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How to Replace Power Steering Pump


This process will take some time and it's nice to have a second. Major props to JNCoRacer for his help on this one!

First of all, you will need to following tools to complete this replacement.
1) 12mm, 14mm, 19mm open/box wrench
2) 8mm, 12mm, 14mm, 19mm, 24mm sockets (various drives, that's up to you)
3) A universal joint for socket wrench (again drive is your call)
4) Drain pan
5) Turkey bastor or some pump to remove the power steering fluid

Obvious and/or optional parts
1) New power steering pump
2) Pickle fork (to remove the outer tie rod from the steering knuckle)
3) Power steering fluid (optional, but recommended)
4) Hammer (might need while reinstalling)

First note is be patient. This install is not fun and not easy, but it can be done easily if you take your time. Secondly, if you are replacing your power steering pump, make sure it's the right part. Autozone sold me one that was supposed to be for a 95 Maxima and it's almost identical, but the high pressure line was on the wrong side. While holding the new one, with the low side line (small hole with a screw hole on each side of it) facing up and the part where the pulley would go is facing you, the hole for the high pressure line should be on your right. Also, if you do not have an aftermarket y-pipe, you are going to have to take it off. I have an early version of the Budget Y and I almost took mine off. Luckily I had a lot of 1/2in drive extensions. If you are going to be changing inner tie rods or your passenger side axle in the near future, it would good to do this at the same time as these can get in the way. Not necessary to take them off, but it would be nice.

Ok, on to the instructions.

1) Raise front end of car and remove the passenger wheel and the plastic covers for the drive belts (Haynes and another write up I found say to disconnect the battery. You will not be working with electricity, but it might be a good idea for safe measure)
2) Use the pump or turkey bastor to remove as much power steering fluid you can from the reservoir.
3) Remove the drive belt. You will need the 14mm socket wrench to adjust the idler pulley from the top of the engine next to the timing chain cover and the 14mm open/box wrench for the bolt on the idler pulley.
4) Next, use the 12mm socket to lower the power steering pump to remove the power steerig pump belt. This bolt faces down and is just to the left of pump itself. You will turn the bolt clockwise (like you were tightening a bolt).
5) As you lower the pump, try to see if you can remove the power steering pump belt. If you have lowered the pump as far as possible, your next move is to remove the 14mm bolt on the back side of the pump itself. This is the tough one. You will need the 14mm socket and universal joint. Personally, I was able to use a lot of extensions (about 12 to 14in worth), the universal, then the socket to get this thing off. The bolt itself is fairly small and looks a bit inconspicuous. You can only get to this thing from under the car. I ran my extension over the y-pipe and under the drive shaft to get to this. Once this bolt is removed, the pump should be fairly free moving (up & down only) and you should be able to get the belt off.
6) Now you will need the 24mm socket wrench to remove the high pressure line from the pump. It's a tight spot and I recommend getting at it from the opening for the tie rod. Watch out as there will be some power steering fluid coming out.
7) Next remove the lower pressure (fluid return) hose from the pump. You will need the 8mm socket to undo the clamp. We took this off after Step 8, so I'm not completely sure it will be easier at this point.
8) Your final step to remove this thing is to remove the bolt that is holding the adjustment screw to the adjustment brackets. You will need the 12mm open/box wrench. My ratcheting box wrench was really nice here. I recommend getting to this bolt via the opening near the crankshaft pulley.
9) Now that everything is unbolted you should be able to move the pump around freely. The only way to get that thing out is through the opening for the tie rod. You will need to disconnect the outer tie rod (needle nose pliers and 19mm socket) from the steering knuckle to move it somewhat out of the way. If you have never removed this, I recommend using a pickle fork (you can rent one for like $20 at Autozone). I was able to use a 1/4in drive extension and a Hammer to pop mine out (Be sure not to hit the bottom of the outer tie rod directly as it will mess up the threads of the outer tie rod. This will cause bigger problems).
10) With the tie rod moved aside and the pump movable, you will need to twist and turn the pump to get it out. This part sucks. It will take patience and creativity. JNCoRacer pulled it out while I was getting us some drinks, so I don't know exactly at what position he got it out. I think he used the words "slight force."
11) Your power steering pump is now uninstalled! You will need to remove the pulley (19mm) as a new pump will not come with one. Make sure the new pump has at least a rubber o-ring and hopefully two copper gaskets for the high pressure line. You will also have to remove the bracket for the adjustment screw (14mm), the adapter for the low pressure line (2x12mm), and the funky "adapter" for the high pressure line (24mm).

Reinstall in exact reverse order and you should be good to go. Just make sure you at least get the adjustment screw back on before you put in the long 14mm bolt on the back side of the pump. You might need the hammer and an extension to lightly tap the pump up to get that bolt in. The rubber o-ring is for the low pressure line adapter and the two copper gaskets are used for the high pressure line adapter bolt that screws into the pump itself. I would recommend that you not put the pulley on the new pump until you at least have the adjustment screw back on. This will make it easier to get the new pump into the engine area.

1) Fill the pump reservoir and allow to remain undisturbed for a few minutes.
2) Raise the vehicle until the front wheels are clear of the ground.
3) With the engine off, quickly turn the wheels right and left several times, lightly contacting the stops. You will see slight bubbling in the reservoir. Add fluid if necessary.
4) Start the engine and let it idle. Repeat Step 3 with the engine idling.
5) Stop the engine, lower the vehicle until the wheels just touch the ground.
6) Start the engine, allow it to idle, and repeat step 3. Check the fluid level and refill, if necessary.

Please feel free to PM me if you have any questions ahead of time regarding this install.

Thanks and good luck!