Chrysler Town & Country power steering problems

sadams3sadams3 Member Posts: 2
My '06 T & C just turned 30k miles this month. Power steering fluid started leaking back in July. I added fluid and got it in for service in August. Had several other small items to fix as well, including electrical issues (They kept it 4 days and only fixed 2 of the six items on the list). They put dye in the power steering to trace the leak but i am a one vehicle family of 5 household and couldn't get the van back until yesterday. Now the dealership is telling me i used the wrong power steering fluid (STP Power Steering and stop leak) and that they are going to charge me $129.00 to flush it and if the pump is damaged I will have to pay for it. They informed me that the leak is in the power steering rack and they would fix that. Does this sound correct? or am I paying for something I shouldn't have to? I am not happy with this vehicle at all but can't afford to get out of it yet...It has had nothing but problems from the start...unfortunately they have all been somewhat different problems...
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Comments

  • vdubdoctorvdubdoctor Member Posts: 1
    Unfortunately, you must have told the dealership service guys what you used for power steering fluid to top it off, mistake #1. NEVER tell the service dept anything. Your answer to all questions should be: "I was out of town when it happened and the dealership there took care of it so I could get home." This answer will almost always put you in a position of no responsibility for any problems with wrong fluids. The STP P/S fluid most likely did not hurt the pump or rack. If they told you the rack was leaking it was either a hose connection or the rack seal, left, right or both. I would recommend getting a second opinion from another service center that is close by if you think for even one second you are being scammed. You probably aren't though, due to the fact it's still under warranty and the cost of repairing the leak is covered. $129.00 to flush the system and refill is about right for a Chrysler dealership service department and you should have it done, if not by them then by a reputable service center. Do yourself a favor, in the future read your owners manual cover to cover and familiarize yourself with the vehicle and it's systems, and always use the recommended fluids listed in it. Good luck and Safe Driving ;)
  • hmackenziehmackenzie Member Posts: 1
    We have an '05 Town & Country, and like many people on this board, have Power Steering issues.

    We have the same symptoms: low fluid, whining noise, difficulty steering, etc.

    Yesterday, a Chrysler dealer checked it out for us, and told us it's an $800 repair, due to a bad Power Steering Rack.

    Based on what i'm seeing at this board, this is not an uncommon problem, and has anyone heard of a potential recall on this? Also, does anyone know the part number for this? I'd like to find it outside of the dealer markups....
  • mcohiomcohio Member Posts: 1
    We own a 2005 Town & Country and just found out we need to have the Power Steering unit rack replaced at 60,000 miles. The Cleveland area dealer quoted $695 and I will probably have them do it.

    I am absolutely dumbfounded that a rack & pinion steering unit would go up this soon. I just bought this vehicle from my father in law and recently sold a Jeep Cherokee that was no longer practical with several kids.

    Lesson learned from Cherokee and Town & Country: Chrysler can build a model for 30 years or 3 but they're inclined to screw it up either way.
  • sadams3sadams3 Member Posts: 2
    I wanted to thank you for your input and advice...I was fortunate...this time...when I picked the van up, they only charged me $79 for the flush...they replaced the rack under warranty...and yes, I should have read the owners manual before filling the fluids! Another lesson learned! Any advice on electrical issues? The dealership installed an after market DVD player for me before I took the van off the lot brand new. The van suffers various electical issues and the mechanics blame the DVD player. The techs in the other depart. insist it's not the DVD player...back and forth they've gone with no resolution and I can't afford to keep taking the van in for service...it's my only vehicle in this family of 6 with 4 teen agers. Problems so far: 3K miles, van was driven to LA from Texas, trip home delayed 3 days when inserted key into ignition and nothing would happen. Something erased the chip...$85 tow w/a promise to re-imburse that never happened; dash lights flash bright randomly; one blinker bulb burned out (still under 25K at that time); now power locks starting to make funny noises...Would any of this qualify for Lemon Law? Not to mention the over charge of $1800 for the DVD system for which they can't get good sound from the speakers! AHHH! I am so frustrated! :mad: :cry:
  • dougf1dougf1 Member Posts: 1
    I just paid $780 to have the rack replaced in my 2006 Town & Country, with 55,000 miles. In addition I paid $105 for power steering fluid service and $99 for a front end alignment. . The service manager told me there are 1300 racks on order with Chrysler right now and they are changing several per week. I was amazed because if the problem is this severe I feel there should be a recall. I have owned at least one Chrysler minivan since 1984 and never had this problem before. Is it as widespread as the dealer indicated. Symptoms were a high whining noise that increase with acceleration. Some occasional steering issues that felt like a soft tire. I am interested in hearing if others have had this same problem.
  • themanvan1themanvan1 Member Posts: 1
    We're having the same issues with our 2006 T&C...whinning noise coming from the steering console. Just started about a week ago, we thought with the extreme cold temperatures it must be the PS fluid "gelling" up inside, but after reading these posts, I made an appointment for tomorrow morning to have it looked at. We are just hitting the 33k mark, so of course, things will inevitably go wrong with it. They think it's "just a belt" but will check it out, I will defintely make mention the "rack" issues and see what thier assessment is.
    Another issue we've been having, and Chrysler doesn't seem to be able to duplicate the noise(this has been ongoing since about 22k miles) the speedometer control panel seems to rattle, randomly when we have an immediate increase in acceleration. I also notice it happens frequently since it is cold. Anyone out there experiencing this problem?
  • dckydoodckydoo Member Posts: 2
    we just got our 2006 t&c back today from the dealership. it only has 20,000 miles on it. when they left the msg yesterday that it was ready, we thought it was fixed. when my husband picked it up, he found out about the 1000 replacement parts for the steering rack that are on backorder. they told us it may be 6 months before it got fixed. the srvc guy told my husband just to drive it and replace the ps fluid as needed (shouldnt chrysler supply this?). it is leaking all over the exhaust of the van.the srvc guy also told my husband that we could go on and drive it to florida at the end of the month! just to ck the steering fluid on the road. it loses more when it gets hot on the interstate! isnt this a fire hazard it is all over the exhaust. i am taking the vehicle back to the dealership tomorrow. a friend works for a local police department and advised me that because the van wouldnt pass inspection like this, the srvc dept at my dealership could lose their license for letting it go out the door unfixed. i am so mad. i have 3 precious children that i would have to unbuckle from carseats on both sides of the van if it caught on fire. shouldnt chrysler be providing the loaner car while i wait for mine to be fixed - if it takes 6 months whose fault is that - not mine!! what do you guys think?
  • orionpirate8orionpirate8 Member Posts: 1
    I just took my 2005 T&C to the Dealer for what a thought was a belt noise problem. They checked it and told me there was no fluid in the power steering pump and it was leaking out in the front seals. $850.00 est repair. Only 25000 miles on the Van.
  • bretknightbretknight Member Posts: 1
    I'm in a similar situation as of this morning. We own a 2006 Town & Country Touring, with 52,000 original miles. Took it in for scheduled maintenance and an oil change this morning (it's last service was about 4 mos. ago at around 43,000 miles). The service manager said the technician noticed the power steering fluid level was low and upon inspecting the bushings noted a leak which he attributed to the rack and pinion steering assembly. The service manager said that the rack and pinion assembly will have to be completely replaced, estimated cost $800 parts and labor. I've done some research and apparently this is a common practice however, I was alarmed to learn that there was a several month back order on these assemblies within Chrysler. I too smell a rat, there's either an impending recall or perhaps a class action lawsuit brewing here. I'm going to take my van to my local Firestone dealer and get a second opinion.
  • dckydoodckydoo Member Posts: 2
    i did take my van back to the dealership. luckily our dealership is a small locally owned place and the owner was there. i spoke with him and told him my concerns about fire hazard and craziness of asking me to drive my family on a 10 hour road trip with a defective van. after some time of the owner being gone "looking for service records" he came back and informed me he had a loaner for me to use. he told me there are over 13000 of these so called steering rack units on back order and from what he said the dealerships are trying to get chrysler to recall these things. I advise if anyone is in the same situation and your vehicle is still under warranty, refuse to leave the dealership with a defective vehicle. demand a loaner and chrysler will be forced to pay for it for as long as it takes yours to be fixed. if everyone would do this, chrysler would take care of it asap because it would cost them!!
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 15,256
    The sad truth is that there are few dealerships that would be willing to do what yours did. I think the local Chrysler dealership here is about on par with the rest of them, and I would rather pull teeth all day long than get them to lift a finger (other than the middle one) for any customer. The phrase "blue in the face" comes to mind. :sick:
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • cgaskincgaskin Member Posts: 5
    I just found out that our 2005 TC needs a steering rack replacement also. I don't know much about cars, but was very surprised at how many people are having this problem. It would be nice if there was a recall. This repair is going to cost around $600 and they said it would take about 2 weeks to get the parts. We also had to have our water pump replaced. At least this part was covered under warranty. We just bought the van in May of 2007 and it only has 29,500 miles. Just out of curiosity, does anybody know how a part gets recalled from Chrysler?
  • cgaskincgaskin Member Posts: 5
    FYI
    The service guy at the dealership advised us to save our receipt for our steering rack replacement. He has heard that Chrysler may be recalling this part. Apparently, this is a huge problem. I have my fingers crossed, would like my $600 back!
  • maryh3maryh3 Member Posts: 263
    I'm not sure why Chrysler isn't covering it if it only has 29500 on it. Isn't there a 36,000K full warranty? Any auto I ever owned got everything fixed for free when the mileage was that low.
  • cgaskincgaskin Member Posts: 5
    Well, I found out the full warranty ran out on Feb 10, 2008, ten days ago. Oh well, another learning experience for me.
  • cgaskincgaskin Member Posts: 5
    The dealership is looking into trying to get the warranty to cover the repair. Thanks for the heads up. I appreciate it.
  • maryh3maryh3 Member Posts: 263
    I'd make a scene. 10 days out of warranty is not enough for them to not honor it. It was probably showing symptoms of this problem before the warranty expired. Chrylser should honor this.

    When my T&C had about 38,000 on it my daughter pushed coins into the tape player and shorted it out. I complained to Chrysler about the broken tape player it saying it was only slightly out of warranty and that they should honor it ( I didn't tell the exactly HOW the tape player came to be broken). They did - they popped the old one out and popped in another no questions asked.

    Your dealer should go to bat for you of he desires your business again.
  • scottyg2scottyg2 Member Posts: 1
    Yep. Same happened to us. 2006 T&C Limited started making whining noises when you'd start up. Sounded like a belt or something but then it would smooth out once the engine heated up. My wife kept complaining that she'd smell something burning too after a 1/2 hour trip or so. The best I can describe is was an oily or tire burning smell. I'd check the engine compartment and... nothing. I initially chalked it up to the fact that we live on a hill and the tires tend to overrotate when you go over the flat spots in between the incline. After a while though, the noise wouldn't go away so we took it down for service. Sure enough, just as orionpirate8 describes, dry power steering pump and needed a whole new rack. The dealer told me that this was a back ordered item and we were 752nd!!!! Obviously there's a huge problem with the steering system. Fortunately for us, the van only has 21,000 on it so it was covered under warranty.

    The good new is that so far, this is the only problem and I mean only problem, we've ever had with the vehicle. Great van so far.
  • cgaskincgaskin Member Posts: 5
    Apparently, Chrysler is going to cover the repair, but I have to pay a $100 deductible. It looks like the part won't be here until March 31. Almost a month and a half since we originally took it in. I am amazed at how huge this problem is.
  • bjssbjss Member Posts: 51
    Hi - I'm having the same symptoms with my '05 T&C (whinning noise when start up, occasional noises when making turns..). I took it in to the dealer to diagnose (has 35K on it). The Technician called me back, said it was the steering rack and they had the part (surprisingly) and would replace (take a couple of days). Two days later, I called to check on it, the Service Mgr tells me that the Tech had my Van confused with another (same color) and mine does not have this issue ("all OK"). I really like the Service Mgr, however, given the situation, I asked him to double check the situation (check power steering pump fluids, leaks, etc..) to be sure. Also, I did buy an extended warranty - he says it will cover the steering rack if it should fail. Should I be concerned?
  • jeweeksjeweeks Member Posts: 1
    THIS IS COVERED UNDER THE 36K warranty!! DON'T PAY A CENT!! It's covered. I'm going through the same thing and I have 44,000 miles. They want a hundred dollar deductible and Chrysler is coivering it. Also, the powertrain is covered up to 70K miles....Check it out. you're getting ripped off!!
  • bjssbjss Member Posts: 51
    Thx - they checked out the car again came back with same conclusion. Had the car for 1 week now and no problems...but, I had the dealer owner give me a written note and signature that they would cover beyond 36K (up to my 85K extended warranty) if the rack should fail. They will also cover the $100 deductible.
  • connieb2connieb2 Member Posts: 1
    I took my 2005 Town&Country into the dealer on March 12 for a recall on the windshield washer motor. I also had been hearing the whinning noise in the front of my van, so asked them to check it out while I was there. I too had to have power steering box, gear-rack and pinion replaced. I have just under 45K on my van. I am glad that I had purchased the extended warranty, I had to pay a $200 deductiable, for the front end alignment and power steering fluid for a total of $267. Had I not had extended warranty it would had come to a total of $ll78.
    I was told that this has been a problem and to hang on to my invoice for a possiable recall.
    Does anyone know were we can go to make a complaint to Chrystler about this HUGH PROBLEM!!!!!!! :mad:
  • jrsattjrsatt Member Posts: 5
    Odd that I find this message postings today since all day my van was in the shop receiving a new rack at 46+K miles. My symptoms were the same as stated by others, whine on start-up and ending after the unit warmed up. I also had purchased an extended warranty and paid a hundred plus 7% sales tax. I have always been a driver who takes care of his vehicle properly. Just wondering if a recall is made in the future if possibly Chrysler would pay my deductible costs as this certainly is a defective manufactured major component and one on the safety side of driving.
  • bfesenbfesen Member Posts: 1
    I have just had to pay our Chrysler service department $800 to fix a problem that after reading all these postings should be a recall by Chrysler. We had to have the steering rack replaced and it played out exactly as previous postings stated. My only questions is WHERE IS THE RECALL????
  • sk4sk4 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 Town and Country with the same problem. My van has 50,000 miles. Now that the warranty is off, I use a mechanic that is more reasonable than the large dealer where I bought the van. He said I should contact Chrysler because this should not happen at 50,000 miles and I searched Google and found all of you on my first hit! I will contact Chrysler but I don't think it will do any good. It is amazing there has been no recall.
  • eppeseppes Member Posts: 2
    Just having tires replaced and asked the shop to check the noise....and was told that I needed to spend $1400 to replace the steering rack ...tech showed me the leak and everything...I cant believe how many folks are having this problem. I have just over 70,000 miles and when I was still under warrenty asked dealership about the noise that I now know is the steering... and was told it was nothing.....now I am not under warrenty....hoping for a recall.... :cry:
  • jrsattjrsatt Member Posts: 5
    At 1400 bucks they should give you the tires, balance and fill with Nitrogen then pain the car. Between 800 - 900 should be tops unless there is damage to other parts. This is a mess that Chrysler - Dodge - Jeep must get in line and help those out who have this failed problem. This item is a joke. :confuse:
  • grimleygrimley Member Posts: 3
    Yesterday I was informed that my grinding whine was due to the rack and pinion failure. $800+ repair. I also researched and see that it's a BIG PROBLEM which the dealers are disavowing. If you have this problem, please make a complaint with www.nhtsa.gov, who can count complaints and force Chrysler into a recall. Also call Chrysler and make your complaint (800) 992-1997. If you have it repaired, save your receipt for reimbursement should there actually be a recall.
    I also have to replace the brakes every 15K miles, and my mechanic informed me today that the a/c clutch has disintegrated, making the vehicle (in yet another way) unsafe. Now I also need a new a/c compressor. Ridiculous for a vehicle with 53,000 miles and not even paid off yet!
  • ragtop262ragtop262 Member Posts: 58
    Recalls are normally only done for things that are directly safety related. What Chrysler should do (and they have done this in the past with similar issues) is admit there was a defect with a significant number of these steering racks, and issue an extended warantee for that part - including retroactive payments for anyone who already had to pay for the replacement.

    BTW - aftermarket replacements are available for these steering racks, and you can have them replaced for under $500 at a local repair shop. (of course, then you will have a harder time getting your money back if Chrysler does extend the warantee)
  • jklchang3jklchang3 Member Posts: 1
    This is definitely an eye-opening forum. I purchased my new 2005 T&C Touring in 7/05 and it has been repair after repair ever since. It now has almost 42K miles and I also take maintenance seriously and take it for all regular service.

    For over a year, the right back sliding door "periodically" wouldn't open - no rhyme or reason to when it happened, just wouldn't open by pressing the button in front or on the door and we would need topen it manually. Of course it never happened when I took it in, so they couldn't fix what they couldn't see.

    However, the biggest problem was about 3 months ago when I heard a "clicking" as it was coming to a "rolling stop" (not while I was pressing the brakes). My regular maintenance guy finally told me it was the transmission and to take it to Chrysler for warranty service (he said at that time he thought it may be a recall item which Chrysler of course denied). After waiting 6 hours for what was promised as a 2 hour job, I was told there was metal flakes in the transmission and they fixed it. I drove it away with paying only the $100 deductible only to find a new problem -- there was squealing. I took it back the next morning, and this time also told them about the problem with the sliding door. They told me that both belts had to be replaced and that the door was just "gummed up". After they replaced the belts and told me they fixed the door, they told me the water pump also needed to be replace. After 2 days of work and another $200+, I got my car back. My warranty and extended warranty covered most of the work (one belt WAS NOT covered).

    Now 3 months later I hear the clicking again and when I turn the steering wheel there is a grinding noise. There is also some noise on what I believe is the brakes (which by the way were also replaced in 2007). I still have the same problem with the back sliding door periodically choosing not to open AND the right passenger window now periodially has the same problem. This seems to me it must be an electrical problem?

    Originally I thought that maybe I just got a "lemon", but after reading all this, I'm positive it is the van. I'm taking it to my mechanic to take a look to see if it is the rack. After the last set of problems, I've been looking for a new car and like others will NEVER buy another Chrysler/Dodge again. Although I owe more on my car than it is currently worth, I figure the cost for future repairs will far exceed that amount, so I'll probably bite the bullet on this one and cut my losses.

    I'd love to know if anyone out there has experienced the "clicking" problem as I didn't see anything in this forum specifically relating to that. And if anyone has had the problem with the doors and windows not working occasionaly.
  • akmccakmcc Member Posts: 3
    I just took my car in to have the power steering rack looked at. I had already read the comments on this website so I was prepared to push the issue with Chrysler and the dealership. I have 66K miles on my van so the dealership said replacing the part would not be covered. However, I told them that I knew this was a wide spread problem and that I wanted them to call Chrysler directly and get approval to cover this repair. After calling Chrysler the dealership said that the actual part which cost $425 would be covered by Chrysler but the labor cost of $200 would not. So although I wasn't fully satisfied I guess something is better than nothing. If I had not asked them to call Chrysler and told them I was already aware of this problem they would have made me pay the entire amount. They also told me there was a problem with my water pump, so I had to pay a $100 deductible to get that fixed as well. Obviously the water pump and power steering rack needs to be recalled.
  • grimleygrimley Member Posts: 3
    This is also very interesting. While my van was in a private shop and diagnosed the problem, I called two dealerships with which I have dealt as well as Chrysler and all disavowed any knowledge of the problem and denied that they would cover repair/replacement. We had to bite the bullet and pay the $800 repair. I learned from the mechanic that the rack/pinion mechanism was redesigned by Chrysler for this model year- if there was no problem, why would a redesign be needed? I also took the opportunity to complain about the need for front brakes every 15K miles, and the fact that the a/c compressor had to be replaced due to the clutch disintegrating. While the van was in the shop, the mechanic called and advised that they discovered that the water pump was leaking. Unfortunately sounds like a theme song. Wonder what will go next.
  • vc0799vc0799 Member Posts: 1
    Hi, Just wanted to know how you got them to cover this item. We are having the same problem and were told Chrysler would never cover this because its not under recall. I called Chrysler themselves but was transferred multiple times to India where they seemed to be trained to say We are very sorry, there is no recall, we cannot cover anything, I will put you on hold. For over an hour I dealt with powerless people. Any words of wisdom would be very helpful.
    Thanks much. Mom of almost 5 :lemon: :confuse:
  • grimleygrimley Member Posts: 3
    We did not get Chrysler to cover the repair. We had to eat it. I am keeping my receipt in the hope that eventually there will be a recall.
  • natb1natb1 Member Posts: 10
    Before committing a large sum of money to power steering issues check these 2 first.

    1. Search this forum for "noisy groaning rumbling power steering". Many (including my 2001) were fixed with a new fluid reservoir. I actually clean mine out, and its been quiet for a year now.

    2. There are 2 rubber hoses under the vehicle going to a cooler. Mine has a slow leak right at the hose clamp. Easy to fix, and cheap.
  • ryanslade22ryanslade22 Member Posts: 1
    I took my 07 T&C to a local dealer, he searched and searched and could not find the problem. He drove the van, but did not drive it long enough for the noise to start. I am having the same problems with whinning noise starting after long drive. I told the service mgr about the posts on here and he asked me to see if someone who had the same problem (rack) and had it fixed, would please send me the name of the dealership they used (include address/phone# if you would). And if you know the name of the person to talk to there, please include that too. He wants to contact them to see how they found the problem. I would really appreciate all the help I could get. Please email me the info at:
    [email protected] Thank you very much.
  • akmccakmcc Member Posts: 3
    I live in Michigan. And took my vehicle to Mount Clemens Dodge. I told them that I was aware of the problems because of the information I'd read online. Initially they wanted to charge me the full $800. But I asked the dealership to call Chrysler to have this fixed for me. They called back and Chrysler agreed to cover the $600 part but I had to pay $200 for maintenance. Then about 2 weeks ago the power steering rack went out again and they replaced for a 2nd time. This time there was of course no charge at all. I think the trick to it is taking your car to the dealership and having them deal with Chrysler. I had originally tried to get the dealership to negotiate with Chrysler before I brought my van in but this did not work.
  • jcfjrjcfjr Member Posts: 1
    Our 2002 caravan with 54,000 miles was whining and growling through power steering. By combining 2 of your messages with some thought I believe it's fixed. Had already had reservoir and hose replaced and did no good. I bought a 12 ounce bottle of Lucas power steering stop leak and brought full (by the full line) reservoir up to within 1/2 inch of top. All whinning and growling stopped within 15 seconds. Cost me 11 dollars and change. Should also work with original reservoir. We spent around 200.00 dollars on unnecessary work. Hope it works for you.

    jcfjr
  • littlevanownerlittlevanowner Member Posts: 1
    ok,

    i have an '04 T and C which i bought a year and a half ago...great vehicle except for the steering whine...brought it in to the dealership and had it filled and bled (to remove supposed air bubbles) more than once...would seem to be improved then go back to same old thing...the noise would start when i started the car in the morning and would be worse in cold weather...was told to turn the wheel while i warmed up the car in the driveway..this seemed to get the groaning under control...one morning i was in a particularly bad mood and turned the wheel pretty violently and as i backed out i saw a puddle of red steering fluid on the ground...all the fluid just gushed out...had to have it towed to the dealership where they found one or more loose clamps in the steering system hoses...the clamps were replaced and the steering fluid filled and no more problem!!! that was several months ago (winter time) and the problem has not resurfaced...hope that this helps other T and C owners:-)
  • 5hills5hills Member Posts: 2
    '05 T&C with +63,000 miles

    Like others, we've experienced the whining of the power steering system, but only during low ambient temperatures. Keeping the fluid level topped off seemed to eliminate the noise problem. The problem of more concern is the shudder in the steering, whether at slow or highway speeds.

    I went to a dealer to discuss the problem and the service guy indicated that this is a frequent problem and Chrysler is aware of it, but unless you are within a warranty period, regular or extended, there's nothing they will do about. I asked that he call the Chrysler regional manager to discuss it, but he indicated that Chrysler's not returning any calls. No wonder the company is tanking :sick:

    Anyway the service guy says the problem is usually one of three things.

    plugged screen in the reservoir preventing fluid flow through system.Solution, replace the reservoir and be sure to use ATF+4 fluid.

    A pressure switch in the system senses low pressure and calls for the engine to increase the idle Solution, add more hose, and cooler if not present. Chrysler thinking is that the additional volume of fluid in the system will prevent low pressure and reduce the idle changes. The explanation seemed lame.

    Bad steering rackSolution, replace the steering rack.

    Well, I've got a shudder, and I'm not ready to let them work on it yet. Purchased the reservoir, about $25 and replaced it myself. Not hard to do except for getting to the 10mm nut. Looking at the old reservoir screen it looked clean, no sign of pluggage. Test drove with new reservoir and the shudder is still there. But maybe the whine will go away come cold weather.

    Next step ???
  • vand59vand59 Member Posts: 1
    We have a 2002 T&C that had been having the power steering noise that got worse in the winter. I had read about the problems with this and how some people had paid the $700-800 to fix it only to have it come back so I did not get it fixed. The other day it just pretty much died and now makes a horrible grinding noise when you drive. The dealer said it is the Power Transfer Unit and it will cost $2300 to fix. I don't know if it is worth fixing. I just replaced the air conditioning compressor? for $700.00. I am ready to ditch it. Has anyone ever heard of this problem and is it related to the power steering noise?
  • 68gs68gs Member Posts: 2
    This has been an interesting read, to say the least. I had my 05 T&C to the dealer yesterday for a brake job. No problem there, but they told me the steering rack seals are going and the boots are filling with fluid. They wanted to replace it at about $850. Didn't say if they even HAD a rack in stock though. 61,000 miles and 3 yrs old. That's total BS. No fluid on the garage floor at this point, so I'm going to keep an eye on the floor and the fluid level. I gave them a little lecture on the recall/TSB subject and got nowhere of course. They DID admit to replacing a lot of them during severe cold spells in the last couple winters, some under warranty, some not. It's not making ANY odd noises at all either, so I was quite surprised when they told me what they'd found.

    GM eventually gave in and recalled steering racks last year on some GP's and Regals, maybe Chrysler will see the light eventually...
  • cthomp516cthomp516 Member Posts: 1
    I have on 07 Town & Country that got fire on the underside last night. Luckily I was pulling out of a friend's driveway when it happened. I heard a loud noise and then all sudden smoke was everywhere. I jumped out of the car to find it on fire. After the fire was put out, my husband noticed the power steering fluid was completly empty. I had no power steering for driving at all. I'm wondering if what happened it what all of you are describing. My van only has about 19,000 miles on it and I haven't even had it for a year yet. I will be interested to see what they say is wrong with it.
  • 5hills5hills Member Posts: 2
    Took the car back to the dealer for them to look closer at the problem. They called to indicate that the shudder they noticed was unlike any that they've seen previously. They were able to call Chrysler which gave them some specifications to check out. Long story short is that everything related to the steering check out within specifications. Looks like my shudder problem is related to the tires.
  • silverdalesilverdale Member Posts: 2
    We bought a new 2006 T&C SWB a year ago that now has 3,200 miles on it. The car has almost no power steering although fluid hasn't leaked and there's no noise as others have experienced. It just has no power. The dealership replaced the rack and pinion and pump but it made little change in the hard steering. They agree that the steering is unusually difficult, but have no solutions and are trying to get around the problem by also claiming the steering is normal. Our friend's 2005 that uses the same parts is easy to steer - normal, and other used T&C's we've tested on car lots are normal. Has anyone else had this problem?
  • ehumbertehumbert Member Posts: 2
    I've an '05 T&C, bought in Sept of '05. It's got about 34K on it, and I found out today that the power steering assemby has to be completely replaced. Not under warranty, as I'm two months past the 36 month deadline. I'm a paraplegic, and have no choice but to go to someone to have it fixed. From the looks of the posts here, I think there's a very good chance for a lawsuit against Chrysler. Meanwhile, I'm going to the local TV station to see if they will do an expose' on this subject. $1127 for this repair is killing me.

    Eugene Humbert
    Denver, Co.
  • jrsattjrsatt Member Posts: 5
    I highly suggest you contact a person of knowledge and make personal contact with the Chrysler Corporation and express your concern over the sever problems that their mini-vans are having with the power steering racks and demand satisfaction. They put out a piece of junk and are hiding behind a stone wall. I had the same story except I had purchased a policy so it only cost me $107.00 which included state tax on the repair bill.
    Go get em!
  • WonderingMBWonderingMB Member Posts: 1
    Took my 06 T&C to a dealer to have it serviced. They changed the oil & everything checked out ok except there was a problem in the steering rack. Had some noise in the steering the past couple of weeks so I listened. The steering rack was leaking fluid and it was going into the boots which could cause a problem of locking up. Since I have an upcoming trip back to Indiana (I live in SC) I figured I better replace it. Total cost of $707.73. Called back the next morning and was told the dealer couldn't do anything about it. Was given Chrysler's customer service number 1-800-992-1997.
    Only had 42447 miles on the van I purchased in May '08. Had just over 32000 on at purchase.
    After reading all these messages I figure there's a real problem with the rack and pinion steering on Chrysler vans. Am going to follow through with the call to Chrysler and see what happens. The other recourse is Indiana's Lemon Law.
  • kvanderkvander Member Posts: 3
    After hearing the irregular whine (slipping belt sound) at start up, especially with the cold weather, and finding a clear, thin, oily substance under the right hand side of the front of the car, I took the car to the local dealer. I am still shocked that after only 30,600 miles, such a major repair had to be made. 90% of the mileage has been to and from school on local roads which are in excellent condition. We've driven to Texas twice. This hardly seems like conditions that should cause the rack & pinion assembly to fail. Chrysler should be ASHAMED that they have not acknowledged and rectified such an obviously dire design flaw. Because the car was put into service 7/05, it is out of warranty. Initially, the quote to replace the R&P was $850 plus tax. After finding out that a Firestone repair would probably be less, they adjusted the repair price to $750 plus tax. I guess every little bit helps, but I'm still very concerned that this should actually be a recall item replacement. It is not at all unreasonable to expect the power steering to function properly for much, much longer than 30,000 miles. I never had any problems with my Toyota Previa or Nissan Quest minivans...

    Everyone reading and posting here should file a formal complaint with Chrysler and the NHTSA and possibly their state consumer protection agency and anyone else who might influence a recall. Let Chrysler know of your plans regarding any future purchase of their products...
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