2015 Ford Explorer steering problems: power steering stopped working while driving

Power Steering Stopped Working While Driving

2015 Ford Explorer

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Ford dealer.

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
30,150 miles
Total Complaints:
16 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (8 reports)
  2. replacement of steering rack (8 reports)
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2015 Ford Explorer steering problems

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2015 Ford Explorer Owner Comments

problem #16

Feb 062019

Explorer LX 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,352 miles


I have an Explorer XLT of 2015 with 86,352 miles. A few weeks ago, power steering started giving me problems. When I try to turn the parked steering wheel, it becomes hard and suddenly it releases and turns smooth. This worries me because I feel the steering wheel heavy on the highway and I'm afraid it will stop working at high speed. Any solution?

- Edgardo R.,

problem #15

Mar 162018

Explorer XLT 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,500 miles

My car started with a noise Every time a steer the wheel to either side. I took it to a Ford authorized dealer as usual and they told me I have to replace the rack and pinion. The Carr had less than 36000 miles but it lost the warranty because it was purchased a little more than 3 years. They told me the original replacement will cost $1,700 to $1,900 with one year warranty. I found a place that sell me a replacement the not Ford original but they gave me 2 year warranty. I was surprised my car with that mileage experience such type of problems. Also I have always the belt sign on. In Ford fixed it but after one week it turns on again. They always said me it is because other seat place problem. I prefer to live with that light on because every time I went there to check the light they charged me.

- Edgar D., Mayaguez, Puerto Rico

problem #14

Oct 262018

Explorer Limited 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,000 miles

My steering lapsed during a simple left turn crossing traffic. I had good clear distance (thank goodness) however I was not able to complete the turn. The results was a significant curb hop and the vehicle was rendered undriveable. The towing company had to call a flat bed tow truck to retrieve my vehicle and deliver to Ford. The wheel was broken. The suspension was repaired as well as the wheel and tire replaced. They refused to cover the cost stating the damages were an accident. Very concerning.

- Kristi K., Pensacola, US

problem #13

Oct 142018

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,908 miles


click to see larger images

power steering stopped working while driving

This power steering issue needs to be addressed by Ford. While traveling wooded back roads in New Hope, PA with my 2 year old daughter in the backseat the steering locked up. I could basely steer to stay on the narrow roads (no road shoulder) and pulled over as soon as I safely could into a church parking lot, and that was extremely difficult. The steering is near impossible and impossible to keep straight at any speed when this happens. I can't imagine if this happened a month ago while driving to Florida from Pennsylvania with my family of 4. There should be an immediate recall on the power steering column.

Obviously I'm not the first person to complain about this and it's exacerbated by warranty expiration on the mileage alone. It's a 3 year old vehicle with less than 41,000 miles. This was a problem (and recalled by Ford) on the 2011 - 2013 models. They should not ignore this, people will get hurt.

- Joseph P., Glenside, PA, US

problem #12

Aug 232018

Explorer Limited 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,400 miles

On 23 Aug 2018, entered left hand curve on M-81 (5 miles W of Cass City, Mi) when power steering on 2015 Explorer suddenly disengaged - unable to maintain curvature of road attempting to turn wheel at entrance of curve, vehicle continued straight onto gravel shoulder continuing to go straight. Cranked on wheel hard with both hands CCW to get back on road to avoid going into ditch. Then vehicle veered to the left crossing the road into oncoming traffic lane before vehicle could be muscled back under control into the westbound lane. Mileage at 35400 at time of incident.

Vehicle stayed in manual steering mode rest of way home (slow drive with emergency blinkers on). Parked vehicle until able to take to local Ford dealership 1 week later (earliest appt, evidently loss of steering not such a big issue). Diag showed DTC code recommending Steering Gear replacement with no specific error fault identified - advised repair to be near $2000 out of pocket cost since vehicle just out of 36 month warranty with no guarantee this same situation won't happen again (NHTSA record of incidents shows surprising number of repeat issues even after components replaced).

Obtained case number to apprise adverse safety complaint with Ford Customer service - Ford not willing to service vehicle under warranty extension nor acknowledge prior steering fault history/class action suit activity for defective EPSA and/or control module. BTW, hope you'll be able to understand the foreign person at the customer service number that enters your info into their computer terminal, or reads the response remotely inputed from Fords regarding your case (based on whatever the foreign national has written to describe your situation)... also there is no immediate manager or representative at Fords "NON-Customer Service" to be transferred to for further discussion or resolution of the case - nicely done to further alienate your customers in need.

I wish nothing but the best for the Ford Exec Team, Engineering Managers, and Board of Directors that refuse to acknowledge the potential safety critical steering defects in their consumer products.. sincerely hoping you have your own excitement for off-road excursion under loss of steering control, but perhaps you don't drive Ford products. Can't say I blame you for shopping elsewhere, wise decision.

- William G., Caro, US

problem #11

Jul 272018

Explorer Limited 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,600 miles

EPAS- Electronic steering system failed while at high speed with three children under the age of ten on board. This is a highly known issue that Ford has swept under rug. They narrowly avoided a class action lawsuit from what I've learned online. This issue that Ford wants to ignore could have easily killed many of people as the steering wheel completely locked-up at a high (legal) rate of speed. I've been brand loyal to Ford for 13 vehicles now. I'm done with them after this shady maneuver. I guess Ford is going to wait until they have blood on their hands and have the government finally step in?

- David W., Walpole, NH, US

problem #10

Jul 232018

Explorer Sport 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,895 miles


Inexcusable a company can make a product that can fail without warning making it impossible to turn.

Ford well aware of the 1000’s of complaints, but won’t recall it.

- Ron K., Marlton, US

problem #9

May 062018

Explorer Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles

I was on a trip in NYC and was about to go on the Verrazano Bridge, without warning I heard a beeping noise saying steering malfunction and my wheel stopped moving. I glided off the highway and my family with 2 kids was safely removed from the vehicle. THIS IS DANGEROUS!!!!! I am about to get it fixed when now my wheel won't move at all and needs to be towed. You would not expect this from a $47,000 vehicle!!!

- Michael B., Clarksburg, MD, US

problem #8

Apr 032017

Explorer LX 6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,381 miles

Power steering stopped working while driving. It was very scary. I don't feel safe drivering this car......it has less than 14,000 miles on it.

- Penny F., Houma, US

problem #7

Oct 142016

Explorer Sport 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,750 miles

My wife was driving the speed limit on the I35 ( 65mph ) and noticed that a warning light that came on then slowed down to exit the Interstate. She drove it about 2 miles further to the HEB grocery store and that's when the steering locked up and she coasted into the parking lot fighting the steering wheel the whole time. Thank God there was lite traffic that day. Once she got into the parking lot she had shut down everything

( Turning the vehicle Off ). She then waited a couple of minutes and restarted, but that didn't work the wheel was still locked. She shut it down again and waited a little longer and restarted and it had reset itself back to normal. The Steering wheel was not locked anymore and she drove the vehicle back home with a Friend to follow her just in case it happened again. Well that following Monday the same ALERT warning came on while she was driving out of the subdivision and pulled over before she got onto FM 150 West shut the vehicle down before it happened and waited 5 minutes and restarted it again and it has not happened again YET!!! Today 10/25/16 We took it to our Ford Dealership were we bought the vehicle to have them look at it and they ran diagnostics on it and it spit some codes out EPAS was one of the errors. They tried to reproduce it, but could not. They called FORD Support and they were told to not replace it and to continue to drive the vehicle to see if it would come back on. The Ford Service Center stated that they will not close the ticket just in case it happens again. So Ford Support knows there is an issue, but is just waiting to get more information on it. They have been really lucky to this point that there has not been any fatalities or injuries that have been reported to them. My wife is very, very concerned about driving the vehicle now because this is her daily driver and we have a 6 yr. old that is always with her and that really scares her if it happens again. She said that it happened all of the sudden with little to no warning. If she would not have seen the Warning on the dash display it would have caught her by surprise. Doing some investigating on the internet there have been many other incidences similar to ours so what's it going to take to get a recall?

Update from May 19, 2018: Well the issue can back on 5/11/2018 at 35996 miles. Just under the warranty. This time it was in the parking lot and not on the highway like before. Thank God. We had to have the vehicle towed to the dealer. The vehicle was looked at by the dealer on 5/14/2018 luckily the issue was still there and the steering was still locked up. The error codes were still displaying as well. After reading the codes the dealer said that the steering column had to be replaced and they would have to order one. We picked up the vehicle on 5/17/2018 and the dealer stated that a sensor had shorted out which caused the issue. They could not guarantee me that the issue would not happen again. So we turned the vehicle in that day and bought a newer vehicle instead. I did NOT!! feel safe and my wife who drove this vehicle the most didn't feel safe in it either. So the steering column was replaced, but not sure if the issue was resolved. No guarantee

- John R., Kyle, TX, US

problem #6

Sep 162016

Explorer LX 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,348 miles


just thank god turned off I-26 to get gas. total failure of steering. called ford for info that is a real pain in the ass. they wanted me to restart the engine several times to reprogram the car's computer.

the real terror in dealing with this problem was there was no warning. one minute I was fat dumb and happy driving 75 miles per hr. and next second no steering.

the Ford Dealer in Summerville repaired the car and Ford did pay for a rental, after repairs, about 9 days I had to drive back to Summerville this is a 3 hour drive each way

- Lon A., Spartanburg, SC, US

problem #5

Aug 082016

Explorer Limited 3.5L V6 Tivct

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,092 miles

1st time 3 days in shop for Warning Power Steering needs service. 2nd. This time power steering actually went out while driving, after receiving 8 warning messages, I managed to get it to the Dealer, left the car running, Asst. Service Mgr. saw problem, however,

after they turned off the car they could not replicate the warnings or get a code from the computer. Ford will not

authorize the repair without a code, so not fixed after 10 days in the shop, my dealer did furnish me a car to

drive & they are trying to help me, but NO help from Ford Motor Co. My husband nearly 80, is in failing health & I am stuck

with a car that I cannot depend on in an emergency.. What is wrong with Ford, the computer is not working & the power steering is not working properly. What do I need to do to get approval from Ford to get this problem fixed?

- Shirley H., Montgomery, TX, US

problem #4

Nov 272015

Explorer Sport 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,000 miles

Failure of power steering 80 miles from home while doing 75 mph. Mechanical linkage not affected but all power assistance suddenly lost. Those unfamiliar with what unassisted steering on a 5000 lb vehicle feels like would probably conclude that the steering wheel locked. That's very very dangerous. Ford fixed this without debate but definitely confidence shaking.

- uaglio, Malverne, NY, US

problem #3

Nov 252015

Explorer Sport 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,089 miles

I purchased a 2015 Explorer Sport earlier this year and am getting numerous steering fault warnings with the steering just locking up - very scary! I restart the engine and everything appears to be normal again. Took the car to the dealership who verified the fault but they only deleted the warning from the computers memory, obviously it returned within a few days. One purchases a modern car in the full expectation that it will be mechanically safe and sound, not so with Ford, I am bitterly disappointed!

Update from Dec 12, 2015: The dealer is replacing the steering mechanism next week.

- goldenstar2, Medicine Hat, AB, Canada

problem #2

Oct 092015

Explorer ELT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles

On Friday October 9th, I went to make a left turn and my steering wheel stuck in that position. I managed to get the steering wheel straight again but noticed upon straightening out the wheels began to make a clicking noise. I took my vehicle to the dealership for repair (I purchased this vehicle March 31st 2015). After having my vehicle for 3 days and acknowledging they can hear the clicking sound AND they can even feel it under the floor boards, I was told extra washers needed to be added to the axle??????????

At this point I have left a message for the Service Mgr, this is unacceptable!!! I purchased this vehicle 6 months ago with the expectations of it being a safe vehicle. At this point my frustration level is increasing with this dealership.

I have never had a problem with any Ford I have owned before. But I paid for a vehicle that now seems like it may not be safe to drive.

- Tina N., Mission Viejo, CA, US

problem #1

Oct 032015

Explorer XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,777 miles

I had just turned into a parking lot off of a 4 lane Hwy. As I turned all power steering stopped. If we would have new traveling faster I'm confident an accident would have occurred. Very frustrated that Ford made it seem like they were doing me a favor by fixing it without charging me. Because the part had to be ordered its taking them 4 days to repair but they refuse to provide me with a rental even though I am still paying my car payment. I have less than 4,000 miles on my explorer.

- Teresa B., Wesley Chapel, FL, US

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