Miami, FL

#21 Nov 25, 2009
I have this exact same problem, hopefully no one gets hurt.
Brenda Levittown Pa


#22 Dec 9, 2009
I also have a 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport and it was raining very heavy today with some small flooding and my steering locked up never did that before and we had the steering rod replaced before. Is this something we just have to deal with or is there a solution to the problem?

United States

#23 Dec 11, 2009
This is my second Chrysler/Dodge mini-van that developed this problem. My first was a 1996 Dodge Caravan and no one was ever able to fix the problem. Now my 2002 Chrysler Town & Country has the same problem. We have replaced everything....including the belt tensioner which was horribly expensive but the problem just comes back. I will have the mechanic check the drain hole. It's almost criminal that this company could not figure out and warn about this problem which is very dangerous.
Ken Roberts

Hamilton, OH

#24 Dec 31, 2009
I bet ya that is it as I could not through logical thinking understand why the belt would slip, seeing as how I replaced the tension assembly and it still slipped a stuck wheel or pulley would sound off and make a noise, so it has to be the water getting on the belt . I am glad I did not go no farther on this then replacing the tensioner. some here replaced at great cost the steering assembly and that is a sad thing. I will post later and let you all know how stopping the water workds out for me .
Ken Roberts

Hamilton, OH

#25 Dec 31, 2009
First off I want to thank Virgil : it made no sense to me that anything mechanical was wrong because the belt was slipping and a couple of revs and it started turning. There is a inch hose that was off of the drain for the windshield and it was dripping on the pulley for the power steering. I do feel sorry for the ones that spent so much money on replacing parts and the mechanic could be held liable for that cost if you want to push it . the bottom is protected by a plastic cover from water getting on the belt I suggest using black RTV on the hose where it meets the drain. it has a bevel that snaps into place but it may not be enough . and duct tape around the joint would work also remember never leave the bottom guard off as it will cause the belt to slip when it is wet . I am only out some work and 40 bucks for a tensioner so I am happy I did not get into it heavy like some did. And thank you very much Virgil.

Morgantown, WV

#26 Jan 17, 2010
I have the same problem of steering wheel's locking for my 2001 Grand Caravan. It caused sometimes very dangerous situation on a road. Any solution???

Mount Pleasant, SC

#27 Feb 5, 2010
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.
Just a quick note. My wife's 2002 Grand Caravan suffered the exact same symptoms. After reading these posts I went out to her car and looked for this drain....and....BAM...there it was totally disconnected! It had been abused by someone's previous serpentine belt replacement I guess. Anyway, I pieced it back together, wrapped it in duct tape and went out into a HEAVY downpour. No squealing and NO loss of p/s whatsoever! Thank you Virgil for your helpful post. It saved me big bucks and my wife will be very happy and safe. Bless you.

Chico, CA

#28 Feb 23, 2010
Thank you Virgil for your advice. I went through a puddle tonight in my 2000 Dodge Caravan and my power steering went out. Both my battery light & Engine temperature light came on. A little scary! And I thought those transmission sensors that go out like clockwork every 30,000 miles were annoying!
Intdar Ehstding

Fair Oaks, CA

#29 Mar 4, 2010
I have a Mercury Sable. the same thing happens to me everytime I drive through a post-precipitaion puddle. Que lastima. It can be scary, check into the drain theory.
Dan hammons

Melbourne, AR

#30 Jul 22, 2010
So we looked @ all the problems , but still no answers. so "Ford Lincoln Mercury", could someone give us a clue as to what this problem might be a to resolve this problem? Please contact me @ cookemdano @ hotmail. com , Thank you ,sincerely ,Mr.Daniel W. Hammons, p.s were speaking of a 2001 Mercury Mountaineer

New Braunfels, TX

#31 Jul 28, 2010
I want to thank everyone on this thread that helped. I have a 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan. Problem? You guessed it, power steering belt slipping off. I replace my power steering pump, tentioner and pulley. I spent a lot of money. Today I was on my way to work and it happened again, belt slipped off and the wheel locked up. I could actually hear the water sloshing around in there somewhere. I came online and it turns out, the windshield drainage hose is the culprit. Whoever is having this problem should definitely try checking this before making any costly repairs. Thanks everyone who contributed.

Providence, RI

#32 Aug 4, 2010
Exact same problemwith me too! So glad I found this forum before I took it to a mechanic. You know, woman alone, lets start racking up the repair bill!.....My problem seems to happen more when I go through a puddle. I have a Hyundai Santa Fe 2003. Has only been happening the past few months. I feel much more confident armed with the knowledge received here. Thanks to all!
Serena Z

Hanover, PA

#33 Aug 16, 2010
How funny is this! Just happened to me on the way home in the pouring rain. First I noticed the power steering went out, then the AC and defroster stopped working, then the battery light came on and then my engine overheating light came on! All because of driving through pouring rain! I just bought a 1997 Dodge Caravan. I'm so glad I found this forum.


#34 Oct 6, 2010
I just returned home from work. It has been raining for 3 consecutive days. Half way home I attempted to make a right hand turn and my steering wheel just locked up. Thank goodness no one was behind me. It was a scarey feeling.
When I attempted to make another turn into my driveway, it did the same thing. I am hoping when the weather dries out, this will not continue.
PS: I have a 2002 Toyota Camry
candice c

Hurst, TX

#35 Oct 23, 2010
my 2006 buick lucerne does the same thing! How can I fix this?

London, KY

#36 Nov 19, 2010
Rene W wrote:
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.
<quoted text>
I had the same steering issue. I had my vehicle to more than one shop and no one could explain the potential cause. As stated above, I went out and performed the water on the windshield test and sure enough, it dripped right on the belt! I did a "repair" and hopefully this will fix my problem! I am now wishing for rain to confirm! Thank you to all who took time to post your answers!

United States

#37 Nov 25, 2010
Thank you Howard - your comment was very helpful.

London, KY

#38 Dec 21, 2010
Rene W.. and Virgil... Just an update on the power steering problem.. Your suggestions were spot on!! After doing the repair, I have had no other problems!! Thank you sooooo much for your postings as you saved me much money and grief!!

Orlando, FL

#39 Jun 27, 2011
2002 Dodge Grand Caravan with same problem. Thanks for the answer. I checked and found that the drain hose had become disconnected. I re-connected it. Thank You Virgil!
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.

Naperville, IL

#40 Aug 8, 2011
Does anyone know if this was fixed in later model years? I have a 2006 Grand Caravan doing the same thing. I will check the drain hose when I get home.

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