Power steering fails temporarily in rain

Power steering fails temporarily in rain

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Wendy M

Cincinnati, OH

#1 Sep 27, 2007
I have a 2003 Grand Caravan that if I leave out in the rain, the power steering will fail temporarily (it locks up). My mechanic replaced the pump last year due to other ongoing problems but now I have this new one. He has checked the belts, the tensioning arm, etc. but still cannot identify the problem. The latter is probably because we cannot predict the rain so I cannot necessarily recreate the problem on the spot. Once it locks up, I force it to move back and forth and little, the belt will finally give a little squeal and then everything is back to normal. Any thoughts out there?
Joan R

Hillsborough, NJ

#2 Nov 15, 2007
I have this same problem, I mean, EXACTLY! What, if anything can be done about this. It was pouring rain today, so when I got home I just googled keywords Dodge, power steering, rain, and I saw your comment. This has been ongoing for about a year.
Wendy M wrote:
I have a 2003 Grand Caravan that if I leave out in the rain, the power steering will fail temporarily (it locks up). My mechanic replaced the pump last year due to other ongoing problems but now I have this new one. He has checked the belts, the tensioning arm, etc. but still cannot identify the problem. The latter is probably because we cannot predict the rain so I cannot necessarily recreate the problem on the spot. Once it locks up, I force it to move back and forth and little, the belt will finally give a little squeal and then everything is back to normal. Any thoughts out there?
Lori

Dillon, SC

#3 Jan 24, 2008
Decided to google this too because my Dodge 2002 grand caravan losses its power steering in the rain, but comes back on its own...sounds like a recall!!!
Janet

Vienna, VA

#4 Jun 24, 2008
I have had this exact same problem since I bought the Caravan in 2003. Also, when the power steering fails, the alternator light comes on and the defroster won't work. Since then, a mechanic has replaced the steering pump, the steering rack, and then the belt tensioner, but none of these has made any difference.
Sarah

Naples, FL

#5 Jul 16, 2008
I have the exact same problem but on my 2005 Chevrolet impala!
Cheryl

United States

#6 Oct 9, 2008
Same problem on my daughter's 2006 Pontiac Vibe, but she says the battery light comes on. Any solutions?
Edward

Los Angeles, CA

#7 Oct 28, 2008
I have the same exact problem in my 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan. This has been going on for two years, and the Dodge dealer has been absolutely no help. They can't figure it out, and recently said I needed to replace the power steering pump, which I did, and nothing changed, so I wasted my money and still have the problem.
Virgil

AOL

#8 Nov 25, 2008
2002 grand caravan, when it rains I lose my power steering. Changed belt and tensioner, still the same as before. Can anyone help us? Please......
Wife drives van with our 5 kids in back.
Virgil

AOL

#9 Dec 27, 2008
I think I might have the answer, ther is a drain right above the power steering pully. When it rains the connection on the drain leaks right on to the power steering pump. Please tell your mechanic or open the hood and pour water onto the windshield, see if the water leaks as it did in my car. Good Luck, I hope no one get's killed before Dodge has some type of recall.

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Rene W

Redwood City, CA

#10 Mar 3, 2009
Power steering fails temporarily on my 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan on mornings when it rains, or when it is extremely damp. Vehicle cannot be maneuvered or turned without extreme manual effort. Operation of p/s returns on its own after about 2 minutes. Other than a short belt-squeak just before the p/s returns, there are no other noises.

Thought I would perform a little research before taking the car to the shop and came across Virgil’s post from 12/27/08 on the topix.com forum.

Virgil’s post saved me lots of money, potentially – thank you Virgil. As Virgil stated, there is a drain right above the p/s pump – about 1-inch in diameter. Any moisture, or rain for that matter, accumulated in the air vent intake will drain through this hose. In my case, the leak developed where the hose connects to the down-pipe. Water dripped straight onto the p/s pump, which in turn caused the wet belt to slip.

Other telltale signs of wet auxiliary belt can include battery light illuminated, reduced p/s operation, or as in my case, complete loss of p/s.

I hope this helps other people to save costly unnecessary repairs. Thanks again Virgil for your post.

R
Virgil wrote:
I think I might have the answer, ther is a drain right above the power steering pully. When it rains the connection on the drain leaks right on to the power steering pump. Please tell your mechanic or open the hood and pour water onto the windshield, see if the water leaks as it did in my car. Good Luck, I hope no one get's killed before Dodge has some type of recall.
Bunny

Jeffersonville, OH

#11 Jun 3, 2009
I just started having this problem today and my father suggested that the power steering belt may be wet/slippery/loose.
Paul D

Cheyenne, WY

#12 Jun 13, 2009
I had the same problem and after reading Virgil's post I checked my 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan. Sure enough water leaked right onto the P/S pump due to a disconnected drain hose from the windshield.

Duct tape is much cheaper than a new P/S pump.
akd

Winnipeg, Canada

#13 Jul 14, 2009
1999 dodge caravan sport, just came home in a rain storm and lost all power steering after hitting a huge puddle!!!
Leo

East Meadow, NY

#14 Aug 20, 2009
I have this problem on a 97 lumina. I hit a puddle and my wheel locks up, then it returns to normal. Also i have this problem when it is not raining and i start my car up in the morning, I will lock and then hear a squeal and it will return to normal.

I get anti -lock brake light come on. Last year I had my alternator changed and this new one seems faulty and not giving enough voltage. It is possibly a power/sensor problem.

THe mechanic advised replacing the water pump. Dont know if that will help
Mike

Hollywood, FL

#15 Aug 22, 2009
Chrysler steering locks occasionally when it rains.

I have the same problem. Told the dealership about, but was unable to reproduce the problem. How do we initiate a recall?
Fred

Tampa, FL

#16 Aug 29, 2009
I have 95 Cadillac DHS that does exactly the same thing. I lose power steering for 30 seconds after driving thru a puddle. The belt seems tight enough and the pump is on top so is not getting wet altho the belt probably is.
Anybody know a fix?
zeedeanna

San Francisco, CA

#17 Oct 12, 2009
I got a great answer on this from justanswer.com/dodge , which I have not tested yet, but sounds good -- Hello,
That's good that it did not freeze up again. You may be right that you were just low in power steering fluid. Here is something else that you may want to check. There are quite a few Dodge Grand Caravan owners who have has this similar problem, and have found that is was caused by a 1" diameter drain right above the power steering pulley. When it is raining the connection on the drain will leak water onto the power steering pump, the belt can also slip because it is wet. Also, check to make sure that you don't have a disconnected drain hose from the windshield. You can test this yourself by raising the hood and pouring water onto the windshield and look under the hood to see if you see the water draining under there. I hope this if helpful; if you feel I have assisted you please click accept. If you are not satisfied, please don't leave negative feedback, just get back to me and I will help you all I can. Thanks!Regards,Howard

This was a great website for dodge answers, and it cost $13 which I thought was very fair. You don't have to accept it if you don't like the answer. It froze up on me 3 times on the way in this morning, but hopefully I can fix it with this answer.
Katie

Meridian, ID

#18 Oct 14, 2009
My 2003 Dodge Stratus does the same thing....when it rains or i drive through a puddle, my steering wheel locks up for a few minutes then returns to normal. Almost had a few accidents due to this problem! It runs good, but scared to drive it when it rains!!
Lisa

United States

#19 Nov 2, 2009
This describes my problems to the tee with my 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport V6 3.8 cyl! We changed the power steering pump, the rack, the hydraulic hoses (of which burst and lost all p/s fluid and replaced with higher psi hose, burst again at the higher psi hose and so far so good). I sent the web page to my mechanic for his info and I am going to try out the water test this evening. What do you do to solve the issue with water getting into the drain? Duct tape, some sort of plug, reconnect the hose? This has been going on for quite awhile and is very irritating everytime it rains!
roach

Washington, DC

#20 Nov 21, 2009
Beofer you go to your mechanic and spend tons of $$$ on power4 steering pupmp, faulty computer, or new alternator, try to put a nickel (c5) into the windshield drain hose that Virgil and Rene W mentioned in their posts above. 5 cent coin fits perfectly and prevent water from dripping on the belt...
If it works, I reccomend a trip to Home Depot to buy 1 ft long rubber hose to replace existing drain... BTW, Great design Dodge!

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