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  #1  
Old 07-13-2015, 02:07 AM
Mahogan Mahogan is offline
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Default Help Needed, I have No Steering when parked, Pump Full, Loud Noise

While traveling today on the highway, I heard a subtle whining sound, maybe from Rack and Pinion area. Later when driving through town, the steering felt a little stiff, I pulled over and checked the power steering fluid, it was full, at the proper level. I checked all over for leaks and every thing seems clean and dry and no obvious signs of any damage anywhere.

I'm a big guy and with all my might, I cannot get the steering wheel to turn more than about the 1/4 turn, while parked and the power steering pump instantly whines. The pump pulley is turning and the serpentine belt is spinning properly. Then I notice that while turning the steering wheel, the front wheels Do Not Turn at all, they do not even move at all, it is like the front wheels are frozen!

When I pulled over, I luckily stopped right at the Napa store and the guy said something is blocking the fluid in the system and it is losing pressure, when driving and giving it gas, it should build up the pressure and I should be able to drive the 100 miles to home and I should be ok to drive. (I did make it home)

After getting home, while parked, and pressing on the gas to about 3K to 5k rpm, and turning the steering wheel, then I hear a loud higher pitched grinding noise, like stripped out plastic gears. Not sure if it was coming from the rack or pump, still need to get someone else to listen as I gas it and turn the steering wheel, to help pin point it.

About 1.5 to 2 years ago, My rack-n-pinion was leaking and I had the entire rack replaced by a local shop. So I am not certain if this is the problem.

Other than the power steering pump being bad, I do not know what else it could be, or how to know if the pump is bad, other than replace it to see if it solves the problem.

I kinda wanted to get some advice, before I take it to a shop, as it seems any time I do, they instantly tell me the worse case scenario and charge me accordingly.

If it is a pump, I can change this my self, not so with a rack.

I'd be grateful for any advice. Thanks.

Last edited by Mahogan; 07-13-2015 at 02:14 AM.
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:40 AM
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It sure sounds like a pump at this point, but a pressure/volume test is the only way to tell for sure without throwing parts at it. The problem is, most independent shops don't have a P/S analyzer, so you'd be stuck going to the dealer for the test. If you decide to replace the pump yourself, remember to flush the entire system, because you likely have debris in it.
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Old 07-14-2015, 02:51 AM
Mahogan Mahogan is offline
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Default Yes, that was it. Now have bigger problems!!

So I went to Napa, bought a pump and replaced it today. Now it is quiet and the steering is as good as new!

But I guess when it rains it pours.

When I started it, I heard a loud pop/crack, kinda like it backfired, turned it off and checked things out,seemed ok. Then started it and filled the neighborhood with a cloud of white smoke! Looks like now I have a blown head gasket or a cracked head or block!

Not sure what to do, anyone want to buy a beautiful '02 Dodge Quad Cab 4x4 with 78,000 miles, with pretty white smoke circles!!!!???? Argh!!
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