Q: Steering going out

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The steering is going out. When I brake, the wheel locks up a little and then loosens and pulls to the left. Upon acceleration, the steering locks up again, loosens, and then pulls to the right. It does make a kind of a pop sound or a pop thud when I'm turning the steering wheel. I think it might be my intermediate steering arm. And there's an oil leak I can't pinpoint. Plus the transmission is slipping during gear changes.

Intermediate shaft issues are common on Dodge Dakotas. The symptoms you described are very typical. The shaft tends to bind at times and make clunk sounds when going over bumps and turning. The repair is simply to replace the shaft. If your vehicle is equipped with air bags, repairs on the steering column should be performed by a qualified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic. They will be able to inspect your steering issue and have this problem resolved.

As for your other concers, the mechanic will also be able to find the oil leak and make a repair. The transmission slipping can be caused by low fluid, bad clutches, or leaking internal seals for example. The mechanic can finally perform a thorough diagnosis of the internals of the transmission to diagnose the cause of the slip and determine what fixes are needed.

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