What should cost be to flush and replace power steering fluid? on 2005 Chrysler 300

Dealer wants to charge $169 to start, by replacing the fluid even though my local mechanic says I have a frozen universal joint. Universal joint is covered under service contract while changing fluid is considered maintenance and not covered. Can you tell if universal joint is bad without draining the power steering fluid? I believe this could be an unecessary charge and that the universal joint should be inspected first to diagnose the problem I am having.

by in Old Bridge, NJ on December 28, 2011
2 answers 2 comments
ANSWER by on December 28, 2011
fluid service is a good idea no matter what your issue. it runs about 45. as far as the universal joint, it is a common failure. get it checked somewhere else to confirm. Roy
ANSWER by on December 28, 2011
What is the problem your having? A power steering flush is highly recommend. To perform a proper P/S flush it requires a flushing chemical and new P/S fluid. $169 is a more realistic price than $45. Again I ask what is the Primary Complaint Item.
COMMENT by on December 28, 2011
After turning the steering wheel to make a turn, the steering wheel normally would come back to its normal central position on its own. Now, I have to actually turn the wheel back after making a turn in order to go back to a straight position. In some spots, the wheel straightens out on its own while in other spots, the wheel will stay in the turned position even as my hands are off the wheel. I've read this is a common problem among these cars and that the universal is usually the culprit as also examined by my local mechanic. I feel like Chrysler should check that first before trying to charge me first for cost of the fluid flush which isn't covered under the service contract. They said if that doesn't solve the problem then they would check the Universal which is covered. Doesn't seem right. Thanks for your reply!
COMMENT by on December 29, 2011
Normally I would be leary of what the dealer says, but this time I agree with them. I'm sure the dealer looked at the steering colum coupler and if it was bad they would tell you. It is a safety item and they wouldn't overlook that. You need the P/S flush anyways. There is a Chrysler TSB 19-010-04 concerning P/S fluid contamination.