Loosing power steering

My 2001 Dodge mini-van is loosing turning power when turning corners from a slow speed. It just seems to have come on and gotten worse. I had a scary situation yesterday. I am afraid to drive it but need to take it somewhere. What could it be and should I take it to Dodge dealer or just a repair place but don’t know what kind? Help!!

Chances are that you’ve either developed a leak in the rack and have lost the fluid or the pump is going out. Any reputable independent shop can diagnose and fix this. Ask your friends and coworkers who they go to.

There is an outside possibliity that you have a very low tire. Have you looked?

possible loose drive belt on the pump

Just remember, when you lose power steering, you can steer, it’s just a fair amount more difficult. Don’t panic and think that there is no correcting the situation.

Could be a leak in a hose. Simple and fairly cheap to fix. Is there a noise you didn’t have before when you turn?

The first step is to ensure the fluid is full. Be sure to use th fluid specified in your owner’s manual, probably ATF+4 for your model year.

I believe there is a TSB (technical service bulletin) out regarding the filter screen in the reservoir becoming clogged. The fix is to replace the reservoir and replace the fluid. Not all that exopensive.

You might want to have someone check the power steering pressure switch for proper function.

This switch signals the engine computer to bump the idle up when the power steering puts a load on the engine at slow speeds. If the switch fails to do this, the RPM’s of the engine will be too low in that the power steering pump doesn’t provide the hydraulic pressure for steering assist.