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Discussion Starter #1
2001 Grand Caravan ES with a 3.8L

The only mechanical issue i currently have is my curb idle speed power steering it's like non existing until i get some rpm's up, I've already replaced the PS pump and reservoir. Only thing i didn't replace is the rubber flex lines feed and return, which i have on order. I'm not yet ready to drop another around $1000 to get the rack and pinion replaced and yes i did use the correct fluid in the system (ATF+4)
 

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See p. 19-1 for an overview of the power steering diagnostics here:
http://oskin.ru/pub/chrysler-dodge/manuals/Service Manuals/2001_RG_Town&Country_Caravan_Voyager/01RGEE.PDF
A fluid pressure gauge that can safely indicate up to 1500psi (10,500 kPa) is needed. Some auto parts stores may have one for loan. Volume can be tested by seeing how fast the pump can fill a clear plastic bottle.
Because of the pressures that might be encountered, extreme caution is suggested when opening P/S lines on a running engine.
Any pump or gear noise or debris in the power steering fluid?
Generally if a gear goes bad, it is usually in one direction or the other. If the problem is in both directions, it is usually a pump or restriction or internal leakage.
Always diagnose first whenever possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm hoping it's a restriction somewhere it is 20 year old rubber lines.

When the rpms are higher than curb idle it steers fine
 

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. . . I'm hoping it's a restriction somewhere it is 20 year old rubber lines.
When the rpms are higher than curb idle it steers fine . . . .
. . . No one has a ps pressure tester and new ones cost $500 and up . . .
You could remove the pressure line and return line between the pump and the steering rack. Try blowing pressurized air at each end and in opposite directions. That might indicate if there is a line blockage. Feel along the flexible hose area to determine if there is a swelling or bulge which might be a blockage. If you have to pay labor charges to have this done then you might as well replace the lines. But again this is a guess and you are "firing the parts cannon" in hopes of a fix.

If that does not resolve the issue then you have worn seals in the rotary control valve area of the rack and pinion. At idle with lower pump pressure too much fluid is escaping and returning to the pump when the steering wheel shaft is turned. At higher engine speeds higher pump output compensates for the excess seal leakage. Only fix in this situation is tor rebuild the rotary control valve or replace the entire steering rack.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for your help, not the answer i was hoping for, it's the honest one I needed to hear...

There's always set backs in saving money... ._.
 

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Wow, that is high pressure!

(Side note - no wonder everyone went to electric power steering!)
The hoses, which I replaced on my truck as a precaution when the metal ends were rusting from dripped battery electrolyte, are rated to 2500 psi on the supply side.
 
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