really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
68,300 miles
Total Complaints:
15 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (6 reports)
  2. replace steering rack (6 reports)
  3. reset computer (2 reports)
  4. replace steering rack assembly (1 reports)
2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid steering problems

steering problem

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2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid Owner Comments

problem #15

Aug 142019

C-Max Hybrid SEL Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 139,000 miles


The gripe is really for the Ford service dept who pooh-poohed the problem as the car is "old" and has a lot of mileage. They said the car is worth nothing and might as well get a new one!! I bought it new, was the only driver / owner, had it serviced at the same place and felt astonished that after 6 years it would simply be worth nothing after it needed major servicing. Ford Morgan Hill, California. Not happy with them.

- Connie B., San Juan Bautista, US

problem #14

Jun 012019

C-Max Hybrid

  • CVT transmission
  • 145,000 miles

The issues for me is 1. The have to replace the ENTIRE rack assembly and not just the sensor or part that is broken. 2. its prohibitively expensive 3. its VERY dangerous as it can come and go and when it goes the steering is so stiff as to seem virtually locked.

- Ian M., Ashland, US

problem #13

May 192019

C-Max Hybrid SE 2L In-Line 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,539 miles

Steering wheel assist fault light showed up and steering wheel assist stopped working under regular driving making it extremely hard to control the vehicle. Took it to the auto shop. Detected code C102D. they reset the computer and it start working normally again. Don’t know for how long.

- Marcelo S., Virginia Beach, VA, US

problem #12

Mar 142019

C-Max Hybrid SE 2.0L

  • CVT transmission
  • 140,000 miles


I've been happy with this car until this failure. It has 140,000 miles on it, with only minor issues until now. Yesterday the power steering system (Electronic Power Assisted Steering - EPAS) went out on startup. Upon backing out of the driveway, a caution alert came on, indicating "Service Power Steering soon." I was able to steer, but with great effort. For comparison, it required much greater effort than I've experienced on any other vehicle that had power steering go out. I checked the OBDII codes, and it came up with 2 severe warnings, high/low voltage and unknown code on restraint system. No codes associated with steering system problems. Not helpful.

I drove it to the nearest dealer, and for $132 they diagnosed the problem: "Steering gear shorted internally. Recommend replacing steering gear assembly." They said the repair would include reprogramming of the replacement assembly to the onboard computer and realignment of the front end. Estimated repair cost is $2000, which is greater than the vehicle's trade-in value. For a vehicle with this many miles on it, that trips the scale and triggers a replacement. I had intended to purchase a new Ford Escape, but after reading the reaction of Ford to other customers with far fewer miles, I'm ready to call it quits with Ford products.

- Vic C., Las Vegas, NV, US

problem #11

Jan 102019

C-Max Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

Without warning and without previous steering problems, the steering rack suddenly went out. I had driven the car about 600 miles, turned off the car, came back to the car and cranked it. Steering alert and warning came on and car was impossible to steer. After waiting several hours, tried again and the steering worked long enough for me to drive it to the repair shop.

- Sherrie W., Nashville, GA, US

problem #10

Oct 122018

C-Max Hybrid SEL 2.0L Hybrid

  • CVT transmission
  • 71,000 miles

After start, pulling out of garage, power steering failure indicated on dash. Steering very hard to turn. Turned off car and restarted and so far all is fine. Afraid it will fail when driving down the road and cause a crash.

- Brady H., Huntersville, NC, US

problem #9

Aug 242018

C-Max Hybrid SEL 2.0L

  • CVT transmission
  • 49,315 miles


click to see larger images

power steering failure power steering failure

Steering would occasionally not work under warranty - asked at Ford if there were steering recalls and told there were none. I did not escalate because turning off the car one or more times would reset.

Now that the car is outside of warranty, no action I can take, (such as restarting the car or clearing the error code) will reset the steering. Steering effort is much higher than any non-power steering car or old truck I have ever driven. The failed PSCM (Power Steering Control Module) does not appear to exist as a stand-alone part. Ford tells me ~$700-$800 if steering column, or $2300 if rack and pinion need replaced. Hours spent searching for the part to do my own repairs has not given me a single part number that relates to the specific problem. This all seems to be part of FORDs trouble prone and hugely expensive EPAS (Electronic Power Assisted Steering) System.

EPAS has had recalls in more popular Ford models, such as Recall 15S18 beginning July 20, 2015. I suspect because the number of complaints was large since the total number of vehicles sold was large. Low production quantity cars such as the Hybrid C-Max likely have a similar failure rate, but it isn’t noticeable due to the much lower quantity produced. Ford appears to take advantage of this. Rather than do the right thing and offer a recall, they refuse to acknowledge the same flawed system on multiple models deserves the same fix.

- Leland K., Macomb, US

problem #8

Sep 182017

C-Max Hybrid ES 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,274 miles

My scenario pretty much the same as others. I have been advised by our county's Office of Consumer Protection to file a complaint with the National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA) - in the hopes that they see the need for a recall. The more complaints that are filed the more likely they will have enough documentation for a recall... please file your complaint at: https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls#vin

- Joan H., Fairless Hills, US

problem #7

Jan 132017

C-Max Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

2013 Hybrid Ford C-Max power steering suddenly and without any warning cut out. Towed to AAA who told me that there was a recall. Towed again to Ford dealer. Although over a million cars have been recalled by Ford for the same problem, this model was not recalled. Nonsense! Same problem. Contacted Ford consumer services and they offer $000.00 help. No more Fords for me.

- Eric R., Philadelphia, PA, US

problem #6

Nov 172016

C-Max Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

Power steering went out, shut off engine. Restarted engine, drove home. When I got home went out again. Called a tow truck, took to Ford dealer. Took off tow truck, there was no problem with steering. Dealer has had the car for 1 plus weeks. They drove it for 29 miles, did not happen again. We have always bought Ford cars, now I'm not sure if I would trust them.

- Joanne B., Bonney Lake, WA, US

problem #5

Jul 312016

C-Max Hybrid SEL

  • CVT transmission
  • 35,600 miles


Looks like this has been reported before, so I am not alone. Car has been mine for about 600 miles and has less than 36,000 miles. As I was driving across the Mojave desert this afternoon, the "Service Power Steering" warning came on. I drove the rest of the way home, as there wasn't any noticable driving effect. When I got home and shut off the car, as one of the other complainants, I unloaded it and then re-started it. Then I got a notice of "Power Steering FAILURE" and I had to muscle the car into the garage. I guess tomorrow I will contact the Ford dealer and see what they will do. OBVIOUSLY, this should be a free recall issue...but we shall see.

Update from Aug 4, 2016: Took it to Ford and they verified the Power Steering failure. Repair order states "Verified no power assist, pulled codes, high internal resistance, perf pinpoint test, replace gear" Correction: Replaced steering gear and reset toe. cleared codes" Service Tech acknowledged there are "hundreds" of C-Max vehicles that have experienced power steering failures. But no official recall yet. I was stuck paying $1887.45 for the repair. I have written to Ford and am awaiting their reply.

Update from Aug 8, 2016: I received a response from Ford denying that this is an issue subject to recall or any assistance at all. I asked for elevation to a supervisor, but the person refused to forward my complaint/request despite my repeated requests. Maybe NTSB will care, but Ford doesn't care...yet.

- Brad S., Lake Havasu City, AZ, US

problem #4

Jun 112016

C-Max Hybrid SE Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,681 miles

This is a 2013 car that should not have had to have the steering rack REPLACED at our cost because warranty has expired, as this should be considered a MFG defect! Ford has had this problem with power assist steering for a long time. Earlier models were recalled and it appears to fix the issue Ford has reprogrammed computer so that you do not lose steering while driving, only after you shut off key and try to restart. However, this DOES NOT fix the problem. WHY IS THE STEERING FAILING, AND THE REPAIR AT$1500.00 IS COSTLY!

- William B., Sheffield Lake, OH, US

problem #3

Apr 252014

C-Max Hybrid Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,800 miles

Started a cross country trip from Nashville to Seattle late afternoon April 25th, 2014.

After approximately 200 miles at 10 P.M. a light came on warning of power steering trouble. Pulled off into a truck stop. Checked owner's manual. Restarted car and had no power steering. Called Ford and they had us towed 12 miles to Mt. Vernon IL., the nearest Ford dealership. Spent remainder of night in car with husband and dog in the car, parked in dealer's service area. Next morning told there were no Ford mechanics in till Monday morning and we had to use a Ford mechanic.

Rather than spend the weekend in Mt.Vernon IL., we had the car towed to a larger dealership in St. Louis MO. That cost us $295. There we were told they could have a mechanic look at it Monday. Needed to meet a moving truck in Seattle we rented a car to continue our trip. Ford paid for the rent-a-car.

Monday the dealership called to say it was just a computer problem and that I must have done something to the car, such as change a tire. Nope, we were simply driving on the interstate.

We had to pay $1150 to have the car towed to us in Seattle.

- Teresa M., Mercer Island, TN, US

problem #2

Jul 142013

C-Max Hybrid SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,000 miles

My family and I just drove 2000 miles and had the power steering assist fault thing happen twice and we lost steering.

In the first town the dealer reset the computer and sent us on our way. At the second town where we are now the car has been in the shop all week and they will replace the power steering gear tomorrow.

Make no mistake about it, this is a serious problem with the car that several people have experienced already and Ford will have to deal with. If anyone from Ford reads this I implore you to deal with this soon before someone gets seriously injured or killed.

- concernedfordowner, Battle Ground, WA, US

problem #1

Jun 062013

C-Max Hybrid Limited 2.0L 4 Cycl, Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,057 miles

My new CMax lost power steering twice in less than 2 weeks. It is an electronic system. The service power steering light came on (on Memorial weekend Sunday May 26) saying service now. Right. Next, the power steering assist failure light came on and I lost power steering completely. It was towed to the dealership, where they reset the computer, and sent me on my way saying that the code was over steering. I was driving on a 4 lane when it happened- no over steering I was aware of! Next, it did the same thing on my way home from a visit with family in another state, on 6/6/13. I'd had it back one week. The warning light saying service power steering came on again, but this time, I was near a truck stop, and knew what to expect. I made it to the truck stop before it shut down completely, but was stuck at the truck stop for quite a while dealing with roadside assistance who couldn't find the mile marker on her location map. She kept asking for nearest intersections and I repeated at least 4 times that I was on a turnpike, the mile marker number, and the address of the truck stop location was all I could give her. There were no intersections. Finally, the tow driver arrived and took the lemon back to the dealership and my husband drove up to get me- and my dogs- that was interesting being stranded with them! Normally, a 2 hour drive, he made it in an hour. The CMax is currently in the dealership service bay, and we are meeting with the manager today to discuss getting a car I can rely on to get me where I need to go safely. The service person I spoke with said that there are certain protocols they have to follow on cars under warranty, and it had passed the first time, but not this time, so they were able to repair it this time. Silly me, I thought an extended warranty we BOUGHT would cover a car's issues when they happened! The end of this story has yet to be written, but I will update after we meet with the manager today.

- jerriok, EDMOND, OK, US

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