How to Replace the Power Steering Fluid on a Dodge Grand Caravanby Chris Moore
You should check the power steering fluid level in your Dodge Grand Caravan every 250 miles or on a weekly basis, whichever occurs first. While you may occasionally need to add more fluid, the need to change the entire fluid is rare. If your van has trouble handling, however, the fluid may need replacing. If this is the case, you need to clean out the power steering pump and system as well as add new fluid.
Turn the front wheels on the van so they face forward. Shut the engine off and give it and the fluid enough time to cool.
Locate the reservoir for the power steering fluid. It should be close to the center of the engine compartment. Look for the white, cylindrical-shaped reservoir with a black cap and the words "Fill Range" and "Add" printed on the side.
Open the cap and siphon the power steering fluid out of the reservoir. Use a turkey baster or other siphon tool that will only be used for this type of task.
Deposit the old fluid into a safe container, holding a rag against the tip of the turkey baster to prevent fluid from dripping onto the paint or any other surface. Make sure you know your local ordinances for disposing of such fluids.
Fill the reservoir with power steering conditioner/cleaner, then start the van and let the engine run for a few minutes to pump the cleaner through the system. Siphon all but an inch of the cleaner out, add more cleaner and run the engine again. Repeat until the cleaning fluid runs clear--this should take at least four times--then remove all the cleaner.
Refill the reservoir to the Add level with fresh power steering fluid--use Mopar ATF +4 fluid or equivalent. Use a funnel when pouring the fluid and pour it slowly to avoid spilling. Siphon the fluid back out of the reservoir (to remove any residual cleaner) and add more fluid. Repeat four times then fill the reservoir to the Fill Range level.
Items you will need
- Turkey baster
- Power steering conditioner/cleaner
- Power steering fluid
- "Chilton Chrysler Caravan/Voyager/Town and Country Repair Manual;" John Wegmann; Haynes North America; 2006
- Dynamic Graphics Group/Dynamic Graphics Group/Getty Images