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Dodge Grand Caravan Steering



  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    Hahah; yeah, I bet it did! Driving a power steering car without it is a whole different animal from driving a car built without power steering. Either way, though, low-speed, tight steering maneuvers are a workout without the power assist. I have a 1969 Ford Econoline that is an excellent reminder of how far vehicles have come in the last 40 years. :D
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • I have a 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan and I experienced the same whining noise as most are stating on this page. The Rack & Pinion Assembally is shot. I had this confirmed by the daelership and a couple of service stations. This is an ongoing issue and just may result in a recall in the future. Hang onto your receipts. This is a very premature wearing of the Rack & Pinion system. Most last for the lifetime of the vehicle.
  • ampfiampfi Posts: 1
    I have 2002 DGC Sport. I moved from US to overseas in 2005. My van was shipped in the container.I started to have problems with the noise while steering. Local dealer said that it came from the power steering gear which had to be replaced 2007. Now there's a leak (I was told it's from the power steering pump) at both ends of power steering gear which shows on the rubber linkage under the car. I was told that the power steering gear needs to be replaced again which cost me last time over 900 euros meaning over $1000.00. Has anybody else experienced similar problem? Is it really necessary to replace the whole steering gear? I'm not mechanically inclined for that reason I'm sending this message to get help from this forum and people who have expertise to give me advise what I should do to save money and have the van in working condition. Thanks in advance for your advise! Ampfi from Finland
  • masterpaul1masterpaul1 Posts: 421
    Hi All,
    While I was doing an oil change on our 2001 DGC EX w/3.8L engine w/123K, I notice a dark liquid on one of the power steering hoses, that connects to the power steering oil cooler. So, I cleaned both hoses, with a dry shop cloth, and adjusted/tightened one of the hose clamps. Pulled out of the garage and notice while turning, the steering felt weird and I heard a winning noise. (Never heard this before). So, I drove down the ally. Made a left turn and the steering was getting very stiff. Pulled over, with the engine still running, and saw power steering fluid streaming to the ground. So, I drove back home, about a block and pulled back in the garage. (Some fluid was still running out slow after I turned off the engine.)

    I ended up having to replace one of the power steering hoses connected to the oil cooler, which was about a foot in length without an elbow. Replaced with smaller hose from the dealership, and the second hose as well. Both curved with an elbow and about 5 inches in length. (What a job this was.) I ended up replacing all of the fluid with ATF 4, since it pretty much all ran out during the repair.

    The problem now, is when I turn, I feel vibration in the steering wheel, as well as through the cabin at times. (Most noticeable when turning slow.) There are no leaks. The fluid level is fine. I made sure to turn the wheel back and forth a few times before driving, to get the air out of the lines. Drove for about 10 miles and no change. I was thinking, maybe I should have replaced the one hose, that was a foot long with the same size hose without an elbow. Maybe the fluid isn’t flowing like it should through the smaller hose. Any help would greatly be appreciated. Thanks :confuse:
  • bart19136bart19136 Posts: 5
    Good Day,

    Order your pump from a supply warehouse and have it delivered to a us address at a family, then have them ship it to you internationally...
  • Hat’s off. Well done, as we know that “hard work always pays off”, after a long struggle with sincere effort it’s done.
    vernon getzler
    Caravan Insurance
  • Ok so I just had my power steering pump and hoses replaced. A few weeks later I am returning home and something happens. The steering wheel locks up. I make it home and there's a huge leak that followed me home. and in my drive way. I check my power steering fluid. Its empty. Now a mechanic fixed it at his shop. He sucks! My van has been returned to him 7 times now. Does anyone know what else could be wrong. The new pump and hoses r fine. Should I get more fluid fill it and run the van and see where its coming from?
  • georgezhugeorgezhu Posts: 1
    edited June 2011
    I recently bought a used 05 Caravan SE 3.3 at a bit over 100K mile. The van is in a fairly good shape except the whining sound which is on all the time and quite worrisome. Fortunately my mechanics told me that it was probably some minor problem with power steering. I got it for a bit shy of $5K and my mechanics did a full tune-up and added some synthetic power steering fluid. I told him about this thread and he checked the reservoir and told me the filter in the reservoir seemed clean. He put some synthetic power steering fluid instead ATF+4, but assured me that they should work as well if not better. (He told me that the fluid he used is thicker and maybe have some problems in winter, we will see). But the whining was cured, and now the van drives pretty nice. (And at the price, I would be happy if I can get 2 years non-major-problem driving over it.) I guess it would probably be cured with similar therapy as others with switch reservoir and fluid as well.
  • bigjohn16bigjohn16 Posts: 3
    do u have recall on power steering whining
  • natb1natb1 Posts: 10
    4 years later and the PS is still working great. Per my post, all i did was remove PS resivoir, clean it, and reinstall.

    IMPORTANT CAUTION on this proceedure:

    Do not let PS/ATF+4 fluid spill on the 10 position wire harness (fuel inject/MAP) under the resivoir (behind the ignition coils). I let this happen and 4 years later all the insulation melted, and the wires started shorting out. This blew my MAP sensor & my PCM.
  • bigjohn16bigjohn16 Posts: 3
    does transmission have anything to do with power steering noise
  • bigjohn16bigjohn16 Posts: 3
    how did u clean resivior
  • natb1natb1 Posts: 10
    Hot soapy water. Apply water pressure backwards through the screen. Rinse THOROUGHLY and let dry THOROUGHLY.

    No. Tranny doesnt make PS noise. I used ATF+4 in my PS. I spilled it on a wire harness.
  • Hello, I had the same problem with mine and ended up cleaning the power steering reivoir.

    I found this video on Youtube that helped me out.
    dodge caravan steering
  • Started my 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan the other day and couldn't turn the steering wheel. About a minute later the belt squeeled and the power steering started up. Alternator light was not on so I assume the belt was running.

    2 more times that day while turning corners I lost the power steering and almost went off the road since I couldn't turn the wheels. At least one of those times I heard the belt squeel and power steering come back.

    Anyone have any ideas?
  • Been having the same problem from mine. Its always short lived but comes back whenever it pleases. Sometimes I can turn the engine off and let it sit and it'll drive fine. Sometimes I dont have the problem for over a month and something small like a pothole will start the shuddering and pulling to the right over again. I have been told its most likely the rack and pinion (which was replaced less than 2 years ago already) and/or the power steering pump (which has also been replaced less than 2 years ago). Whatever the actual problem may be, its causing unnecessary wear and tear on the entire front end and more problems than I have time to list.
  • My '04 DC has me baffled. It started with a little whining from the pump last winter...was told by the shop it needed a new pump (about $450 parts and labor). I decided to let it ride until I was certain the pump was the problem. Shortly after I noticed the whining thats when the other problems started (and have yet to stop). I'll be driving down the road (and road, interstate, whatever...doesn't seem to matter what type it is) and out of nowhere the front end starts vibrating and the wheel pulls to the right making it very difficult to drive. When this occurs it helps sometimes to let off the accelorator completely (but how am I supposed to go anywhere if I can't accelorate0 but not always...sometimes it persists no matter what I do until I shut her down and let her rest. This particular issue happens randomly (trip mileage, road conditions, temperature...none of these seem to play in to this problem). Also, after the steering problems started, I noticed an occasional popping sound in the front drivers side wheel when turning right (this happens every time the other problems starts). Ive been told in addition to replacing the PS pump that I would need to replace the rack and pinion (which was done less than 2 yrs ago). I have not seen any leaking of any fluids in my driveway and I check my PS fluid frequently. To add to the ongoing steering problems 4 days ago (while the freak wobbling issue was occuring) I decided to pull over and let it rest only to find out that my front drivers side axle had just broke turning right into the parking lot. So now I'm told I need a new axle, new cv joints, new pump, and a new rack and pinion. I had a gut feeling that this was all being caused by a different problem and was amazed to see the advice about the PS resevoir and how its helped similar issues in the DC. With that said, I KNOW I have to replace the axle...which is scheduled for this weekend...Should I replace the resevoir also? And if I do will this correct the freak wobbling and vibrations as well as the whining?? I AM DESPERATE FOR ANSWERS. I am a single mom with limited resources who's been told to replace my almost new rack and pinion for $2000 or lose my steering all together and my kids and I will end up in a ditch somewhere. HELP!!!
  • jluthyejluthye Posts: 1
    edited October 2011

    I am not a car expert at all but I have an '08 GC. We bought it from car max with a whine that sounds exactly like power steering. In fact we were told it was power steering and some vans just were loud with no issues. We drove it like that for 2 years.

    Well my brother has an "06 GC and when he heard ours whining he said he was glad cause he thought something was wrong with his van. It started after an oil change for him.

    Well a year later, I get a check up on my car and they tell me tire rod is shot and it can be dangerous, I get it replaced (about $200 or $300 for both) and the noise is gone.

    I go to visit my brother a month later and I told him about the noise and he said, "i know we just replaced the tire rod in ours too!"

    So with that said, it could be the tire rod. I swear it sounds exactly like the power steering. It is funny I came across your post because I was just telling someone about this today!

    I was told I should have felt a vibration or a pull on the tire or the side that is bad. I never did, just the whine that increased when tirning. So if you have a whine and everything else seems ok check out the TIRE ROD. It can be dangerous and lead to breaking axels, tires coming off and all sorts of tragedies!
  • I took my grnd caravan to the dealer and 800 bucks later they had replaced a small leaky hose. (I never saw anything leaking and never needed to fill the reservoir). It seemed to be better but still the whine was noticeable. Now it is very loud and the wheel turns hard sometimes. I removed the reservoir and cleaned it out with carb cleaner. Refilled with ATF +4. Same thing, loud whine. Have a remanuf P.S. pump to install next. Will see if that helps. The rack was replaced at 20K miles. Have 104K now.
  • I have a 2006 Grand Caravan and when it is cold and it sits for about 7 to 8hrs the steering binds to the left only... you can turn the wheel to right with one finger but it takes all my strength to turn it left! It does it for a few minute of turning back and forth repeatedly then it will feel like it POPS and breaks free and its fine from then on until it sits again for a lengthy amount of time, it also made a grinding sound that you can feel through the wheel when turning left, I changed the resevoir and it seemed to help that but not the binding. There is nothing in the way of any of the moving parts that it could bind on so i am guessing it is the rack and pinion or the pump but i dont understand why it does it only when cold and only to the left and clears up til next time it sits. I would love to know what the problem is so i can get the right part to fix it and not spend loads of money on parts that are not needed. So if anyone out there in cyberland know what could be causing this please let me know, THANKS!
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Sounds to me like you have the power assist in one direction, but not the other. If so, then it has to be something in the rack. The PS pump doesn't know what direction you are turning the wheel - it just pumps regardless.
  • ec25ec25 Posts: 1
    I purchased a 2004 Town and Country with 64,000 miles. I've had it four years and it has a little over 77,000 miles now. The vehicle started to show signs of transmission trouble. We took it to the Chrysler dealer and they said it needed a new/rebuilt transmission. We had to wait without the van for two weeks because the rebuilt transmission had a problem and they had to order parts for to fix the new transmission (so I didn't feel I was getting what I paid for from the start). When we went to pick it up it was shaking very badly. They said it needed a tune up (it didn't when we brought it in) so they tuned it up. We had to wait a few more days to get it back. After the tune up we went to get it (they let us know they had pinched harness wires when they had installed the transmission and that was part of the shaking problem). Now when we turned the wheel there was a terrible grinding noise and a vibration. We walked right back in this time upset. It was getting ridiculous that each repair lead to something else. They put the van on the lift right then (because I complained to the VP of the dealership)...They said there was a service bulletin on the steering and that the had to order parts but that it was safe to drive. Now, I have had the van back for a few weeks. The steering still grinds, the van jerks in lower gears as before the transmission was replaced and it still acts the way it did when it had the "miss" that required them to perform a tune up. So, we have spend over $3,500.00 and the van is worse than it was before all the "repairs" were done.

    I do not know whether this is just very poor manufacturing or whether it is poor workmanship on the part of the dealership but I am exhausted trying to get the vehicle to work properly. I am now researching other vehicles so that I can trade this one in. I have had two other Chrysler vehicles, another Town and Country and a New Yorker. This is the last Chrysler I will ever buy. The dealer blamed Chrysler for the bad transmission rebuild and the service bulletin (that they wanted us to pay for which still isn't fixed!) ...the dealership acted as though they were doing us a favor not charging for fixing the wiring harness problem they caused. All in all Chrysler and their "authorized dealer" do not seem to care about their customers or their vehicles. Is anyone else experiencing any of these problems? Is this a well known issue as far as the steering and transmission? And the automatic doors don't open in the cold weather either!
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