I have a 2003 Grand Cherokee Overland that I baought “new” as a dealer demo in 2003. For teh past 2 years now I have a hard time turning the steering wheel. It started out when it was just cold outside and only turing to the right. I took it to a dealship and they said it was the “spinner” mechanism that directs the power steering fluid which way to go. This part was tied into the transmission cooling unit and would run about $1,000. My regular mechanic is friend and is a professional mechanic tells me that he has read up on this and thinks it deals with the actual steering mechanism in the front end. My wife is expecting our first child and she really does not want the steering to go out on us. The problem has gotten gradually worse over time and it now affects both directions and only seems fine now in the months for July and August. Does any one have any ideas as to what the actual problem might be? thanks
The steering mechanism on a 2003 Grand Cherokee is fairly simple. Jeep did not convert to rack & pinion steering on the Grand until 2005 (new model). It sounds like your mechanic has diagnosed the problem as the power steering box (it’s located up front on the driver’s side near the radiator). If that’s the case, get it replaced and move on.
These Jeeps require a special power steering fluid due to the fact that the engine cooling fan is hydraulic and runs off the p/s pump too. Sometimes someone who does not know this will put ATF in the pump. Use only Mopar MS5931 power steering fluid.
You could try flushing and re-filling with the correct fluid and see if it improves.