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Almost impossible to steer/turn

I unfortunately bottomed out the front end of my 2006 Chrysler town&country van during hurricane Irma that hit Florida last week, I know that I ruptured a high pressure hose and damaged my power steering pump inter cooler underneath the vehicle, Going to cost me $20 to Purchase brand new inter cooler with the hosings. But I can barely turn to the left or right now,I really have to use all my strength to turn the wheel. Before I purchase the intercooler is there anyway that I could have bent or broken something else like the rack and pinion or something major like that?Should I take it to a shop and pay a fortune or can I replace intercooler and W.e other part is causing this problem??I’ve owned n driven 2cars that didn’t have power steering and they were no where near this hard to steer, Even when I’m going 20-30mph it’s still almost impossible to steer/turn the wheel. What else could I have damaged to cause this?(I Bottomed out with the front end and got pulled out by the back-end, I don’t understand nor can I see anything damaged nor can figure out what could be the cause. Some body please help with answer or suggestions please and thank you

You have damaged hoses?
You have no power steering fluid?
What happens when you refill fluid reservoir?
Jack up van, both tires off ground.
Can you turns wheels easier?

Have you checked your power steering fluid to make sure it hasn’t all leaked out?

Personally, I don’t think a car that is this hard to steer is safe to drive. I’d have it towed to a shop.

@Whitey: As I read it, the OP has done no repairs yet, so he is running with the PS system empty.

OP: get it towed to a shop. Or fix the intercooler and hose and see if that solves the problem.

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the power steering pump should be noisy with no fluid

Park it. Tow it. Pay the repair bill. In that order :slight_smile:

Do not drive this vehicule without p/s liquid or you risk burning the pump…an expensive repair…

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It’s likely that the pump is already damaged and if OP continues to drive the pump will lock up and toss the belt. That should prompt some corrective action.

If he continues to drive it without PS fluid the pump WILL be damaged… if it isn’t already. :tired_face:

Glad you survived the hurricane. Can your insurance help out with this?
Without power steering fluid to assist in steering you will struggle to turn the wheel. With the pump turning without fluid you will burn up the pump. As others have recommended, get it towed to a shop, or park it and have someone else drive you to get all the parts.

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I don’t know what’s all wrong with your car, but my experience with cars that have lost their power steering is that they are considerably harder to steer than cars equipped with manual steering. You could try that experiment on another car with power steering I suppose, just by turning the steering wheel without the engine running for a comparison.

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That has also been my experience

And mine.
The ratios used are very different.

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Yes the ratios are different but steering also requires forcing hydraulic fluid through the pump. Disconnecting the hydraulic hoses greatly reduces the required effort.

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