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Any Car mechanics on here? - Advice needed


I'd been getting warnings on my dashboard for about a year, advising me to check my battery (not the battery warning light). Regrettably i ignored this.
A couple of weeks ago i was driving and the power steering went completely. Lucky i was on a quiet back street road as 70+ on a motorway could have ended very badly.
I pulled over and got a Vegas style dashboard display followed by a warning to top the break fluid up.
I turned the engine off, topped the break fluid up. Tried to restart the engine and nothing, didn't even turn over.

A few days later i went back with a pair of jump leads to start the car and as if by magic it started. Stearing back to normal, just some noisy breakpads and the engine light on. 
I ran the car for a bit in an attempt to charge the battery. I drove it back home, turned the engine on and off a few times, the engine light subsequently vanished.

I'm not a car specialist, my guess would be the alternator/new battery.

It's a Ford Focus 2011, with 70k on the clock.

Any advice beyond take it to a garage?

Thanks and big love.


  • Sounds like alternator. You could test it with a multimeter or take it to a auto electrical service outlet. There are utube guides to testing an alternator if you want to do it yourself.   
  • Check main battery earth cable. A "poor earth" connection will result in a Low Voltage at the  various ECUs the run Engine , Brakes, ETC. 
    So before anything else check the earth and connections at the battery for tightness.
  • I had this with out 2008 Mercedes A class. Didn’t get any warning lights the power steering just suddenly went and warning came on not to drive. Managed to get it home then tried to drive to garage next day and was right as rain. However then happened again a week later. 

    Took it in and there was an issue with the alternator - battery was sending incorrect power to some unit or the other causing the power steering to shut down. 
  • Weird electronic issues are frequently explained by finished batteries/bad alternators.

    If it ended up being something else, I'd be very surprised.
  • All sounds likely. Once the battery gets weak the diagnostic stuff goes all to pot. Mines a devil for it.
  • Could just be a knackered battery. I’d change that first. 
  • Take it to a garage ya tight git!
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