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01:52:36 - 10/21/2018

V6 Dakotas
Bill S.
Dodge Dakota


Subject: Steering Wheel "groans"
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I have a '92 Dodge Dakota, 3.9L, 6 cyl, in good shape. Power steering. Level of fluid is fine. But, my steering wheel groans when I turn it! It's been getting louder these past few months. Have never changed fluid (20 years).
Anyone have any advice? Specifically, do you think I could pull the steering wheel myself, and replace a problem? Or is pulling the steering wheel even required? Thanks, Bill S. P.S. Camp Pendleton has a real nice auto hobby shop that I have access to.

Dodge Dakota


RE: Steering Wheel "groans"
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Is this groan only when running and only at the turn limits? Or
is it worse when you turn it from side to side? Do you feel the
steering get hard when you turn it and you hear the groan?
Or Does it sound like rubbing under the steering wheel?

This is probably the power steering rack going bad relying on a
well worn power steering pump. As the rack wears out metal
gets into the fluid which causes seals to wear and more metal
to get into the system. It takes a while but fluid isnt lifetime
fluid so it needs to be changed every so often usually around
60k-80k miles with synthetic fluid. Eventually the fluid wears
the pump also.

You could try a fluid flush this will clean the system and
replace it with fresh fluid. Also use a power steering
conditioner that will help the seals. I used Lucas in my system
when i rebuilt my pump. It actually tightened up the steering
quite nicely. By flush i mean placing the retyrn hose into a
bucket and pouring new fluid into the system while running
until all old fluid has been removed from the system. An inline
filter on the return hose would help this going forward also.

If your fluid is really bad and black lets say, then it may be to
late for a flush and youll need to replace parts in the system.
At that age and no maintenance i would do the entire system.
Pump, rack and hoses. Then dont forget the alignment..

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