The power steering pump in your Nissan Frontier is a kind of hydraulic pump that makes the wheel steering easier for you. The pump releases a dampening fluid, which provides a softer steer to the wheel while you are driving on curve roads. But the pump is made of very sensitive components that fail easily due to stress and mechanical vibrations. The moment you experience certain steering pump problems, you should know how to troubleshoot, so you would know what to do to fix them. Here are some tips that you can follow to find the reasons behind power steering pump failure:
This problem usually happens when the Nissan Frontier power steering pump doesn't deliver enough pressure to soften the steering wheel operation. To verify the condition of the pump, you must perform a pressure test. You'll need a device called pressure gauge. It's usually inserted in the area between the pressure line and the pump. Start the test by turning on the engine. Rotate the wheel in one direction. While doing this, observe the pressure readings between 1000 rpm and3000 rpm. Get the difference between the two pressure measurements and compare it with your vehicle's pressure requirement. This information is usually stated on your vehicle owner's manual.
A specific sound points to a specific problem. A clicking or clunking noise is often caused by a broken steering pump vane. A long moaning sound, on the other hand, is due to a missing pump bearing or a damaged input shaft. If the pump is blocked, you'll hear a loud growling noise. To diagnose these problems, you have to do a physical inspection of the pump. Open the hood and check if the tension or serpentine belt is not loose. Adjust the belt if necessary. Also, take a look at the pump vane and observe if it's still securely fixed to its mounting position. If it's completely damaged, replace the pump immediately.
Hydraulic fluid/oil leaks usually happen when the seals or gaskets are removed because the adhesive already came off. A cracked pump casing or fuel reservoir is another common cause. To be sure that the abovementioned culprits are the true reason behind your steering pump problems, inspect the pump for physical damage and fracture. Inspect the hoses and lines too for holes and splinters.