Q: Battery light on, don't have power steering in D but have in R, AC not cold, white smoke ? other day smelled sweet.

asked by on

The other day when it was -15F I started my car, started to back out of spot, and it died in R. Figured it was battery from cold, so put in N and pushed back in. Next day tried to start, struggled to start but did, then white sweet smelling smoke came out of hood and battery light came on. Turned off. Started again 10min later, no smoke, no light - needed to move car 40ft so backed out, all fine, then put in D and lost power steering. Put back in R, had power steer again. Put in my driveway. Turned on a few times over past week just to see if it started, smoked, light came on, etc. and everything looked good.

Added more antifreeze this morning (now 50F outside) because it was a little low (but not much), started car, and again fine - no light, no smoke. Backed down driveway to test steering, had it in R, put in D and lost power steering then battery light came on. Pulled back into driveway and left it. Wrote this question.

Also, my AC hasn't been cold for about 3 years

My car has 109000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

You may have a coolant leak. That can be determined if you request a coolant leak diagnostic. There was a recall for quite a few Ford vehicles, including your model, to rectify a fault with the electric power steering system. Using your specific VIN number you should determine if your vehicle was covered under that Ford safety recall. The illumination of the battery warning light may have some relation to the steering failure inasmuch as the steering system is electrically powered. I would suggest that you first confirm the condition of the battery by having the battery load tested. Once the battery is confirmed, or replaced if required by the test results, the charging system output should be tested. Alternator problems can cause the battery to be discharged. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Battery light on, don't have power steering in D but have in R, AC not cold, white smoke ? other day smelled sweet.

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Car will not start after alternator replacement?

The backfire sound usually indicates a misfire of some kind which may be related to a timing issue such as a faulty ignition coil, bad spark plug wires or a faulty crankshaft position sensor. This may also possibly be related...

Q: My 2010 kia blower fan stopped working but was fine last week. This occurred a few times in past. Works fine then stops blowing ag

The blower switch and the plug connection on the back of the switch, as well as a faulty blower motor are likely, too. I would check the blower motor first as you can easily power the motor directly to see...

Q: Q: Why is my power steering fluid leaking?

The first thing to do is to make sure the fluid is full in the power steering reservoir. Since you recently replaced a lot of components in the system I would recommend cleaning the area that is wet with fluid...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...