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Power Steering Fluid level

Hi,

I’ve a problem with my 2000 Nissan Maxima GLE. Recently I started hearing noise from Passenger side of the car, and I noticed that the Power Steering Fluid Reservoir is almost empty. Looking more closely, I see some kind of leak. Could this problem indicate something wrong with the Rack and Pinion or the Pump itself.

I went to autozone today, and bought a Power Steering Fluid with Stop Leak. I added the liquid, and turned Steering Wheel to the right and the left. After doing this, I checked the reservoir again, and I saw the reservoir level was very low again. I repeated the above steps until I reached the point where the reservoir level was to the high point. I would drive for couple of days and see if the reservoir level goes down again which point to leak still existing. While waiting on this test, would really appreciate if anyone can point to what could have gone wrong here that is causing the Power Steering fluid to leak. I’ve also attached the picture which point to suspected point of leak.

Thanks,
ktr

Look closely at the entire system to find the leak. If nothing is visible from the top raise the car and look at the rack and if it appears dry remove the spring clamps on the rack boot and slip a small screw driver under the rubber to check for a leak at the rack seals. Stop leaks may slow the leak but rarely seal it and rarely slow it for long. If the leak remains slow you could likely add fluid regularly and live with the leak for many months. Leaks are worst when turning the wheel when the car is sitting still. When the car is moving at 30 mph there is very little hydraulic pressure on the system.

Hard to tell from the picture but if that’s the P.S. hose, have it replaced. Stop-leak will not work on a leaking hose…Your car is 12 years old. These are the kind of things that happen to 12 year old cars…

Apparently I failed to mention that the photo doesn’t seem to show a leak of any consequence and I looked closely while wearing my 3.25 reading glasses. If the foam guard were removed from the hose a leak may be apparent but I just don’t see any significant leak in the picture.

Pick up some ramps and get under the vehicle. Power Steering systems at 12 years old with leaks are generally leaking via the seals internal to the rack. The fluid can generally ne seen as wetness on the boots at the ends of the rack. The metal shaft that slides back & forth in the rack as you turn slides through a rubber seal, and over time the metal wears the rubber seal out. Unfortunately, they’re not designed to be repairable on the vehicle, and it means a rack replacement.