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Possible bad power steering pump on 2001

 
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Old 12 Jan 2017, 07:19 pm
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Default Possible bad power steering pump on 2001

Hi all! I've been reading this forum for a long time, but this is the first time I've had to actually post.

My 2001 had been making a sort of loud hum for the last week or so that I hadn't investigated too far due to the cold weather. With the hood up it seemed to be coming from the serpentine belt area. I wouldn't call it a squeal at all. Everything seemed to be functioning fine until today when the steering got really tight on it. So now I'm figuring it's a power steering pump, but I wanted to get your expert opinions before tearing it all apart.

After wrestling it into the driveway this evening, I popped the hood to look for obvious things. The only thing I noticed was that the power steering fluid reservoir was quite hot and had actually melted a hose running next to it a little. There's plenty of fluid, although it looks quite dirty. I know the fluid hasn't been changed in the two years I've had it.

Anything else I should check before I start tearing it apart? Thanks!
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Old 12 Jan 2017, 07:30 pm
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Default Re: Possible bad power steering pump on 2001

I've not tried this on a Chrysler product, but I have had good luck with this on a GM power steering unit. Get some Lucas Power Steering Additive at a local parts store (about $10). If your reservoir is full, pull some fluid out (I use a turkey baster) and then add some of the additive. By the way, do NOT try to slip that turkey baster back into the kitchen; get your own baster for your tool box!

If it is suffering from wear spots on the rack and pinion unit, or the pump is loosing some of its' power, the Lucas will help it. If it is beyond help, you may have to replace the pump.

Also, be sure the serpentine belt tensioner is still good. If the tensioner is worn out, it won't keep the belt tightly against the pump, and the pump could be slipping.

Good luck!
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Old 12 Jan 2017, 07:35 pm
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Default Re: Possible bad power steering pump on 2001

Thanks. I'll try some of the additive to see if that helps. I plan on getting into it more tomorrow since it was almost dark when it went out this evening.

Where is the tensioner on this bad boy? Looks pretty tight in there and all I could identify was the power steering pump and alternator.
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Old 12 Jan 2017, 07:43 pm
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Default Re: Possible bad power steering pump on 2001

I don't have a drawing or pic to show the tensioner, but you can probably find a video on YouTube.
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Old 13 Jan 2017, 12:10 am
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Default Re: Possible bad power steering pump on 2001

Tensioner for power steering is accessible from under the car and you will have to remove the plastic splash shield that covers the crank pulley.
The tensioner is spring loaded with a idler pulley on it for the belt which is replaceable as a separate item.
DO NOT over fill the power steering reservoir it could and will get on the timing belt causing a much shorter life.
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Old 13 Jan 2017, 05:12 pm
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Default Re: Possible bad power steering pump on 2001

Thanks for all of your helpful information. I'm pretty sure the idler pulley is bad. The belt is completely off the power steering pump and the idler pulley won't turn at all. The pulley on the power steering pump turns freely, as does the air conditioner compressor.

You guys know off hand what size the bolt is on the idler pulley?
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Old 13 Jan 2017, 09:16 pm
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Default Re: Possible bad power steering pump on 2001

Take a look at this; it probably has all the info you'll need:

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Old 14 Jan 2017, 12:38 pm
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Default Re: Possible bad power steering pump on 2001

Thanks again. I really appreciate all the help!
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