Nissan Altima Owners Manual: Power steering
● If the engine is not running or is turned off while driving, the power assist for the steering will not work. Steering will be harder to operate.
● When the power steering warning light illuminates with the engine running, there will be no power assist for the steering. You will still have control of the vehicle, but the steering will be much harder to operate. Have the power steering system checked by a NISSAN dealer.
The power steering system is designed to provide power assistance while driving to operate the steering wheel with light force.
When the steering wheel is operated repeatedly or continuously while parking or driving at a very low speed, the power assist for the steering wheel will be reduced. This is to prevent overheating of the power steering system and protect it from getting damaged. While the power assist is reduced, steering wheel operation will become heavy. If the steering wheel operation is still performed, the power steering may stop and the power steering warning light will illuminate. In a safe location, stop the engine and push the ignition switch to the OFF position. The temperature of the power steering system will go down after a period of time and the power assist level will return to normal after starting the engine. The power steering warning light will go off. Avoid repeating such steering wheel operations that could cause the power steering system to overheat.
You may hear a noise from the front of the vehicle when the steering wheel is operated. This is a normal operational noise and is not a malfunction.
If the power steering warning light illuminates while the engine is running, it may indicate the power steering system is not functioning properly and may need servicing. Have the power steering system checked by a NISSAN dealer.
When the power steering warning light illuminates with the engine running, the power assist for the steering will cease operation but you will still have control of the vehicle. At this time, greater steering efforts are required to operate the steering wheel, especially in sharp turns and at low speeds.
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