2004 Nissan Altima Steering NOISE - Nissan Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old Feb 13th, 2004, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation 2004 Nissan Altima Steering NOISE

I can hear and fell a noise in the steering system while turning the steerin wheel when the car is WARM ONLY (when cold the same action cannot reproduce the problem - is silent). The noise can be described as a pop/knock noise and I can feel it in the steering wheel like you'd feel a small schock. The noise starts from low noise and become powerfull after complete warm up.
Any ideea what could cause this noise?

1) Start the car, Steering wheel stright, Engine COLD.
2.1) Move steering 30degrees right/left NO NOISE.
2.2)Complete rotation NO NOISE.

3) Car warmed up 10-20mins.
4) Repeat step 2.1) knock/pop noise schock felt in the steering wheel. Repeat 2.2) you can hear it 2 times for a complete rotation. Once when the wheels are straight and after each 180 degrees roation.

The noise start from low noise in the first 5 mins and is quite strong after 10-20 mins.

Hope this describes the problem better

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post #2 of 9 Old Feb 16th, 2004, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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Any luck with this? I am planning to go to another dealer today coz in WE I couldn't find anyboy. Any hint I can give to the dealer?
Local delaer is claiming this is normal: "Pinion br? preload adjuster is spring loaded. The noise is comming from rack&pinion movement allowed by spring tenssionon preload adjuster." This is what he wrote as the source/cause of the noise.
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post #3 of 9 Old Feb 16th, 2004, 10:00 AM
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This is something I found on the subject:

Steering noises (might be described as a popping sound), and/or
· The steering wheel alignment changes.
· Make sure the steering rack mounting bolts and nut are tight and torqued to the factory specification.
· If needed:
a. Remove the steering rack mounting bolts and nut.
b. Clean any loose or excess paint, or other debris that may be on the bolts, threaded bolt holes, and/or mounting bracket surfaces.
c. Perform front wheel Toe Adjustment.

I believe the dealer is right. I've heard the same explanation about the rack and pinion movemenr making the noise.


Last edited by Coco; Feb 16th, 2004 at 10:03 AM.
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post #4 of 9 Old Feb 16th, 2004, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Hi All,
GOOD NEWS! The problem is solved. All it took was 15 minutes including the testdrive before and after the fix. They reajusted something and the noise is gone now. Good job for the Bloomington,IL Nissan dealer! Thanks for all the replies on this therad!
If anybody interested I can quote the solution.

The funny part is that NissanUSA is still working to convince me that this is a "CHARACTERISTIC" of Altima 2004 2.5S. I'll update them tommorow about the fix. Hope they will have their lesson learned as I leart mine about my local dealer (Champaign, IL).
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post #5 of 9 Old Feb 16th, 2004, 09:58 PM
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Quote the the solution away for other members that may have the same problem.

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post #6 of 9 Old Feb 17th, 2004, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Coco
Quote the the solution away for other members that may have the same problem.


15 mins GREAT JOB!! ;-)
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post #7 of 9 Old Feb 17th, 2004, 12:30 PM
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Aren't you glad the tech was so elaborate on the problem and solution?

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post #8 of 9 Old Feb 23rd, 2004, 09:21 AM
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04 Altima Steering Noise

I also purchased an 04 Altima (3.5SE) and am experiencing the same Steering Noise. It is only after the car has warmed up. With less than 250 miles on the car, I had it looked at and they re-torqued the steering, but the noise returned in less than a week. I'm going to have to take it back in and have it looked at again.
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post #9 of 9 Old Aug 30th, 2005, 12:51 PM
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I just happened to be reading your posts about the steering popping and this sounds very similar to what I'm finding in my 03 maxima. Could this be related? Did your noise feel like it was directly behind the airbag? This is what I posted on the max board

I just bought an 03 Maxima 4 months ago with 12K miles and I've been having a slight problem since the very first test drive. I noticed there seemed to be a popping and a noise that sounded like the "twang" from a spring that I could feel through the steering wheel when I turned the wheel more than 30 degrees in either direction-i.e. backing out of a parking space or doing a 3-point turn. I didn't think anything of it at the time because after all, warranty right Anyway, I really just thought something was loose in the front end. I took the car to the dealership and of couse, according to them "nothing is wrong with the car"... ok, I've drivin 3 other 03 maxima's and they don't make any vibration, popping or twang from the wheel. After explaining the problem to a mechanic friend and having him drive the car, he thought it was coming from directly behind the steering wheel and not the steering shaft or any suspension component-possible the clock spring (located on the other side of the airbag, prevents the wires from getting tangled when you turn the wheel, actually not a spring at all, but a coil of plastic wires). Back to the dealership I go (a different one this time). After 30 minutes, I convince the service manager that this noise has to be the clock spring and he agrees to replace it. I get the car back and its better but not fixed. I'm convinced the tech just sprayed some WD-40 inside the spring rather than replacing it, so I pull the airbag, take out the clock spring (hard to tell if it was really replaced because the car is so new anyway) and inspect the area. I figure I will do a couple things to the old spring first rather than put a brand new one in. I spray some WD-40 into the seam around the sealed unit and wipe some grease on the back of the clock spring where 2 pieces of plastic come together and spin around. This actually solved the problem! For a little while. By the way, temperature seems to have a big effect on the vib/noise. The warmer or mugger the weather, the worst the popping is. Cold weather doesn't seem to effect it as much. Anyway, so I pick up a new clock spring for $80 at the dealership (shop discount) take the car apart again...and....no change at all. NICE I drive it for a week which is how long it usually takes to really annoy me and I decide to pull the airbag and take the car for a test drive without the airbag. Maybe something is loose in the airbag? Nope, steering the same without the airbag. How bout driving without the clock spring, ok, no air bag, no clock spring, just a wheel, noise gone...Has to be clock spring....so how come I've had a total of 3 clocksprings that all have the same popping noise???? any ideas??? anyone else run into a similar problem?
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