Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: My power steering fluid keeps draining and needs refilling

asked by on

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.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Steering wheel jammed, cannot be turned

At this point, there is no other known fix for this issue other than steering wheel lock replacement. Nissan has released some service information for repairing technicians that calls out the difference in newly redesigned parts, and it seems that...

Q: Transmission died while I was driving

Ford had a technical service bulletin on these back in May of 2008 involving replacing sun gears and other components on models built before March 15, 2008. If yours falls into this category, hopefully the replacement you received incorporated the...

Q: Coolant disappearing for radiator.

If your car overheated and you are loosing coolant but no leaks are found the coolant is going somewhere. The place it is going is into the engine. The heads may be warped and the head gasket is leaking coolant...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...