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power assisted steering and front wheel bearing.


Llwyncelyn

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Hi my wife's car Ford KA goes in for its 30000 service this Friday and as the Ford concessionaire is some way away we are entrusting it to our local and very friendly and apparently good service station.

However the car is very heavy when driving so and whilst I know very little about what goes on under the bonnet it looks as though its power assisted or bearings problems.

Please does anyone have the appropriate French terms for both of these?

many thanks

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Hi.I wouldn't think that it would be wheel bearings.This is usually whirring noise or wheel wobble (but strange thing do happen!).I will ask the obvious.Have you pumped up the tyres? Have you checked the power steering fluid?Is there a squealing noise from the engine bay,especially when you turn? Are your tyres wearing evenly (tracking,wheel alignment).Sorry,can't help you with the french terms,but hope the advice helps.

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Hi Pogo and thanks to everyone for their help.

Briefly the car is used just for going to our local town for bread that sort of thing.  Since coming here two years ago it has done less than 1000 miles and it stays in the garage most of the time.

Up until recently and when turning at a roundabout  there was a noise from the engine compartment and then on the 'straight and narrow' the noise just was not there.  The noise seemingly has now dissappeared totally but the car is heavy.  The tyres last week needed air.

As I say I know nothing about cars and no excuse but we have just forgotten about the KA and which was new in 2001 and does have power steering.  So in six years it has done just 30000.

Any help so at least I can talk to the mechanic would be very helpful

with my kind regards.

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Sounds like you've lost the power steering.  The loss of hydraulic fluid due to a leak or a burst hose makes the pump squeel on lock because it's drawing air in.  You can check the fluid level yourself (look for the yellow cap on the reservoir - refer to your owner's manual) it should be up to the mark.  If it's empty, then I'm afraid it's likely to need a new pump.

When you take it in to the garage, tell the mechanic that the "direction assiste est tres lourd".  He'll know what you mean.

 

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The Ka has a hydraulic system - I checked it out before I posted.[;-)]

The source also went into detail about how the power steering system was one of the Ka's many known weaknesses and how it could cost up to £1,800 to repair, but I thought it best not to tell Llwyncelyn that....[:-))]

 

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Thanks Sunday Driver I am now looking for a brief to recoup the money!

It is probably not worth that amount of money so somewhat of a difficulty!

thanks will now take to the drink (tonight of course) and to see if tomorrow makes things look better!

rdgs

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I know nothing about the Ford Ka but it would be worth checking condition and tightness of power steering drive belt before you agree to spend lots of money on other things. A friend whose car (OK, a Mazda rather than a Ford) was making a horrible noise and had heavy steering had been told he had to replace power steering pump at exorbitant cost but found out just in time that all he required was a new belt (£7) and an hour to fit it (free). 
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If the power steering reservoir still has fluid in it, dip your index finger in then rub finger and thumb together. Does it feel 'gritty'? Can you see very fine metal filings? If the answer is affirmative - sorry, chances are the pump has expired.

An interesting point applicable to any vehicle with a hydraulic power streering system, NEVER hold the steering on full lock for any length of time i.e. in excess of 20 - 30 seconds in some cases, otherwise you can 'blow' the pump![:'(]

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I'm surprised that something like a Ka has power steering. Not suggesting it doesn't have it, but I remember when it was only the very large luxury cars that had such devices. Have we got softer or expet and easier life or have there been other changes (e.g. is full lock now fewer turns of the steering wheel) ?

Ian

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[quote user="Deimos"]

I'm surprised that something like a Ka has power steering. Not suggesting it doesn't have it, but I remember when it was only the very large luxury cars that had such devices. Have we got softer or expet and easier life or have there been other changes (e.g. is full lock now fewer turns of the steering wheel) ?

Ian [/quote]

 

I think that you will find that even modern mini cars weigh more than the luxury cars that you remember.

Despite the fact that almost every comparable peice weighs less and is generally flimsy there are a lot more of them as well as all the electric motors for door windows and mirrors etc as well as the side impact bars airbags etc.

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Deimos it does have power steering as does my Honda  4x 4 and which it sits alongside on the drive.  The difference in price is of course substantial.  Again before the Honda a Volvo and all Volvo's have power steering.  Strange is it not.

Deimos its marketing simply that or as someone who I know very well states 'whatever it takes we have to move a lump of metal!'

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Modern cars probably only take two turns lock to lock:in the past,some cars used four and a half turns.Also modern PAS is what it says-assistance;I can remember early systems that were so over-servoed that there was no feel at all.
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