Noisy steering, very new car, what’s causing it?

My 2013 Nissan Altima only made it 6,000 miles before the power steering started making an obnoxious whining noise whenever the car steered even a little. I am so disappointed in the quality of this car, it just is unbelievable to me that this big of a problem got by any inspection process. I can’t afford the repair, so I am waiting it out and hoping that Nissan starts fixing this problem for free (as they should!). Is this a safe course of action?
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
The whining noise you hear is coming from the power steering module, which is an electric motor that provides the assist, rather than a pump and a bunch of hoses. While this system has many advantages, noise seems to be an issue for Altimas in your year. Nissan hasn’t released any bulletins or recalls about this issue, but some dealers have had luck adding insulation or rubber tubing to the bracket that connects the module to the strut tower area. A call to your local dealership may help with the repair and the cost, but like in any issue that comes up, it is always best to have it looked into before it gets worse or causes wear on another component.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced mechanics :

Low Power Steering Fluid: If you hear a squealing noise while turning the steering wheel, it may be an indication that the power steering fluid is low. Fluid may become low because of a leak. You can check under the engine for leaks by looking for red or pink liquid, the typical color of most power steering fluids.
A creaking sound when turning your steering wheel may be nothing more than a sign that your suspension system needs lubrication, but it may be a sign of something more serious, including tie rod damage, power steering rack damage, or a failing strut/shock.
Look in the power steering reservoir and you will likely see the fluid has small air bubbles in it. This is cause of the noise. Let vehicle sit for 20 to 30 minutes and repeat process about 3 or 4 times to work out all the air. You should notice the noise gradually go away.
The most common cause of power steering noises coming from the pump is a low fluid level. A lot of drivers in Weatherford do not check the power steering fluid level or quality. Most people are blindsided by a loss of fluid. Most modern vehicle`s power steering fluid tank does not hold much fluid, either.
You will need to flush the power steering fluid in order to get rid of the pesky air pockets if you find this is the cause of the noise. However, to avoid any more air getting trapped in the fresh fluid, ensure you check all the connections from the reservoir to the pump, tightening any loose ones.
The Nissan Altima uses a power-steering system that consists of a hydraulic rack driven by an electric motor.
CV Joints: If you notice a crunching noise when turning at high speeds, the main culprit is usually the CV joints. Power Steering System: A screeching or whining noise while turning at normal speeds could mean an issue resides within the power steering system itself.
Humming sounds when turning at higher speeds usually indicate a wheel bearing is going bad and it hums during a turn because it is getting more or less load as the weight of your car shifts.
Another identifier to watch out for is a sudden squeaky noise coming from the engine. If you ever hear a grinding or squeaking noise coming from the engine when you turn the wheel, then that is a really significant indicator that your power steering belt has seen better days.
Vehicles that are designed with a power steering pump should only be used when the power steering is operational. When the power steering stops working, you should refrain from operating the vehicle until the pump is replaced.
The steering wheel of a car tends to make noises due to the malfunctioning caused in the steering system by improper flow of power steering fluid or loose or worn out components. In a majority of situations, the replacement of such worn-out components eradicates the noises produced by the steering wheel.
Power steering pump noise is one of the most identifiable sounds your car can make when it is broken. There can be a lot of clunks, squeaks or hums that can indicate a wide variety of other problems, but a whining power steering pump us usually very distinctive.
The 2013 Nissan Altima is a decent used midsize car . It boasts athletic handling, great fuel economy, and a roomy interior. It also rates very well for crash safety.
Your Nissan Altima will be happy to know that the search for the right Power Steering Fluid products you`ve been looking for is over! Advance Auto Parts has 11 different Power Steering Fluid for your vehicle, ready for shipping or in-store pick up.
The most common reason is simply due to wear and tear on the parts of your car. Over time, the bearings in your steering column can become worn down, causing them to make noise when they rub against each other. Another common cause of noise from the steering wheel is due to a lack of lubrication.
The most common reasons a Nissan Altima has a rattling noise are the ball joints, struts or strut mount, or a problem with the sway bar links.
Power Steering System: If you hear a loud screech or whine as you make your turns, you may have an issue with the power steering system. Sometimes a simple fluid top-off is all that is required, in other cases, major repairs are needed. Tie Rods: A clunking sound as you turn can be a sign of a loose or busted tie rod.
Humming sounds when turning at higher speeds usually indicate a wheel bearing is going bad and it hums during a turn because it is getting more or less load as the weight of your car shifts.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

My car cranks but will not start. I try to do fix the car myself. I put new battery, new alternator, and new ignition coils.
ANSWER : Hi there. Check the spark plugs and see if they are worn or burned. If the plugs are good and they have a good spark, then the engine compression could be low causing a no start situation. If the spark plugs are not emitting a spark, then the crankshaft position sensor could have failed or disconnected. Check the crankshaft position sensor wiring harness and make sure that its plugged in. Check the sensor and make sure that its not broken or damaged. If you need further assistance with your engine not starting, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

We have a new battery, new alternator, new coil pk, new master fuse and the car still won’t hold power.
ANSWER : Hi there. The only thing that I could think possible is causing your problem is that something may not have been correctly installed while your son was completing this maintenance. However, if your engine was difficult to start before this service, it’s possible there are different components that are damaged that simply didn’t resolve the issue. The only way of knowing what is going on with your Trailblazer would be to have one of our mobile mechanics in your area come to your location and complete a car is hard to start inspection.

Could the power steering pressure sensor cause my steering wheel to be hard or hard to steer?
ANSWER : Hello. The pressure switch (or "sensor") on your vehicle supplies a signal to the engine computer to increase engine idle speed as the power steering line pressure increases. If the switch were bad, what you would notice is the engine stalling or idle speed dropping very low as you turn the wheel toward the extreme left or right position.

If the engine is not slowing or stalling when you turn the wheel, then the switch is probably OK. Among the causes of excessive steering effort are very low tire pressure, low power steering fluid or trapped air in the system, damaged or loose power steering belt, and damaged steering rack.

If you would like to have this resolved, a certified professional from YourMechanic can diagnose your steering issue and follow through with needed repairs.

my car has theissue that it often lose power steering suddenly while turning.nothing leaks but there’s clunky noice when turning
ANSWER : The only way to determine if the collision caused damage is to carefully MEASURE the alignment and, as well, the frame dimensions using a tram. If those steps have not been specifically taken, what the mechanics have told you about "no damage" is meaningless. If the dealer has told you there is a problem with the steering rack, there very well could be and that possibility should be investigated. If the rack is faulty, it should be repaired or replaced. There is not supposed to be any clunking noises when you turn the steering wheel. The fact that there is a noise indicates a problem. The noise could be due to a problem with the strut bearing that allows the strut to turn freely with the steering knuckle, a defective tie rod end, a sway bar link or component and so forth. If you have hydraulically (not electric) assisted powered steering, loss of power assist could be due to a fault with the pump, the pump drive belt, or rack. Based on what you are describing, I would recommend you request a steering inspection – intermittent loss of assist and the responding certified mechanic will pinpoint the origin of the noise, as well as the cause of loss of assist, and get the required repairs implemented. With regard to the possibility of damage to the suspension and/or frame due to the collision, the ONLY way to determine that is to have those components measured using the appropriate tools and having in hand the Factory Service Manual which contains every relevant frame measurement for reference. You CANNOT visually look at a vehicle and determine if it is straight and undamaged because some of the specifications are measured within tens of thousandths of an inch (toe, for example) or tiny fractions of a degree (wheel camber). A carefully selected shop with trained individuals will have to perform such an inspection. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

Reference point for the width of the car and correct steering method.
ANSWER : Hi there, thanks for writing in. Being that you’re a new driver, if you live in the United States; I’d take advantage of a great program aimed at teens called B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible and Keep Everybody Safe). It’s based in North Carolina, but they have BRAKES events across the US. They teach defensive driving tactics and also how to gauge the overall width, length of your vehicle.

Without knowing what type of vehicle you’re planning on driving first, it’s difficult for us to tell you what reference point is good. However, when driving, having your hands at 10 o’clock and two o’clock position is the best for easy and safe operation of the steering wheel. It’s also a good idea for you to take a basic driving education class; which can easily be researched online.

Power steering loss, no belts are turning but the car is running fine. I also have a soft pedal. Whats wrong with my car?
ANSWER : I have only seen this situation once in my 30+ years and it turned out to be a broken crankshaft pulley. Belts are driven by the engine. The crankshaft pulley spins the belts, which in turn spin the air conditioner compressor, power steering and water pumps, and the alternator. The vehicle should be towed to your local repair shop and not driven. Without the water pump spinning to circulate the coolant, the engine will quickly overheat and result in more extensive damage.

My car will not start Intermittently. I purchased a new battery 2 weeks ago and yesterday the car wouldn’t start. Got a jump and
ANSWER : The issue you are having is probably due to an intermittent fault in the starter motor itself or a deficiency in the starter electrical circuit, for example a large voltage drop due to a poor ground or a high resistance connection. These issues can be readily diagnosed and resolved on a mobile basis if you request a hard starting diagnostic. If you request that diagnostic, the responding certified mechanic will get this resolved for you promptly. Based on Toyota’s Factory Service Manual, the battery should not be disconnected if the vehicle engine is running. The battery acts as a large resistive voltage sink and consequently taking the battery out of the circuit, while the alternator is still running, can create a voltage spike on the car’s electrical system which is not good for voltage sensitive components such as the engine computer. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

I put the wrong key in my car and a few weeks later my car just shut down and it will not start I believe it’s the computer but…
ANSWER : Hi there. What had happened is the wrong key set the security to the vehicle. This is to prevent the vehicle from starting with the wrong keys. Try removing the battery cables (+) and (-) for 13 minutes. During that time, put the original key in the ignition and turn it on. Activate everything in the car even though there is no power. Then remove the key and hook up the battery cables. The computer should have reset and reset the security. If the security is still being tripped, then I recommend seeking out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you