Power Steering problem

Tiny
JSREICHENBACH
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 DODGE INTREPID
  • 6 CYL
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 130,000 MILES
I have replaced my steering rack, power steering pump, control arms and tierod ends. I have fully bled the system and it is still very hard to turn at low speeds. Im not sure what else I can do or what else I should look at. Please help.
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Sunday, November 21st, 2010 AT 8:26 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
If you have variable power assist, there will be a solenoid bolted to the rack next to the spool valve. That solenoid can be activated with the Chrysler DRB3 scanner to see if it is working. It is located under the transmission menu for the scanner. You might have to visit the dealer as most independent repair shops use aftermarket scanners that usually don't support this function.

Caradiodoc
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Sunday, November 21st, 2010 AT 8:38 PM
Tiny
JSREICHENBACH
  • MEMBER
I dont believe that I have V.P.A. The new rack looks identical to the old one. There is only power steering lines that run into the rack. Any other options that I should be looking at. Thanks for the help.
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Sunday, November 21st, 2010 AT 8:45 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Hey, congratulations. Your reply is the first one that sent me an automatic message to my e-mail. They've been trying to fix that since they went to this new system.

There are no additional hoses when you have variable assist. The solenoid has a two-wire plug, and the control module is clipped onto the left side of the rack.

If you don't have that solenoid and module, first remove the return hose from the reservoir and route it into a container to catch the fluid. Watch how much fluid comes out when the engine is running and you turn the steering wheel. Look for a previously-installed inline filter that is plugged. They are often included with aftermarket racks and must be installed for the warranty to be in effect. They go in the return hose and are about three inches long. Next, look at the hoses to be sure there wasn't a protective plastic cap that didn't get removed. It sounds stupid, but I saw a very experienced mechanic not notice one of those caps on a new radiator because it was painted when the radiator was painted. It caused overheating, obviously.

If you have lots of fluid flow when you are not turning the steering wheel, the new rack has excessive internal leakage and is defective. That doesn't happen often. Don't let the reservoir run dry. That will lead to the pump overheating.

If nothing is found up to this point, the dealer has a pressure tester that is inserted in the high pressure hose between the pump and rack. The tool has a pressure gauge and a shutoff valve. If pressure is low but goes up when the valve is turned off momentarily, that proves the pump is capable of building pressure and it is leaking down in the rack. If pressure is always low, the pump can't build pressure, and if it is always high, including when turning the steering wheel, the system is working properly. In that case, look for a mechanical problem causing the hard steering, namely the upper strut mounts.

Caradiodoc
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Sunday, November 21st, 2010 AT 9:09 PM

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