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How Much does a Power Steering Rack Replacement Cost?
Most modern cars employ a power steering rack to make turning corners and steering your car a breeze.
Without a power steering rack, making turns with your car would be a feat best left to strongmen.
The power steering rack is in constant use when your engine is running; there’s always fluid circulating through the system.
Over time, fluid leaks can develop or internal valve failures can cause intermittent steering trouble.
The power steering rack can last your car’s whole lifetime in many cases, and faults are normally found in higher-mileage cars.
For most cars, power steering rack replacement can be expected to cost $750 to $1,500 and sometimes more, depending on the make and model you drive.
Cars that drive primarily in the city may experience more problems because of higher steering use.
Power Steering Rack Replacement
What is a Power Steering Rack?
The power steering rack is the basis of a power steering system.
Located between the front wheels and attached to the steering column via a linkage, the power steering rack reduces the effort required to turn your car when you turn the steering wheel. It contains a piston in a cylinder, and pressurised power steering fluid is diverted to one side of the piston or the other to decrease the amount of steering effort you need to apply.
The steering rack housing is cast in aluminum and sealed at the input shaft and both ends.
Rack end boots allow the steering rack’s inner tie rods to extend and retract without damaging the end seals.
Rubber seals, fluid leaks, and internal piston or valve failures can occur, causing external leaks or poor steering assist. Once a problem is found, power steering rack replacement is required.
Symptoms that your Power Steering Rack requires Replacing
- Binding or choppy feeling when turning the steering wheel
- Fluid leaks on ground under the front of your car
- Low power steering fluid level
- Fluid leaking into rack end boots at the ends of the power steering rack
How is Power Steering Rack Replacement Performed?
- The technician lifts the car on a hoist or jack stands and the wheels are removed
- The outer tie rods are disconnected from the steering knuckles on both sides
- Power steering hoses are disconnected from the power steering rack and mounting bolts are undone
- The steering shaft is disconnected from the power steering rack
- The faulty power steering rack is removed and a new one fitted in its place
- The tie rods, power steering hoses, and steering shaft are refitted to the new power steering rack
- Wheels are re-installed and the car is lowered to the ground
- A wheel alignment is performed and a road test is completed by the technician
Tips to Remember
- The inner and outer tie rods may need to be transferred over to the new power steering rack or new ones installed
- A wheel alignment must be performed after power steering rack replacement
- Some newer vehicles are fitted with electric power steering racks, which use battery voltage and a motor to provide steering assistance. These systems will illuminate a ‘Check Engine Light’ when the engine control unit detects an issue.
How important is replacing your Power Steering Rack?
It’s of top importance to ensure you can steer your car reliably no matter when or where you drive.
Replacing your power steering rack gives you the peace of mind that you can drive safely anytime you’re on the road.
Driving your car with a leaking or binding power steering rack is a safety concern that endangers you and anyone else around you on the road because you may not be able to steer clear of danger.
If you’ve read this far, you obviously care about your car. A lot. So next time you need a service, repair or inspection, visit AutoGuru.com.au.
We let you search and book from over 1600 qualified mechanics, who eat car troubles for breakfast.
Image credit - (credit: https://www.ultimatepowersteering.com.au/audi/)