Q: My power steering fluid keeps draining and needs refilling

asked by on November 02, 2016

I recently noticed my cars power steering fluid is making a whining noise so I checked the power steering fluid which was almost dry so I filled it up and once again within 2 days it had mostly drained out and was making a whining sound again. So I filled it again and within 2 days once again it was somewhat drained out and had a reddish color.

My car has 199500 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

It sounds like you have a significant leak based on the rate of fluid loss. There is probably external evidence of the leak; it is also possible to have multiple leak points, of course, particularly as the car ages. However, sometimes the power steering fluid leaks into the bellows which covers each inner tie rod end, so if it is leaking there, it could be hard to detect. If you’re lucky, the leak will be in a supply or pressure line or a low pressure return hose, often simply a rubber hose. If you are unlucky, the leak will be in the steering rack itself. The pump has a seal that can leak as well, and the pump is somewhat easier to replace than the rack. In any event, the leak possibilities on your system are fairly limited in extent and so the repair is very doable. If the rack or pump is leaking, you’ll want to have an in-depth conversation with a techinican as to your vendor options for a new or rebuilt rack or pump; not all rebuilt parts are created equal. In this circumstance, if Nissan sells rebuilt racks, save yourself a ton of headaches and buy the part from Nissan. If it’s not available from Nissan, the part should be researched unless you want to replace it over and over again. If you would like some professional advice on this issue or any applicable replacement parts, consider contacting a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to diagnose your power steering fluid leak.

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