Hard to steer? Steering problems?

Tiny
JOE GRINDER
  • MEMBER
  • 2006 DODGE DAKOTA
  • 4.7L
  • V8
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 101,300 MILES
I have read several complaints of hard steering on Dakota PU trks in the 2003-2006 range. Many have changed some or all steering components but still witness hard steering, especially when clod weather is a factor. My question; Has anyone come up with a sure- fire solution for this problem? Has anyone contacted Chrysler Corp. Over this situation? I have read over 50 complaints online about this problem.
Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 AT 6:30 PM

35 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • MECHANIC
  • 108,133 POSTS
What has been replaced?
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Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 AT 8:31 PM
Tiny
JOE GRINDER
  • MEMBER
  • 5 POSTS
Nothing has been replaced yet to alleviate this problem. (Yrs ago replaced one tie rod end) This just started and I wanted to go at it with some direction rather than just start changing parts at random. Joe Grinder
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Thursday, November 20th, 2014 AT 5:12 AM
Tiny
JOHNNYT73
  • MECHANIC
  • 924 POSTS
Hello, I currently own a 2003 Dakota 4.7 with 151k miles. I myself have not experienced this in my truck, but I am willing to bet that it is your intermediate shaft in the steering column. Try to spray the u-joint on the shaft at the connection before the rack with some WD-40 and see if the steering improves. Typically when its cold outside it will feel even worse with this issue.
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Thursday, November 20th, 2014 AT 5:25 AM
Tiny
JOE GRINDER
  • MEMBER
  • 5 POSTS
Juiced up ujoint at top & bottom of intermediate shaft w/WD-40. Tried to pull back the rubber seals and soak it good. Can't really tell if it helped while frt end is up off the ground. Seems easier but no resistance so gotta wait.
Not going out tonight cuz we got dumped with 5 inches of snow. ( A little north of Det.) Let you know when I get a few miles on it, after the weekend.
JG
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Thursday, November 20th, 2014 AT 3:46 PM
Tiny
JOHNNYT73
  • MECHANIC
  • 924 POSTS
While you have it off the ground. You can disconnect the outer tie-rods from the steering knuckles and just move the spindle back and forth to check and see if it is the ball joints are binding up. Just to rule one more thing out.
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Thursday, November 20th, 2014 AT 4:35 PM
Tiny
JOE GRINDER
  • MEMBER
  • 5 POSTS
Thanx, I'm on it. JG
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Thursday, November 20th, 2014 AT 4:58 PM
Tiny
JOE GRINDER
  • MEMBER
  • 5 POSTS
I soaked upper & lower steering ujoint w/WD-40 & Liquid Wrench. Rotated wheel from stop to stop several times. Let it set overnight. Next day I removed upper ujoint and moved shaft as far as posible in all directions. Seemed smooth so I reassembled it and left it set outside overnight. Next two days I drove all over and the problem of rough steering is totally gone. Truck drives better than new. Real cheap repair and so far -so good. Thanx. Joe
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Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 AT 5:25 PM
Tiny
JOHNNYT73
  • MECHANIC
  • 924 POSTS
Awesome! That's good to hear. Hopefully it won't come back for a while. If it does then you will just need to replace the joint.
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Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 AT 5:32 PM
Tiny
JOHN JACKSON2
  • MEMBER
  • 1 POST
  • 2005 DODGE DAKOTA
  • 4.7L
  • V8
  • RWD
  • MANUAL
  • 190,000 MILES
Power steering sometime it hard to turn. Pump not moving fuel though.
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Sunday, September 27th, 2020 AT 11:18 AM (Merged)
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • MECHANIC
  • 33,727 POSTS
When is "sometimes"? Engine cold? Only when truck is not moving? Does this occur only when the engine is idling, and does the power assist come back when you raise engine speed?

What do you mean by, "Pump not moving fuel though"? What does gas have to do with the power steering?
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Sunday, September 27th, 2020 AT 11:18 AM (Merged)
Tiny
SKI2FISH
  • MEMBER
  • 8 POSTS
  • 2005 DODGE DAKOTA
  • 3.7L
  • V6
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 30,000 MILES
I had a hard steering issue since last spring. It seems that the colder it is, the harder the steering gets. It may get a bit easier as the engine warms when the temperature is in the 50's. Below that the steering stays stiff. Above that the steering gets progressively easier. When the temp gets above 70, the steering seems normal but a bit stiff upon start up. I have replaced the ps pump and purged the system of old fluid as you suggested but that has not helped the stiffness. The belt is in great and shows no sign of slipping. I am assuming the next step would be to have the power rack repaired or replaced.
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Sunday, September 27th, 2020 AT 11:18 AM (Merged)
Tiny
HMAC300
  • MECHANIC
  • 48,601 POSTS
Normally the belt and tensioner should be replaced at 60k but you dont' have that so your seals may be bad so have that checked.
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Sunday, September 27th, 2020 AT 11:19 AM (Merged)
Tiny
SKI2FISH
  • MEMBER
  • 8 POSTS
Are you talking about the seals in the rack?
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Sunday, September 27th, 2020 AT 11:19 AM (Merged)
Tiny
HMAC300
  • MECHANIC
  • 48,601 POSTS
Yes they get hard and flid goes past them and you get what is called morning sickness it screws up when cold but as it warms up it gets better
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Sunday, September 27th, 2020 AT 11:19 AM (Merged)
Tiny
DLT1313
  • MEMBER
  • 1 POST
  • 2003 DODGE DAKOTA
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 60,000 MILES
The steering is getting stiff of and on.
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Sunday, September 27th, 2020 AT 11:19 AM (Merged)
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • MECHANIC
  • 16,542 POSTS
Inspect power steering fluid level and make sure it isn't burnt. If OK, suspect power steering pump to be giving out since the problem is intermittent.

Thanks for using 2CarPros. Com!
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Sunday, September 27th, 2020 AT 11:19 AM (Merged)
Tiny
BARBARA1963
  • MEMBER
  • 99 POSTS
  • 2002 DODGE DAKOTA
The truck is hard to steer especially left and right turns, it is full of fluid and there are no leaks, what could be going on, I think the pump is good and not sure about rack and pinon so what do you think?It is really hard to steer
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Sunday, September 27th, 2020 AT 11:19 AM (Merged)
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • MECHANIC
  • 30,870 POSTS
The only way to really tell how the pump is doing is to do pressure test on the pump. If the pressure is there then you can suspect other parts.
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Sunday, September 27th, 2020 AT 11:19 AM (Merged)
Tiny
BARBARA1963
  • MEMBER
  • 99 POSTS
I have good pressure, did a pressure test, pressure is good, what now?
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Sunday, September 27th, 2020 AT 11:19 AM (Merged)
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • MECHANIC
  • 30,870 POSTS
If you have good pressure and flow at the rack and pion then you know that pump and hoses are good and I would say bad rack and pion. Have you unhooked the outer tie rods to make sure the wheels move freely?
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Sunday, September 27th, 2020 AT 11:19 AM (Merged)

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