97 Caravan with "Moaning" Power Steering ???

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  #1  
Old 07-13-08, 10:41 AM
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Question 97 Caravan with "Moaning" Power Steering ???

Have a 97 Caravan that "moans" when I turn the steering wheel hard when stationary or moving slowly. Fluid is full, minor leak under car.
The car turns fine... just noisy.
Is this most likely the P/S pump or the steering rack system?
Is there a way to tell so I don't get ripped off by the repair shop telling me I need both?
Thanks very much for your help.
Jim
 
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  #2  
Old 07-13-08, 08:08 PM
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the moan is your pressure relief valve fluttering due to the load on the system. change out the pump and flush the system to fix the moan.

Murphy was an optimist.
 
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Old 07-13-08, 09:51 PM
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Before you change out the pump, try "burping" the system by turning the steering wheel fully to the right with the engine running until it wont turn any further. Hold it there for a few seconds and then turn the steering wheel full left and hold it there for a few seconds. Repeat. That should bleed out any air and may make the pump quieter. If that doesn't work, go with Speedwrenches suggestion.
 
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Old 07-15-08, 05:52 PM
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OK, first of all, dont replace anything yet. Find your leak and fix it. If you are leaking power steering fluid then you are drawing in air as well. The systems on these vans tend to make a lot of noise when there is air trapped in the fluid. The proper way to bleed these systems is to raise the vehicles front end, preferably with the front wheels off the ground. Turn the steering wheel from lock to lock. About 10 times is sufficient. Do not run the engine during this process. Once you finish this you can lower the vehicle and start it. You may get a little bit of moan at first but as long as the system is tight with no leaks and the fluid is full and properly bled the noise will go away.
Hope this helps ya,
Billy
 
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Old 07-15-08, 06:40 PM
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Hey there - My van has a similar problem, no leak, but I am hearing what at first I called a whine but could also be called a moan. You say the proper way to bleed is to lift the front. Does not lifting it damage anything or improperly bleed the system? I ask because I might give this a shot myself.
 
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Old 07-15-08, 08:12 PM
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first off any one of those replies COULD be right but what they all fail to say is that they are guesses. Start by checking the fluid level. If it's full its possible but unlikely that you have a leak although if it's low chances are you do and thats why it's noisey. If you don't have a leak try burping it as the other recommendation explain.

if that doesn't work there is a TSB on newer caravans (not sure if it applies to the 97) regarding the return hose from the p.s. fluid cooler to the resivoir. the hose from the factory is 11/32's and you basically replace it with a longer peice of 5/8's hose which is quite wider. seems the original hoses didn't allow the fluid to get back to the resivoir in time to be used by the pump so it would actually suck in a little air. hope it works out for ya.
 
  #7  
Old 07-16-08, 11:12 AM
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Smile

you guys are all GREAT!

Thanks for the suggestions and advice...

I'm going to try the off-the-ground burping after I'm sure the fluid is full. With 191K on the car, I'm sure the pump is tired. Just don't need any more expenses than absolutely necessary.

Really appreciate the help...
 
  #8  
Old 07-16-08, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by ajs08648 View Post
you guys are all GREAT!

Thanks for the suggestions and advice...

I'm going to try the off-the-ground burping after I'm sure the fluid is full. With 191K on the car, I'm sure the pump is tired. Just don't need any more expenses than absolutely necessary.

Really appreciate the help...
If your pump is tired, mine must be asleep! (262K Dodge Caravan!)
 
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