Power steering failure, pump replacement question

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So the power steering went out on my truck yesterday, signed up so I could ask this question. When I bought the truck seven months ago, I took it to get inspected, the steering was a little noisy so I wanted the power steering checked out specifically. The mechanic said that the rack and pinion were leaking and needed to be replaced. I thought the problem was fixed but yesterday proved me wrong. I still have plenty of power steering fluid in there, so my suspicion is that the pump is broken. I have a few questions:

1) Am I right it is the pump, or could it be something else?
2) Should the mechanic have noticed this problem when he inspected, since I specifically asked for the power steering to get checked, or could this be completely unrelated and happened after the inspection?
3) If it is the pump, how hard is that to replace on my own/where could I look up directions and guidance?

The truck is a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi with 87k miles. Thanks!
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Resident Technician
14,200 Posts
If there's no assist in either direction, it's the pump. I'm guessing the mechanic didn't have access to a power steering analyzer to check flow and pressure from the pump, and honestly, that's the only way to be sure it's operating correctly. That being said, it's hard to place blame on him since it was checked 7 months ago. Pumps aren't difficult to replace and any shop manual should have the procedure in it. remember to flush the system or you run a risk of damaging the new pump.
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