2002 GC power steering problem

Had my 2002 Grand Caravan since new. 3.8L ES model. Early on it had this whine noise when first started up and driven. Terrible groaning when turning the wheel. The diagnosed it as
transmission noise. Then upon second or third complaint they decided it was the steering rack, which was then replaced.
The whine returned a few months later, and just as they were scratching their heads DC issues a recall (C20 I think it was), which basically stated the path of the power steering hoses had too much angle and when cold restricted the flow of fluid. So under the recall the hoses were replaced.
That fix didn't last long, but the noise was slight and no other problems related to power steering were obvious. The about November that loud whine returned. I also discovered if I puled away from my curb in the morning first thing and attempted a 3-point turn into my neighbor's driveway across the street I could turn the wheel full left and cross the road, but if I came to a stop before beginning to turn to the right the wheel would "lock". Once or twice I have had to actually rock the car to unlock the wheel and get them out of the nearly full left rotated position.
So the car is not under std. warranty now (65k mi), but what are the likely causes and fixes here? I have checked the PS fluid level and it is fine; is that something that might have bubbles in it and need bleeding?
Could it be as simple as the hoses and when the whole system is cold the fluid doesn't flow? Why will it turn [rotate] left and not right?
...And of course the ultimate question, how do I demonstrate this behavior to the service advisor?
Thanks for any tips
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The hoses were replaced because of a leak not the way they angled. When the steering locked or wouldn't turn was this maybe caused by the serpentine bel t slipping? how old is the belt and tensioner? And yes it could be a faulty P/S rack. But if you say the steering locked and wouldn't turn the wheels and assuming the belt and tensioner are good I would lean towards a faulty Rack
My opinion Glenn Beasley Chrysler Tech
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Thanks, I didn't think about the serpentine belt or tensioner, though I suppose I had them replaced by this mileage on my previous van. Thing is they both look good and the noise is hardly ever present when warm.
Today I was parked facing out and tried turning full left and then right before moving the vehicle and didn't have a problem. You are thinking if not the rack that when the wheel is turned left and Itry to move it right (clockwise) and it feels locked that the belt is slipping and therefore there is no power assist?
I am not convinced about that, becuase I should hear a squeal when attempting to rotate right?
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No and it is a common complaint in the summer when the A/C is on. When the tensioner is worn out and the A/C condensation hits the P/S pump pulley the belt slips and causes a lack of power assist until the water dissipates. No noise. This occurs mostly on left turns, and the fix for that is to either install the missing drain sock or turn the hose away from the pulley. By the way, im not trying to convince you of anything or sell you anything.
My opinion Glenn Beasley Chrysler Tech
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No I understand you are not selling and I appreciate your opinion based on experience. Either way it wil cost me a $100 copay to get fixed. I do not run the AC much (that actually is another topic, the climate control system might not have the AC icon illuminated but the compressor is engaged, if I manually turn on the AC and then toggle it off the compressor finally goes off -- but it often defaults to either on in manual mode or even automatic climate control after restarting; pretty annoying).
Anyway, as I said I didn't think it was the belt or tensioner but am willing to believe it. Above you said no noise; which confuses me. If I hear a noise (whine that varies with engine RPM) it would or would not be indicative or the belt/pulley versus the rack or PS pump/hoses. I should still consider the rack to be the primary cause/suspect?
Can I check for the hose being properly oriented myself? And what drain sock?
Thanks honestly for the free insight.
I guess while I am at it, are the 2002 GC's also candidates for the polyureathane sway bar bushing replacements? I orignally thought my shicks or struts were going bad, but now definately think it is the bushings. Despite the $20 cost my Service Advisor disagreed.
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I was using the A/C problem as an example, depending on where you are from may or may not be this problem. If you live in a cold climate area you wouldnt have this problem in the winter time because there wouldnt be alot of humidity to cause the problem

And As I said in my other reply. "if the belt and tensioner is good then it is probably the steering rack"

Its easier to do this on the lift

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If its a $100 co-pay. Why not bring it in and have them fix it. It's going to cost you $100 if belt and tensioner, or if its the rack!
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snipped-for-privacy@hartless.com wrote in

I am trying to narrow it down, so I don't pay $100 copay for the belt/tensioner service and then have to pay another $100 copay for the rack.
Okay I know bad example, as the belt/tensioner would be normal wear and tear and not covered unles I could make a case that it is early failure and pre-existing.
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But, If you have the shop do it. It is only going to be $100 once. The way your going about it, it's going to cost you $200 minimum, Guessing the problem. Maxpower is good at advice, but he is not looking at your van. So everything you get here is a guess. Why not pay the $100, and have it looked at and repaired properly. And if the Shop repairs the wrong thing, you do not have to pay them again, as they did not fix it properly the first time.
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If you are referring to a Chrysler service contract you pay 1 deductible only until the vehicle is fixed. Also if this is a MAX CARE contract the tensioner would be covered.
Glenn Beasley Chrysler Tech
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Hmm.. thanks for the clarification. I had anothe experience where I was charged the $100 copay for the first "remedy" and again for the second attempt which solved the stated problem so I guess somebody messed up there and got an extra C note out of me. Grrr..
But seems reasonable and I will just assume I am looking at $100 to treat and repair the steering rack noise and another $100 for my other problem (door motor not fully disengaging).
Thanks!
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