2003 GRAND CARAVAN P/S INTERMITTENT FAILURE

  • Tiny
  • farb
  • 2003 Dodge Caravan

Dodge Grand Caravan 2003 w/45,000 miles 3.9 ltr engine. I think it's 3.9? Definitely not a 3.3.

The power steering system sounds normal to begain wth but after a few minutes of driving, it makes a whirring sound and every now and then, the steering power assist fails. The engines does not die nor does anything else fail to work. It started right after the warrantee ran out (36k). The vehicle does not see much highway travel and the commute distance is less that 5 miles one-way. When on a road trip, the noise will go away at speed but returns after it has been shut off for a few minutes. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

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Thursday, January 25th, 2007 AT 7:55 AM

8 Replies

  • Tiny
  • Jack42
  • Member

Is the fluid level correct, no leaks? Sounds like the pump might be going out on you. Pumps usually only make noise if low on fluid or they are coming apart internally

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Thursday, January 25th, 2007 AT 9:45 AM
  • Tiny
  • farb
  • Member

I meant to add that the fliud level is normal. I was wondering if moisture could possibly be the cause? If not, I'm guessing I should shotgun the P/S pump and see if that doesn't fix it. What bothers me more than anything is this is the first time that I've owned a car that the P/S pump has died. I guess no more American made cars for me.

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Thursday, January 25th, 2007 AT 10:41 AM
  • Tiny
  • mathiaso
  • Member

Checking system pressure can help you determine the cause of the problem.

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Thursday, January 25th, 2007 AT 12:37 PM
  • Tiny
  • farb
  • Member

How do I do that and what equipment would I need?

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Thursday, January 25th, 2007 AT 12:50 PM
  • Tiny
  • Jack42
  • Member

Just finished a p/s pump in a Toyota, so dont write off American cars just yet

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Thursday, January 25th, 2007 AT 1:04 PM
  • Tiny
  • mathiaso
  • Member

A lack of power steering assist can be caused by problems in the pump or gear.
To do the pressure test
you must obtain manufacturer's specification for the vehicle, and a power steering gauge.
Install the gauge tool on the pressure side between the pump and the gear. Position the shutoff valve toward the power steering gear. Start the engine and record the presure in the straight- ahead position with the gauge valve open.
If the pressure reading is above specification, check for restricted hoses or a damage steering gear.
Next, turn the steering wheel full left or full right and hold the wheel against the stop for no more than five seconds. Record the maximum pressure attained and check factory specification. If the pressure is below specification, position the steering wheel in the straight-ahead position and slowly close the shutoff valve. If the pressure rises to proper specification with the shutoff valve closed, the pump is working correctly. Look for problems in the hoses or gear assembly. If the pressure does not rise with the shutoff valve close, the problem is in the pump. If the pressure is ok with the shutoff valve closed but fails to reach sufficient levels when the steering wheel is turned full left or full right, then the steering gear is faulty.

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Friday, January 26th, 2007 AT 9:37 AM
  • Tiny
  • farb
  • Member

Thanks for the info. I think I'll need to take it to a local mechanic for those tests.

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Friday, January 26th, 2007 AT 9:54 AM
  • Tiny
  • mathiaso
  • Member

You're welcome :)

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Friday, January 26th, 2007 AT 10:34 AM

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