Electric Power Steering Pump

On my 2005 Focus 2.0 TDCi I've had a irritating issue for almost two years. When I first start up in the morning, I get a power assist fail
warning about 50% of the time. Its not a big deal, I notice the warning on the first turn of the ignition so I turn it back to off, turn it on again and its clear. If I were to start the engine without doing this, I would have no power steering. I've got used to this and just live with it.
Last month I had the r/h headlamp unit out to change a bulb. This gives you access to the power steering pump with its integral reservoir, which according to Ford doesn't need checking or servicing but I always check the fluid level when I get access to it. This time the fluid level was fine but I was thinking that the fluid looked quite dirty. Its been in there for 10 years now. I've got a bottle of the correct spec fluid in the garage so I decided to remove as much of the old fluid as I could with a syringe and top it up fresh fluid.
The odd thing is..... since I did that, the power steering fail warnings have stopped. Its possible I knocked one of the pumps electrical connectors when I was working in there and reset a bad connection but I don't think so.
Could there be some sort of capacitance sensor in there in which the condition of the fluid could make a difference?
--
Paul Giverin

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On 26/10/2015 19:28, Paul Giverin wrote:

I think that is unlikely, but maybe it senses the startup current, which might have fallen with the cleaner fluid?
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On 27/10/2015 11:00, newshound wrote:

If it gets to be a problem again, then get the battery checked as that is the most common fault to cause the steering warning at cold start up.
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On 27/10/2015 11:08, Mrcheerful wrote:

Thanks for that. I do sometimes get cold starting problems where I have to either cycle the glow plugs twice or at least give it 10 seconds on the first cycle before engaging the starter. I had put that down to the glow plugs having done 120k since they were last replaced. Perhaps it is a problem with the battery which I replaced just over 5 years ago.
Access to the plugs isn't great. Last time they were replaced was when my Ford dealer was doing diagnostic warranty work on a starting problem that turned out to the the throttle body. The friendly tech had pulled the glowpugs out and decided to replace them FOC even though they were fine.
--
Paul Giverin

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