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Dodge Ram 3500 Steering Gearbox

Causes of Dodge Ram 3500 Steering Gearbox Defects

With a heavy pickup truck like the Dodge Ram 3500, steering components like the steering gearbox are at greater risk of damage. Even if it is built to withstand wear and tear, it will still deteriorate overtime. You see, a faulty steering gearbox can result to several sorts of problems to your auto, which may include leaks and oil foaming. If you suspect your pickup truck's steering gearbox to have exceeded its service life, you'd better perform some troubleshooting. Listed below are some of the common defects encountered by your Dodge Ram 3500 steering gearbox and the reasons behind them.

Auto leans to one side

If you think that your Dodge Ram 3500 is leaning too much on one side when operated, then check the steering gearbox if it shows signs of wearing. This wandering can be caused by other faulty steering components like the tie rods and linkage. But, if the other parts seem fine, then there is a great chance that the gear box has already exceeded its lifespan. If this happens, better find a replacement right away to ensure safety when driving.

Wobbling steering wheel

Another way to check if your auto's steering gear box is faulty is by turning the steering wheel into one direction. If steering requires you to maneuver a lot before the front wheels turn into the desired direction, then you might have a steering gearbox problem. You see, a faulty gearbox makes it difficult for you to turn to a different direction immediately.

Leaks from steering shaft seals

Another place to check if you suspect a steering issue is the steering shaft seals. In addition, the hoses that lead to the steering gear should also be inspected for signs of leakage. You see, the leaking can be detected easily when the vehicle is parked. Failing to detect the leaks early can cause serious and costly repairs later on.

Steering noise

Due to the damaged and leaking steering hoses, the steering pump will operate noisily. This is because of the low fluid levels caused by excessive leaking. You see, this can also lead to heat buildup in the steering gearbox components and will lead to a faster wear rate.

Steering fluid discoloration

The heat buildup can also cause oil discoloration or foaming on the steering fluid. So, if you find that the power steering fluid has suddenly become milky in color, then there is a problem with your steering gear box.

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  • How to Keep Your Dodge Ram 3500 Steering Gearbox in Top Shape 04 March 2014

    The Dodge Ram 3500 steering gearbox is mounted onto the frame of the truck and connects the steering column to the steering linkage. It responds to movements of the steering wheel and beacons the automobile in the corresponding direction. However, neglecting its maintenance can cause inconvenient problems. Schedule a routine maintenance for the steering gearbox in order to avoid such complications.

    Inspection tips

    • If your car's steering gearbox is power-assisted, make sure that you regularly flush out old contents from the system in order to remove any dirty fluid and debris.
    • Regularly check for any broken or missing mounting bolts, loose or worn-out steering linkage, or a cracked frame near the component. These sometimes can be confused with the symptoms of a bad steering gearbox.
    • If you notice that the linkage is loose, tighten it or replace it with a new one. You should also adjust the steering gearbox afterwards.

    Cleaning tips

    • Keep your linkage lubricated in order to prevent or remove problems related to hard steering.
    • If your Dodge Ram is of model year 1993 or older, lubricate the steering linkage every 30,000 miles. On the other hand, if your vehicle model is newer, you can do this every time you get an oil change and tire rotation.
    • Check the power steering fluid, hoses, and belt every 15,000 miles. Ensure that the hoses are secured even if you don't see any leaks. This is so you can prevent air from entering the system.
    • Keep the hoses away from your car's engine and other components before you pour in the steering fluid in order to prevent advanced wear and heat damage.

    Oil and fluids to use

    • For Dodge Rams that came after 1993, use Mopar steering fluid or equivalent. As for earlier models, only use Dexron II ATF. But before pouring it in, first check the fluid if it's clear.
    • When changing oil, know which one is suitable for your engine. For Rams of all model years that have a gasoline engine, use SAE 5W30 API-certified engine oil. If this is not available or if your engine is already heavily worn, you may use a 10W30 instead.
    • As for diesel-engine Rams, you can choose between Delo, Rotella, and Valvoline conventional oils. However, once you have picked one, it's best to stick with that formula to avoid contamination.

    Other maintenance tips

    Always keep your tires in good condition, with the wheels balanced and aligned. Maintain even tire pressure as well. These will prevent other routine steering problems.