If the power steering pump develops leaks, it can drip onto the lower control arm bushing causing the bushing to deteriorate. A knocking noise will be heard when driving over bumps and it may become more difficult to control the vehicle.Google+
Car Problem Reports
Nissan Maxima Leaking power steering pump can cause noise/steering problems
Nissan Maxima Problem
Average Mileage: 104,432 mi (11,000 mi - 298,888 mi)
Visitor, 1999 Nissan Maxima, 140,000 mi
leaking fluid, was told it was power steering pump. Parts and labor to replace $575
car knocks over small bumps. sounds like motor mount broken. then issue with power steering fluid leaking. steering was getting difficult. heard a whirring sound. reservoir looked ok but I drained it and added new ATF. works fine now. no whirring but leaking still and still knocking over bumps.
Visitor, 2012 Nissan Maxima, 11,000 mi
Bought my Nissan Maxima new on 8/25/2012. In the last week, had a steering problem. Took it to the dealer, diagnosed it as a malfunction power steering pump. The pumps are BACK ORDERED at Nissan. This is a disgrace for a car with very little milage. I would expect a better product for Nissan and a Maxima.
Very disappointed with Nissan.
Visitor, 2012 Nissan Maxima, 19,000 mi
Power steering pump went on my new Maxima - had to wrestle to turn my wheel in the snow nearly killing myself and passenger. brought car to dealership fixed it under warranty. sucks.
no diagnosis except i brought it in to complain about it leaking and the dealer said it was fine (power steering fluid)....so awhile later (yesterday) i was almost killed as i'm traveling down the freeway going to work and the car started to sway left to right, and finally gave out and the sterring no longer worked and the car veered directly into the center median twice (shouldn't have made it out of this violent collision)---but the steering was gone and it went into the median....