And speaking of vehicles with raised roofs, some Xterra woes!

So, having witnessed some occasionally rough steering and some grinding noises from the serptine area over the last few weeks, I took the Xterra to the car doctor. Going in I figured it was either the power steering pump (a sheared upper ball joint last year yanked the CV and tie rods out from one side, so I figured that damage to the power steering was a possibility) and/or the alternator (Nissan, in its wisdom, placed a non-sealed, low alternator in a vehicle they advertise as offroad capable, so it getting toasted was just a matter of time and fun use).

And yup, leaky power steering (it was all gathering in my skid plate so I never saw it) and the alternator is starting to go. The rack either needs to be replaced or rebuilt (I think I will attempt the latter with an Xterra buddy’s spare) - for now I’m just gonna keep topping it up. The alt was going to be upgraded to feed my AGM battery and eventual winch anyway. Good thing my summer job gave me a raise for this year!

I was invited into the shop so the tech could point things out. I wish I could get this view more often (for recreational wrenching and not fixin’ things).