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This thread will cover how to change your power steering fluid in a 2nd gen.

There are a few different ways you can do this but I'll show you a way to quickly and completely exchange all the fluid in the system without any special tools. This process should take less than 30 minutes to do in your driveway.

Having just completed this myself last weekend as a part of my 100k mile service I did some research myself on the various ways one can do this. Basically there are 3 ways:

1) The Turkey baster method:
- Involves using a turkey baster to suck out a small amount of fluid at a time from the reservoir and back filling with new until most of the fluid is changed
- I've done this a few cars in the past and it takes a long time to completely exchange it all but is fairly easy with zero tools besides a baster required


2) Return line removal method:
- Two variants: engine on and engine off
- I'll show you the engine off style in this post as it removes the risk of pump damage

Engine on-
*CAUTION: Many warn of pump damage doing the engine on method*

3) Dealership/ shop service:
- Pretty obvious here, cost is usually about $100 or so depending on the shop


On to the DIY...

Tools needed:
- Small length of ~3/8" hose
- Oil catch bucket
- Small catch cup (solo red cup size)
- Rags
- Pliers for spring type hose clamp
- Floor Jack + jack stands + wheel chocks
- 1 quart Dexron III or equivalent ATF (I used Castrol Multi Vehicle Import)

1) Chock rear wheels, lift front tires off ground, place on jack stands

2) Insert key and turn to "on" position, but do not start the engine
- Turn wheel full lock to the right

3) Remove low pressure return line
- If looking in from the top near the battery you should see a small hose (fuel line size) hose clamped to a metal nipple coming from the bumper area right above the passenger side frame rail

View looking down into engine bay:

- It is easiest to remove the hose clamp and do all the work from inside the fender by bending up the fender liner and reaching in with a set of pliers. I used some long reach needle nose and that seemed to work well. If you are a larger person, you may want to remove the tire on this side.

Fender liner:

Lift up to see this:

- Once the the clamp is slid back on the hose setup your catch cup just below the the nipple. There is a nice spot just below it that should hold the cup in place.
- Setup your hose and primary oil catch in this area
- Place some rags below this area as I had some spillage during this next step. Also remove the power steering fluid reservoir cap at this time.
- Carefully remove the hose from the nipple and place it in the catch cup; the cup should collect all the fluid in the reservoir. Meanwhile, slide your bit of hose over the nipple to collect the small amount dripping from it.

4) Draining the system
- Let the fluid drain until the return line hose stops (nipple will still be dripping)
- Empty the catch cup into the main oil catch and return under hose
- Ensure your nipple oil drain hose is securely attached and all oil catch apparatuses are out of the wheel turning path. Then jump in the cab (engine off) and SLOWLY turn the wheel from lock to lock a few times. This process drains any oil in the rack or cooler by pushing it out of the nipple.
- Return to full lock right when satisfied

5) Reconnecting, filling, and bleeding
- Remove all oil catch items and reconnect return hose to nipple. Reinstall hose clamp
- Fill up reservoir near the top with new fluid and then turn the wheel lock to lock again a few times while keeping the fluid topped off in the process
- Finally, start the truck and once again turn wheel from lock to lock a few times but this time do not fill past the "Cold Max Fill" line. I let the truck idle a bit here to circulate the fluid and release any trapped air pockets
- At this point, put the cap back on, lower the truck to the ground, and take it for a short test drive. Afterwards, check fluid level and top off if needed.

4,009 Posts
I've tried the turkey baster method and it's hard to extract much volume because of the reservoir design. Nonetheless, I've done it a number of times and some fluid certainly gets replaced in the process.
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Reactions: crawlnboat

178 Posts
Thanks for the well written How-To.
Today I replaced the return hose & clamps due to a slow leak (a pea sized drop per day in the driveway, but not enough to make a difference in reservoir level over 2 months time). Draining the fluid is the easy part; definitely easiest to go through the wheel well as the OP mentioned. I don't see the point of using a turkey baster, since all the reservoir fluid drains out when you take the bottom clamp off anyway... which you need to do in order to drain the fluid from the cooler/rack. The other clamp for the return hose (base of reservoir) is a PITA... very difficult to access. Removed battery then lifted reservoir from holder to gain a bit more room. Still sucked but got it done. Ended up taking a bit less than 1 quart of ATF to refill. Took about 75 minutes start to finish including clean up etc.

Tip: spit on your finger & wet the the nipples to allow the new hose to slide on easier
Return hose is Nissan part number 49725-EA005 and is 3/8" ID ($35-40 cdn... 1/2 that in the USA)
Instead I bought 18" of Gates hose for $6
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