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Old 10-12-2012, 02:10 PM   Thread Starter #1
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Default Power Steering Whine

Hello,

First time poster here.

I'm having an issue with my 08 Maxima with 54,000 miles. Recently, I took a couple trips (couple hours there and back) and shortly after started hearing a high pitched whining noise from the passenger side of the vehicle.

I removed both serpentine belts and the noise went away. I installed the alternator serpentine belt and the noise didn't return. However, I installed the PS belt by itself and the noise returned.

The PS fluid doesn't look too dirty and isn't leaking or low.

I'm curious if it's possible something is causing an obstruction like a dirty filter causing the pump to work harder to move the fluid. Also, the noise is constant once the fluid reaches operating temp.

Thank you
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:45 PM   #2
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Default Re: Power Steering Whine

Welcome home
Pump or you have air entering the system. There is no filter in power steering on Maximas.
Either a leak at the rack, your high pressure hose or power steering pump shaft seal is seeping.
Might not be a leak where its clearly visible but a small leak will have same symptoms.
The fluid is getting airrated.
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: Power Steering Whine

Welcome
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:43 PM   Thread Starter #4
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Default Re: Power Steering Whine

Originally Posted by BurntOrangeAppeal View Post
Welcome home
Pump or you have air entering the system. There is no filter in power steering on Maximas.
Either a leak at the rack, your high pressure hose or power steering pump shaft seal is seeping.
Might not be a leak where its clearly visible but a small leak will have same symptoms.
The fluid is getting airrated.
BurntOrangeAppeal,

Does the PS reservoir have a screen/filter that's designed to catch debris from being circulated? I found some forums that Honda Ridgeline owners had to replace their reservoir because it was getting clogged.

It's a high pitched whine, but not extremely noticeable. It's more or less a subtle noise, not like a bad bearing. But it wasn't there a month ago, so something has changed. I talked to the dealer today and he wanted $600 plus for a brand new pump.

The fluid level hasn't changed in the last year I've owned the car, so I'm doubtful it's a leak.
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: Power Steering Whine

Originally Posted by Cavalier35 View Post
BurntOrangeAppeal,

Does the PS reservoir have a screen/filter that's designed to catch debris from being circulated? I found some forums that Honda Ridgeline owners had to replace their reservoir because it was getting clogged.

It's a high pitched whine, but not extremely noticeable. It's more or less a subtle noise, not like a bad bearing. But it wasn't there a month ago, so something has changed. I talked to the dealer today and he wanted $600 plus for a brand new pump.

The fluid level hasn't changed in the last year I've owned the car, so I'm doubtful it's a leak.
You need to have the system inspected by a reputable shop if you know one....Dealer will call the word pump right away, because it pays more then replacing a hose.....Not being there physically and looking over your steering components or hearing your car is all I can tell you.
Visual inspection of the reservoir is not always a sure tell tale sign of a small leak. You need to look underneath the vehicle and inspect ALL steering system components.

And if in fact it is a pump, make sure you buy new from dealer, rebuild pumps are like playing Russian Roulette.
Then have a reputable shop install it. This will save you money.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:16 PM   Thread Starter #6
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Default Re: Power Steering Whine

Originally Posted by BurntOrangeAppeal View Post
You need to have the system inspected by a reputable shop if you know one....Dealer will call the word pump right away, because it pays more then replacing a hose.....Not being there physically and looking over your steering components or hearing your car is all I can tell you.
Visual inspection of the reservoir is not always a sure tell tale sign of a small leak. You need to look underneath the vehicle and inspect ALL steering system components.

And if in fact it is a pump, make sure you buy new from dealer, rebuild pumps are like playing Russian Roulette.
Then have a reputable shop install it. This will save you money.
The dealership actually told me the noise was a bad bearing in the alternator, but I took the belts off and got the noise with the PS belt only. I've since taken it to two reputable shops and their simple diagnosis was to not worry about it because it's not making an awful noise or stopped working.

I'm a bit of a DIYer and like being hands on with this stuff, but never dealt with a PS issue. I am trying to rule out the simple stuff before diving into the actual pump. Thanks for the info!
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: Power Steering Whine

Originally Posted by Cavalier35 View Post
The dealership actually told me the noise was a bad bearing in the alternator, but I took the belts off and got the noise with the PS belt only. I've since taken it to two reputable shops and their simple diagnosis was to not worry about it because it's not making an awful noise or stopped working.

I'm a bit of a DIYer and like being hands on with this stuff, but never dealt with a PS issue. I am trying to rule out the simple stuff before diving into the actual pump. Thanks for the info!
Anytime dude.
If you are a DIY kind of guy pick up a sthetoscope and rule out the source of the noise. Listen to alternator and p/s pump. Be careful with rotating parts....a long handle screwdriver against your ear will work just as well. Please use caution!
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:54 PM   Thread Starter #8
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Default Re: Power Steering Whine

Originally Posted by BurntOrangeAppeal View Post
Anytime dude.
If you are a DIY kind of guy pick up a sthetoscope and rule out the source of the noise. Listen to alternator and p/s pump. Be careful with rotating parts....a long handle screwdriver against your ear will work just as well. Please use caution!
@BurntOrangeAppeal,

I had the car checked out by Nissan and they said that noise is normal for the car. I can't help but to disagree with them. I recently replaced the alternator after the car left me stranded on the side of the road. The noise is still persistent. I'm going to pick up a stethoscope soon and give that a shot. I've never used one before. Also, I found the below video of another Maxima making the exact same noise. Do you think it could be a bad pump still? The dealer said they haven't seen many pumps fail on 08's. I'm really trying to get this sorted before it fails at the least opportune time. Thanks for the input.
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Old 11-01-2012, 04:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: Power Steering Whine

Welcome! I had 80, 000 miles on my max when a less harsh noise like that started. I guess it was just some alternater belts. My 04 makes that noise on a very cold start, but goes away. Good luck

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Old 11-01-2012, 05:28 PM   Thread Starter #10
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Default Re: Power Steering Whine

Originally Posted by Troy T View Post
Welcome! I had 80, 000 miles on my max when a less harsh noise like that started. I guess it was just some alternater belts. My 04 makes that noise on a very cold start, but goes away. Good luck

maxima power comes with maxima responsibility
Hi Troy T,

I recently changed the fluid (turkey baster method) and have noticed the noise will eventually stop if the vehicle idles for a 10-15 seconds. The noise doesn't start until the fluid gets up to operating temp. I've tried a new power steering belt, but that didn't seem to change the pitch.

I'm pretty anal when it comes to my cars running right, so it's hard for me to leave it be.

I'm wondering if a complete flush of the system would do the trick?
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:52 PM   Thread Starter #11
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Default Re: Power Steering Whine

Hello,

After some deeper research and a little trial and error, I think I've found a solution for my engine whine. Granted I've only driven about 20 miles without the noise, I haven't been able to reproduce it.

Although I opted for a higher end oil filter for my last oil change (ie Bosch), I found a new OEM oil filter from the dealership fixed the whining. It's still very bizarre to me that a filter could cause such a weird noise. The dealership parts guy and service tech both came out to hear the noise and said it sounded mechanical. They thought it could even be one of the motorized engine mounts making the noise. I told them I was do for an oil change and would start there and sure enough it fixed the problem.

Hope this helps anyone else with the same noise.
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