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Dodge Grand Caravan Steering

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  • I had most of my time trying to remove that same hose off the reservoir and not that 10mm nut off the back of the reservoir. Mine seemed to be baked on and frozen on to the reservoir. I tried a screw driver to wedge it between the hose and the reservoir and twisting it a bit and it did not help. I then went for my trusty air hose and blasted air where I put the screwdriver and finally after a few tries it came off. Still no big deal to take off if you know some tricks to remove frozen hoses.
    One day I'll go back and replace that hose because it should never be that way. The chemistry between the two components do not mix well I guess.
  • Hi, i'm going to give it a try, but i was wandering if you have to use the brake bleeding kit. how do you stop getting air in the fluid??
  • You don't need a brake bleeding kit. All you have to do is fill the reservoir a little over the full line and turn the steering wheel back and forth about five times each way slowly while checking to see if you have to add more fluid in the reservoir. As you turn your steering wheel slowly, the fluid is pumped into the lines and pushes out the air. If you run low and draw in air, you have to add more fluid and start over turning the wheel back and forth slowly. It should bleed out the air by itself. After you hear the noise go away, fill the reservoir to the full line and drive it around 5-10 minutes. Check fluid again and add if you need too.
    Good luck and let me know if the noise goes away.

    :P
  • I have an 03 Grand Caravan (96K miles) and the steering has just recently started having issues (two). At startup, the power steering does not work until it warms up. At all times, when you start to turn the wheel in either direction, the steering wheel will turn, but not the wheels. Then, a cracking noise occurs and the wheels finish their travel normally until turned the other way and the same thing. Basically, there seems to be some slop in the steering and a cracking noise occurs when the wheels start to turn and catch up with the steering wheel. I took it to a local mechanic and they couldn't find anything at first. They then said it was the column that was making the noise and that it was only a nuissance noise. Any ideas?
  • This week, I purchased a new power steering pump for my 03 Dodge Grand Caravan to fix the noise. After determining how difficult it was going to be to change it, I stumbled on this forum. I put a new reservoir on 3 days ago and just returned from a 600 mile trip. It worked perfect, no more growling and I can return that new pump. Thank you all!!!
  • After having the rack and pinion replaced in my 03 Dodge Grand Caravan three times now over the past 2 years (and now it's growling/whining yet again), I'm glad I came across this post. Especially since the warranty has now expired. I'm going to try replacing the reservoir and see if this finally fixes this problem. Thanks to all for the suggestion.
  • I also had many of the same problems with my power steering, and was discouraged at the thought of so much work to replace the pump, or pay hundreds of dollars for someone else to do it. I just replaced the reservoir ($28.00 at the dealer), and problems solved. A few of points worth mentioning: 1) I was very glad to know that the nut hidden behind the reservoir was 10 mm, especially since the two on top were 8 mm. I was able to thread a socket and extension in from the firewall until it grabbed. 2) It was also good to know that the larger hose was so tough to get off. I was ready to cut it out completely when it finally broke loose. Just be careful. I used a thin screwdriver to work it loose. 3) Even if you siphon out all the available fluid, there's plenty left in the reservoir and hoses that will run out while you wrestle with the stuck hose. Place a couple of rags over the engine before you start. 4) All the auto parts stores I talked to either didn't stock the reservoir, or only sold it with the pump. For 28 bucks, just call the dealer. Finally, thank you to all for your help. I hope to return the favor.
  • One more confirmation that replacing the power steering reservoir fixes a whiny steering. We've had the power steering pump replaced. Whine returned. Then we had the rack replaced. Whine returned. This week as a result of reading this forum we had the power steering reservoir replaced and the whine is completely gone.
  • I haven't worked on a car in a long time, but now I'm forced to because of economic circumstances. The power steering went out in my wife's 03 Caravan suddenly yesterday. It was parked in the street when I started it up to move it. As soon as I turned the wheel I knew I was in trouble - no power steering at all and I had a horrible time getting it in the driveway. There was a smell of burning rubber and a squeaking noise just before it quit. Pardon my ignorance but I have a few questions.
    1. Is there a power steering belt on this thing?
    2. Could the reservoir cause this?
    3. How much is it going to cost to get a new pump and can i do it myself? :confuse:
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,509
    There is a belt that runs the power steering pump. I am not sure if it is individual or serpentine, but you should check under the hood to see if there is a broken belt. If it is a serpentine belt that went out, you will end up with more problems than simply no power steering unless you replace it. For example, your alternator would run off the same belt, meaning there is no charge going to your battery when the vehicle is running....
  • High all, thanks for the great posts. My problem is this week I noticed the power steering groaning and got underneath and found I was loosing fluid through a split in a low pressure line that feeds the power steering cooler. I was excited to have such an easy fix, but since replacing the line it has blown off the cooler two more times. Has anyone else had this type of problem? If I can get the hose to stay on I don't have a problem, but for some reason I am getting a lot more pressure than I should have on the lines going to and from the cooler. Is there some type of high pressure switch that could be applying fluid to the wrong lines? Looks like I will also stop by and pick up a new reservoir tommorow!
  • Hello All,

    I am very greatful to edmunds for this message board.. I appear to be one more of many people that have had headaches with power steering in later model Caravans and T'C's... I have a 2005 LX. For a little History.. we bought the car used (an ex-rental car) for a decent price w/ 30K miles on the clock.. at 40K my p/s issues began.. first symptom was when I exited the fwy the p/s would be howling as if not enough fliud were present.. after about 10 minutes on the street the howl would go away.. dealer flushed 2x over the next 40K miles, but howl would return after 1K or so of driving.. since I had an extended warranty, I waited until p/s was making noise nearly all the time and then took the car in.. dealer replaced hoses and cooler, said all were badly deteriorated.. this fixes issue for appx 6K miles.. at 88K took car back and pump/rack were replaced - thankfully my extended warranty went until 90K so cost was minimal..but... 2K after rack and pump.. car again would howl after exiting the freeway for a short period of time.. after 10K miles noise was again constant.. and pump was again replaced (dealer said pump failed and fixed for free as there was a dealer warranty of 12K/12mo that was still in effect).. all fine and well for next 2K miles.. until we went to visit my son at Christmas.. traveled appx 90 miles on fwy at 65mph going to his house (1st time on fwy since 2nd pump).. we were relieved that when we exited, there was no noise from the p/s system.. on the way home we pushed the speed up to 70 mph.. guess what.. when we exited the fwy the p/s was howling again.. so I asked, why was the pump howling at 70 and not 65.. answer could only be that something in the system was starving the pump at engine speeds above 2000 rpm.. so I called the dealer (truthfully, they have been good to me) and explained what was happening again, and asked if there was a filter or something similar in the p/s sytem.. they answered no there was not??!!.. then I started reading the posts here at edmunds and found many other people having nearly identical issues with their late model T/C's and Caravans.. I Called the dealer back and asked if there was a filter screen in the p/s fluid reservoir.. they checked with the parts counter and said yes.. thinking I could save a little money, I took a small screwdriver and poked about 5 holes in the screen membrane thinking to increase the flow thru the reservoir.. BIG MISTAKE.. now the noise began within 1-2 minutes of starting the car AND the reservoir was filling with pink foam.. obviously something had changed and air was being held in the fluid.. so I bought the new reservoir ($34 after taxes) and installed it.. as I inspected the old reservoir, I could see the filter screen was nearly clogged with debris.. I also figured out that the reservoir has a second function.. it works as an air/oil separator.. (air mixes into the oil as it is churned up by the pumping action.. even if there is no seal leak the air can rapidly build in the oil to a point where the oil loses it's ability to support pressure and won't lubricated effectively.. apparantly the reservoir also functions as an air/oil separator.. when I punched the holes into the filter screen I destroyed this separation function).. upon replacing the reservoir, and filling about 1/4 inch above the full line (dealer parts guys suggested this) my problem seems to be solved.. have driven the car for 2 weeks including trips on the fwy at speeds up to 75mph with no more noise from the p/s system..

    Not sure what Chrysler recommends for interval between p/s system flushes.. but it might be wise to replace the reservoir regularly..
  • Im new here and Im glad I have came to this forum, I have the SAME problem with my power steering as everyone else!
    I have had the whinning noise for about a year only when it's cold for about a minute and then it stops and everything is fine.
    We are finally out of the artic cold and now as of last night, the quick winning noise went away as usual at start up but when Im in park now there is a noise and when I turn the wheel either direction the noise??
    Could it be the reservior and is it still driveable?
    Of course Im going out of town today so I hope it's still ok to drive.
    I have a 2001 GC sport and I noticed alot of you have 2003.
    Is changing the reservior the same on all models?
    Thanks so much for your help!
    PS Im going to check the fluid level this morning
  • I appreciate to all in this forum, who helped me to solve the problem of whinning in power steering.

    I live in Russia and have a TC 3.3/2003. I tried to buy a new original reservoire here but didn't find it right away. So I decided to clean my old reservoire...

    Then I thought about a reservoire with replaceable paper filter element and found it in a Russian car "Volga" (about $20). It is almost of the same size but with different ports. I installed it and was happy. Whinning have gone. I replaced the element ($1) after 1500 miles to remove all old dirt, the fluid is very clean after that.

    Please visit my page. It is in Russian but you can look at the photos at least. There are the necessary parts on my table and the instaled reservoire.

    http://yegorus.narod.ru/Car/PS-Chrysler.html
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,509
    Clever, Yegorus; well done! So, you are saying that the best way to "repair" Chrysler products is to replace them with more reliable units from other manufacturers. ;)
  • I love my minivan, and it is much better and reliable than Volga. Though not all solutions are the best. Chrysler's reservoir suits for very clean conditions. In our case my Volga's reservoir is better since I will be able to change the filter, simple procedure and cheap... and the paper filter works better than mesh. And I hadn't find an original part quickly. By the way, I am not the only, some Volkswagen drivers are also do the same here.

    I don't know many cars with paper filter in power steering, probably Mercedes, Volga, but many trucks.
  • My 06 Grand Caravan has developed slow pwr steering leak. Dealer wants more than $1,000 to fix (replace steering rack). Anyone else had same problem? Brother-in-law has similar problem. Have others experienced this with Grnd Caravans? Is there a recall bulletin on this out there? Tks,
    Gparkman
  • Just had my 2004 caravan in to the dealer to have it checked out before the extended warranty expired two weeks ago. They replace the rack and pinion and the water pump. Luckliy all but $400 was covered. Today the power steering went out. Check and the resevoir was completely empty. Car never made a sound or gave a warning. Filled the resevoir with 1/2 qt of power steering fluid. By the time I drove home from the store it was empty again. Before I head back to the dealer in the morning to complain, ANY IDEAS???? Not very car handy, just a lady trying to maintain her car!!!!

    Any thoughts or suggestions Please!
  • I have a 2005 dodge caravan with the same type of problem. Try using LUCAS power steering with leak stopage.

    Seem to do the trick, stop that whinning noises and I have had no leaks.

    It cost about $10 a bottle.

    Rich
  • docbunnerdocbunner Posts: 11
    I have been getting this message "Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)" when my tach gets down to about 600rvpm. This happens once in a while. Any suggestions? Maybe MAP Sensor needs cleaning?
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Try replacing the rear O2 sensor. If that doesn't work, then the cat itself may be worn out. It's a lot cheaper than the catalytic converter.

    The OBD system uses a heuristic to infer if the cat is working correctly. This algorithm looks for expected outputs from the rear and front O2 sensors. If the front sensors look good, but the rear is marginal, then it may decide the cat is bad/marginal even though it could be the rear sensor.

    You didn't say how many miles are on the van.
  • bills8bills8 Posts: 1
    Kenny,

    I had the same problem with my 06 Town & Country (37,000 miles) back in Dec 08 and my mechanic replaced the resevoir as well. By the time I hit 39,000 miles the noise was back and just below 40,000 miles we started leaking fluid.

    Called Chrysler and had to bring it to an authorized dealer for verification. $648.00 later (after the dealership picked up nearly $500.00 in labor only) the rack has been replaced--along with a front end alignment.

    I'd love to find out how you do in the long run............hope you have better luck than I did.

    BillS8
  • My slow leak turned into a fast leak. My 2006 Grand Caravan SXT spewed all the powersteering fluid all over the garage floor while it was warming up one day. The fluid was leeking from a power steering cooler hose under the vehicle. Cheap clip-on type clamps were installed at the factory, so I replaced them with heavy duty clamps and used strips of plastic under the clamps so as not to cut the hoses with too much pressure from the new clamps. Gman, did the dealer say why the whole rack needs to be replaced?
  • sbradshawsbradshaw Posts: 13
    I replaced my power steering pump 3 time in 2001 grand caravan before I was told it was the rack and pinion. It costs about 170 in parts and 200 in labor. But have someone check the fluid to make sure it didn't all leak out. It might be your pump but I had the exact problems. The pump is not much cheaper. Mine is in the shop now. It was also making an annoying clanking noise every time I hit a bump. They seem to think replacing the rack will stop that too if replacing the struts didn't work. If you had that problem and corrected it yet, let me know.
  • I am not personally familiar with any model after 2000, but have the sway bar bushings and sway bar end link to struts checked and replaced if it has the sway bar, if you already haven't done so. Should get rid of any clunking noises over bumps. Hope this helps. Please let us know.
  • I am not personally familiar with any model after 2000, but have the sway bar bushings and sway bar end link to struts checked and replaced if it has the sway bar, if you already haven't done so. Should get rid of any clunking noises over bumps. Hope this helps. Please let us know.
  • golfer64golfer64 Posts: 1
    I purchased a used 2003 dodge caravan and it had a whining in the power steering.
    Thanks to the information I received from everyone here, my power steering noise is gone. I purchased the reservoir from the dealer ($26) and replaced it and it corrected the problem. The cut the old reservoir open and the filter was 75% plugged. Thanks for the information
  • dodgeman7dodgeman7 Posts: 17
    Your welcome!
    :shades:
  • sbradshawsbradshaw Posts: 13
    Replaced the rack in 01 G Caravan that fixed steering problem and the klunking noise is not noticeable as much. I think it the rack in the Chrysler too.
  • Hey, All: I've posted a VIDEO of this problem on Youtube for everyone to hear and see. I've also provided some background and some explanation so the DEALER can finally fix this problem. link title
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