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I recently took my 350z to the dealer for a transmission fluid change. They quoted thousands of dollars in what I feel are unnecessary repairs. For example, replacing the camshaft position sensors (which if they were bad would throw a code and stall the car) and valve cover and valve cover gaskets (I replaced them last month and they don't appear to be leaking anymore). So because of those facts, I am doubting their suggestions. One thing they recommended was a new rack and pinion, which I feel was based on a leak onto it. However, I don't believe there are issues with the rack and pinion. The car drives fine, steers fine, and the power steering fluid is good. I have the attached photos, one with the boot shows there is kind of a yellowish fluid near the boot. I suspect it was oil that was from the leaking valve cover. You can see from a couple other pics that it appears to have been leaking to the top of the hoses and most likely running to the boot. I don't see any cracks on the boot, but it could be grease or dirty oil? I wiped a lot of it up to see if it comes back, but any suggestions on further inspection of the rack and pinion? Does this seem feasible it was oil from the back of the valve cover dripping onto the rack and pinion system? Wouldn't it be darker fluid (red or pink) if it was a power steering issue?
 

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Dealership inspections are designed to--surprise--bring more business into the service area. The ultimate answer to a steering rack leak is whether there's a code in memory about it. My UpRev Cipher system is identifying one on my Z and a closer inspection revealed the seals are giving out. But Cipher is a thorough tool and has the ability to scan the ECM, BCM and ABS sections- most cheap scanners miss all codes held in memory.


Bottom line, if the dealership used a CONSULT III and came up with a list of codes for your car, than I'd take a closer look at the list (they should be able to print it out for your individual car). If not, fire up the skepticism again!
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Would a 2004 350z...

Dealership inspections are designed to--surprise--bring more business into the service area. The ultimate answer to a steering rack leak is whether there's a code in memory about it. My UpRev Cipher system is identifying one on my Z and a closer inspection revealed the seals are giving out. But Cipher is a thorough tool and has the ability to scan the ECM, BCM and ABS sections- most cheap scanners miss all codes held in memory.


Bottom line, if the dealership used a CONSULT III and came up with a list of codes for your car, than I'd take a closer look at the list (they should be able to print it out for your individual car). If not, fire up the skepticism again!
Would a 2004 350z use CONSULT III or would it just be CONSULT II? Did it pick that up via the power steering pressure switch? I really doubt this dealer had an expensive scan tool because they just communicated the appearance of oil and never referenced any codes/errors. They wanted tie rod replacements too, but those look fine and I just had an alignment a couple months ago. I'm sure they would have pointed that out during the alignment.
 

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Would a 2004 350z use CONSULT III or would it just be CONSULT II? Did it pick that up via the power steering pressure switch? I really doubt this dealer had an expensive scan tool because they just communicated the appearance of oil and never referenced any codes/errors. They wanted tie rod replacements too, but those look fine and I just had an alignment a couple months ago. I'm sure they would have pointed that out during the alignment.
Dealerships constantly upgrade their diagnostic capabilities and the current ones use a CONSULT III for everything. If your dealer didn't offer any evidence of a problem with the steering rack, I'd call them on it. If they were just basing their recommendations off of seat-of-the-pants feelings, you need to use a different dealer!
 
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