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Nervous re: potential steering probs if buying a 2013

power steering steering used purchase safety

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29 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   mstenzel

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Posted 18 June 2018 - 09:07 PM

Hello,
I may have the opportunity to buy a 2013 C-Max Energi from a friend at KBB Trade-in Value.  The car has 100K miles on it and is up to date on repairs.  
 
I have read that the power steering assist problem that other Ford models had has also popped up on C-Maxes, but not to the point of recall.  
 
My teen son will likely drive the car some and I am concerned that the steering could make the car dangerous.  I don't know if this sort of issue is more or less likely to happen this late in the car's life.
 
Any thoughts out there?  It could be a nice run-around car for a few years before we move on to a newer car.
Thanks in advance for any advice.








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#2 OFFLINE   grege

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 01:42 AM

I believe 2013 was the first model year, yes?  I'd never buy a used first model year of any vehicle used especially a Cmax given its rough beginning with CVT issues and steering problems early in development.  I'd recommend looking at a used 2015 or newer with lower mileage for peace of mind.

 

Greg



#3 OFFLINE   Tom_NC_1

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 03:42 AM

I have one of the 2013 models and it has been very reliable over the last 5 years. I have only heard of a couple of instances of power steering problem. That doesn't seem like a major concern. I do agree that first model year vars do tend to have some issues and there were a series of recalls that addressed them. A 5 year old car with 100k (20k miles per year) might have some wear issue so it would be good to have it thoroughly checked out.

If a repair history is available that would be a good reference to any issues the car has had.

A test of the HVB would also be advised. Reset a trip meter. With the car fully charged run in EV until the HVB is depleted The kWh  close to 5kWh would indicate a very good HVB.

 

Any 2013 model with a build date before around July of 2013 would have both a left screen trip summery and Lifetime summery displayed when the car has been turned off. The lifetime summary could provide some useful information if it has not been reset.

 

Hope this is helpful for you making a decision.

 

Tom


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#4 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 06:58 AM

I've got a 2013 and the major mechanical stuff has been pretty reliable.  

 

I think I've only heard of one or 2 steering rack problems.  If I'm worried about anything it's the potential transmission problem that a larger number of people have had.



#5 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 07:49 AM

Don't let that stop you.  Its like not taking a flight because you might crash.  There are many 2013's out there and you only hear about the bad ones here, none of the good ones.  So if you heard about 2 having issues, then 22,222 did not or so to speak.  I've been driving a Cmax since 2013, my first one 4 years 73k miles no issues with anything buy noisy tires and a GPS navigation update (due to running parallel to the road I'm on), my 2017 no issues with anything.

 

-=>Raja.



#6 OFFLINE   jzchen

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 07:50 AM

I saw one steering issue at almost 200k miles.  I think it was user Middleofnowhere.  The transmission on ours was a concern at 56k miles as I started hearing an unusual noise, but nothing serious happened.  My wife ended up trading it in because she was nervous. I explained to her (because she's a doctor) it's like a heart murmur.  When you first hear it you worry, but if it doesn't cause any issues, you just live with it.  I think trade in value is going to be a great price.  My wife fought for $1k more when she traded hers in. (Value was very low)...



#7 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 08:03 AM

Hey Jesse:

 

Are you sure the noise wasn't the tires?  Mine used to go like woo woo woo at slow speeds and at highway speeds it was a loud pulsating hum.

 

-=>Raja.



#8 OFFLINE   mstenzel

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 06:30 AM

Thanks so much for all the replies.  Very helpful for a new member who hates buying cars and doesn't want to make bad decisions regarding safety and limited budgets.

 

Is there any validity to the idea that, if there was a serious, safety-concerning problem with the power steering, then it would have happened earlier in the car's life?

 

All of the recall work has been taken care of, so I feel good about the repair & maintenance history of the car.

 

Levi, re: transmission, my friend/current car owner told me that the transmission was replaced under warranty, so I don't think I should have to worry about that as a potential problem.

 

Besides Jesse (thanks for weighing in, neighbor), do others agree that this is a pretty good deal for a car that could give me a solid few years of use?  I drive about 16K per year.

 

--Marcus



#9 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 06:41 AM

It's a bit of a tough call for me.  My areas of thought would be this:

 

-I'm assuming there's a reason you went for this vehicle and like it over others.

-Not sure how much you care about the available options or which ones this one has.

-Ford reliability has not been horrible, but the reliability of the technology does not hold a candle compared to Toyota.(Things on mine like: GPS, Stereo, Door sensors, parking sensors, etc...)  That's not to say that they've outright failed on the Ford, but all of them periodically do/have had issues.  Whereas in our Toyotas everything just works all the time.

 

-Price wise, it looks like there are at least a few in the $7500 range, so I'd be hesitant to pay much more than that unless there's a reason like options or maybe significant mile differences.

 

-you might want to check out the battery life and see if it's still near max capacity.  Some of them in hotter climates have lost significant capacity.  Others just go in reading the numbers Ford lists and are disappointed in reality.  I.e. mine will never get above maybe 35mpg unless I'm in the city at 35mph.  And you're not likely not going to get 20 miles of EV range if you're cruising at highway speed, going up hills or using the heater.

 

Basically, do your best to try it out with a fully charged battery in something like what you'd expect your real world usage to be to get an idea of what it will be like.



#10 OFFLINE   mstenzel

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 09:55 AM

Thanks, Levi.

 

A reason I am interested in this vehicle is because I like hybrids due to the mileage I put on my car for work.  I am most interested in a new Prius or Camry Hybrid, but those will cost me 20-25K more than this one.  I believe the price he is looking at is around $5000--which is the main reason I am considering the car.

 

I wasn't seeking out a C-Max, but the price is so appealing for a car that people seem to like.  I'm thinking of it as a decent commuter car knowing that it may only suffice for 2-3 years.

 

The car has all available options (except for sun roof), so it shouldn't be lacking in features, at least not by 2013 standards.

 

Can any hybrid mechanic test the battery for me to let me know what the capacity or estimated remaining life is?  I believe in California, the warranty is for 10 years/150K miles, so I should be good for another 2 years/50K miles.  Is there a threshold where Ford says "it's still good" warranty-wise?



#11 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 10:08 AM

That's the problem, generally speaking anyone who has tried has gotten a response along the lines of "Well, it still works" when complaining of lost battery capacity.  I think there might have been one person I recall that actually got a new battery, but plan on Ford not replacing your battery unless you pay them(or it actually keeps the car from moving, but I don't think I've heard of a pack failure yet).

 

I think the real way to check it is pretty much to get it fully charged, reset the trip meter, put it in EV mode and then see if you can get around 5KWH used out of it by the time the ICE fires up.(which should be roughly 10-30 miles depending on how it's driven)

 

I believe there has been talk of some setting that can be read from the car about the battery capacity but last I recall I think that was later said that it wasn't really accurate the same way...

 

 

Yes, $5K is a good price, especially with the 303a package(IIRC).

Personally, I'd be looking at a Prius as well, I've seen the 3rd Gens down in that price range as well.  I'd feel better about reliability, and you'd get better gas mileage and I think a bit better cargo room.  But you won't have that EV range, so it depends on your commute as to which of those would save more money.  And while I had no issues with the Prius, the majority of people seem to prefer the C-Max for ride(I preferred the Prius) and power(The C-Max definitely has more power while burning gas, but I'd prefer better MPG).



#12 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 10:21 AM

I have 200k on my 2013 CMAX  and no steering problems. :smile2:

 

Paul



#13 OFFLINE   jzchen

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 02:34 PM

Hey Jesse:
 
Are you sure the noise wasn't the tires?  Mine used to go like woo woo woo at slow speeds and at highway speeds it was a loud pulsating hum.
 
-=>Raja.


Actually, I’m not sure. I always kept them at 38 PSI so they weren’t stressed at 50 per say. But they were getting to the point where I was guessing we needed tires soon. For some reason my wife does not like spending money on tires. (I remember at one point thinking it might be the tires, but since they weren’t down to the wear bars, weren’t necessary yet. She said she would see very poor condition tires in the Philippines....)

Still missing the C-MAX....

#14 OFFLINE   jzchen

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 02:55 PM

Does the car have the front parking sensors? Then it’s 303A. If it has the rears only and Nav it’s likely a 302A. I’ve been away from the C-MAX long enough to start forgetting at my age so someone feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

And yes, we are practically neighbors! Like I noted I’d take it. I was shooting for keeping the C-MAX at $9k but my wife holds the britches in the family...

I’m actually of opposing opinion to Levi. We also have a ‘12 Prius v in the family. It is fully loaded and has the parking assistant, which doesn’t work as well as the system in the ‘13 C-MAX Energi. Updating the navigation on the Prius pretty much requires a visit to the dealer unless you are willing to pay around $300 to do it on your own. The C-MAX has a load of features that even my wife’s returned lease ‘15 BMW 535i GT x-drive did not have, which was remote start, for half the sticker cost. It was sometimes buggy and at one point a replacement part was needed for maybe almost a year for My Ford Mobile to work again, but even as we moved on to the ‘18 Clarity Touring with Nav, the charging setup in the Honda leaves something to be desired! I set it to charge between 10 pm and 8 am the next day, but unless it is plugged in when the clock passes exactly 10 pm, we will get a charge failure message and the car will not charge. So if we want it to charge outside of this period, including during that 10 to 8 because car was not plugged in when time reached 10 pm, we have to push and hold a button on the remote to get it to charge...

#15 OFFLINE   jzchen

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 03:00 PM

I’m afraid I forgot the C-MAX in that year came standard with real leather seats. You get synthetic leather in a Prius as far as I know. The C-MAX drives with more power and comfort. The engine on the Prius will ROAR if pushed hard.

The estimated range on a fully charged battery will trend downwards with age so you can look at that for a helpful gauge as well. I could get an estimated range in the low 20s but my wife did not towards the end of our ownership.

#16 OFFLINE   mstenzel

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 03:34 PM

Sounds like I may have the opportunity for a good value here.  Thanks for all the opinions.  You've given me more to chew on.  Still not sure about the broader economics on situations like this. I'm telling myself that this is most likely a 2 year car for me.  So my internal debate is whether it's better to just apply that $5K towards a newer car that doesn't have 100K miles and a checkered, though fully repaired, past.  



#17 OFFLINE   jzchen

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 10:21 PM

Well, I was sifting through the forum a little earlier and did see/was reminded of another forum member who had a steering problem, (exactly) 6 months into ownership, in 108 degree F weather.  It was user altabrig.  I've actually met him in person a little after both our cars' batteries died on the same day.  Nice guy and family.

 

I also saw middleofnowhere came back to update that his/her vehicle now has 256k miles....

 

Anyways, if this car is local, maybe the owner is okay to have another person, more specifically me, go and check it out with you?  I am familiar with all the unique noises that come with the territory so to speak.

 

I reread your posts some and noted you are comparing to a newer Camry and Prius hybrid models.  We charged my wife's C-MAX about once a day and the instrument cluster's estimated MPG was in the 70s if that helps you in decision making as well...



#18 OFFLINE   jzchen

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 10:28 PM

Don't let that stop you.  Its like not taking a flight because you might crash.  There are many 2013's out there and you only hear about the bad ones here, none of the good ones.  So if you heard about 2 having issues, then 22,222 did not or so to speak.  I've been driving a Cmax since 2013, my first one 4 years 73k miles no issues with anything buy noisy tires and a GPS navigation update (due to running parallel to the road I'm on), my 2017 no issues with anything.

 

-=>Raja.

 

Funny you mention GPS navigation update Raja.  I found out that Honda has partnered with Garmin for their navigation systems.  The Clarity comes with 5 years of free updates.  The Copywrite on the maps that came with the car noted 2015!  So I researched and found the site where you download the updates free, found the 2018 update, and updated, only to find the Copywrite move up only 1 year to 2016.  There is a stretch of the 91 FWY between the 71 and 15, on our way to and from Temecula where my Grandmother resides, and the car will all of a sudden "jump" off the freeway at times and report as being on the side streets, going either Eastbound or Westbound.

 

Marcus-  It might be helpful for us to help you, if you give more specific examples of which Camry hybrid or Prius that you are comparing with, maybe an online ad we can look at....


Edited by jzchen, 22 June 2018 - 10:37 PM.


#19 OFFLINE   jzchen

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 10:31 PM

Can look up the safety ratings at these sites:

 

www.iihs.org

www.safercar.gov



#20 OFFLINE   jzchen

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 10:42 PM

BTW-  The latest Toyotas have most likely switched to Garmin also:

 

www.garmin.com/toyota










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