Do I have HICAS?

Morgan writes:

How can I tell if my car has Hicas other than with the indicator light on the dash. I don't have the light but when i look under the rear end of my car I see a lot of stuff that leads me to believe it does have Hicas. I have read the FAQ at the website and I THINK what i see under my car is a steering rack just forward of the axel and what i believe are hydraulic units next to the wheels. If anyone has a pic of their Hicas system or has a digital camera and can take a pic of their Hicas I would be very happy if you could send me one.


93 240SX SE



Hicas will actually have a 2" cylinder mounted directly behind the rear diff, about 8-10 inches in length, with "steering arms" hooked up to just behind the rear shock mount. It's very obvious. If you don't have these, you don't have Hicas.

Don Nimi

What to do when the red HICAS warning light comes on?

I was not able to get the self-diagnostic system to work. I do have the NISSAN shop manual but even with the help of a couple of backyard mechanic friends, we could not active this system. The local dealer advised they could, using the Nissan CONSULT computer, only to get a general idea of the problem but wanted to repair the car themselves (big $'s) By using the pages in the manual on the HICAS, each electrical component can be checked. All you need is a good multimeter. I got lucky when checking the continuity of the fail-safe valve solenoid. It showed an open circuit. The same type of solenoid (two of them) is on the actuator valve at the front  of the car. The fail-safe valve is about center between the trans and the rear axle. Good old Nissan does not sell replacement solenoids, they wanted to sell the whole valve assembly at a cost of about $500 (this was Canadian so maybe a bit cheaper down south) however by removing the retaining nut and sliding off the solenoid, it is ! a bit sticky to move at first, you can have it repaired at minimum cost. Only problem is getting into the steel cylinder. I used a hack saw and carefully cut open about 1/3 of the length. This allowed me to pry (carefully) open the cylinder and remove the plastic coil holder. In my case moisture had got in and corroded the wire just where it entered the case. 1 min with a soldering gun and I was done. Before reassembing the solenoid I used a welder and closed up the cut I had made in the case. Use lots of silicone to completely seal the wires and at almost no cost had completed what the dealer would have charged serious $'s for. If  anyone wants copies of the pages from the manual send me a note and I will send the details.

Geoff Graham
Email: [email protected]