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Power steering is puking metal particles #4497094
08/24/17 03:27 PM
08/24/17 03:27 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 24
Canada
Boosted240 Offline OP
Boosted240  Offline OP

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 24
Canada
A couple weeks ago I posted an issue where I changed the fluid in my Nissan PS system and upon doing so i noticed very small bubbles circulating in the reservoir. Applied vacuum to the reservoir, no leaks, no odd noises and the steering worked like it should. Still trouble shooting the issue I noticed the fluid starting to get glittery, when i went to take a peek at the bottom of the reservoir there were small metal particles all over the bottom(brand new reservoir as well). I emptied the reservoir, cleaned it and filled it back up. Ran the car for another 5 minutes, next morning I check the reservoir and it's got a bunch of metal particles in the bottom again. Keep in mind I have not drove the car since, only let it run idle. I pulled the pump and took it apart but can't find any obvious sources of wearing. Any advice here? I'm quite certain the metal isn't from the rack, but is there anything else I should investigate before purchasing a new pump? Fluid used is Mobil D/M ATF. Thanks all

Re: Power steering is puking metal particles [Re: Boosted240] #4497124
08/24/17 03:58 PM
08/24/17 03:58 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 5,006
California
nthach Offline
nthach  Offline

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 5,006
California
The pump is probably the likely source of the metal glitter, it's the only part of the system where there's direct metal-on-metal contact with the fluid. The rack also has contact with fluid but it's not moving it under pressure, it's directing fluid to certain paths.

I would wager the pump seals are leaking allowing air to enter the system and aerate the fluid.

Re: Power steering is puking metal particles [Re: Boosted240] #4497125
08/24/17 03:59 PM
08/24/17 03:59 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 799
Anaheim, CA
zorobabel Offline
zorobabel  Offline

Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 799
Anaheim, CA
Maybe someone used a stopleak in the PS system?


1997 Maxima 197k, Castrol GTX Synblend 5W-30, FL400S
2004 Corolla 197k, VWB + SSS + Rislone cocktail, MGL51516
Re: Power steering is puking metal particles [Re: Boosted240] #4497128
08/24/17 04:03 PM
08/24/17 04:03 PM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 10,901
Indiana
dlundblad Offline
dlundblad  Offline

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 10,901
Indiana
Since the pump was so easy to remove and inspect, I would just reinstall and run it until it dies. Does a Nissan require any special fluid? A few anal retentive drain and fills on a weekly basis may be in order if it bothers you that much.


03 Jeep WJ 4.0 202k Edge 10w40 HM Fram XG16
02 Volvo S60 2.4T 186k M1 0w40 Mahle OX149D
97 Chevy Blazer 4.3 153k Synpower 5w30 Supertech ST3980 (Ecore)

Re: Power steering is puking metal particles [Re: Boosted240] #4497142
08/24/17 04:24 PM
08/24/17 04:24 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 24
Canada
Boosted240 Offline OP
Boosted240  Offline OP

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 24
Canada
The only thing I'm concerned about with running the system with a metal shedding pump is that it could be abrasive to the seals in the rack. Just seems odd this problem arose from a fluid change.

Re: Power steering is puking metal particles [Re: zorobabel] #4497148
08/24/17 04:39 PM
08/24/17 04:39 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 5,006
California
nthach Offline
nthach  Offline

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 5,006
California
Originally Posted By: zorobabel
Maybe someone used a stopleak in the PS system?

PS stop leaks are seal swell or polymeric products, not a ginger root or aluminum/resin powder.

I'd pull the reservoir, pump and see if you push some clean fluid into the lines and rack to get the grit out, and then install a new pump and reservoir(unless you can get the existing one surgically clean, Japanese ones use a sponge or mesh filter in them). Flush out the system with as much ATF or specified fluid to get things clean. It wouldn't hurt to install a Magnefine on the return line, I've never done it but there's not much to filter a power steering system.

Re: Power steering is puking metal particles [Re: nthach] #4497165
08/24/17 05:03 PM
08/24/17 05:03 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 799
Anaheim, CA
zorobabel Offline
zorobabel  Offline

Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 799
Anaheim, CA
Originally Posted By: nthach
Originally Posted By: zorobabel
Maybe someone used a stopleak in the PS system?

PS stop leaks are seal swell or polymeric products, not a ginger root or aluminum/resin powder.

I'd pull the reservoir, pump and see if you push some clean fluid into the lines and rack to get the grit out, and then install a new pump and reservoir(unless you can get the existing one surgically clean, Japanese ones use a sponge or mesh filter in them). Flush out the system with as much ATF or specified fluid to get things clean. It wouldn't hurt to install a Magnefine on the return line, I've never done it but there's not much to filter a power steering system.

I've seen a guy pour PS fluid in his brake fluid reservoir (I seem to remember it was a BMW :)); someone like that would have no problem adding some of that copper powder radiator stop leak to the PS.

There are people on this board that filter their PS fluid, not sure it's worth it.


1997 Maxima 197k, Castrol GTX Synblend 5W-30, FL400S
2004 Corolla 197k, VWB + SSS + Rislone cocktail, MGL51516
Re: Power steering is puking metal particles [Re: Boosted240] #4497191
08/24/17 05:39 PM
08/24/17 05:39 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 6,158
Fort Lauderdale, FL
DoubleWasp Offline
DoubleWasp  Offline

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 6,158
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Ps filter would solve nothing. It's on the return line. Pump could still send all he'll down in there.


07 Lincoln Navigator M1 0w-40/FU
68 Charger R/T / Supercharged 440 VR1/DBL7349
07 Ram 3500 4x4 / Cummins 6.7 /DBL7349
17 Maserati GranTurismo Cabrio
Re: Power steering is puking metal particles [Re: Boosted240] #4497343
08/24/17 09:13 PM
08/24/17 09:13 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 24
Canada
Boosted240 Offline OP
Boosted240  Offline OP

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 24
Canada
So I think i'll reassemble the pump with new seals and gaskets and reinstall with a magnefilter on the return line. Run it for a bit, then remove the filter and run again. If I still find metal particles, i'll resort to a new pump.

Re: Power steering is puking metal particles [Re: Boosted240] #4497711
08/25/17 12:03 PM
08/25/17 12:03 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 5,006
California
nthach Offline
nthach  Offline

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 5,006
California
Originally Posted By: Boosted240
So I think i'll reassemble the pump with new seals and gaskets and reinstall with a magnefilter on the return line. Run it for a bit, then remove the filter and run again. If I still find metal particles, i'll resort to a new pump.

The cam pack and vanes are more than likely toast - I'd just put in a new pump for all the effort you're doing.

Is this the OEM Nissan pump or a reman?

Re: Power steering is puking metal particles [Re: nthach] #4497844
08/25/17 03:00 PM
08/25/17 03:00 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 24
Canada
Boosted240 Offline OP
Boosted240  Offline OP

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 24
Canada
Originally Posted By: nthach
Originally Posted By: Boosted240
So I think i'll reassemble the pump with new seals and gaskets and reinstall with a magnefilter on the return line. Run it for a bit, then remove the filter and run again. If I still find metal particles, i'll resort to a new pump.

The cam pack and vanes are more than likely toast - I'd just put in a new pump for all the effort you're doing.

Is this the OEM Nissan pump or a reman?


OEM pump about 75,000 miles and 22 years old. Is there any visual cues that could confirm that the cam and vanes are done? I have the entire pump taken apart and can't see anything that really stands out. There is a portion of the housing inside on the high pressure side that is unmachined and still rough from the original aluminium casting but I can't imagine the ATF could be wearing that down and creating the metallic glitter in the fluid. I can take photos this weekend if it helps.

Re: Power steering is puking metal particles [Re: Boosted240] #4497942
08/25/17 04:56 PM
08/25/17 04:56 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 5,006
California
nthach Offline
nthach  Offline

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 5,006
California
The vanes should be smooth, the outer and inner cam should not be at all scored.

For all the effort you're doing, put in a new pump.

Re: Power steering is puking metal particles [Re: Boosted240] #4498382
08/26/17 06:57 AM
08/26/17 06:57 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 927
dayton oh
kc8adu Offline
kc8adu  Offline

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 927
dayton oh
yes replace it and hope the rack isnt full of metal too.
i would stick a filter in the return to try and get what is still in the system after a flush.

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