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Dodge Repair/Stratus '05 power steering

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Question
I was driving home for work. All of a sudden my steering wheel gets tight. I pull over and find my belt split in two. I have half a.belt running on my ac/alternator. So i go to auto zone get a belt. Guy there says it cant be the belt. He said maybe the power steering pump but "hes not a mechanic" he said. Is there a fuse maybe but im not seeing one on the relay. No fluid leaking just a funny noise when im at a dead spot then step on the gas. Any other possibilities to where im not having to replace the pump. Could it be something else? Oh and my fluid is good. Thanks please respond.

Answer
Hi Billy,
It would be useful to know which engine (L) is in the vehicle.
Does the power steering pump belt drive any other component or just the steering pump? If just that, then the best thing to do is get a replacement belt, relieve the tension on the belt (there is a pulley that tensions the belt which should be adjustable) then remove the faulty belt.
Then rotate the pulley on the power steering pump to see if it is turning freely or is hard to turn/rough in its rotation.
If it turns easily then put on the new belt and tighten its tension till it will deflect about 3/8" when pushed on midway between the longest stretch of the belt between two pulleys. Then start the engine and see if the noise is gone and power steering is working again.
If the pump instead turns roughly by hand then replace the power steering pump.
Please read the PS (below) and respond to it.
Thanks,
Roland

Dodge Repair

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Roland Finston

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Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

I answer questions seven days a week and respond to you in about 30 minutes. "Maxed Out" means I am answering another question or asleep overnight so try again later.

I have do-it-yourself experience (50+ years) and a library of 100 1982-2012 Chrysler factory shop manuals and 20 multi-manual Chrysler Corp. CD's.

I was voted "Top expert" from 2010-2015 here at AllExperts, and have answered 20,000+ questions.

Experience

Five decades as a 'do-it-yourselfer' on domestic and imported cars

Organizations
Yahoo Autos Group called The Chrysler Lebaron Club (co-moderator)

Education/Credentials
Degrees in Physics/bruised knuckles.

Awards and Honors
"Top expert" of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 here at Allexperts. Quickest "average response time" at Allexperts (currently no. 1).

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