I recently bought a 2008 Dodge ram 1500 with a 5.7 v8 hemi in it, the dealer said that they just changed the steering pump, but the steering wheel was still hard to turn, the auto parts store told me if the steering wheel is still too hard to turn it's the steering pump cooler that ruining the pump.

After removing the pump, It looks fine and new, and after an inspection of the cooler It's not leaking or clogged, I can blow through it.

But as I was looking through the owner's manual it says to use Mopar atf +4 transmission fluid, but what I drained out was a dark brown fluid, could the fluid viscosity between regular power steering fluid and transmission fluid be the root of the problem ?

How would I completely remove the wrong fluid from the system entirely, so it has the right fluid.

1 Answer 1


Flush the existing fluid out by draining what you can get out and refilling with new, cycling from lock to lock then draining and filling again.

The joints may help in making it stiff, as well as the steering ram or rack - you need to check. Make sure each wheel assembly swings on the suspension through the travel expected by disconnecting the steering arm and moving from lock to lock. Once each side is shown to be free, then the rack is the likely culprit if, as you say, the pump andf cooler are good.

  • Yuuuuup ! It's a rack a d pinion, new heavier transmission fluid makes the pump squeal like crazy.
    – user38183
    Jul 27, 2020 at 18:39

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