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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone have an issue with low speed hard turns seems like I am fighting the power steering. I notice it on a sharp U-turn I make every morning, and during tight parallel parking.

Dealer says its normal and isn't interested in diagnosing it further.

Any thoughts or suggestions? The car has 75k miles but has the lifetime warranty.
 

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First I'll explain the steering system on your car and then list some possible causes ...

The 2011 Charger has the Electro-Hydraulic Power Steering (EHPS) Pump assembly; which contains a control module, electric motor, and hydraulic pump integrated into a single unit. The EHPS Pump draws power from the 12-Volt electrical system and provides the necessary flow and pressure to the steering gear to provide power steering.
The output flow of the EHPS Pump is varied as a function of Steering Wheel Rate (received from SAS - Steering Angle Sensor) and Vehicle Speed (received from ABS Module).
The EHPS Pump will start to provide steering assist when a Vehicle speed message of greater than 5 km/h (3 mph) is received on the CAN Bus (Controller Area Network). If the Vehicle Speed message is missing at vehicle startup, the EHPS Pump will not operate. If the Vehicle Speed message is lost during operation the EHPS pump will use a default vehicle speed of 85 km/h (59 mph) to calculate desired flow and as a result, steering effort will no longer be speed sensitive. If the Steering Wheel Position message is lost the EHPS Pump will use a default steering wheel rate of 230°/sec to calculate desired flow and as a result, steering effort may be higher on evasive/quick steering maneuvers. The EHPS pump will resume normal operation automatically once any missing message or out of range condition noted above is restored to normal.

So if your speed is not greater than 3 MPH when turning the wheel ... yes, it's working as designed. The other default behaviors mentioned above occur when there is a problem (message lost). Hopefully a DTC will be logged if messages are being lost. You can plug a OBD2/CAN scanner into the car OBD2 port and see if any active/pending DTCs are logged.

The other possible causes require a physical inspection. Possible causes when the steering is difficult to turn:

Low power steering fluid level.
Unfortunately this requires access to the EHPS pump ... which is located in front of the right side (passenger) tire - and behind the front wheelhouse splash shield. So you have to remove the wheel, or position it so you can access the splash shield ... and then remove the front wheelhouse splash shield, so that you have full access to the EHPS pump and fluid reservoir.
The alternative is to use a digital inspection camera, with a borescope, and snake it through an opening.

Tire(s) not properly inflated.
Lack of lubrication in lower ball joint or ball joint is damaged.
Lack of lubrication in steering gear outer tie rod end(s).

Easy for you to check tire inflation. A suspension/wheel alignment shop can check the front suspension and rack-pinion steering rack for any binding or damage. The same shop may have a digital inspection camera, with a borescope, to check the EHPS fluid level.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you very much that information is very helpful!! Gives me a few different things to think about.

The dealer tells me this is a sealed system so is it likely to have lost fluid?
 

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The system is not a sealed system. The power steering reservoir is integrated with the EHPS pump and is serviced as an assembly - but there is a removable cap on the reservoir for adding fluid. There are hoses/connectors from the pump to the rack-pinion steering rack that could possibly develop a leak.

Access to inspect the fluid level is a pain (described in my previous post). Check the fluid level on the side of the reservoir. The level should be between ADD and FULL COLD when the fluid is at normal ambient temperature. When the fluid is hot, the level is allowed to be up to the FULL HOT line. Only add fluid to the system when it is cold. The reservoir does not hold a lot of fluid.

The EHPS pump requires a different power steering fluid (MS-11655 or equivalent). Do not mix power steering fluid types. Damage may result to the power steering pump and system if any other fluid is used. There is a service procedure for purging air from the system when adding fluid. If the air is not purged from the power steering system correctly, pump failure could result.
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