1995 Dodge Caravan Loosing power steering

Tiny
1995CARAVANINPA
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 DODGE CARAVAN
Steering problem
1995 Dodge Caravan 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 160k miles

Hello,
I am currently operating a 1995 Dodge Caravan, it has about 160,000 miles on it. I recently puchased it from a family member. On to my problem (I have three). First of all, the power steering fails at random times, usually when turning to the right, but not always. At first it gets slightly more difficult to steer, but shortly after it is next to impossible to turn. This was lasting for three to six days (then it wouldn't happen for about two weeks) until yesterday, when it happened and fixed itself three times in the same day. It seems even more difficult to steer now, if that was possible), also it occasionally makes a whining noise when you are stopped and turn the wheel slightly to the left and hold. The fluid levels are good, but I don't know where to add fluid, I bought new fluid. On to the next problem. Every morning since it started to get cold the van will not shift from reverse to first, second, or drive. It acts like it is in neutral for a few seconds and then it shifts. Until the RPM's come back down then it acts like neutral again. Ot does this until the van warms up, and then it shifts ok, with the occasional slight slip. Again fluids are good, but I also can't locate where I add new fluid (I also purchased new trans. Fluid, along with a transmission treatment for slipping and leaks). On to problem three. There is a smell that has always come from the heater vents, that can only be described as the nastiest smell of feet you can imagine. That sounds odd but it's sadly true. It is almost winter and I refuse to turn on the heat. Thanks for your time, and hopefully your assistance.
Mark in PA.
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Friday, October 24th, 2008 AT 10:44 AM

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Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi:
To start, everything you described sounds like the fluids are low. The whining sound from the steering usually occurrs with low fluid. To top it off, just find the PS pump which should be on the passanger side (rear of the engine compartment down low) and open it and check the PS fluid with the dipstick. If low, just fill it through the top where you removed the cap.

The transmission also sounds like it's low on fluid. When checking it, make sure the vehicle is at operating temp and on a flat surface. On the dipstick, it will show where it should be. To fill it, get a funnel and fill it through the dipstick tube. Make sure you are using the correct type of fluid. It will identify the type needed on the dipstick or in the owner's manual,

Finally, the stinky foot problem. What you smell is dampness from the AC. If you run the heat for awhile, the smell should go away. Also, make sure the AC drain isn't plugged. On the firewall of the engine compartment there will be a black drain hose. Move it around and make sure it's not plugged. You don't want any more dampness.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Joe
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Monday, October 27th, 2008 AT 11:12 PM

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