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Pete, Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 27814
Experience:  17 years automotive training and experience.
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I have a 2008 (UK spec) Dodge Nitro 2.8 CRD auto with 43k miles

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I have a 2008 (UK spec) Dodge Nitro 2.8 CRD auto with 43k miles on the clock. I have owned it since 24k miles. A few months ago the car developed a whining/moaning sound in the power steering on turning the steering wheel and it does this in either direction. I can also feel the vibration transmitted through the steering wheel.

I think it is suffering from power steering cavitation. It never does it when the engine is cold and always starts about 5 minutes after driving - if I turn the engine off and then start the engine again after a few minutes (ie. when it is still warm) it will not do it again until after a couple of minutes, in other words it takes longer for it to start from when the engine is cold. It always does it but is obviously worse the more the steering is used.

The truck is not losing any power steering fluid and I have had the steering checked twice for leaks at two different garages and they could find nothing. I have even flushed the power steering system and changed the power steering fluid to Redline high performance fluid but no change.

Have you any ideas as it is really getting me down. Just to add, it is fitted with OEM 20" wheels.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a professional here at Just Answer. I noticed that your question was not getting a response and thought I would see if you still need help with this.

From what you have described here this may be caused by an intermittent lack of power steering pressure from the power steering pump itself.I have seen the pumps heat up with engine temperature after running and operating a short period and fail to provide good fluid pressure to the steering rack/rack and pinion and cause this here.

From what is described this sounds like what may be at fault here needing replaced.I would have the power steering system pressure tested to see if this is the case.You can also locate the pressure line off of the pump where a rubber section is and slowly clamp down on it with channel locks or similar and the channel locks should kick back on you fairly hard of pressure is coming out of the pump.If the pressure is low or none at all then the chanel locks usually wont kick back like this and usually indicate the pump is at fault.I would do this when the vehicle is acting up at a stand still in park or neutral.

Thanks Pete
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Pete,

Thanks for getting back to me. That seems like a good possibility and is something that I have thought might be a problem. I have often wondered whether the pump or steering rack on this car is adequate enough to cope with moving the 20" wheels but I can't seem to find any other Nitro owners with this problem.

Who will be able to perform a pressure test of my pump? A normal garage or a power steering specialist?


Thanks Paul

You can have this tested by any shop as long as they have the correct equipment to test this pump.A local dealer should be able to do this as well.This does sound like this may be the pump here at fault.

Feel free to rate my help when you are ready and let me know if you need anything else.

Thanks Pete
Pete and other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks Pete I will give this a try

Your welcome.I hope you can get this resolved with ease.

Thanks Pete

I am following up with you to see if you still needed help with your question you had asked.If my help didn't satisfy your question please let me know so we can continue.

Thanks Pete
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Pete,


I am having trouble getting any local garages who are able to pressure test the system, as most seem to shy away from the car with it being a rare one in the UK. I am going to have to try a Chrysler/Dodge main dealer or find a power steering specialist.




O.k.,let us know if you need anything else.

Thanks Pete