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Needed maintenance?

We have 2007, Grand Caravan, SXT with 36,000 miles. At the 30,000 mile check up they wanted to do a decarb or fuel injection clean. We did not have it done. Two oil changes later, they said power steering fluid is dirty and we should have it changed. What do you think?

It sounds like they are trying to make boat payments at your expense.

Check the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual and only allow them to do the items listed, at the intervals listed. In fact, considering the “fuel injection cleaning,” you might want to shop around for a more trustworthy mechanic, unless you are experiencing some kind of problems with fuel delivery.

Regarding the power steering fluid, if it is really dirty, buy a cheap siphon pump and some power steering fluid at an auto parts store and change it yourself. Just drain it with the siphon pump and refill. Make sure you get the right type of power steering fluid. Refer to your owner’s manual for that too.

Thanks, I will check the owner’s manual. I just haven’t gotten around to it as my husand is VERY SICK. Do I have to get under the car to drain the power steering fluid?

Probably not. That is what the siphon pump is for. It will allow you to drain it from the top. You might want to ask a friend who knows about cars to help you. Using a siphon pump can sometimes take three hands.

You could also use an old turkey baster to get the old power steering fluid out, but after that, it can’t be used for food anymore, even if you wash it.

I bet your power steering fluid is fine. Don’t worry about it unless your owner’s manual suggests changing it.

No. A siphon pump will allow you to suck the old fluid right out of the reservoir. Just remove the cap and pump away.

I’d also suggest that you start taking the Caravan somewhere else for maintenance. No modern car should need a fuel injection cleaning at 30K. Changing the PS fluid certainly can’t hurt anything, but I’m also not betting that it’s utterly necessary. This place seems to be pushing stuff that’s not needed.

No on the fuel injector cleaning. Some people use a turkey baster method to pull out an amount of old PS fluid and replenish. Not as efficient as a siphon method, but probably works. In general, I don’t change PS fluid unless I have to get the unit serviced for some reason. There is a reason why PS steering fluid is not on most vehicles’ maintenance schedule…

Agree with budd it is time to find a new, trustworthy mechanic.

You use old power steering fluid for food? Remind me to cancel that dinner engagement!

Seriously, to the OP, power steering systems are different than other fluid systems in that they constantly cycle the fluid back through the reservoir. Draining the reservoir with a turkey baster and refilling with fresh fluid is all that’s necessary…at most.

Mountainbike, I didn’t think I had a misplaced modifier since you can’t wash power steering fluid, but thanks anyway for pointing it out.

While all the methods mentioned above can be used to change the power steering fluid at very little cost, note that you don’t need to do it at all, unless there’s a problem with the fluid. A trusted mechanic can help you with that. Use the Car Talk Mechanic Finder, if you don’t have one. Your current shop is not to be trusted.

A misplaced modifier…so that’s what they call those things! I misplace stuff like that all the time.

I agree with everyone else that this shop seems to be selling unnecessary work. I probably should have just gone straight to that point.