How to Replace an Altima's Power Steering Pumpby Don Bowman
Replacing the power steering pump on a Nissan Altima is a straightforward procedure. It is not difficult with the exception of the small amount of space available to access the bolts. The only symptoms involving a power steering pump failure are stiffness or difficulty in steering, or noise. If the steering has a tendency to stick or have excessive resistance only in certain spots, the problem is in the rack and pinion.
Loosen the bolt on the belt tensioner using a socket. Allow the tensioner to slide down away from the belt, and lift the belt off the alternator. Place the drip pan under the power steering pump.
Remove the high-pressure power steering hose using a line wrench, and allow it to drain into the drain pan. Remove the low-pressure return hose by loosening the hose clamp with a screwdriver and pulling off the hose. Remove the three bolts securing the power steering pump to the block using a socket. Lift the pump out of the engine compartment.
Install the new pump by aligning it with the holes in the block, inserting the three bolts and tightening them with a socket. Install the high-pressure hose on the pump with a new O-ring on the end. Tighten this hose connector with a line wrench. Install the return hose by pushing it on the nipple and tightening the clamp with a screwdriver.
Install the belt over the power steering pulley and alternator. Apply the proper tension to the belt by turning the belt tensioner adjuster bolt clockwise until the proper tension is achieved. Lock it in place by tightening the nut in the center of the tensioner pulley with a socket.
Fill the power steering pump with fluid. Start the car, and turn the steering wheel to the left and right to circulate the fluid. Recheck the fluid level.
Things You'll Need
- Set of sockets
- Short extension
- Common screwdriver
- Set of line wrenches
- Drain pan
- Power steering fluid
Don Bowman has been writing for various websites and several online magazines since 2008. He has owned an auto service facility since 1982 and has over 45 years of technical experience as a master ASE tech. Bowman has a business degree from Pennsylvania State University and was an officer in the U.S. Army (aircraft maintenance officer, pilot, six Air Medal awards, two tours Vietnam).