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#4489848 - 08/16/17 02:09 AM Tiny bubbles in PS reservoir
Boosted240 Offline

Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 20
Loc: Canada
I recently replaced all the low pressure rubber return lines on my Nissan's power steering system. They specify Dexron for the PS system, so I refilled the system using Mobil D/M and bleed according to the procedure in the FSM. As I bleed the system I continue to monitor the reservoir for bubbles, but I cannot seem to get rid of these tiny "soda" like bubbles. The pump is not making any noise and the power steering seems to be working fine. I let the car sit overnight, in the morning the reservoir showed no signs of bubbles, but after starting the engine and running for a minute, the soda-like bubbles reappear. It's the same consistent amount of bubbles no longer how long I let it run for. While some bubbles recycle back down the supply/suction line, a fraction of them rise to the surface and go away, which makes me think there is air being constantly sucked in somewhere?

Not sure if this is normal(never really paid attention to it in the past) or could it be a o-ring the pump's suction inlet? The reservoir is higher than the pump and is fed down via a 5/8" hose which is brand new as well. No fluid leaks anywhere on the PS system.

Thanks all!

Video below

Edited by Boosted240 (08/16/17 02:15 AM)

#4489861 - 08/16/17 03:37 AM Re: Tiny bubbles in PS reservoir [Re: Boosted240]
Egg_Head Offline

Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 291
Loc: North Carolina
Might be a question for Don Ho. eek
1979 Garelli Rally Sport
2009 Cub Cadet LT1042
2002 BMW 540 M Sport (totaled)

#4489879 - 08/16/17 05:13 AM Re: Tiny bubbles in PS reservoir [Re: Boosted240]
demarpaint Offline

Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 30024
Loc: NY
It could be overfilled, or it is sucking in air, in which case it is going to leak from somewhere. If the level is right keep an eye on it for a leak.
God Bless Our Troops

#4489886 - 08/16/17 05:58 AM Re: Tiny bubbles in PS reservoir [Re: Boosted240]
Merkava_4 Offline

Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 17501
Loc: Clovis, CA

#4489914 - 08/16/17 07:11 AM Re: Tiny bubbles in PS reservoir [Re: Boosted240]
berniedd Offline

Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 596
Loc: A Warm place to live in
Prob sucking in air from a leak. Dunno if Nissan has similar issues, but bubbles in the PSF in Honda Civics indicate bad O rings in the power steering pump that have to be replaced.

#4489922 - 08/16/17 07:37 AM Re: Tiny bubbles in PS reservoir [Re: Boosted240]
mightymousetech Offline

Registered: 04/03/17
Posts: 1480
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Air in the P/S is almost always a leak on the suction side of the P/S, between the pump and the reservoir. See it all the time at Acura.
Mighty Mouse Tech
BMW Tech, Former Acura Tech
2010 Civic Si Castrol 0W40, Redline MTL
2013 BMW 135i M Sport Edition Castrol 0W40, Redline MTL

#4489995 - 08/16/17 09:21 AM Re: Tiny bubbles in PS reservoir [Re: Boosted240]
SumpChump Offline

Registered: 02/11/14
Posts: 1979
Loc: Upper Midwest by the Lakes USA
You've been probably driving on it like that for 40k miles. It'll go another 80k with the bubbles.

#4490008 - 08/16/17 09:44 AM Re: Tiny bubbles in PS reservoir [Re: Boosted240]
Colt45ws Offline

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 9682
Loc: Central Washington
Agree that youll probably find the leak sooner or later when it starts drooling fluid.
2002 Ford Crown Vic PI 207k, Ex-Kootenai County, ID Unit #42
Down for engine swap
2003 Ford Crown Vic PI 75k
Castrol EDGE HM 5W30, Fram XG2

#4490057 - 08/16/17 10:31 AM Re: Tiny bubbles in PS reservoir [Re: Boosted240]
The_Nuke Offline

Registered: 07/21/13
Posts: 319
Loc: D/FW Metroplex
I recently replaced the PS reservoir in my Challenger and did a fluid flush and fill at the same time, and while I was flushing the old fluid (and turning the wheel back and forth w/ engine running), I managed to let the pump run dry for an instant. No damage or anything, but that did require much more labor afterward turning the wheel and filling the reservoir with fresh fluid in order to flush out all the air it accidentally ingested.

I bring that up because the bubbling I saw in my reservoir look just like the ones in the fluid in the video you have in your post. I can't speak to whether or not simply having air in your PS system is the culprit here (and thus would only require much effort to bleed it completely out), or if there is something wrong somewhere causing the bubbles. But I'm telling you, that's a spitting image of what mine looked like while I bled the system.

So I am thinking that it couldn't hurt to assume it's just air in the system and see if you can bleed it out by the old stand-by method (get wheels off the ground, then turn the wheels lock-to-lock over and over with engine off until no more bubbles). If you to that for a while and it does not help, well then nothing is lost and you're back in the same spot where you started.

But if it does do the trick, you just made your own day! wink
2012 Dodge Charger
- R/T with pursuit pkg.
- 5.7L + A5 + 2.65
"'s got cop tires, cop shocks, cop suspension..."

#4490062 - 08/16/17 10:42 AM Re: Tiny bubbles in PS reservoir [Re: Boosted240]
L_Sludger Offline

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 3947
Loc: Ohio
You need a dentist for that cavitating PS pump
too many cars and oil combinations to list in 150 characters or less

#4490081 - 08/16/17 11:15 AM Re: Tiny bubbles in PS reservoir [Re: L_Sludger]
Kira Offline

Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 5443
Loc: Champlain/Hudson Valley
A point aside: Mentioning Don Ho's "Tiny Bubbles" was THE BEST! You guys are THE BEST! .
I had never heard of that before.

#4490158 - 08/16/17 12:45 PM Re: Tiny bubbles in PS reservoir [Re: Boosted240]
Hootbro Offline

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 2414
If it is not leaking, I would not sweat those small bubbles. I have repaired PS systems before and have had it take a few weeks sometimes for those bubbles to dissipate.

Thing to worry about is if it was frothing and running out of the reservoir, then I would be concerned.
2018 Jeep Wrangler JL 3.6L (Idemitsu 0W-20)
2017 Jeep Renegade 2.4L (Idemitsu 0W-20)

#4490184 - 08/16/17 01:21 PM Re: Tiny bubbles in PS reservoir [Re: Boosted240]
Gokhan Offline

Registered: 12/29/10
Posts: 3099
Loc: Los Angeles, California
After I started hearing horrible screeching sounds coming from my power steering, I thought it was the belt and I replaced all the drive belts. That didn't solve the problem. It turned out that the fluid level was too low. I added fluid and then turned the steering wheel from lock to lock multiple times to bleed the system but the bubbles never fully disappeared. It's probably a small leak and/or pump problems. I won't bother repairing it unless it becomes problematic.

This said, looking at your video, your problem is a lot worse than mine. It's definitely sucking in air like crazy from somewhere and there may be a large fluid leak as well. In my case I can only see a few tiny bubbles after I turn the steering wheel from lock to lock a few times.
1985 Toyota Corolla LE, 4A-LC engine, ~ 270,000 M
Toyota (TGMO) 0W-20 SN synthetic
Mobil 1 EP M1-103 filter, 90430-12031 drain gasket

#4490242 - 08/16/17 02:34 PM Re: Tiny bubbles in PS reservoir [Re: Boosted240]
Trav Offline

Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 19343
Loc: MA,
Make yourself one of these, a mity vac, a rubber stopper from the hardware store big enough to cover the fill hole and a stiff piece 1/4" plastic tubing. GM actually has a special tools part# for this.
Drill a hole slightly smaller than the tubing, slash cut the end of the tubing making it easier to get through the rubber and use wd40.

Pull 15in vacuum and watch the gauge, if may drop a few time as it pulls the air out of the system but at some point it should hold a vacuum not going down more than a few in over 53-4 min. Once it does that leave it under vacuum for an hour or so, it will draw the air bubbles out of the system, check it didn't loose vacuum as it will go down when the air comes out.

ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.

#4490366 - 08/16/17 05:23 PM Re: Tiny bubbles in PS reservoir [Re: Boosted240]
Boosted240 Offline

Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 20
Loc: Canada
Replaced the inlet o-ring and it made no difference. The vacuum pump is a good idea, I will give it a try this week. That should rule out any air leaks on the suction side for sure. Thanks everyone! Will report back.

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