ordinary and that's the reason I've headed to team-bhp for seeking help regarding my Ford Figo TDCi Titanium.

Some background: Early this year, we needed a diesel hackback for office commuting and intermittent weekend trips. Zeroed down on Ford Figo TDCi Titanium because of its amazing all-round visibility from the driver's seat, good space to accommodate 5 people + luggage, trusted TDCi engine and overall VFM package. It's been 3+ months with the car and we haven't had any issues. However, during recent trip to Alibaug with 5 people onboard, the car had 3/4 underbody scrapes (including one big stone right in the middle of expressway which went from under the front wheels with a loud thud).

The problem: I guess it is only since then the steering wheel moves left and right (around 1 cm) by itself at speeds lower than around 30 kmph. I can see the steering move with my hands off the steering. At higher speeds, this behavior is not observed. Another observation is that this behavior drastically reduces when tires have right air-pressure (but the issue does not completely go off). When the air-pressure is even slightly lower than 30 psi, the steering wheel starts dancing at lower speeds as mentioned.

I remember, even with lower air-pressure, I didn’t observe this issue earlier when the car was new.

Some homework: One of my friends has an Indica and he faced exact same issue some time back. It was diagnosed to be some “ball joints going faulty” and it got fixed after replacing them at Tata A.S.S. for ~400 Rs. I’m not sure if it the same case with my Figo as well. I am yet to visit Ford service center regarding this; I plan to do that next week. I want to take opinions of forum members before I go there.

Has anyone else faced similar issue (with Figo or otherwise) ? What could be the possible cause of this behavior on my Figo. Please help me.

Thanks in advance
- Rishikesh

Last edited by Jaggu : 13th July 2011 at 12:41. Reason: Removing [Font] tags, please avoid copy pasting from external font editors. Also do a Preview before Submitting posts. Thanks
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Old 13th July 2011, 13:34   #2
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Default Re: Ford Figo - Steering dancing at low speeds

I would recommend going to a service centre and having the underbody/suspension checked out thoroughly. It looks like one (or all) of your underbody scrapes have contributed to making your front wheel geometry going "off", leading to this steering wobble.
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Old 13th July 2011, 15:07   #3
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Default Re: Ford Figo - Steering dancing at low speeds

Also get the steering joints also checked. It is very much possible that the steering joint could have taken a hit. Wheel alignment also could be a problem

You can also visually check if the rims have been bent due to the stone hit; I mention this because you said the wobble varies with the tire pressure.
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Old 13th July 2011, 15:45   #4
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Default Re: Ford Figo - Steering dancing at low speeds

start basic.
tyres and wheels first.
switch one front with the spare, then the other with spare.
ie right+spare, then left+spare.
if this eliminates it with any of the above two combos, you know which wheel/tyre was the culprit.
Then go for the other suspension checks with your ford guy.

Although i feel with the knock you mentioned, it could be something to do with the tyre itself.
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Old 13th July 2011, 15:52   #5
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Default Re: Ford Figo - Steering dancing at low speeds

Check the wheel alignment. As said above, some FOD must have damaged the setup. Do you feel the steering trying to turn when you hold them? If so, then it has to be with the joints.
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Old 15th July 2011, 09:26   #6
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Default Re: Ford Figo - Steering dancing at low speeds

I checked the rims for any bends and didn't find any. I'll check the wheel alignment and visit the Ford service center anyway.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 15th July 2011, 16:01   #7
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Default Re: Ford Figo - Steering dancing at low speeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by RishikeshK View Post
I checked the rims for any bends and didn't find any. I'll check the wheel alignment and visit the Ford service center anyway.
If the ball joints have an issue, you will 'feel the road' on your steering at low speeds. But then, this WILL be accompanied by tak-tak sounds, when the vehicle is going through bad roads. Do you hear any sounds?

If the balancing is gone wrong, you will feel it only at high speeds, and not at low speeds.

The Figo has a purely hydraulic unit, and my guess is that the steering is just giving you the feedback.

Regarding the wheel alignment, please get it done outside A.S.S. Most A.S.S alignment are a joke. Go to Ford, diagnose the problem, sort it out, and get the wheels aligned outside.
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Old 15th July 2011, 16:52   #8
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Default Re: Ford Figo - Steering dancing at low speeds

Get the front suspension geometry checked. Wheel balancing,alignment,tie rods,stabiliser bar,lower arms.

You should visit the dealership ASAP,as you could be having an abnormal tire wear situation
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Old 15th July 2011, 20:03   #9
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Default Re: Ford Figo - Steering dancing at low speeds

@ Rishikesh

I was facing same problem, exactly as you said. Also i had left dragging problem, so i left for alignment, they interchanged front wheels and drove, same result. then interchanging left front and rear tyres and drove, same happened. so the alignment person asked to check tie rods and steering, so i went to garage, they said power steering oil seal is leaking and said so, even after making it right, still the problem persists, though it have reduced a bit, but not fully stopped. but anyhow i am going to check alignment again, will update.
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Old 15th July 2011, 20:11   #10
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Default Re: Ford Figo - Steering dancing at low speeds

^^ Do all of that for sure but answer me this: why are you driving around with tyre pressure less than the recommended psi? Please vaoid this- you will wear out your tyres faster and even cause some damage to them, not to mention compromising on FE as well.
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Old 15th July 2011, 21:31   #11
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Default Re: Ford Figo - Steering dancing at low speeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Please vaoid this- you will wear out your tyres faster and even cause some damage to them, not to mention compromising on FE as well.
Hi Noopster,

I too would recommend to stick manufacturer recommended pressures, but for driving within the city, a couple of psi less would do more good than bad. You get a comfy ride, with no damage to the tyres and negligible FE difference. If you look deeply, you also, wear out suspension components lesser. Please note that I'd advise ONLY a couple of psi's less. Not more.

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Old 16th July 2011, 00:29   #12
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Default Re: Ford Figo - Steering dancing at low speeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by RishikeshK View Post
However, during recent trip to Alibaug with 5 people onboard, the car had 3/4 underbody scrapes (including one big stone right in the middle of expressway which went from under the front wheels with a loud thud).
Underbody scrape mostly happen in the middle (flooring) or at the rear (silencer / fuel tank) of the car and thus unlikely to contribute to steering damage. Getting hit by a large stone is not the same as scraping. How big was the stone? and if that hit any of the steering components then you would have certainly felt a jarring feedback on your hands, hydraulically assisted steerings are best for feedback.

I think there is nothing really damaged, all that it needs is a good wheel alignment and proper tyre pressure. BTW, are you riding on stock tyres/rims or you did an upgrade?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post
a couple of psi less would do more good than bad. You get a comfy ride, with no damage to the tyres and negligible FE difference.
A comfy ride at the cost of safety? especially during monsoons when the roads are all wet and slimy?

I have pulled this para from wiki -

"Hydroplaning or aquaplaning by the tires of a road vehicle occurs when a layer of water builds between the rubber tires of the vehicle and the road surface, leading to the loss of traction and thus preventing the vehicle from responding to control inputs such as steering, braking or accelerating.... Underinflation can cause a tire to deflect inward, raising the tire center and preventing the tread from clearing water"

Infact, it is recommonded to fill slightly more air to reduce the risk of aquaplaning.
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Old 16th July 2011, 01:35   #13
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Default Re: Ford Figo - Steering dancing at low speeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chewbacca View Post
A comfy ride at the cost of safety?..

.. "Hydroplaning or aquaplaning
Hey chewbecca, a couple of psi's less will not cause the insides of the tyres to flex so as to let water through. Common man, its just a couple of psi's. Moreover, in my previous post, I have advised the same in city limits, ie in low speeds. Aquaplanninng occurs only at some speed, or when one irresponsibly drives through water.

A quote from wiki:
"In general, cars hydroplane at speeds above 45 MPH (72 km/h)"

Do we drive at ~70kmph through the city?

Also, with just a couple of psi's less, its not aquaplanning what I would be worried of, it will be the extra stress to the sidewalls of the tyres at speeds. And hence the temperature build up. Hence the low speed recommendation.

Also, there is another way to see it. How many of our tyre pressure guages give the exact reading?. There are umpteem instances reported where members have overfilled or vice versa. And mind you underfilling in this case is not a couple of psi's. So, I would not trust the tyre pressure gauges, instead, drive around a bit and look for the right setting. Or buy myself a personalized pressure guage and calibrate it according to my needs, and not manufacturer recommended psi's.

What I meant to say is that, just a couple of psi's less wont cause aquaplanning. However, on long, high speed driving, stick to manufacturer recommended pressure.

Last edited by dhanushs : 16th July 2011 at 01:37.
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Old 16th July 2011, 15:27   #14
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Default Re: Ford Figo - Steering dancing at low speeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post

The Figo has a purely hydraulic unit, and my guess is that the steering is just giving you the feedback.
Then there is possibility that the hydraulic actuators could also be faulty right? may be the hydraulic plunger? Isnt there a possibility to take the car to the service station and lift it up and let it idle and see whether the effect is still seen? from this, it can be determined whether the wheel assembly is also wobbling or only the steering unit.

Last edited by AlphaKilo : 16th July 2011 at 15:29.
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Old 17th July 2011, 16:59   #15
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Default Re: Ford Figo - Steering dancing at low speeds

I saw the same problem on one Innova owned by a relative. He got it shown at the service center. The car was eating up the front tyres also because of this. It also was noticable only at a certain speed, not every time. Check if you have the same signs on your vehicle.

The problem was a major one with the front wheel bearing needed to be changed. Even the tyres as he was delaying it a lot.
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