Like so many modern components on our cars, the Infiniti steering rack can be a sneaky little bugger to diagnose. Take, for example, the J30, which uses an Infiniti steering rack very similar to that on other models. On this car, the Infiniti steering rack is located directly in front of the transmission bellhousing, and uses ATF as power steering fluid. Thus what may appear to be a transmission front pump leak may actually be an Infiniti steering rack leak. And, while not cheap, an Infiniti steering rack is far less expensive to fix than an Infiniti transmission!
If you find that your Q45 or I30 has what appears to be a transmission leak, be sure to keep an eye on the Infiniti steering rack fluid, which is usually located in a reservoir on top of the engine. Not only can Infiniti steering rack fluid leakage cause a misdiagnosis of a perfectly healthy part, but a low fluid level can also destroy your Infiniti steering rack.
Consequently, you end up with an unnecessary transmission rebuild and then require a new Infiniti steering rack—on the upside, your mechanic will be having a good month! Some of the symptoms of Infiniti steering rack failure, besides fluid leakage, include hard steering, especially if it’s intermittent, and odd noises coming from the Infiniti steering rack itself. So keep an eye on things both under your car and in the engine compartment, check your fluids often, and your Infiniti steering rack will be with you for a good, long time.