Question about Dodge Grand Caravan

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Dodge caravan 2001 blowing burning power steering fluid.

Dodge Caravan 2001, 3.3L, Recently snapped serpentine belt and run low on PS fluid didn't know belt snapped and could not turn wheel while driving going home. Found out there is leak on PS underhood. Rubber hose broke that is connected to the ps coolant. Mechanic fixed the leak and install new belt. But when I drove it after he fixed the van, I could hear high pitch sound and vibration when turning to left and right. Mechanic says its ok it will go away when it heats up. But on my way home, I still smells burning fluid like ps fluid only in the middle blower between passenger and driver. I don't smell it in the side blowers outlet. There is also smoke coming out from the hood while driving. When I checked under hood, I saw smoke coming out under PS reservoir. I can see smoke from the very hot exhaust manifold under ps reservoir. It is the same smell I when I'm inside the van. The question is, why is the power steering noisy high pitch when turning in a slow movement and vibrating as well. Also the burning smell coming out of middle blower outlet and smoke from the exhaust manifold under ps reservoir. Thank you in advance for any help.

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  • Dodge Master
  • 21,873 Answers

I can answer some of your questions without being there in person.
The smell inside the van is from fresh air entering the venting system. Not sure why you don't get it from all vents. The fresh air intake is in front of the windshield and will pick up any smells from the engine compartment.
Loosing the serpentine belt would not necessarily cause you to loose ps fluid, but having a leak could drain the pump and damage the bearings in the pump, causing the pump pulley to drag on the belt.
The ps pump could be in the final stage of failing.
And the shaft seal in the pump could be leaking fluid onto the engine and exhaust.

Posted on Feb 23, 2013

  • 1 more comment 
  • Edwin Feb 23, 2013

    Thank you for your very clear diagnosis on my caravans problem. I told the mechanic about the smoke but he said maybe it is because is was cold and just a steam coming out from radiator. There really is steam coming out of radiator near the cap even there is no coolant leak. Going back to PS, you are right with what happen. First the leak, driving home 5 blocks of hard steering, then I fixed the rubber. Belt snapped. Totally cannot turn wheel. Mechanic install new belt. Noise, vibration when steering left/right. Smoke coming out from hood under reservoir above exhaust manifold back. Yes you are right, the pump bearing maybe damage because I can hear unusual noise near the serpentine belt side (maybe the PS pump bearing or pump). I will have to replace the ps pump before it damage the rubber hoses and belt again. Will it be the pump and bearing and shaft seal that needs to be replaced? Is it very hard to replace the those parts? Mechanic says its hard to replace it and he advise me to don't worry I'll be fine. But if I am smelling burning inside and noise/vibration in the wheel, it is not ok. First I need to concentrate on eliminating the leak in the shaft seal so I could drive it without smoke. Do you have a step by step procedure how to fix the seal? Thanks again Stephen for your quick response.

  •  Stephen
    Stephen Feb 23, 2013

    I don't usually get into actual repair steps in this format, just advice. Normally you would replace the pump with a rebuilt unit rather than fixing the pump you have. I would look for another mechanic if I were in your shoes.

  • Edwin Feb 23, 2013

    That is probably I will do to fix this. At least, I have idea now why these thing had happen. The leak in the shaft was really a puzzle. Leak might be the reason of noise and vibration when turning. Thank you very much for my peace of mind. More power to you!



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Posted on Jan 02, 2017


Josue Almodovar

  • 298 Answers

SOURCE: made a hard left turn, immediately had a rumbling


Posted on Aug 15, 2009


  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan, 69k miles, vibration

check serpentine belt tenssioner

Posted on Dec 02, 2009


  • 1985 Answers

SOURCE: 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan, 69k miles, vibration at idle in D

check the motor motor mounts for movement,
watch how far engine rocks forward or back with it running and foot on brake

Posted on Dec 02, 2009



  • 21873 Answers

SOURCE: My dodge grand caravan is a2001 idling rough vibrates some while driving . Just had a leak in ahose fixed. Cooant was leaking out onto the exhaust pipe and smoking. That is when the vibrating starte

Its possible one of the plug wires got wet and is causing problems.
You could also have a leaking head gasket which would allow coolant into one of the cylinders. That would ruin a spark plug along with having compression problems.
If the miss gets bad enough the check engine light should come on, and the computer would then have a trouble code telling you which cylinder is acting up.

Posted on Dec 21, 2012

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