Why does my steering lock up for a few seconds sometimes?

Asked by Jul 10, 2015 at 12:14 AM about the 2005 Dodge Ram 3500 Laramie Quad Cab LB DRW 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

3 Answers

31,395

Check the level of the power steering fluid.

15

I am not sure if the 2005 is the same as my 1998 Dodge Ram 3500 or my cousins 1996 Dodge Ram 3500 but I assume from the problems you are describing they did not modify it to cure the problem. So here ya go... Dodge for some reason designed a metal "screen" to be in their power steering pumps to cause any deposits to be screened from entering the rest of the steering systems. Ford does not put one in theirs and neither does Chevy. However those screens are the source of the problem. We have drained and cleaned and replaced them to never cure the problem. My 1998 steering COMPLETELY "locked" up. Good thing I was on a local street at an intersection, making a left turn ahead of oncoming traffic doing about 10-15 MPH and not traveling on a freeway interchange going faster 60-70 MPH hundreds of feet above a lower LA Freeway. Fluid Changing and cleaning the screen helps for a while but does not FIX it... It still returns and initially makes the reaction you are experiencing... (Occasional mini-lockups and an "eery feeling" much like a belt slipping or broken and that you may loose all power assist or total steering lock-up.) We (my cousin and I) and a diesel mechanic friend of ours recommended we completely remove that screen... We did and have not experienced any problems since. Apparently, some junk/ impurities/ dust etc. gets in the fluid and acts as a "BLOCK" at the location of the screen ...to the fluid moving versus helping the system. I have always thought this design error was dangerous... But it has been pretty much the only bad experience I have had with mine... and since the screen removal it has been an awesome truck. I hope this helps you and other Dodge Ram owners. If you do not feel good about removing the screen then your only alternative is to drain, replace PS fluid, and clean the screen "frequently" like you were changing the oil.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thanks guys. I'll check on removing the screen. I hope it works. I was going slow both times it happened to me also.

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