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Chrysler Town & Country power steering problems



  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    I've never did one on a van, but did replace the rack and pinion unit on an '87 BMW.

    IIRC, removing the hoses was just a matter of having the right size sockets and/or wrenches, extensions, etc to be able to get at the nuts that attach the hoses to the rack assembly.

    From working with heavy equipment with their hydraulics, you are probably familiar with the pressures involved and how tight those fittings need to be torqued in order to prevent leaks.
  • Early sept. 2010, my 2005 T&C (106,000 miles) just went stiff and it seemed like all had shut down, just as I was in the middle of a curve in an intersection. Thank God was just at 10-15 mph, cause it stopped in front of a light post! I turned the key off, then on again and it seemed ok??!! Next day took it to the dealer in town and had them check evrything w/diagnostic machine. They replaced a pump sensor (?) that could've been wet, since it was raining. This had never happened before and I'm only owner. Never had any mechanic tend to the engine; only the dealer. They said another dodge caravan of 2006 had the same problem reported. They implied someone (mechanic) may have messed w/the sensors...To fix that +new wiring, etc = $1300....After 9/10 a strong vibration or shuddering started at low speed (gear changing?) or 1 to 1-1/2 rpm, I let go of the accelerat pedal and goes away.. Dealer says its my transmission plus my alternator...costing $3,200 more!!! anyone has similar experience?Why didn't the diagnostic check pick up on these problems? To fix this car or buy a new one...that's my quest!
  • kikilalamamakikilalamama Posts: 6
    edited November 2010
    Our van has started with the cold weather making a whirring sound with a cold startup which increases when I turn, after awhile it goes away but over the course of a week it is becoming more consistent and yesterday when I turned it felt as though the belt was slipping for a second, along with an increase of the sound. My question is does it sound like an issue of the belt needing to be tightened or could it be the pump or fluid needs replacing? Took it to my mechanic and he said they didnt find any leaks, of course didnt hear the noise and it COULD be we need a new pump or rack and pinion at the tune of $1600....but, "they werent sure"....

    I will note the belt is new and was replaced almost a year ago. Would love some input before I take out a loan :lemon:
  • I read your posting the other day and using the same procedure seems to have fixed my power steering problem.

    I purchased a suction gun, removed as much of the fluid as possible from the reservoir (there was some residue that came from the bottom) then refilled with new oil, drove it around for a bit to get a good circulation. Then again removed the oil and refilled with new oil. So far, the noise has not returned and the steering feels more like it should.

    I would highly recommend this procedure. I had been told I would need to have the rack and pinon replaced with a cost over $1000. This only cost a few dollars.

    On cold days it would sound like power steering low on oil. If I started it and let it run for a few minutes, turn it off for a while, then I could restart with no problem. Too much trouble.
  • I know it probably has been a while since you had this problem, but the 1996 town and country has a plastic power steering pump pulley, my pulley completely cracked out and was making a lot of noise, it dumped the belt. I recommend that the pump be replaced, but this could be really spendy! If the belt is loose, its probobly the pulley coming apart, have the pulley checked out before you go any further, the belt has a constant tension on it and should never be loose, if it stretches out the tensioner will keep it tight. if the belt gets loose, it will fly off and you will also lose your water pump, alternator and A/C if you have it, Good luck.
  • thanks, getting it checked today and will mention they check this! I did notice shortly after posting this that I have air in my fluid & also was low on fluid, possibly noting a leak so I ran out and got the lucas stop leak and refilled, but two mornings ago I got the tell tale whine again, just seems to be when I do a start up but its enough to tick me off! I think I may have a bad pulley also, I hear it jingling in there when I stop the engine so, all is getting looked at today. And really hoping its not the pump, if so may have to install myself to avoid the cost!
  • One more thing, today I finished my pump and it was really difficult. I am an aircraft mechanic with more than 25 years in the Biz, and have worked on just about everything out there that flies, and I used to overhaul helicopter transmissions and rotor systems, so I have a couple of skills, but this job was for the birds The books today don't tell you everything that you need to know.They try to cover all of the cars in the series in one manual, they will tell you in the instructions that its a 3.2 liter engine and show you pictures of a 3.8. If you aren't the one doing the work its no problem. I had countless problems the worst of which was that the pulley Bore "hole" was .009 inches smaller than the Shaft which means it won't push on, luckily for me I know a machinist with a honing machine who took off about .006 inches that is 6 thousandths of an inch, just so I could install the pulley with a .002 in press, "pinch fit" and the pulley had molding extraction burs on it and it shredded my belt after 30 miles of driving. If you have a friend do it for you provide them with many cold adult beverages, cause hell need them. Best regards
  • Jiggle the pulley, if it wobbles it's toast!, It is a difficult job to be sure, i cant tell you how many problems i had, but I did remove the right hand cv shaft and wheel assy and move it out of my way, all in all the job took me about ten hours labor and 20 hours driving, you will need to rent a puller set from your local parts house I rented one from O Reily auto parts most places will rent the tool for a day or two with a refundable deposit. The pulley has to come off before you remove it!, the pump wont clear the housing with the pulley installed. Its a big job but it will save you a ton of money! best regards
  • Hi, I own a 2003 Chrysler Grand Voyager 3.3 V6. For about 12 months we have suffered a grumbling, groaning, whining and heavily vibrating steering noise.
    The vibration was so bad that the interior mirror would shake and the vibration was felt through out the inside of the cab.

    The noise was embarassing when driving into and around a car park -it really was that loud!

    The general view of the mechanics was that I needed to replace the steering rack and proberbly the steeering pump too....around £1000.

    I did some research on the internet and found a profound answer to this type of problem.

    I was doubtful of the solution because the answer was so simple it could not possibly explain all the bad symptoms my GV was suffering???

    So today 08.01.11 we have carried out the instructions and I can hardly believe the result - 99% cure in only 5 mins of running her up - I'm astounded....

    The problem????

    Dirty filter in the power steering fluid reservoir!

    The solution????

    Take the reservoir off and clean it out or replace it with a new one (a £35 dealer only part)

    It would seem that even whilst the fluid looks clean, the filter is so fine that it clogs up after several years service or about 50~60,000 miles.
    When it clogs up it reduces and restricts the flow of fluid which in turn creates all the associated noises -
    Groaning, grumbling, whining and the mega bad vibrations too!!

    What pisses me off is that this seems a real common problem and it looks as thought a number of people are being ripped off with a bogus repair solution
    - surely the dealers must be aware of this simple fix??????

    Try it, worst case senario?? You'll waste 30 - 60 min's and poss' a £35 part.

    Many thanks to the original poster - you've saved me the best part of a £1000.

    PS you can see the fix on you tube search for Dodge Caravan steering noise.

    Good Luck from across the pond (UK)!
  • I removed my pump on my 97 T&C because it was leaking. Of course there's a "trick" to getting it out (posted on the Allpar web site). Remove the crank sharft pulley first then you will be able to get the PS pump and bracket out, without taking off the axle shaft. Details are on the web site. I free rented the pulley puller from Advance Auto parts. It's still a half day job, but doable for an moderate Shade Tree mechanic.
  • well it turned out it was the rack & pinion, thankfully my friend is neighbors with a great mechanic and he did it for half what I was quoted but it still hurt the pocket book!!

    still have issues with puddles splashing up and making my steering belt slip, looking for more info on if Chrysler has or plans to replace the splash guard to prevent this?!?!?! living in Florida we have the downpours during certain months that make this problem a nightmare so would love to get it fixed before then!
  • I had this problem also. Private shop changed ps pump and the noise was still there. Put the old pump back on. He found a filter/screen in the reservoir that was dirty even though it looked clean. After cleaning in solvent and reinstalling the noise was gone. He researched the problem and found the fix in a Chrysler service bulletin. I inquired at the dealership and they were no help at all. Told me every thing from "it's cold out" to "it's normal". Very poor customer service for a well known problem. For me the repair was very inexpensive. It's worth a try!
  • My 2001 T & C has stiff steering wheel from when I start it up. It makes no noises during this time and the steering frees up within the first 100 feet, after which the steering operates as freely as ever. This problem is intermittent, happening maybe every other day or as infrequently as every other week. When it frees up, there is a short (1-second) air pressure/fluid pressure release sound that quickly descends in pitch from high to low.

    Has anyone had this exact problem? Could this be a clogged filter? I've been told it is hard to diagnose - could be rack and pinion, something clogging or pinching the line, deteriorating hoses, bad pump. Based on the symptoms, I think it is likely a clog, but I'm no mechanic. Thanks for your suggestions!
  • pycklespyckles Posts: 3
    I also have a 2001 T&C with stiff steering. I live in Arizona and don't have a problem with the cold, rather the heat after the car has been on the road for at least 15 minutes and only in the afternoon. When turning and only when the brake is applied does the steering get really stiff. Once I accelerate it almost frees up instantly. I have had the van for 3 years now and this has only been happening for the last 6 months and only in the warm weather. 80's at least. No sound from the unit and no leaks. Totally Has anyone had any experiences like this??
  • I replaced the Power steering pump on 99 grand voyager. Your advice worked great. Still a little finagling but is way better than pulling the steering knuckle or exhaust system. Took me 20 minutes to get this out. Good advice thanks!
  • There is a company called GATES that makes a locked in system for the serp. belt to not slip off. I use to own a 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan SE All Wheel Drive and if i drove in the slightes bit of snow, the belt would slip off and leave me stranded. yslerBeltProblems.PDF

    Hope this link helps, good luck. Cost for the 3.8L v-6 is around $350.00 for the new system! ;)
  • jamestownguyjamestownguy Posts: 4
    edited March 2012
    My 07 Grand Caravan 3.8L started making noise a few years ago around 100 thousand miles, SO...... i visited my local Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep dealer in Jamestown,NY and of course, have never heard of any issues concerning the P/S on Chrysler minivans! Being a lil suspect of what seems to be a brush offed answer just to get me back out the door, i turn to google with said problem and BAM, i find this blog with multi submissions of same concern. I replaced the P/S resivwar and this seemed to have cured the problem. FAST FOWARD to current day just short of 130,000 miles, my power steering pump is fine as long as i do local driving, take my caravan on the freeway or any type of driving above 55 mph for 10 or 15 min and it screams like a very unhappy child when u slow your speed and come to a stop. It remains this way til you shut the van down for a good 15 min, start it back up and it's fine again TIL you drive it on the HWY again. I'm taking my van into a local machanic next week to get the P/S pump and the front struts replaced @ the tune of aprox. $1,030.00 before tax. The power steering pump will be new and not a reman., it is also going to be a mopar pump. I hope this will be the fix that my self and the van is looking for. I have also had to replace the water pump and the rear A/C condenser around 80 thousand miles. I bought the van used with 73 thousand miles in May of 2009, I'd say it's been a good van in the last 60 thousand miles but @ 1st i was going through alot of outter tie rods until i put moog tie rods on it, no problem to date but i have been replacing the front pads and rotors every 15 to 20 thousand miles. There is always a pulsation in the peddle after about 5 thousand miles on the new set of pads and rotors! Good luck to all Chrysler minivan owners! :confuse:
  • chuckmmmchuckmmm Posts: 1
    Don't pay the Dealer to replace the rack and pinion, power syeering pump, etc. Cost over $1000.
    Buy LUCAS Power Steering liquid Leak repair fluid. Replace approx. 3 oz. of the old fluid with the repair fluid. In neutral or park run engine and turn wheels back and forth many times to circulate the fluid.
    Whining GONE. Cost a few dollars.
    I went through this with my 2006 T&C which had less than 40,000 miles.
    5,000 miles and still no whining has returned. Simple as that.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Replacing the power steering pump on a 2006 Chrysler Town and Country Touring.

    How do I change a bad power steering pump on my 2006 Chrysler Town and Country? (Edmunds Answers)
  • helio400helio400 Posts: 1
    I get 31mpg empty at 60mph. 26-28mpg loaded on a trip@65-70 Tires inflated to 35psi and running 5/30 oil. Set the cruise or better yet go easy on the pedal.
  • Hello, I own a 2006 Chrysler Town and Country, and there is a very loud whine coming from the power steering unit. I saw that you had the same problem and it was a dirty screen/filter. I was wondering if I should try and do the same thing and see if the whine stops. How do you take out the screen/filter from the reservoir, if you don't mind my asking. I've only had this car since last March. I bought it used from a car dealership here in Washington. Thanks very much. Danny
  • Replace the reservoir. I don't believe the screen is serviceable. Good-luck.

  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    While the screen itself may not be serviceable, there's no reason you couldn't remove the reservoir from the van, clean it (including the screen) with a mild solvent, and put it back on. And of course, top off the power steering fluid with the approved type.
  • karl30karl30 Posts: 1

    Hello, I bought my 2005 town and country used and it had 88000 miles on it. Today, i now have 145000 miles on it, I had to have both the tie rods replaced on the passengers side. The mechanic told me that when he pulled the boot off, there was power steering fluid coming out. He told me its not a big problem yet, just make sure that you keep checking your power steering fluid. To fix the problem i need to replace the rack and pinion. I do not know if the previous owners had similiar problems as what i have been reading, did they have to get the rack and pinion replaced??? But the van has run very well. Except.... the power locks, one power sliding door, power mirrors, the power back door, etc... does not work.. I am wondering if the previous owners had so much trouble, with this van, that they gave up and bought a new car????
    Now I am going to express my opinion. It is all about the MONEY!!! The only option us Americans have is to vote. What I mean is, do all of you vote that listed these comments??? ...researched politicians...were knowledgeable about what you were voting for?? we can't blame anybody but ourselves. we have become lazy. we live in this country to make a buck, the only way we have to change things is to vote for the right people. Look at health care cost, home prices, car prices, etc.... ITS THE POLITICIANS THAT NEED TO CHANGE THIS.WHICH BOILS DOWN TO US!!!!!! Thank you for letting me vent

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