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Guest Message by DevFuse

Get you C-MAX Hybrid Registered in the official Ford Authorized Registry. More here.


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Update: Twitchy Steering, Rattles and Strut noises (FIXED)

Steering strut rattle clunk clunk

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12 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   dalebunker

dalebunker

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  • Current Vehicle:Primary: '13 C-MAX SEL Secondary: '06 Ford Super Duty 6.0 Diesel

Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:56 PM

After about 6 weeks, I think we've finally got all the issues solved.  First, huge kudos to the service crew at The Ford Store in San Leandro here in the SF/Oakland Bay Area.  They've gone over the top in working to solve my issues; I could have never expected more from a service group!

 

1.  Twitchy Steering. We never isolated a specific problem for this.  We drove 2 other C-Maxes + a Fuzion.  The Service Advisor, the lead mechanic and the mechanic all acknowledge the characteristic of the car but could not find or isolate anything.  They consulted with Ford through many many emails.  They did an alignment, and while nothing was out of spec, he made some small adjustments to tighten up the adjustments.  As one poster noted, and I agree, as I've gotten more miles on the car, the problem seems less.  The Michelin tires are definitely prone to following the road (Fuzion with same tires does the same thing) and as they wear a bit, may lessen the exaggeration of the problem.  I agreed with the Service team to drive the car for a while to see what happens.  They've committed to resolve the problem, so if it does not go away or I'm not happy over time, they will make more attempts to solve the problem.  They're also hoping as more of these get on the road, if it is a common problem, possibly someone will isolate or solve it.  So its just a matter of time.

 

2.  Front Strut rattle.  The rattle issue(s) drove us nuts.  Turned our there were two different issues.  The first, which acted like a front strut rattle turned out to be a faulty sway bar connecting bushing.  Ford helped them find the problem.  Finally Ford told them to disconnect the sway bar, and the front noise went away.  The ordered new strut connector bushings and installed them.  That problem took two weeks to solve, but after definitely solved the front rattle.

 

3.  Literally not 15 mins after driving off the lot with the front sway bar issue, another rattle was immediately evident.  I drove the car for 2 weeks to be sure the problem was consistent.  This sounded much different; like the muffler banging against the car: and in certain conditions banged the car pretty significantly.   After 3 days, they found the rear strut upper attachment bolt was loose.  (literally a strut rattle this time lol)  The nut that fastens the top of the strut to the upper mounting plate was about 4 turns loose.  The nut is a Teflon self-locking nut and their guess is the assembly robot thought the nut was torqued down but wasn't.  Installed and tightened a new nut and this problem appears solved.

 

Hopefully I'll have rattle free driving now!  I'll keep everyone posted if things change or if we get any more insights on the twitch steering.

 

Dale


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#2 OFFLINE   Pemulis

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 11:36 AM

Dale,

 

Thanks for your update, which I hadn't noticed until today.  I don't know that my dealer has gone as far as yours to correct the twitchy steering issue, which I characterize as lurching, but they did check it out and had a mechanic ride with me, first in my car and then in a C-max from the lot, to see if there was a difference, and they both drove about the same.  This being the case, I guess I'm resigned to living with it, but I don't know for how long.  Every trip of more than about 25 miles on a freeway leaves me fatigued from the effort required to simply keep the car on a straight track. Despite all the good things about this car, if this is an innate characteristic, I don't think I could recommend it to others, at least not without a strong warning about this problem. 

 

Pemulis



#3 OFFLINE   HotPotato

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 12:41 PM

If you live in an area with grooved freeways (e.g. California), and you have almost any car with good tire tread and sensitive steering instead of ship's-tiller slop, you will have this "problem." The treads follow the grooves like wagon-trail ruts. It can be solved by replacing your quality automobile with a 20 year old Chevy Tahoe with a half-turn of steering play, bald tires and worn-out steering bushings, so the wandering wheels are never felt through the steering wheel.  ;)

 

Why Southern California adopted this extreme safety measure for the RAINS THAT NEVER COME, I dunno. But yeah, cars with quicker steering (fewer turns lock to lock) and less play (no on-center dead spot where the wheel doesn't respond to being turned) are more vulnerable to it. I've had cars where it's super-noticeable (a vintage Porsche with manual steering, a Mazda 3 Sport, the C-Max), and cars where it's not so noticeable (the ones with lower quality steering). 


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#4 OFFLINE   darrelld

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 06:30 PM

After about 6 weeks, I think we've finally got all the issues solved.  First, huge kudos to the service crew at The Ford Store in San Leandro here in the SF/Oakland Bay Area.  They've gone over the top in working to solve my issues; I could have never expected more from a service group!

 

1.  Twitchy Steering. We never isolated a specific problem for this.  We drove 2 other C-Maxes + a Fuzion.  The Service Advisor, the lead mechanic and the mechanic all acknowledge the characteristic of the car but could not find or isolate anything.  They consulted with Ford through many many emails.  They did an alignment, and while nothing was out of spec, he made some small adjustments to tighten up the adjustments.  As one poster noted, and I agree, as I've gotten more miles on the car, the problem seems less.  The Michelin tires are definitely prone to following the road (Fuzion with same tires does the same thing) and as they wear a bit, may lessen the exaggeration of the problem.  I agreed with the Service team to drive the car for a while to see what happens.  They've committed to resolve the problem, so if it does not go away or I'm not happy over time, they will make more attempts to solve the problem.  They're also hoping as more of these get on the road, if it is a common problem, possibly someone will isolate or solve it.  So its just a matter of time.

 

2.  Front Strut rattle.  The rattle issue(s) drove us nuts.  Turned our there were two different issues.  The first, which acted like a front strut rattle turned out to be a faulty sway bar connecting bushing.  Ford helped them find the problem.  Finally Ford told them to disconnect the sway bar, and the front noise went away.  The ordered new strut connector bushings and installed them.  That problem took two weeks to solve, but after definitely solved the front rattle.

 

3.  Literally not 15 mins after driving off the lot with the front sway bar issue, another rattle was immediately evident.  I drove the car for 2 weeks to be sure the problem was consistent.  This sounded much different; like the muffler banging against the car: and in certain conditions banged the car pretty significantly.   After 3 days, they found the rear strut upper attachment bolt was loose.  (literally a strut rattle this time lol)  The nut that fastens the top of the strut to the upper mounting plate was about 4 turns loose.  The nut is a Teflon self-locking nut and their guess is the assembly robot thought the nut was torqued down but wasn't.  Installed and tightened a new nut and this problem appears solved.

 

Hopefully I'll have rattle free driving now!  I'll keep everyone posted if things change or if we get any more insights on the twitch steering.

 

Dale

This sounds like exactly the same rattle I have been hearing for months, drive over a dip in road, speed bump, or brake and turn. The sway bar bushing would explain all of that. I will mention this to my dealer when I go in for the 3.5.1 upgrade next week.



#5 OFFLINE   Noah Harbinger

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 10:11 PM

Why Southern California adopted this extreme safety measure for the RAINS THAT NEVER COME, I dunno. 

 

Just throwing out a hypothetical reason that comes to mind: Since we usually go ~9 months without rain, we probably have a lot worse oil build-up than other parts of the country.

 

As far as the steering, I will agree that it's a bit more work when you're going in a straight line. And the turning radius is pretty crappy. But as I'm getting used to the car, I'm loving pushing around corners, and that more than makes up for it for me. 


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#6 OFFLINE   kml354

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 05:01 PM

I've had my Grey max for 5 days. Drive 50 miles to work and the steering isn't any fun at 70. I sure hope the max handles better in a straight line after some miles on the speedo. Other wise love the car, but it could be a long relationship with the constant correction needed.

#7 OFFLINE   PWBarrett

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 06:51 PM

Mine didn't get better till after the power steering failed at about 7000 miles.  After they replaced the Steering Gear Assembly and whatever related work, it hasn't been twitchy at all.  Now smooth as butter even at highway speed.  Tells me the twitchiness was a symptom of the real problem (I think somebody suggested overtightened linkages?)  But good luck getting a dealer to do anything about it unless it fails.



#8 OFFLINE   ScubaDadMiami

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 07:43 PM

Yeah, you should run a search.  I remember that this problem happened to a number of people.



#9 OFFLINE   djc

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Posted 12 June 2015 - 03:51 PM

My used 2013 was delivered by the dealer with all tires at 51psi.  I drove awhile and noticed steering required constant small corrections at freeway speed.  Tiring.  I dropped the tires to 44 psi and it is much better.  SO:  if this is a problem you might try experimenting with tire pressures.



#10 OFFLINE   djc

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 03:46 PM

I have experienced front and rear rattles over small bumps with my 2013 w/ 30k miles.  Sounds like a little drum-roll after hitting a bump at low speeds.  Similar, I believe, to OP's problems. The front rattle was fixed by replacing the front sway bar links.  

The quieter rear rattle was diagnosed last week (2 days before 36 month warranty expired) as rear shocks.  This seems early for shock failure. Dealer has ordered pair of rear shocks and will replace under warranty.  I am pleased with Ford service (but a bit worried about suspension parts longevity).



#11 OFFLINE   djc

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Posted 12 August 2016 - 06:26 PM

Replacing the rear shocks (yesterday) appears to have fixed the suspension rattle.   34k miles on 2013 C-max. 

Shock is unique to C-max: model  FV6Z 18125 BA      Part has 2 year manufacturer warranty.     

Monroe supplies an alternative with lifetime warranty.



#12 OFFLINE   djc

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 11:36 AM

The rear rattle reappeared about 3 months after the dealer replaced the rear shocks.  More evident at low speed going over small bumps, manhole covers, etc.

Can anyone tell me how to get to the upper shock mounting plate?



#13 OFFLINE   djc

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 10:49 AM

My irritating rattle was the rear stabilizer bar end links.  Dealer failed to diagnose this twice while car was taken in under warranty that expired last year. 

 

I replaced the links myself yesterday, but I am feeling the pain from 3 hours I spent on driveway and under car.  Would be much easier with car on a lift.  Parts (the links) were $18 each at Amazon.  In the interest of science I bought on original Motorcraft and one Moog, so can compare longevity.   Local service places quoted $185 to $300 parts plus 1 hour labor to do the job.  Dealer quote was "around $250" - dealer was the only shop that could not find exact parts cost.

My front links were replaced by the dealer last year for a similar front rattle.  

 

Car: 2013 C-max with around 35000 miles when links started to fail. 

Car is smooth and quiet again - nice.








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