Remote Diagnosis: Hard to turn in one direction

Posted by: Vikas

Remote Diagnosis: Hard to turn in one direction - 03/13/14 08:14 PM

Maxima 2000 approx 200K miles; Out of blue I got call today that my son noticed it is very hard to turn to right and also makes "bird chirping" noises when turning right. After warm up, it was fine. To be fair, it has been unseasonably cold today and it was quite a swing in the temperature as of yesterday.

These vehicles are known to blow the high pressure hose and this vehicle is at least 100K miles over the normal life of that hose! But the reservoir level is fine and there is no leak that he can see or no puddle under the vehicle. That rules out the usual culprit.

I asked him to take it to mechanic and put it up on the lift. I can't see apart from an actual fault in rack and pinion ($$$$$$$) anything else that could lead to this behavior. Besides, most rack and pinion faults do end up in loss of fluid and ample evidence where it becomes obvious that rack needs to be replaced. I am also asking him to get the power steering system flushed.
Posted by: Chris142

Re: Remote Diagnosis: Hard to turn in one direction - 03/13/14 08:33 PM

We used to call that morning sickness
Posted by: Vikas

Re: Remote Diagnosis: Hard to turn in one direction - 03/13/14 08:48 PM

But only one side?
Posted by: Chris142

Re: Remote Diagnosis: Hard to turn in one direction - 03/13/14 09:07 PM

Yep
Posted by: Kruse

Re: Remote Diagnosis: Hard to turn in one direction - 03/13/14 09:14 PM

My mom had one on an 80s-something GM car that acted similar. GM cars of that era were notorious for the morning sickness that has been mentioned. There were some remanufacturers that actually resleeved the units they rebuilt.
Anyway, a new rack on her car fixed it.
Posted by: spasm3

Re: Remote Diagnosis: Hard to turn in one direction - 03/13/14 09:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Kruse
My mom had one on an 80s-something GM car that acted similar. GM cars of that era were notorious for the morning sickness that has been mentioned. There were some remanufacturers that actually resleeved the units they rebuilt.
Anyway, a new rack on her car fixed it.


Early cieras would do this, an internal leak in the rack and pinion. I fought this for a while until i just could not turn the wheel in freezing weather on a 86 model. New rack and pinion fixed it.
Posted by: artificialist

Re: Remote Diagnosis: Hard to turn in one direction - 03/13/14 09:25 PM

You will need a replacement rack and pinion. Do not get the cheap rebuilds that are sprayed carelessly with black paint. You will have to replace it 1 year. I don't know if Nissan has reman PS racks, but if they do, I would choose that.
Posted by: Pop_Rivit

Re: Remote Diagnosis: Hard to turn in one direction - 03/14/14 06:02 AM

A couple minutes of research would tell you that it's most likely the steering rack. When the seals are getting old it starts to get hard to steer in one direction or "notchy". It normally gets progressively worse.
Posted by: Trav

Re: Remote Diagnosis: Hard to turn in one direction - 03/14/14 06:10 AM

Sounds like the rack has given up the ghost.
Posted by: Vikas

Re: Remote Diagnosis: Hard to turn in one direction - 03/14/14 09:28 AM

Is there any snake oil worth trying in this case or too late? Surprisingly, I don't think there was any warning i.e. did not seem to have come on progressively.

Any seal rejuvenators such as ATP-205 or high mileage power steering fluid worth a try or would it make it worse?

The Maxima forum does not show power steering rack failure as a common problem on this model.
Posted by: Vikas

Re: Remote Diagnosis: Hard to turn in one direction - 03/14/14 10:23 AM

I know many of you hate ScottyKilmer and his unorthodox repair methods but some of his wild claims have been validated by others. I also discovered q-bond through his video and that stuff was absolutely amazing for fixing plastics. So I do tend to trust ScottyKilmer more than some of you guys. He recommends Seafoam TransTune for cleaning the power steering rack and I might try this as a last ditch effort before getting rid of the car.
Posted by: Trav

Re: Remote Diagnosis: Hard to turn in one direction - 03/14/14 05:16 PM

Lubegurd PS additive may be worth a try.