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Q: Power Steering problems on 2004 Dodge Dakota

I have noticed that my power steering is progressively starting to go over the last week. When I turn left or right it's real hard as I come off the center point, then it will break free, then get hard again. It will also get stuck in the turn, not allowing the wheel to straighten out coming out of a turn. it makes for a real choppy ride. Once everything warms up it seems to go away a little bit but I can still feel it. Engine RPM does not seem to play a factor whether it is hard to steer or not (I have put gotten up to speed, put it in neutral, brought it up to 2500 RPM and tried turning and it is still stiff.) I don't know if that is an official method of diagnosing if the pump is bad or not, but that is my problem...I don't know if it is my power steering pump or my rack and pinion.
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Are you saying it may be the sensor IF the steering is bad, and it is tripping codes? OR are you saying the vehicle will throw codes saying it is a power steering problem?
I'd go with a rebuilt steering rack assembly. Hard turns mainly in one direction is a direct indication that the spool valve teflon seals and/or the spool valve housing itself is worn allowing fluid to pass by the seals. The spool valve is where the steering wheel/steering shaft coupling is located on the steering rack assembly. Below the spool valve, internally, is where the pinion gear of the "rack and pinion" steering gear is housed.
Its your pump starting to go out. Your rack probably isn't in the best of shape but should be fine with a new pump, and fluid flush. If it is tripping any engine codes relative to this, then it is the Power Steering Pressure Sensor malfunctioning.
the steering sensor will only throw a code indicating there's a pressure problem. The steering rack is where the problem lies.
Easy way to diagnose if the intermediate shaft is causing the problem is to spray the joints on the shaft with a lot of penetrating lube/PB Blaster. Start the truck and run the steering through complete cycles left and right. Continue to spray the joints and if the shaft is bad, the steering will get easier thus telling us the joints/ intermediate shaft is NG. I have a 2004 Dakota 4x4, 92k. Replaced under warranty @ 35k and now it is junk again!
Having the same problems with our 2004 Dakota.
Call the**** 1-800-992-1997***** Dodge complaint line. there's no recall for the 2004 yet but if enough people call and complain there will be. Also save all your receits- if they do a recall you can be reimbursed for money spent on repairs.
Also both my 2001 and 2004 Dakotas had a problem with the air-conditioning flooding the passenger side floor - which when I called the above number Dodge took care of . There is a problem under the dash and by the fender SOoooo if you have this problem make sure they check both. I had to takle the 2004 in 2x.
chances are your real problem is what they call the intermidiate shaft is binding at those small u-joints on the end
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