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Old 04-01-2010, 10:44 PM   #1
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Power Steering Hose leak

Guys, i think my power steering hose is leaking, and i need some assurance from my pics and also help in finding out what hose to get. Basically on the reservoir, their are three hose coming from it, two turns into lines going towards the front of the car and one fat one goes down the side of the engine covered in "foil paper", i think its the culprit. I would also appreciate if someone had steps(how to drain/replace etc) in replacing whatever needs to be replaced. NOTE in the first picture, there is some on the valve cover(edge of the foil paper) ready to drip and also seems to form a track and drips off of where the trans and engine meets.
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Old 04-02-2010, 05:47 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Snypa View Post
Guys, i think my power steering hose is leaking, and i need some assurance from my pics and also help in finding out what hose to get. Basically on the reservoir, their are three hose coming from it, two turns into lines going towards the front of the car and one fat one goes down the side of the engine covered in "foil paper", i think its the culprit. I would also appreciate if someone had steps(how to drain/replace etc) in replacing whatever needs to be replaced. NOTE in the first picture, there is some on the valve cover(edge of the foil paper) ready to drip and also seems to form a track and drips off of where the trans and engine meets.
Below are pics:

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I remember you saying you was going to do some maintenance on your car from an earlier thread. Did you do it already? Because from those pics, the first two is likely your Rear Valve cover Gasket leaking (yeah I know how could it be right?). A couple orgers told me that in another thread and your last pic is the rear main seal. How dod you go about changing your rear main seal?
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:15 AM   #3
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I did go about getting those things done. The difference about this leak though is he liquid is "yellow-looking" on a hand paper towel and i checked the Psteering fuild from the reservoir, same color as well. When i checked from under the car, i realize that the hose with the foil was wet and possibly blowing over the entire engine while driving and then comes down to the lowest part of the engine to drip off. If it was rear main seal, where would the leak be coming from ? Anyone else want to share?
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Old 04-02-2010, 03:27 PM   #4
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Rear main seal would be leaking from where the trans bolts up to the engine.
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Old 04-02-2010, 06:41 PM   #5
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That's what i thought, but bolts above that area are also wet....so, im closing out on the fact that its the RMS.
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Old 04-02-2010, 07:38 PM   #6
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That's what i thought, but bolts above that area are also wet....so, im closing out on the fact that its the RMS.

Well its the Upper Oil pan seal that leaks and not the Rear Main seal. That seal rarely leaks so in order to fix that problem, you would have to do the same thing I will be doing in a few months which is to drop the upper oil pan and reseal it. There is a writeup for it which is A+ material.

As for the power steering fluid, why would it be a yellowish fluid? As far as I know, it suppose to be tranny fluid Dexron III. Are you using something different?
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Old 04-02-2010, 07:44 PM   #7
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I got the upper,lower oil pans and RMS sealed 3 weeks ago. Its yellow-ish only when i wipe it on a napkin. When under the car and ready to drip, it looks dark/black. So its yellow maybe because its not oil nor tranny. Amsoil was used in the tranny. Mobil 1 in the engine.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:28 PM   #8
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good luck, 2 years into owning this car i still can stop my leak, and what i cant figure out it that somehow its getting on the TOP of my radiator bracket and headlight SOMEHOW, its also coming out from under my headlight, every hose was replaced twice now.
i wish whatever turbo is pushing my fluid this hard was in my intake..

good luck

oh and on a side note snypa, springs look great on the car. thanks.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:34 PM   #9
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I got the upper,lower oil pans and RMS sealed 3 weeks ago. Its yellow-ish only when i wipe it on a napkin. When under the car and ready to drip, it looks dark/black. So its yellow maybe because its not oil nor tranny. Amsoil was used in the tranny. Mobil 1 in the engine.

So what color is your PS fluid? Also What you can try doing is tightening up the clamps on the PS pump which should help solve your issue as I know there was a TSB for that with the 95-96 years but I know you have a 99 but its worth a try. As for the RMS, did you do this work yourself? If so, how did you go about changing it? If not, you need to have the shop go back and fix that unless you poured in too much oil after you got it replaced and ruined the RMS.
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:53 PM   #10
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PS fluid looks dark from the outside of the reservor and also looking down inside. Those hose are so hard to reach and im assuming it only leaks when the car is running and when the steering is being used. Imma try and get a mechanic to give me his views and see where this goes. Im just tired of leaks.

It wasnt a bad job, had to lower both oil pans, remove RMS and scrape off old seal, apply sealant to where FSM stated, put back together and then did the oil pan seals and sealed it all up. I poured 4.3 qts oil. How can too much oil ruin it anyways?
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Old 04-03-2010, 07:17 AM   #11
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PS fluid looks dark from the outside of the reservor and also looking down inside. Those hose are so hard to reach and im assuming it only leaks when the car is running and when the steering is being used. Imma try and get a mechanic to give me his views and see where this goes. Im just tired of leaks.

It wasnt a bad job, had to lower both oil pans, remove RMS and scrape off old seal, apply sealant to where FSM stated, put back together and then did the oil pan seals and sealed it all up. I poured 4.3 qts oil. How can too much oil ruin it anyways?
Thanx

Take it to a mechanic? Man, I hope you don't flip out when you hear their prices. Anyways, if you have changed the PS belt already then that job should be easy for you since you had to adjust the tensioner. The same thing you will need to do when you tighten those clamps. use a socket with a swivel head adapter. Can't remember the size though but I believe its a 10mm. Are you asking them about the RMS as well??
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Old 04-03-2010, 09:36 AM   #12
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RMS should be good. I can bet my last dollar that any mechanic i take this to will automatically tell me valve cover and rear seal(not knowing i got this done 3 weeks ago), its as if anything that drips from that area spikes "RMS" in their heads. Where do people think other things that leak should run? its the lowest point on the engine, ofcaorse its going to drip off right there.
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Old 04-03-2010, 10:12 AM   #13
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RMS should be good. I can bet my last dollar that any mechanic i take this to will automatically tell me valve cover and rear seal(not knowing i got this done 3 weeks ago), its as if anything that drips from that area spikes "RMS" in their heads. Where do people think other things that leak should run? its the lowest point on the engine, ofcaorse its going to drip off right there.

Yeah that's true but you have to remember, the RMS seal is the only oil related seal in that housing besides I believe 2 plugs. My bet is that the upper oil pan wasn't sealed properly. Did you follow the FSM as to how far down you should place the RTV sealant? When you did it, did you replace the U shaped seals on both ends?
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Old 04-03-2010, 10:21 AM   #14
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I'm almost positve its not the valve covers. I had the FSM there the entire time for both valve covers and the RMS. Yeah, had to replace both u-shaped things for the upper oil pan.

So my power steering hose and pump looks good? Why is it not our main concern when its obviously wet? Look in pic 2 where its about to drip off.
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Old 04-03-2010, 11:23 AM   #15
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I vote the lip seals in the upper oil pan as well. The reason that the oil is yellow when you wipe it off is because it is FRESH oil. Go open a quart and dab some on the same napkin. It too will be yellow. You didn't get the upper pan sealed properly. Believe me it does suck. I have had to do it 2 times in a row on BOTH my Max's. You need to have the trans out when you do it as well as clutch & flywheel/starter flex plate (manual/auto) and just RTV the hell out of it, let it dry and lightly trim the excess BUT leaving some still oozed out.

I also vote valve cover gaskets. This is the reason its on your exhaust manifolds as well. There needs to be RTV applied to those gaskets as well over on the timing chain side.

Yea, it sucks that you didn't get it the first time, but hey, live and learn!

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Old 04-03-2010, 04:01 PM   #16
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That's power steering oil I think (it's copper/orange color fresh oil would be gold. Best way to be sure is to monitor your power steering fluid level and see if it starts to deplete. Also, with the car running, have someone turn the wheel back and forth and monitor the psp to see if there are any obvious signs of fluid leaking/spraying out.
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Old 04-03-2010, 04:08 PM   #17
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I vote the lip seals in the upper oil pan as well. The reason that the oil is yellow when you wipe it off is because it is FRESH oil. Go open a quart and dab some on the same napkin. It too will be yellow. You didn't get the upper pan sealed properly. Believe me it does suck. I have had to do it 2 times in a row on BOTH my Max's. You need to have the trans out when you do it as well as clutch & flywheel/starter flex plate (manual/auto) and just RTV the hell out of it, let it dry and lightly trim the excess BUT leaving some still oozed out.

I also vote valve cover gaskets. This is the reason its on your exhaust manifolds as well. There needs to be RTV applied to those gaskets as well over on the timing chain side.

Yea, it sucks that you didn't get it the first time, but hey, live and learn!

NM91

You see, this is what I was trying to tell you. Ok let's put aside the RMS issue as its clear to see that the upper oil pan u-shaped seals wasn't sealed properly. Now as for the power steering issue, MAXIMA91 is on the money with it being fresh oil as it is yellowish in color. We are all going to point to the rear valve cover gasket as the issue here but to be certain, if possible, go back and take pics of the rear valve cover and post them from the bottom of the car.
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Old 04-03-2010, 06:28 PM   #18
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Guys, is it not possible that the power steering fluid could leak down to where we are currently seeing it.? I think it gets blown all over in the engine.

I appreciate the responses from you guys. I will try and get more pictures and post. A month ago, i had both valve covers leaking and RMS. When the covers were leaking, it leaked down on the maifold cover, but the bolts kept dry except for now. I wanna think i would know off the back if they went out, but i guess i can be wrong.....we all can be wrong. I'm hoping that it is power steering, we shall soon see.
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Old 06-07-2010, 12:26 PM   #19
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Bump.
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Old 06-07-2010, 01:19 PM   #20
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I have a leak that looks suspiciously similar. I plan on looking into it today. I'll let you know what I find.
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Old 06-07-2010, 02:15 PM   #21
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Ok, take some pictures if you can.
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Old 06-07-2010, 02:44 PM   #22
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I would take some pictures but they would look EXACTLY like yours. Looking from above, I can see oil on the heat shield for the rear manifold. I also see oil on the nut/bolt in the corner of the rear valve cover. From below I see oil all over my PS pump, and on the nuts and studs on the bottom of the exhaust manifold. So my bet would be that my valve cover is leaking. Do you use synthetic? It has a tendency to find its way through the smallest holes.
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Old 06-07-2010, 03:18 PM   #23
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So, i got my valve covers and rear main seal done approximately 3 weeks before i realized any of this and yes, i do use synthetic. At the moment, i am hoping that it is the power steering. So far, i am 70% sure it has to be from there, as my passeger axles has the fluid and the return hose as well as the foil paper looking thing around it has the same color fluid on it. The fluid also has a yellow-ish looking on a paper towel after cleaning the garage floor.
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Old 06-07-2010, 10:02 PM   #24
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So, i got my valve covers and rear main seal done approximately 3 weeks before i realized any of this and yes, i do use synthetic. At the moment, i am hoping that it is the power steering. So far, i am 70% sure it has to be from there, as my passeger axles has the fluid and the return hose as well as the foil paper looking thing around it has the same color fluid on it. The fluid also has a yellow-ish looking on a paper towel after cleaning the garage floor.

Yes we know from the previous posts that it has to be fresh oil and not the PS pump. The PS system runs on A/T fluid which is red. There is no other yellowish color fluid on that side of the engine besides fresh oil. I Have that same leak as you right now and I even had my friend put it on a lift and he said the same rear valve cover is leaking. If you want to be certain, do a power wash from underneath with some degreaser and watch it as it is running. Also, when you drive hard, do you smell oil burning? If so, the oil from the valve cover is leaking onto the exhaust.
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Old 06-07-2010, 10:05 PM   #25
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Use to get that burning scent before i did the valve covers. Since i got this car, i haven done anything in regards to the power steering fluid. It doesnt even look red. Dipped finger in and its this gold-darkish color, same color when i wipe garage floor with napkin.
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:31 AM   #26
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Since it sounds like you need to change the power steering fluid anyway, why don't you do that and degrease the back side of the engine like Trini said. Then keep an eye out for leaks. Because you would have refilled the PS system with fresh red Dextron III any leaks in the power steering system would be of the same color.
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Old 06-08-2010, 06:19 AM   #27
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^^^ +1. 100% agree with that statement. If your power steering is a different fluid, flush the system and use the correct fluid and do the wash.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:43 AM   #28
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Questions I need to ask before doing anything.

1.Being that my fluid isnt red, and COULDN'T possibly have been red in the past, has anyone used a fluid lately that is gold/darkish in color?

2.By "flush", do you mean to remove the bolt etc from the hose and drain completely or suck out the fluid somehow and then replace. If i have to remove bolts etc, wouldnt it make sense to just get a hose and attempt to replace now then?

My biggest concern right now is to find the correct fluid tha is recommended for our cars. Advance auto parts is my store of choice, can someone recommend a fluid from there.?
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Old 06-08-2010, 10:26 AM   #29
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4th gens use automatic transmission fluid in the power steering system, so if your fluid is gold, somebody probably put GM power steering fluid in it. That's the fluid sold in bottles marked "Power Steering Fluid."

You can use any Dexron III compatible automatic transmission fluid. I used Castrol Multi-Vehicle Import.

There's two ways to replace the fluid: 1) Suck out as much old fluid as you can with a turkey baster, Mityvac, syringe, whatever. Fill up with new fluid. Start the car, let it run a couple of seconds and turn it off. Repeat two or three times until what comes out in the turkey baster is new fluid. 2) Disconnect the return hose at the place where it connects to the aluminum tube coming from the front of the car. Clamp it so that fluid doesn't drain out of the reservoir. Connect a 6 ft long piece of tubing to the aluminum end and run it down to a drain pan. Fill reservoir with new fluid if necessary. Have somebody hold the tubing so that it doesn't jump out of the drain pan and spew fluid everywhere. Start the car and turn it off after a second or two. Fill reservoir with new fluid. Repeat until new fluid is coming out the end of the tube.

The power steering pump produces a high flow rate. It will drain the reservoir in a couple of seconds. Make sure you don't let it run dry.

If you're replacing a hose anyway it makes more sense to use method 2, as you're going to get fluid all over everything anyway. I had so many clamps installed it looked like I was doing surgery on the car.
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Old 06-08-2010, 01:26 PM   #30
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The best way to remove the fluid would be to open the system up at it's lowest point, and let gravity do the rest. Looking at the hydraulics lines on the fourth gen, it didn't look easy to do without getting PS fluid everywhere. I changed mine by sucking some out of the reservoir with a turkey baster, and refilling with fresh fluid. Turn the wheel from side to side a couple times and then repeat. It's best to get the front tires off the ground for this.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:22 AM   #31
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Power steering leak

I do not know if you ever got this fixed? could you post an update to what you eventually found out? I am now going thru this and it is definitely the power steering reservoir hose (larger one coming from the reservior) down to the pump. It is covered with a heat protector sleeve because it is close to the engine (high heat). Now, the hose breaks down after a while mine is 12 years old +. The hose just begins to break down due to age and won't hold the fulid. It eventually will allow the fluid to seep thru and leak that is why you see the drip come from the small metal tube that turns 90 degrees to the right. I emptied the reservoir put in new fluid (had cut the hose at the point where the old clamps were because the hose had shrunk over time and put it back on) and refilled the the fluid. Of cousrse it still leaks but ever so slightly enough to where it needs a new hose. It is a special order item becuase that hose is preformed to specific bends and the heat shield. should be fine once you replace it.
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Old 11-24-2010, 11:23 PM   #32
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hey is there a write up on how to replace the power steering hose? i would really appreciate finding it, i just did a search and couldn't come up with anything
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:40 PM   #33
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Bump

Does anyone have any advice before I decide to buy and replace that reservoir return hose.?

Is it a hose thats known to give problems in the 4th gen?
Is it a clamped hose
Whats the bet way to get to it and have ample space to work?

Really appreciate it guys.!
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:13 PM   #34
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I'm kinda sure that's where my leak is coming from, my foil is more torn up then yours and the hose on the inside is covered w/ PSF.

I was going to redo the whole PS system when I did the VQ35 swap (moarrr room), but the leak comes and goes like the wind some days it leaves a puddle, other days not a drip.

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Old 03-17-2011, 03:14 PM   #35
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Bump. No advice.?

So far seems as though Nissan is the only one selling that return reservoir hose too @ $54.
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Old 03-18-2011, 07:20 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Snypa View Post
Bump. No advice.?

So far seems as though Nissan is the only one selling that return reservoir hose too @ $54.
Did you tighten up the clamps on that hose down by the PS pump? They could be just loose and leaking fluid. That's all I have done to mine and it stopped. Still on the OEM hose...
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:28 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Trini Boom View Post
Did you tighten up the clamps on that hose down by the PS pump? They could be just loose and leaking fluid. That's all I have done to mine and it stopped. Still on the OEM hose...
Haven't done anything as yet Trini. But I think I'm gonna take your advice and try and get to the hose and see if i can pull it down more over the nipple or just inspect it a little. I'm just hoping that its not a cracked old hose that will get worse or completely break on me...cause then I will be without a car.

Also wanted to just have everything with me just in case sh*t hits the fan (new fluid,hose,turkey baster).
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:17 AM   #38
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my 99 SE looks the same as the pics. the fluid is the same color.
trans fluid never decreases, but p/s reservoir does. i was about to replace the right-side axle seal but not sure now. today i might try snugging the clamps for the p/s hoses & clean it well. installing a new crank pulley anyway, so while its on the stands i'll address this crap.
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Old 07-09-2011, 12:59 AM   #39
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I had the problem of both leaking valve covers and leaking power steering return line. The power steering return line only can be purchased from a Nissan dealer, as no generic was available. Luckily the parts guy used my old hose and found one pretty darn close.

As for the OP stating his oil is dark gold-brown in the reservoir, could be wrong fluid/burnt fluid from failing pump.

I tried snugging the clamps on my power steering return line, that didn't help any. The hose was so old, it still leaked. You might be better off in just replacing it.

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my 99 SE looks the same as the pics. the fluid is the same color.
trans fluid never decreases, but p/s reservoir does. i was about to replace the right-side axle seal but not sure now. today i might try snugging the clamps for the p/s hoses & clean it well. installing a new crank pulley anyway, so while its on the stands i'll address this crap.
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:25 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snypa View Post
Guys, i think my power steering hose is leaking, and i need some assurance from my pics and also help in finding out what hose to get. Basically on the reservoir, their are three hose coming from it, two turns into lines going towards the front of the car and one fat one goes down the side of the engine covered in "foil paper", i think its the culprit. I would also appreciate if someone had steps(how to drain/replace etc) in replacing whatever needs to be replaced. NOTE in the first picture, there is some on the valve cover(edge of the foil paper) ready to drip and also seems to form a track and drips off of where the trans and engine meets.
Below are pics:

Click the image to open in full size.
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My leak looks exactly the same! What is it that has to be replaced?
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:25 PM
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