how to fix power steering assist fault ford escape

How To Fix Power Steering Assist Fault Ford Escape – The Ultimate Guide

If you encounter the Ford Escape Power Steering Assist Fault error, it can be due to several reasons. This includes system errors, a faulty steering column, a bad motor, or a damaged torque sensor.

To resolve it, you need to either reset the PCSM and IC system or replace the affected parts. In this guide, I will provide details on the signs, diagnosis, causes, and fixes for this error. Keep On Reading…

Symptoms of the Power Steering Assist Fault Ford Escape!

There are some signs which help to detect if your car will have an error alert or not. Most of the time, the power steering assist fault Ford (2001 to 2024 or new models) error alert pops on the screen when it:

symptoms of power steering assist fault ford escape
Image 1: Symptoms of Power Steering Assist Fault Ford Escape

As you can see in the image given above, the Power Steering Assist Fault error in your Ford Escape will accompany multiple symptoms. Such as an unusual sound when turning the wheel, difficulty in steering, excessive vibrations, or wobbling of the steering wheel.

There’s also a chance of detecting potential power steering fluid leakage. Facing one or more of these signs indicates a possible issue with the power assist system.

How to Diagnosis Ford Escape Power Steering Assist Fault?

You can figure out the root cause and solution by doing the simple diagnosis trick with the Integrated Diagnostic Software (IDS). Here’s how you can do it:

  • To begin with, insert the IDS into your car along with your laptop and scan Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) in the Power Steering Control Module (PSCM.
  • Then, detect the issue by checking the code number:
    • If it doesn’t show DTC B1342, B2277, or B2278, this means an issue with the PSCM and IC modules.
    • If it only shows DTC B2278, this means the torque sensor is faulty.
    • If it shows DTC B1342 or B2277, this means the steering column is damaged.
Note: If the torque sensor or the steering column is replaced, you don’t need to reset any modules.

The Causes and Solutions of Ford Escape Power Steering Assist Fault!

There are many reasons why your Ford Escape car’s screen shows the fault message of the power steering assist. Let me share how to fix the power steering assist fault Ford Escape after explaining the reasons:

PCSM and IC system failureReset PCSM and IC system
Bad steering columnChange steering column
Damaged torque sensorReplace torque sensor
Faulty power steering assist motorChange the power steering assist motor
Table 1: Reasons and Repairs To Power Steering Assist Fault Ford Escape

Cause #1: PCSM and IC System Fault

The first reason for the 2001 to 2010 Ford Escape power steering assist fault (or later models) message is PCSM and IC system issues. In that case, you’ll need to reset the PSCM and IC system.

How to Fix?

The 2001 to 2009 Ford Escape power steering assist fault reset procedure (or later models) is similar since you’ll need to do it using the IDS device. To do that, here are some of the things you’ll need to do:

  • Check the Battery: Make sure the car’s 12V battery is fully charged. Also, plug in the IDS/scan tool to a power source.
  • Inspect Cables and Module: Look at the Vehicle Communication Module (VCM) and cables for any damage. Ensure there are no interruptions while connecting the scan tool.
  • Use Internet Connection: It’s best to use a wired internet connection for stability.
  • Turn off Unnecessary Stuff: Before starting, turn off things like the radio, heated/cooled seats, lights, and close the doors.
  • Disconnect Extras: If there are any added accessories like a remote start or alarm, disconnect or turn them off.
  • Follow Scan Tool Instructions: Pay close attention to the instructions on the scan tool’s screen.
  • Adjust Tool Settings: Make sure the IDS/scan tool doesn’t go to sleep or hibernate.
  • Start with Key On Engine Off (KOEO): Don’t start the vehicle before creating a session. This could cause errors during programming.

After doing these, you can reprogram the PSCM and IC modules that will reset the power steering assist fault message. To do that, you only need to use the IDS on-screen instruction and it’ll reprogram the modules.

Once it’s done, the 2001 to 2008 Ford Escape power steering assist fault (or later models) error message will vanish.

Note: The PSCMs need an update while not all IC modules do. So, you can get reset or calibration files at

Cause #2: Faulty Steering Column

The damaged or broken steering column is another factor that can trigger the system. This thing causes a power steering assist fault error message on the dashboard.

fix power steering assist fault ford escape by replacing steering
Image 2: Fix Power Steering Assist Fault Ford Escape By Replacing Steering

It is one of the most common issues for the power steering assist fault 2009 Ford Escape. If that happens, you’ll need to change the steering column.

How to Fix?

  • Firstly, put the car in Neutral and lift it using a hoist.
  • Next, turn the steering wheel to the 11:00 o’clock position to make it easier to remove.
  • After that, if your car is hybrid, take out the HV traction battery. If not, remove the 12V battery from under the hood.
  • Then, use a tool to carefully remove the trim around the steering column. If possible, use a cutting tool to cut along the marked lines and take out the panel.
  • Once that’s done, remove the bolts and the panel around the steering column.
  • Afterward, pull off the upper part of the steering column cover.
  • Now, use the right tool to unscrew the lower part of the column cover.
  • Next, disconnect the three connectors on the left side of the column. Then, remove two clips holding some wires in place.
  • After that, disconnect the electrical connector of the Passive Anti-Theft System (PATS) transceiver. If it’s damaged and needs replacement, check this guide for detailed directions.
  • Then, remove another clip and set the wiring aside before taking out two bolts at the top of the column.
  • Now, tape the wheel to the Multifunction Switch (MFS) to stop it from turning. Then, remove the steering wheel and upper column as one piece.
  • Lastly, remove the snap ring, lower jacket, sensor seal, and the steering column. And, this will cause the 2001 to 2009 Ford Escape power steering assist fault (or later models) message to not appear on the screen.
Note: In some Ford Escape cars, the software issue can cause the power assist to get disabled based on Welding Troop. In that case, just update the remaining software to fix the bug.

Cause #3: Bad Torque Sensor

Sometimes a faulty torque sensor can cause your car’s power steering assist to not work properly and show the error message. To fix the bug, you’ll need to change the torque sensor and calibrate the Steering Wheel Position Sensors.

How to Fix?

  • To begin with, take out the steering column from the car. Next, detach the snap ring with a Rotor Clip RP-900 ratchet and grip ring pliers. Then, remove the lower jacket and sensor seal.
  • Next, pull out the torque sensor’s electrical connector and harness pin retainer. After that step, lift the car’s front area so you can detach the load off the front tires.
  • Before you detach the old torque sensor, you’ll need to check the steering shaft keyway. FYI, it’s attached to the sensor alignment mark. For that, never use a pair of locking pliers or pliers as this will damage the part.
  • Then, detach the old torque sensor by prying it carefully from the back. A simple trick to do that is to pull up on the sensor wires when using a hooked pick tool to pull up the opposite side of the sensor.
  • Check the sensor’s condition to find whether it’s damaged or not. In this step, ensure to clean the surface using a vacuum cleaner.
  • Afterward, insert the alignment tool before you put on the new sensor.
  • Once you properly align the steering shaft with the tool, you can remove the alignment tool. And then, put on the new sensor with the locking pin in place. Be sure to put even force on both sides when inserting the sensor.
  • Now, you’ll need to use the alignment tool to check if the torque sensor is seated properly or not. Make sure the top of the alignment tool is flushed with the gear housing rim before you take out the locking pin and then the tool.
  • After that, reinstall all the removed parts. Then, lift the car down and turn on the engine. While the engine is running and the torque sensor is installed, ensure that the steering wheel is in the centered position.
  • Lastly, use the scan tool to do the Steering Wheel Position Sensor Calibration to end the process.

Cause #4: Bad Power Steering Assist Motor

If your car still shows the error message, it indicates the culprit is the power steering assist motor. The 2001 to 2008 Ford Escape power steering assist motor (or later models) can go dead or damaged after some time.

Due to this, the power steering assist may not work and show the fault alert on the screen. If that happens, you’ll need to contact a Ford dealer or replace the part yourself.

How to Fix?

To troubleshoot your car’s power steering, it’s best to call the right car shop or Ford store. To swap the part, take out the steering column as I explained before.

Then, unhook the motor where you’ll see the torque sensor, and put in a new one. Finally, assemble everything back together.

Someone on a Ford Forum mentioned that the motor is part of the steering column and can’t be fixed separately.

Ending Notes

You can easily get rid of the power steering assist fault in the Ford Escape error message by doing the above solutions after finding the root cause. Hope this guide helps you to know everything that you are looking for. Good Luck!

Don’t forget to check out this interesting guide that explains the location of the Ford Escape transmission fluid. Give It a Shot!

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