2002 Altima - major issue with steering & no one knows what's wrong!

nissan
altima

#1

This doesn’t happen until I’ve been driving it for a while (over an hour). I’ll just be driving along and all of a sudden the steering wheel will give a bumpy jerk to the left. When it happens I feel like the front passenger tire is flapping or something. Then it stops for a few minutes and it happens again. The longer I drive it the more violent the episodes get. At first it’s not bad but it will continue to get worse to the point where it is undriveable. But if I am going on short trips its just fine. Does anyone know what’s wrong with my car? It has 103,000 miles on it. Thanks!


#2

You state that no one knows what is wrong. Who or what type of repair place has looked at this vehicle.


#3

Take it to a mechanic immediately so they can do a thorough inspection


#4

So far my local garage and I have just asked friends. I am just putting this out there to see if anyone knows what the problem is.


#5

What have they checked so far?


#6

Asking friends unless they are actual mechanics is a waste of time. At least tell us what your local garage said.


#7

Ask your mechanic to recommend a good front end shop. The only thing I can think of that could do this is a bad steering rack. Have you checked the level in your power steering pump?

No matter what the cause, this is extremely dangerous and needs to be looked at immediately!


#8

There are 2 components that come to mind, steering rack and power steering pump. Is the Power steering fluid reservoir full?


#9

Could be a tire problem too. When this happens does it sort of feel like you are driving a boat, instead of a car? Like it sort of wanders or drifts on the road surface?


#10

You might have the steering rack closely inspected and that means the inner and outer tie rods/tie rod ends which are part of it.

Assuming the inner and outer tie rods/ends are fine there could be an internal issue with the steering rack. I’ve run across this on a few cars although never on a Nissan.

One of them was a very odd case. It was a Chevrolet that ran and drove like a dream. However, when even one front tire hit a damp spot (NOT a puddle and as small as say 12" in diameter) on the roadway that car would get squirrelly and go all over the lane of traffic.
It was the steering rack that was the cause of this.


#11

Thank you. I’ll check. This car is off of the road until it is fixed. I was just asked for opinions.