Steering column replacement from $640
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Steering column replacement
How much does a steering column replacement cost?
The steering column is the component that links the inputs from the steering wheel to the steering rack or steering box. It is mounted to the vehicle through the structural support frame for the dashboard and houses all the controls and ignition barrel, as well as the tilt adjustment.
Using a universal joint, it joins onto the top of the steering rack through a specially designed opening in the firewall which is covered by a rubber or foam insulator. If you can feel the steering binding, the tilt mechanism not working or there is excessive play in the steering column, it will need to be replaced.
Depending on if your vehicle is fitted with an electronic column lock (usually indicated by the vehicle being fitted with push-button start) pricing for steering column replacement can start at $300 and reach $1000 and above.
What is a steering column?
The steering column is made up of a number of different components, the main ones being the splines where the steering wheel and other controls are attached, an intermediate shaft and the universal joint that attaches to the steering column.
These components transfer the steering input from the steering wheel and transfer it to the steering rack, which in turn operates the suspension components and turns the wheels.
All steering columns fitted to modern vehicles are known as collapsible columns. These are designed to absorb energy from a collision, reducing the risk of injury to the occupants inside the car.
Symptoms your steering column requires replacing
- Steering binding when turning
- Clunking from the steering column when steering
- Excess movement when turning the steering wheel
How is a steering column replacement carried out?
- The technician will diagnose the issue
- The battery will be disconnected and shrouds and trims removed around the steering wheel
- The steering wheel will be removed and the airbag disconnected
- The universal joint will be undone off the top of the steering rack
- The mounting bolts will be removed and the column removed from the vehicle
- The new column will be installed and the universal joint reattached
- The steering wheel and airbag will be reinstalled correctly
- The shrouds and trims will be reinstalled and the battery reconnected
- The technician will test drive the vehicle to ensure correct operation
Tips to remember
- The vehicle will require a full wheel alignment after a steering column replacement to make sure the vehicle is within specifications
- The driver’s airbag mounts to the top of the steering column. If there is a problem with the column, this may affect the operation of the airbag in an accident
How important is replacing the steering column?
If there is a problem with your steering column, it is best to have it replaced as soon as possible. Failure of the steering column will leave your vehicle unable to steer, which is dangerous if the vehicle is moving when it happens. A faulty steering column can also affect the driver’s airbag deployment in the event of an accident.