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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I have a 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.8L V6 with about 134000 miles on it, automatic transmission.

The car has been making a weird kind of growling noise that happens often when I turn the wheel. I especially notice this when I'm turning the wheel at slow speeds or when I'm stopped and turning the wheel. I posted a video here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaRv8901024

Does anyone know what might be the cause of this? The car was making the same noise (to a quite lesser degree) a few years ago, then I got the below pictured services done to it... then the noise went away for a couple months then came back again. The sound didn't get as bad as it is now until recently.



The car also sometimes makes the noises in the video below, I imagine probably caused by the same problem? This sound also only happens when I turn the wheel at slow speeds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpJW_m154O0
Note the noises at (0:06-0:07), (0:15-0:19), and (0:54-1:00).

(Note: I made a thread earlier in which I mentioned my having this issue, but due to some new details in the situation, and because I wanted a thread specifically about this issue alone, I made a new thread for it).

Thanks for any help.

Murrin
 

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Sounds like it could be a power steering pump. Is the power steering fluid level low or leaking?

Have you ever changed the fluid in the power steering reservoir? A lot of people just change the reservoir since the screen inside it clogs up and might be restricting flow of the fluid to the pump.

What about the accessory belt? Maybe that needs changing as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QjBLYltLYY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sx1w2YGN_0s
 

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Definitely power steering. I'd start with JC1's video on changing the reservoir. A brand new one costs less than $25 and it's an easy DIY job you can accomplish in about 30 minutes. There's a screen in it that gets clogged up, restricting the flow of fluid, which makes for an unhappy pump. This almost always quiets it down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
So I changed the reservoir and filled it with ATF+4 and the below video is the result:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0dgb9_BhdI

It sounds like the growl/whine/whatever is still there but only when the wheel is turned all the way to the right or all the way to the left? Is that abnormal?

This is the old screen:



Doesn't look too clogged, right? Well, at least I have a brand new one in there now. (I'm realizing that I didn't even check the fluid level before I replaced the reservoir, so the improvement could be just the result of adding power steering fluid (IF there wasn't enough before, which I don't know because I didn't even look)).
 

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So I changed the reservoir and filled it with ATF+4 and the below video is the result:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0dgb9_BhdI

It sounds like the growl/whine/whatever is still there but only when the wheel is turned all the way to the right or all the way to the left. Is that abnormal?

This is the old screen:



Doesn't look too clogged, right? Well, at least I have a brand new one in there now. (I'm realizing that I didn't even check the fluid level before I replaced the reservoir, so the improvement could be just the result of adding power steering fluid (IF there wasn't enough before, which I don't know because I didn't even look)).
Did you suck out all of the old fluid as well? It doesn't look too bad. I'm wondering if the fluid in the lines have some gunk in there as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Did you suck out all of the old fluid as well? It doesn't look too bad. I'm wondering if the fluid in the lines have some gunk in there as well.
I sucked out as much of the old fluid as I could (directly out of the reservoir) using a turkey baster. Then I detached the small hose and ran it into a bottle and flushed out all the old fluid (or a great majority of it) by turning the car on and turning the wheel back and forth; I ran the car only for a few seconds at a time, and I did this about 5 times or so, waiting a few minutes between each time.

I will do some more research on it as well, but does it seem like there could be a problem with the power steering pump? (I'm asking just because that was mentioned also).
 

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All PS systems make some noise or sometimes a mechanical clunk when pushed to the stops.

CV joints, loose lug nuts and wheel bearings cannot be excluded either.

Jack up the front and check for wheel looseness and grinding sounds.
 

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So I changed the reservoir and filled it with ATF+4 and the below video is the result:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0dgb9_BhdI

It sounds like the growl/whine/whatever is still there but only when the wheel is turned all the way to the right or all the way to the left? Is that abnormal?
I wouldn't worry about that noise. My 2002 had a comparable noise even after I changed both the reservoir and pump a few years back. Still has the noise. The "lock" positions maxes out the pressure in the system and on the pump. Going lock to lock is also a method for bleeding out air.
 
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My '05 T&C made some similar sounds during slow speed turning shortly after I bought it. Dealership installed a longer hose at the power steering oil cooler to eliminate the noise. New longer hose is actually coiled up for a loop or two just above the oil cooler and held down with zip ties. Seems like this was a common problem and the dealer knew what the fix was the moment we brought it to them. Would check with your local dealer to see what hose you need to replace and what the length needs to be. Believe the hose is just sold in bulk and you cut it to length.
 

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NAPA and Carquest sell a power steering return hose, complete with "restrictor" at the reservoir end, that is fairly long (53"). I have one and never used it to date.

Part # per http://www.yoyopart.com/oem/11346253/gates-357620.html
Carquest 35762
NAPA 35762 or 7-6175
Gates 357620
Edelmann 80357
AC Delco 36-357620
Omega 1354

As for the extra long hose, my understanding is that is to stop the vibration known as "shudder" when turning the wheel at low speeds, not a cure for "whine" per say. Old worn tires (more friction on dry pavement), sticky pavement and warmer temperatures make the shudder worse. It may disappear altogether when new more flexible treads are installed. That's my experience. Something on "shudder" here: http://www.justanswer.com/chrysler/...on-steering-wheel-the-steering-pump-rack.html

More on the "restricter" mentioned above: http://forum.chryslerminivan.net/showthread.php/22876-Power-steering-restrictor It's few inches back from the reservoir, clamped in place.
 

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Be careful with the zip ties on that long hose. The dealer I bought mine from two years ago told me he had changed that hose. I found out the hard way that he had zip tied it to the firewall and left very little slack. Not a problem, until I had to lower the engine to make room for a water pump job. I got the water pump in, feeling all proud of myself, started the van and got a red, bloody mess all over the driveway. Lowering the engine ripped the hose.
 
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