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Dodge Grand Caravan Steering



  • Add me to the list of those who changed the PS fluid reservoir and got rid of the whining and grinding. Mine's a 2001 Sport. I had looked at several different internet sites before finding this comment string. This is the only site that has discussions about the reservoir, as far as I can tell.

    The reservoir cost me $31 at the dealer parts counter. The biggest hassle is removing the 10mm nut at the rear bottom of the support base. Once I got that out the rest was pretty easy. I put up with the noise thru last winter, but with the temperature at 46º this morning, startup was quiet as could be.

    John :D
  • Finally got round to looking at the steering fluid reservoir after Crowfoot dodge in Calgary failed to fix the whine and suckered me into parting with 400+ bucks of hard earned cash for unnecessary work - flush, steering cooler, extra hose length, claiming to have cleaned the screen, etc.
    I unbolted the reservoir, removed the return hose, tipped the reservoir so the fluid drained from the return hose port. A particle came out that looked like a black paint chip which if sucked against the filter would have reduced flow , stressing the pump, possibly causing cavitation of the fluid, hence the noise. After bolting the reservoir back on and filling with ATF+4 NO NOISE at 3 weeks and counting in a mix of +10 celcius to -5 celcius weather. I guess I could have followed the advice of the dealership and changed the pump and rack - not!
    FYI- For anyone who has not tried this, the bottom fixing bolt on the reservoir does not need removing completely, just loosen it then after the other 2 bolts are removed the reservoir pulls off the mount. :lemon:
  • At about 50K miles my powersteering was getting very loud so I took my 03 Town and Coutry to the Chrysler dealership. They told me I needed new hoses and for about $500 they could fix it. A friend told me to just add a powersteering conditioner. That fixed it and it worked great until 130K. I did the same thing... sucked out the powersteering fluid from the reservior and added more conditioner. This time I added Synthetic fluid with conditioners. BIG mistake. It was squeeling worse than ever. I read your posts and decided to change out the reservior and use the Mopar ATF4 fluid. Everything went great and the squeeling is gone! Make sure when you change out the reservior that you have a 3-5 in socket extension and use a 10mm socket to loosen the nut below and behind the bigger hose attached to the reservoir. You do not need to remove the nut, only loosen it.
  • I was all ready to spend big bucks to get my 2002 Caravan's power steering pump replaced but thanks to being a little bored I started searching on the internet for like problems. I ran across this forum and bought a new reservoir last night and installed it an hour ago and now all the noises are GONE! Thanks.
  • I have a 2004 3.3L Town & Country. I had a noise or whine that would occur sometimes after some hard driving such as high speed freeway trips. 63K miles. I just suctioned out most of the Power Steering fluid and replaced it with new fluid and conditioner. $2.99 at Checker Auto. No more noise or whine. Thanks for those people posting on this problem.
  • My 2005 grand caravan starting having a whining sound. It was noticed even more while turning. Now when I start the vehicle, a grinding type of sound is present for a split second. The noise gets worse almost every day. I checked all of the fulids and found the power steering fluid to be low... I filled it with atf+4 as the manual suggested. The whining went away on the spot, but the grinding type of noise did not. Did your power steering fluid appear low?? Was your van making a seperate noise at start up as well? Thanks so much.
  • My van was whining and making a grinding noise. I noticed the fluid was low. I added some and the whining went away on the spot. The next day the grinding noise stopped as well. Has anyone found the fluid level to be low?? Manual says that the fluid should only be checked or added to if you suspect a leak or problem...
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    Manual says that the fluid should only be checked or added to if you suspect a leak or problem...

    That is foolishness! All fluids should be checked on a periodic basis. If you suspect a problem based on something other than finding the fluid level low, it is probably late enough that damage has already occurred! If you want to keep a vehicle for a long time, do your part - maintain the fluids! ;)
  • I do check the fluids on my vehicle on a regular basis. I have NEVER had the power steering fluid low on ANY vehicle I have owned over the past 15 years. I tend to buy new, and keep them for about 3-4 years. I am looking for someone to respond that has a 2005 dodge grand caravan (or simular) with a simular situation. My power steering fluid was in the normal range just a few weeks ago. I noticed the noise last Friday. I checked the fluids on Sunday. I purchased the fluid on Monday and filled it. I am trying to find out if anyone with this same problem also noticed the fluid level dropping. It has only been 2 days, but no fluid loss... The manual says that you normally do not need to add fluid unless there is a problem with the power steering system. I am wondering if it would be normal for the fluid to be consumed. It was just down to the "fill" line. thanks
  • My 2001 Grand Caravan has really benefited from having the PS reservoir replaced. Our morning temperatures here in Middle Tennessee have been ranging lately from the mid-20s to the low-30s. Starting up is nice and quiet. I still remember this time last year and all the racket that reservoir made.

    If you're having a lot of irritating noise when you start up and turning the steering wheel makes it worse, chances are that changing the PS reservoir will get rid of it.

    John :)
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391

    I apologize if my post was misconstrued as being directed at you. I was stating that it was foolishness for the manual to not recommend checking the fluid level.
  • descdesc Posts: 1
    2003 Dodge Grand Caravan - issue: power steering grinding / creaking noises at low speeds and turning corners. I suspected air locks in the system - the manual tells you to turn on the engine, turn the steering column from left to right repeatedly to push the air out of the system.

    I tried this but I also over-filled the reservoir a little, left the cap off, revved the engine above 3000 rpm and repeatedly turned the steering column to its extremes about 20 times (left and right sides). Seems to have cured the noise for now....
  • Terryvet1, my 05 grand caravan never made the whining sound. steering fluid is ok, never lost any. But, mine is making the same grinding type niose your referring to. Did you ever get the problem diagnosed and/or fixed??
  • Much to my surprise, simply adding atf+4 fluid, the whining went away on the spot. The grinding stopped after the second day, but was much better right away. My dealer said that it sounds like a serious power steering issue. I never did take the van in as it has stopped all noise and no fluid loss as of yet... By the way... Have you had any problems with your power sliding doors? Our right door only opens 1/2 way. thanks
  • I'm reading all threads i can on the "Grinding Noise" which i can hear occasionally during turns. I've never had the "whining" noise which seems to be attributed to a clogged screen in the PS reservior. As I said, I'm reading everything, so far I have:
    - People are using "Lube Guard Power Steering Protectant" from NAPA seems to be doing some good.
    - One thread is saying a tranny mount is loose, causing the grown, or grind.
    But that's about it.
    I have not had a problem with the sliders, except the right side rattles if not shut REAL hard. Sometimes it takes a few REAL hard shuts to get it quite. Not a real issue for me but my son in the back seat complains about it.
  • tiscotisco Posts: 4
    I have a '06 Grand Caravan that had grinding and squelling from the power steering asounded like it was low on fluid, turned out that the rack and pinion assembly was bad, Dodge replaced under warrentee and all is quiet.
  • I have a 2004 Grand Caravan, and recently have experienced a problem in turns. The steering wheel is very difficult to turn for a second or two, and then I hear a pop, and the steering is normal. The power steering fluid was low, and I have added fluid. Any thoughts?
  • I have the same exact problem in my 2001 town & country. It's always when I turn the wheel left though and only last till I get out of my apt. parking lot. I've never had a problem with it driving in town.
    If you find anything out let me know.
  • I heard whining coming from my van (while turning) when the weather got colder. Took it to the dealer from where I bought it used (18,000 miles). They tell me the van is leaking power steering fluid, the seal is cracked and I have to replace the complete rack for a cost of over $900.00. Any advise?
  • I got the same tapdance from the dealer yesterday, with one difference: the part is in national backorder, with no definite date of delivery. I must pay for the parts up front, before my name gets on the list. I think the parts are over $600. Now this might be the way it's done, but it just feels wrong. Why should I have to pay for Chrysler's "just in time" parts flow? Interestingly, I got a phone call just after picking up the car from new car sales at the dealership asking whether I would like to trade it in rather than fix it. I have done business with this dealer for over a decade, but I am finding my trust running low at this point. Time to trade, perhaps...but not for another Caravan, and not there!
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