The Power Steering Pump is leaking - What's a girl to do?

Hi all, I have a 96 Nissan Maxima. I’m told the power steering pump is leaking and it will cost $800 for a repair. 1) does this sound like way too much? 2) Is this the type of thing someone with limited car knowledge could do on my own? 3) if I don’t get it replaced or keep driving with it what will happen? could i drive off a cliff into a lake or will i just get stranded?

Please help - $800 would kill me and I only use the car to drive about 15 miles a week to get my kid to baseball practice and school. I eventually will get a new car, just need this one to last another year or two. Thanke everyone

That is just a wee bit expensive. That price is the dealer’s price? You can do better. Click on this Auto Zone Auto Parts Website for the price of a power steering pump and the Vehicle Repair Guide to aid in replacing it:,APP286674/vehicleId,2164501/initialAction,partProductDetail/store,1140/partType,00160/shopping/partProductDetail.htm
Have it verified that it is the power steering pump which is leaking. If it’s a hose, or a line, to it, that’s leaking, that could be repaired.

Thanks you soooo much. It is a dealer price. I’ll try going to an independent shop and make sure it isn’t the hose or line and get another estimate. I haven’t been having any major trouble steering while parking and it isn’t making a squeeling, which are the two symptoms I’ve heard about. Does that mean it probably isn’t that bad yet? Thanks again!

How bad is it leaking? 800 bucks will buy a lot of power steering fluid.

DEFINATELY go to at least one independent shop. they will be much more reasonable. as GJ said, if it’s not too bad 800 will buy a bunch of fluid.

but like HK said it may be just a leaky hose. dealers are susceptible to just replacing everything, and not doing just the necessary repair.

I am with Jack. I inherited a car with a small leak in the PS connections to the pump at 50K. It worried me for about 10 K. I had over a hundred on it when I got rid of the car and never did anything about the small leak.

Try some of the power steering fluid with the stop leak in it. I had a leaky pump several hundred thousand miles ago and used it and hasn’t leaked again yet. Only issue would be something that is Honda fluid compatable.

I have a 97 Maxima with 129k miles and it, too, has a leaky ps pump. In fact, that’s the only thing wrong with the car. It’s been that way for the past 2-3 yrs and hasn’t gotten any worse. I check all the fluids at least monthly, and about twice a year I need to add a small amount of ps fluid to the reservoir. As others have already said, $800 buys a lot of ps fluid and it probably won’t give any problems as long as you keep enough ps fluid in it. The pump will give you lots of audible warning signs if it starts to go bad. I still enjoy driving the car, so the price of a little ps fluid is nothing.

The price sounds a mite high but could be about right depending on where the pump is procured and if you live in an area with high labor rates (San Francisco for ex.)

A look at the Advance Auto site shows a reman pump available for under 200 bucks so you could consider buying one of those and then having it installed. The shop will probably not stand behind it warranty wise but the odds of having a problem is near zero if the pump is installed correctly.

Another option is buy a used one from eBay. There’s a number of them on there for 35-50 bucks and for that price it’s worth a shot.

Another option is drive it as it is, add fluid now and then, and don’t worry about it much.
The second option is probably the one I would do, but I hate fluid leaks on a car anyway.