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Nissan Frontier Power Steering Pump

Identifying the Reasons why a Nissan Frontier Power Steering Pump Fails

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:

Stiff steering

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.

Loud noise

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.

Severe leaking

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.

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  • How to Take Care of a Nissan Frontier Power Steering Pump

    The power steering pump in your Nissan Frontier performs a key function. It provides hydraulic power for the steering assembly of your vehicle, so you can achieve an effortless wheel maneuvering. Because this component is really important, you must take good care of it. A regular maintenance check must be done to ensure its optimum performance. It can also help you extend the longevity of the power steering pump in your vehicle. Here are some pump-care tips that you can follow:

    • Keep the power steering reservoir full.
    • If you want your power steering pump to function to its fullest, you have to make sure that the reservoir is always full. When there's enough fluid, the pump receives enough pressure to work efficiently. Low fluid level, on the other hand, causes stiff steering. If you twist and turn the steering wheel hard all the time, you can damage its parts badly. To prevent this situation, refill your fluid reservoir every month.
    • Use the recommended fluid for a Nissan Frontier.
    • If you're quite unsure of the appropriate oil or fluid to use, check your vehicle owner's manual. You can't just use any other fluid because each has a unique operating temperature. Most fluids are designed to resist thinning even when they are subjected to extremely high temperature and pressure. In a Nissan Frontier, you can use the same oil/fluid that is used in the truck's transmission-a synthetic, multi-vehicle ATF. This type of fluid is compatible with the rubber material used in a Frontier's hoses and seals.
    • Check the condition of the hoses.
    • The hoses in a power steering pump assembly usually deteriorate from the inside. They won't show any early signs of damage until you see the fluid leaking, which is already an indication of severe damage. You'll know that the hoses are already weak when they feel soft and squishy. These hoses must be replaced immediately to prevent fluid leaks.
    • Replace the seals and O-rings regularly.
    • O-rings and seals must be replaced once their adhesives have completely come off. Power steering pump seals are not that expensive. They are available at your local auto parts store at very low price. By spending a few bucks, you can help prolong the efficiency of the Nissan Frontier power steering pump.