I have a 2005 Dodge Dakota, that starting giving me steering issues a couple weeks ago. The issue being that it is hard to steer and then it is not, during the same turn as it alternates between acting like it doesn't have power steering and then it does. This is problematic as I am turning real hard at one point and then it wants to turn super fast and way to far even into the other lane. The steering fluid is at full level, there is no rust in or around the steering pump. The wheel looks great and the serpentine belt is tight. The oil is clean, the vehicle has an independent Axle. When jacked up by the "wishbone" suspension and turning the wheels while it is running, there is no noise coming from the pump or is there any notable noise from the Rack. I also fished around in the reservoir with a extending magnet and nothing.

Front of pump

Under pump

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! How much noise does the power steering pump make when this happens? My thinking is, if it doesn't make any noise, then the pump is going bad. If there is noise, then the rack is going bad. I'm leaning towards the rack, anyway, but all of this is just a guess. Sep 21, 2020 at 23:53
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 there really is no noise to speak of, but while you do suggest its the pump, and have had others say probably not since its not rusted the wheel looks great and I was and will a picture of the pump.
    – Edward
    Sep 22, 2020 at 0:05
  • You really can't tell by looking at a pump if its good or bad. The reason why I was suggesting it is the pump is because of the on-again-off-again nature of how it is running. If the rack was bad, it would usually have the tight spot at the same place, meaning something like it would happen at 1/4 turn through your steering wheel cycle every time. To my way of thinking, you can pretty much narrow the problem down to one or the other, but it doesn't hurt to go further and see if you can figure it out fully before replacing parts. Sep 22, 2020 at 1:53
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 I will see if it changes at the same spots, would this be able to be multiple same spots in a turn? Also even if it gives no notable noise? To then be the rack and not the pump.
    – Edward
    Sep 22, 2020 at 10:58
  • 1
    That surely makes this sound like a rack problem to me. Sep 22, 2020 at 22:34


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