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Re: battery light is on, power steering went out, 2000...
Yes, these vans are susceptible to taking in water. You may have an alternator full of water and it may be affecting the charge to the battery. Have an auto parts store test the alternator to see what it's output is.
As for the power steering, I don't know why the water would affect it.
If you go to the dealer, say nothing about the water puddle. I had a friend with a similar situation and the warranty would not cover the repair because they chose to drive into the water.
Check the engine oil dipstick for signs of water (bubbles). Sometimes the engine will **** water if they go to far underwater.
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Have you inspected the belt? It is probably stretched or damaged...the belt turns the power steering unit, and charges your battery via the alternator...(low battery light) Did you drive through some deep water last night? Be sure to inspect this so you do not get stranded. Hope this helps.
check belt is tight and or not damaged if good check power steering fluid if low can cause binding if good have alternator and battery checked alternator may be going bad and not charging battery [and if bearing going bad can cause binding }
The power steering is a sealed system. No way coolant could get in there. It might be contaminated by moisture from the air though. So you could suction it out (a turkey baster works great), and replace with clean fluid. Wasw the engine overheating from low coolant level? Hopefully, thats all it was. Keep it full!
Are you sure the drive belt is still on the engine ? The battery light usually comes on when the alternator is not charging the battery, and the power steering is also belt driven. The brake warning light can come on when the brake fluid is low, but also when the battery light comes on.
I know that there is 1 serpentine belt that runs all (incl. the PS pump) on the 3.8 liter. So if that belt
was missing, you would also be over heating, have no alternator charging, no ac (if equipped) as well as have no PS. If you see any belt at all (on the passenger side), then you are ok. The PS fluid resevoir is near the top and easily found. It has writing on the cap which also has a built in dipstick. Check the fluid level in the resevoir and fill it if nec. Are you hearing noises from the PS system with the fluids full? If so, you might need a new pump. Check for leaks too if the fluid was low, you might have a leaking hose or PS rack (hope not on the rack though $$)