How to Troubleshoot the Steering System in a Nissan Pathfinderby Contributor
The Nissan Pathfinder entered the market as a compact SUV in 1986. Nissan has since re-sized the Pathfinder to a mid-size 4-door SUV with a V-8 engine. If you want to keep your 4-door Pathfinder on the road, you will want to troubleshoot problems when they first occur, especially problems with your steering system.
Balance and rotate your tires regularly, keep the pressure even and replace worn tires in pairs. Uneven or worn tires can cause vibrations and steering pull. They can also throw your front end out of alignment, which, in turn, can also create steering problems.
Fill your power steering reservoir with Nissan Power Steering Fluid (or an equivalent brand). Check the fluid with every oil change to make sure it is level, clean and doesn't have air bubbles. Check to make sure the belt isn't slipping and the hose connections are secure.
Take your car in for steering service every 30,000 miles. Make sure they check the steering gear and linkage (as well as axle and suspension parts) to make sure the connections are secure, and the parts are well lubricated. Following these three steps should head off most problems, but if your steering does break down you can look at other system components.
Look at the power steering pump if the wheel becomes difficult to turn. It may not be providing enough pressure to the system. You may also need to adjust or replace the rack and gearbox.
Check the brakes and suspension system. Your brake calipers may be causing the car to pull or your drums may be warped. You should also look at the springs and wheel bearings. You might even make sure nothing is interfering with the tires.