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Old 05-06-2009, 12:45 PM   #1
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Power Steering Reservoir Hoses Leaking

Looks like I have a leak on one (or both) of the hoses that runs to the power steering fluid reservoir. The leak has made a mess in the area and can be easily trace it to the power steering fluid. Anyone know what size diameter and length tubing I need? Also, what/where is the best source to buy tubing? NAPA?

My main concern is if there is a proper way to change this b/c I would have to empty the power steering fluid and cause air to get into the system (is that a problem for power steering?). Do I have to go through a bench bleeding or priming process or can I just 1) drain, 2) disconnect hoses, 3) replace hoses, 4) refill with new fluid?

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Old 05-06-2009, 01:26 PM   #2
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The PS system will bleed itself, basically. Just turn the wheel lock to lock and it'll bleed the air out.

IIRC those hoses are preformed, but you can check local parts stores to see if they have them. If not, they shouldn't be too expensive from Dave.
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmohr View Post
The PS system will bleed itself, basically. Just turn the wheel lock to lock and it'll bleed the air out.

IIRC those hoses are preformed, but you can check local parts stores to see if they have them. If not, they shouldn't be too expensive from Dave.
I am planning on going to Pep Boys to pick up some short lengths of hose to replace the two coming out of the power steering reservoir, but want to make sure I get the right diameter and length.

Can anyone confirm that 3/8" diameter and 10" in length would be correct for both hoses that go to the front cooling lines, as is mentioned in the link to this longer section of hose I could order online. I'm not sure if it's 9" or 10" because it seems to imply that there is only one line that goes from the reservoir to the cooling line -> http://www.carpartsdiscount.com/auto...ml?3593=146870

I noticed my power steering fluid is getting a little low, and I hope that it is only a small leak in one of those lines that has caused it, since the area under them had a small amount of damp, dirt-caked fluid that looks like it's been building up for a while!

Also, can having a small deficiency in the fluid level cause a slight noise from the power steering pump? I haven't been able to figure out why I started hearing this noise but it would be nice to have it go away.

Last edited by mikeg75; 05-18-2012 at 02:15 AM..
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:19 AM   #4
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Check your clamps. The clamps on our cars go out a lot. My trusted mechanic said he had experience with that very problem. If they are the screw type give it a quarter turn or two tighter. If it the pinch type it might have grown weak.

Also like people have said the system will kinda bleed itself too. If you are loosing fluid at a noticable level you may want to check for a torn boot on your steering rack (look down near the fuel filter and you should see the boot from the top).
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Old 05-18-2012, 10:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phromethius View Post
Check your clamps. The clamps on our cars go out a lot. My trusted mechanic said he had experience with that very problem. If they are the screw type give it a quarter turn or two tighter. If it the pinch type it might have grown weak.

Also like people have said the system will kinda bleed itself too. If you are loosing fluid at a noticable level you may want to check for a torn boot on your steering rack (look down near the fuel filter and you should see the boot from the top).
Thanks for your advice re: tightening the clamps. I have a feeling there is a tiny leak that either my current mechanic or a prior one band-aided by putting a small length of hose on top of the one that came with the car. That plus the evidence of a small amount of liquid under that area leads me to believe it is a slow leak, and that I can probably stop it altogether with a new hose, which my mechanic probably would only replace if it was leaking badly, knowing the way he thinks.

I bought new ATF (Dextron III) and a turkey baster and planned on sucking out the existing PS fluid and while having it out, replace the hoses and put the new fluid in there to see if the steering improves and slight noise goes away.

Maybe I'll just buy the hoses and then ask him to fix it when he puts in my clutch and rear brakes next week. I'm trying to keep ahead of problems before they become big ones, rather than waiting for failure as he seems to do.
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeg75 View Post
my current mechanic or a prior one band-aided by putting a small length of hose on top of the one that came with the car
The factory hose has a rubber sleeve much like shrink tubing that acts as a protective shield, Its not a band aid added my your mechanic.

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Originally Posted by mikeg75 View Post
That plus the evidence of a small amount of liquid under that area leads me to believe it is a slow leak
How is your fluid level? Do you have to keep adding fluid? The reason I ask is because when the rear valve cover leaks (they all do after 13+ years) it leaks right onto the PS hoses.

One other thing you should know, due to tight spaces, I doubt bulk hose is going to work in this situation. The OEM hoses are preformed, with greater than 90*angles.
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asand1 View Post
The factory hose has a rubber sleeve much like shrink tubing that acts as a protective shield, Its not a band aid added my your mechanic.



How is your fluid level? Do you have to keep adding fluid? The reason I ask is because when the rear valve cover leaks (they all do after 13+ years) it leaks right onto the PS hoses.

One other thing you should know, due to tight spaces, I doubt bulk hose is going to work in this situation. The OEM hoses are preformed, with greater than 90*angles.
Thank you - very useful information to know. I may hold off on buying the replacement hose segments and just drain and refill the reservoir as best I can. I read numerous previous threads prior to posting and it appeared there was confusion about whether people were discussing the hoses behind the reservoir or the ones leading to the cooling lines, in the front. I know that the high-pressure lines are obviously behind as are a few other hose segments that I could see in FSM diagrams someone had posted in the gen 3 forum. I thought the pre-formed ones were the ones in the back area, but didn't realize the front ones were as well.

Maybe my fluid is just old and is sweating through the hoses. Will new fluid stay inside the hose, or once it sweats through, is the hose ruined? Thanks again for your replies!
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Old 05-18-2012, 03:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mikeg75 View Post
Maybe my fluid is just old and is sweating through the hoses. Will new fluid stay inside the hose, or once it sweats through, is the hose ruined? Thanks again for your replies!
If the hose are in fact leaking, the age of the fluid will not matter. Best advice I could give you is check your clamps and watch your fluid level. Clean everything as best you can, and watch for the source of the leak.
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by asand1 View Post
If the hose are in fact leaking, the age of the fluid will not matter. Best advice I could give you is check your clamps and watch your fluid level. Clean everything as best you can, and watch for the source of the leak.
I followed your advice, tightening the clamps, and for the past 2 weeks there has been no fluid appearing in the area I cleaned, under the lines that go to the front of the car.

I think the fluid may have been from a recent repair job where the mechanic/body repair person may have undid the hoses to work on the lower radiator support replacement, and he didn't wipe everything clean afterwards, which made me think it was leaking.

What got me motivated to even bother with this part of the car is that I'm trying to figure out why the internal clock light only works in cold weather and I thought maybe there are grounds around there that were affected by a bit of extra fluid/wetness.

Soon I'm planning on removing the center dash, disconnecting and reconnecting everything, without doing any replacements, just to see if the radio and clock lights will stay on all the time. Damn annoying little things that add up and frustrate you having a 17-year-old car.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeg75 View Post
I think the fluid may have been from a recent repair job where the mechanic/body repair person may have undid the hoses to work on the lower radiator support replacement, and he didn't wipe everything clean afterwards, which made me think it was leaking.

If the body man had to remove the reservoir to do your lower radiator support, I would be very worried. Did you replace with an OEM support? If not, you are in trouble in a month or two.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:33 PM   #11
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Yes it was an OEM lower radiator support replacement and yes I paid a bunch for it ($600 installed). That plus other parts and labor I've had done to this car in the past year makes me want everything to be right, so that's why I want the clock and radio displays to start working all the time again!

Maybe it's not the grounds in the engine but corrosion inside/under the dash. That's why I'm going to pull apart the dash one of these weekends and then put it all back together.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asand1 View Post
The factory hose has a rubber sleeve much like shrink tubing that acts as a protective shield, Its not a band aid added my your mechanic.

How is your fluid level? Do you have to keep adding fluid? The reason I ask is because when the rear valve cover leaks (they all do after 13+ years) it leaks right onto the PS hoses.

One other thing you should know, due to tight spaces, I doubt bulk hose is going to work in this situation. The OEM hoses are preformed, with greater than 90*angles.
... Decided to revive an old thread with an update after almost a year.

I recently had to add a few ounces of ATF and there have been small puddles in my driveway, so it must be that as soon as the weather gets warm, the rubber at the old hose ends starts getting soft and letting some fluid leak out.

After getting my car inspected last week, my mechanic suggested getting new high pressure and low pressure return hoses due to leaks on the ends of a couple of the hoses. I decided to order the genuine Nissan hoses after re-reading this and several other PS threads. I don't want an annoying whining noise after getting this fixed, as others have reported when using the after market lines.

I'll report back once the parts are in and I finally get this fixed.
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Old 04-30-2013, 05:15 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by mikeg75 View Post
... Decided to revive an old thread with an update after almost a year.

I recently had to add a few ounces of ATF and there have been small puddles in my driveway, so it must be that as soon as the weather gets warm, the rubber at the old hose ends starts getting soft and letting some fluid leak out.

After getting my car inspected last week, my mechanic suggested getting new high pressure and low pressure return hoses due to leaks on the ends of a couple of the hoses. I decided to order the genuine Nissan hoses after re-reading this and several other PS threads. I don't want an annoying whining noise after getting this fixed, as others have reported when using the after market lines.

I'll report back once the parts are in and I finally get this fixed.
You only needed to replace the copper washers on your high pressure hose at the PS pump. The return hose, yes must be replaced because it is brittle and deteriorates at the pump.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:28 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Trini Boom View Post
You only needed to replace the copper washers on your high pressure hose at the PS pump. The return hose, yes must be replaced because it is brittle and deteriorates at the pump.

This same guy helped me fix same issues.
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:19 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Snypa View Post

This same guy helped me fix same issues.
I've benefited from advice from a lot of the guys on here and usually I try to read as much as I can before diving in to try fixing something or just buying parts for my mechanic to put in.

I ordered 4 of the copper washers as part of my order since I read on another thread that they could be the cause of the leak. Maybe I'll ask my mechanic to try that before using the new high pressure hose and I'll be able to return it if the original is still good.

On the other hand, how long can any of these hoses last on an 18-year old car? I had my leaking radiator fixed last summer and got new hoses with it, and one hose I haven't replaced but am worried about is the coolant hose behind the upper air intake manifold. I wonder whether this might be a good time to have that replaced as well.

Mechanically, this car is still running great, but the plastic and rubber parts are starting to go left and right.
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:39 PM   #16
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Finally got all new hoses installed, with new washers on the high pressure hose. Labor was $100 and I think I spent a couple hundred in hoses. I thought about trying to do this myself but was afraid of having the car up on the jackstands I have as they were given to me for free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeg75 View Post
... Decided to revive an old thread with an update after almost a year.

I recently had to add a few ounces of ATF and there have been small puddles in my driveway, so it must be that as soon as the weather gets warm, the rubber at the old hose ends starts getting soft and letting some fluid leak out.

After getting my car inspected last week, my mechanic suggested getting new high pressure and low pressure return hoses due to leaks on the ends of a couple of the hoses. I decided to order the genuine Nissan hoses after re-reading this and several other PS threads. I don't want an annoying whining noise after getting this fixed, as others have reported when using the after market lines.

I'll report back once the parts are in and I finally get this fixed.
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:37 PM   #17
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Are these "4 of the copper washers" only dealer items or does anyone know where else I could source them?
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Old 09-25-2013, 05:01 AM   #18
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I think they are dealer only item but they are not expensive.
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Old 09-25-2013, 05:01 AM
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