TRUCK ISSUE - It's been Figured out!

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Equest94, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. Equest94

    Equest94 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 29, 2007
    New York
    Hello. Sorry, I wasn't really sure where to post this topic so I apologize if it's under the wrong category...



    I have a '02 Dodge Ram 1500+ (it's a bit more "stronger" and powerful than a regular 1500 and has thicker springs). I use it for towing and trailering, and as a regular everyday-driving vehicle... It has been very reliable and a great "working" truck - it gets the job done well; however, I have recently been having a couple issues with it...


    I have been experiencing problems where it would pop out of gear (randomly go into neutral) and slight issues where it has been a little "sticky" turning... after taking it in, we found out that there is a slight crack in the Transmission Cooler and in the Power Steering Cooler. I know that these units will eventually need to be replace; however, it is currently doing fine - all I need to do is top off the fluids when they start to get a bit low...

    [it also has a small issue with its throttle sensor, but that hasn't really been a huge concern]



    *** Well, today I have experienced another issue - over sensitive steering. When slightly turning the wheel a bit in order to follow the road, the truck would veer out and really over-exaggerate the turn...I feel like I could turn it will only my pinky finger. Today is a rather warm day and a lot of snow and ice is melting, but not enough to make the roads wet enough for me to hydroplane... I just don't understand how this can be happening. If the Power Steering Cooler is leaking, wouldn't it make it harder to turn - why is it now hyper sensitive?

    I finished my errand and drove back - it got closer to "normal" by the time I parked it.

    This truck has always been a "smooth drive" - granted it does have some problems now, I just can't see how this new development is possible, let alone what may be causing it.



    Any ideas on why this is happening or what the cause of this is?

    Thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009
  2. HennysMom

    HennysMom Keeper of the Tiara

    have you checked the steering assembly as well?

    Our F250 pops in and out of gear and the dealer has had to adjust it several times - adding parts where necessary. They dont know why it does it - but it does. This is the 3rd time its been in for it - and the last. If it does it after this, Ford will replace the entire steering system.

    ETA: just talked to hubby and he wanted to know if you've had the entire system checked - ie,
    pump, hoses, rack, all belts including serpentine, etc... ??

    Any one of those can cause issues if you're already having issues with leaking in your PS. I'd really try to get it looked at - if it fails suddenly on you, you could cause serious injury to yourself or someone else.

    Be safe... [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009
  3. Rhett&SarahsMom

    Rhett&SarahsMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2008
    It might be that the cooler on the power steering is "gone" enough that it has affected the rest of the power steering system.

    My x dh 67 Camaro convertible ( I LOVED THAT CAR) had a "slow leak" in its tranny. I got the "just top it off whenever you get home" lecture and did so religiously since I LOVED that car.

    Yeah, one day he was driving it and ended up dropping the tranny all over the place. Bad nasty sound when that happens. Of course after we got that fixed the radiator developed a "slow leak" I am sure you can figure out what happened with that. [​IMG]
    Sadly I was driving my baby that day. Was Camaro less for over a month. During the really nice weather when cruising the strip and base in that car would have been SO fun.

    Have I mentioned how much I miss that car?
    Someday I will get another. Even if its in parts and I have to rebuild her piece by piece. I will be 70 and will be cruising in my Camaro. LOL
     
  4. Equest94

    Equest94 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 29, 2007
    New York
    HennysMom and Rhett&SarahsMom -Thanks for your quick replies.


    HennysMom,
    I did take it into a Dodge dealer to evaluate what the problems where. I'm not sure if they checked the whole power steering assembly or not, but then did flush all systems with ::I can't think of the name off the top of my head:: florescent solution to check for cracks and leaks and they found two very minor leaks in both of those coolers, which they say is the cause of the gear popping and occasional stiff turning; however, this hyper-sensitivity to turning is a new thing....


    I will have to call and ask if they did check the whole PS Assembly though....



    Rhett&SarahsMom,
    I'm so sorry about your car! I understand what you mean about missing it. Well, I took this truck into the dealer last month and they said that everything looked great besides the 2 leaks... I check the fluids and couple times a week and it doesn't seem to be leaking too badly - I only had to add a little ps fluid in once so far and the trans. fluid still seems fine... It also hasn't been making any "bad" noises. I just don't understand this. I hope this isn't a sign that something major is going to go! This is the only vehicle that I have! lol.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009
  5. HennysMom

    HennysMom Keeper of the Tiara

    they put a dye into your system to check for leaks - yep - have had it done as well for tranny and AC system.

    Just a thought - check the belts - just to make sure you dont have any fluid on them that would cause them to be lubricated, causing "easy steering" - it happens ...not often..but it does happen. If you have fluids on the belts - clean it off as best you can (dont ask me how... I havent a clue - maybe soapy water??)

    My knowledge only goes so far I'm afraid.. [​IMG]
     
  6. Equest94

    Equest94 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 29, 2007
    New York
    So, I spoke with my dad about this new issue and during a break, he called his mechanic and then relaid the what was said back to me...


    Turns out that new vehicles have a special sensor that branches off of the Power Steering system, that helps keep these vehicles "balanced" and "in line" - if the vehicle starts to, slip, swerve, or veer, this sensor tells the Power Steering Valve to either release more or hold off on releasing the PS Fluid in order to help keep the vehicle in control and keep the wheel from completely locking or over-steering depending on the case... this also helps while towing and trailering by keeping the truck steady even in the trailer starts to move around...

    Anyways, so despite my throttle sensor issue, the leak in my transmission cooler, and the leak in my PS cooler, I now have a failing Power Steering Valve Sensor. The bad thing about this issue, is once it starts to fail, it goes rather quickly...and once it completely fails is when huge problems can occur - unsteady truck with hyper-sensitive turning = huge set up for an accident (especially around the area I currently am).

    Apparently the mechanic was also greatly stressing not driving it at all until it gets repaired because of the high potential for an accident... so I am truck-less...
    (^^^ not a very easy thing to be when you are a College student AND have a few horse shows coming up in which a truck for trailering is needed...)


    Man, 2002 is a very sucky year for Dodge!!! [​IMG] very, very sucky!
     

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