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265k miles and counting..
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm having a problem with my power steering on my 95 Sentra GXE. It intermittently reduces power assist and the pump is whining while I turn the wheel. I pulled a used rack this week at the junkyard ( $25 :)) from a low mileage car ( the original one has a small leak) but was wondering if it could also require a pump as well? How do you tell if the problem is with the pump or the rack? It does have full PS fluid and I changed it to a synthetic PS fluid in the last 30k miles.
 

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I have the same problem, ('98 200SX). BFGoodyear
just said it was a leak in the r/p steering, and fixing it's
going to cost $365.00. I'm not a DIY'er, so I'm probably
getting reamed :thumbdwn:. Anyway, until I have enough
money, I just add fluid whenever nessesary, which is
about once a month. I almost have enough to get it fixed;
another "not a real problem, but still a pain in the ass"
problem :(.
 

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absolutely classic
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455 Posts
himilefrontier said:
I'm having a problem with my power steering on my 95 Sentra GXE. It intermittently reduces power assist and the pump is whining while I turn the wheel. I pulled a used rack this week at the junkyard ( $25 :)) from a low mileage car ( the original one has a small leak) but was wondering if it could also require a pump as well? How do you tell if the problem is with the pump or the rack? It does have full PS fluid and I changed it to a synthetic PS fluid in the last 30k miles.
Your problem is that you used PS fluid when you should have used ATF. I'm not sure why Nissan uses automatic trans fluid for the p/s, but its what the manual says.
 

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265k miles and counting..
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Discussion Starter #4
Kindfiend said:
Your problem is that you used PS fluid when you should have used ATF. I'm not sure why Nissan uses automatic trans fluid for the p/s, but its what the manual says.
I dunno, but the car I pulled the rack from had 40k original miles on it and the rack had clear PS fluid in it. I also have a Frontier that I bought new and it uses PS fluid too. You can use ATF in a PS system, but not the other way around. The main difference is the temperatures the two fluids can handle, they both have the same lubricity.

Oh, and by slwo leak, I mean it need fluid every 6 mos or 20,000 miles.
 

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absolutely classic
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himilefrontier said:
I dunno, but the car I pulled the rack from had 40k original miles on it and the rack had clear PS fluid in it. I also have a Frontier that I bought new and it uses PS fluid too. You can use ATF in a PS system, but not the other way around. The main difference is the temperatures the two fluids can handle, they both have the same lubricity.

Oh, and by slwo leak, I mean it need fluid every 6 mos or 20,000 miles.
If the pump is whining, then the fluid is either low or the bearings in the ps pump are going from the PS fluid. I believe that ATF is thicker, which is why Nissan recommends it.

I assume you know where the leak is coming from. Does it just need to be topped off every 6 months or has it running dry ever? If it ran dry, that could cause some problems.

I don't think your problem lies in the rack. Many mechanics have tried to tell me the rack was shot on several of my cars(and they could replace it for $1000!). Turns out they were never right.
 

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265k miles and counting..
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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Kindfiend said:
If the pump is whining, then the fluid is either low or the bearings in the ps pump are going from the PS fluid. I believe that ATF is thicker, which is why Nissan recommends it.

I assume you know where the leak is coming from. Does it just need to be topped off every 6 months or has it running dry ever? If it ran dry, that could cause some problems.

I don't think your problem lies in the rack. Many mechanics have tried to tell me the rack was shot on several of my cars(and they could replace it for $1000!). Turns out they were never right.
It ran a little low about 40,000 miles ago( about a year) but has only been noisy recently(4-5k miles). Frankly, I haven't seen any appreciable leakage since then but the rack has some fluid lying inside the housing below the actual rack.I saw that when I changed the inner tie rod end a while back.I also litterally check my fluid levels daily and look for other problems every few days when it's slow at work, so nothing goes low for long so long as I am not ill. I don't get why anyone would tell you $1,000 for a rack. They are only $150-300 rebuilt at the parts store and are simple to change ( under an hour labor to r+r the rack). Then all you need is a new alignment and you're set.I'll probably start to scrounge around for another pump with low mileage on it since they are only $15 at the U Pull It yards by me.I only paid $30 for the rack with core charge, so I figure it was worth it to have as a spare.
 

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himilefrontier said:
It ran a little low about 40,000 miles ago( about a year) but has only been noisy recently(4-5k miles). Frankly, I haven't seen any appreciable leakage since then but the rack has some fluid lying inside the housing below the actual rack.I saw that when I changed the inner tie rod end a while back.I also litterally check my fluid levels daily and look for other problems every few days when it's slow at work, so nothing goes low for long so long as I am not ill. I don't get why anyone would tell you $1,000 for a rack. They are only $150-300 rebuilt at the parts store and are simple to change ( under an hour labor to r+r the rack). Then all you need is a new alignment and you're set.I'll probably start to scrounge around for another pump with low mileage on it since they are only $15 at the U Pull It yards by me.I only paid $30 for the rack with core charge, so I figure it was worth it to have as a spare.
Well, keep in mind this is before I started to do my own work. I wouldn't have payed someone that much, but that's what I was quoted several times (mainly on a 91 Civic that really needed new balljoints and tie rods). When under the car did you clean the area around the rack? If not, It might help identify the problem area. Since I have no direct experience with your car, you will be the best judge on where the leak is coming from. Good luck!
 

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265k miles and counting..
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Discussion Starter #8
Kindfiend said:
Well, keep in mind this is before I started to do my own work. I wouldn't have payed someone that much, but that's what I was quoted several times (mainly on a 91 Civic that really needed new balljoints and tie rods). When under the car did you clean the area around the rack? If not, It might help identify the problem area. Since I have no direct experience with your car, you will be the best judge on where the leak is coming from. Good luck!
Well,I cleaned almost everything and can see no leaks now except for a little drip from the bellhousing coming from a failing rear main. I think I'm gonna keep looking for a cheapie pump and focus on changing the rear quarter panel instead as I can do that cheaply this week.
 
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