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Rack and pinion steering is a mechanism that makes turning corners quick, easy and practical, which is why most modern vehicles have this feature. Be that as it may, rack and pinion is a complicated contrivance, and once it gets damaged, it has to be completely replaced, as there are few chances of repairing it. Here you can find rack and pinion replacement cost, compare prices, and learn what rack and pinion steering is, when should you replace it and how the replacement is done.
In fact, it costs much less to replace rack and pinion than it does to repair it because the labor costs alone could cost an arm and leg. Besides, repairing is a rather complex process so it’s better to just save yourself the trouble (and the money!) and replace it.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace a Steering Rack?
Rack and pinion repair cost is between $350-$1,700 for parts and labor, whereas the parts alone can cost anything from $200 to $1,000. Also, rack and pinion replacement is a very complicated procedure that requires professional expertise, and the average car owner may not be able to do the installation on their own.
Rack and Pinion Replacement Prices
Rack and Pinion Replacement Costs
Here are a few examples of what you may have to pay to replace rack and pinion, based on quotes from the country’s leading repair shops, which actually deal with this type of replacement on a regular basis.
Keep in mind that the costs below include parts and labor.
Rack and Pinion Replacement Costs
What is Rack and Pinion Steering?
Rack and pinion steering is not only one of the most straightforward mechanisms out there, but it’s also the most widely used steering mechanism for modern cars, SUVs, and trucks. Essentially, this unit is made up of a gear set which is surrounded by a metal tube, while the rack peers out on either end of the tube. The tie rod is what connects the ends of the tie rod together, which is in turn attached to the steering arm.
The steering shaft and the pinion gear are so closely connected that the gear becomes responsible to move the rack every time you spin the steering wheel. From there, the rack and pinion gear set literally turn the wheels of your car by translating the rotation of the steering wheel into linear motion.
The difference between your turning of the steering wheel and the actual rotation of the tires is what’s known as your vehicle’s steering ratio, and most cars require 3 to 4 full turns of the steering wheel before the actual wheels follow suit.
Of course, lighter vehicles like sports cars, have a much lower steering ratio when compared to heavyweights like SUVs, trucks and large cars in general. The rule of thumb is basically that vehicles with a lower ratio tend to turn faster than those with a higher ratio.
Rack and Pinion Replacement Benefits
The steering function of your car is one of the most vital aspects of driving the vehicle, which why it’s so important to make sure that it’s always functioning well. Having a faulty rack and pinion can seriously compromise your driving safety, so you should have your car checked immediately if you suspect that there’s a problem.
A replacement is actually the cheaper and easier option when compared to repairing it, and it’s the recommended solution by most mechanics.
When Should You Replace the Rack and Pinion Steering?
Generally, you want your car to turn almost immediately after you’ve engaged the steering wheel, and there are many signs that point to rack and pinion steering problems.
You may have difficulty maneuvering the steering wheel or it might just jerk up instead of responding immediately as it should. Damaged steering is also most likely to make weird noises every time you drive over bumps or take a turn on the road.
Sometimes, it becomes difficult to turn in one direction, (right for example), while it’s easier to turn in another (left). Of course, there may be another cause behind this, but it’s still worth checking out just to be sure. After all, you don’t want your steering wheel to give up on you while you’re in the middle of the road.
The mechanic will perform several tests to establish the cause of the steering malfunction. They’ll do this by checking things like car alignment or inspect the car for any problems with the power steering unit. If the mechanic finds that the rack and pinion is indeed behind the problem, then they’ll probably advise that you replace it altogether.
How Rack and Pinion Replacement is Done?
- First, the mechanic will check the wheels to make sure that they’re straight and then they’ll lock the steering column by fastening a belt over the wheel to prevent it from accidentally moving during the process.
- They’ll remove the universal joint coupler, which is located on the pinion shaft, and they’ll take out the front tires as well.
- The mechanic will then separate the tie rod ends, and detach the rack from the power steering lines.
- Next, they’ll take out the bolts from the rack and pinion, and remove the assembly through the wheel well.
- The mechanic will install the new unit, which is done by repeating the removal steps in reverse.
- Then they’ll suck out the air from the power steering system and top up the fluids as necessary.
- The mechanic will rotate the wheel from one end to the other in order to test it out and make sure that it’s working properly.
- Lastly, the mechanic will align all the angles.
How to Save Money When You Replace Rack and Pinion
Rack and pinion repair is definitely a job for professionals only as doing it yourself might cost you more than it would take it to your local car repair shop.
It’s generally cheaper to replace the rack and pinion steering than it is to repair it because the repair is a very time-consuming and expensive process. Placing the seals alone is extremely complex, and if you so much as misplace or accidentally damage even one seal, you could find yourself with a rack and pinion leak on your hands.
Taking into consideration the risks involved as well as rear pinion seal replacement cost, most mechanics will lean towards replacing the unit.
So, the best way for you to save money on rack and pinion cost is to get different quotes from several repair shops in your area, which you can do online, over the phone or even in person, so that you can get the best deal in town while still getting value for money. Also, you can try to find some discount coupons and get the lowest possible rack and pinion replacement price.