Steering Rack and Pinion
Rack and pinion steering transfers the torque of the steering wheel into a force which can actually turn the wheels of the car. In cars with power steering, the concept is the same, however the power steering pump employs hydraulic fluid to minimize the amount of effort the driver needs to exert.
Symptoms of a Faulty Steering System
If you are having a problem with your steering wheel it might have a loose feel to it. Faulty rack & pinion steering systems can cause your car to wander on the road when you are driving, listing slightly to one side instead of traveling in a straight line. This makes steering harder than it should, sometimes with dangerous results.
Sounds such as thudding, clunking, or a constant knocking can also be warnings of a loose rack and pinion steering system.
Unusual tire wear is another symptom of a steering rack & pinion malfunction, though there are a number of other conditions that can cause uneven tire wear. If your tires are more worn on either the inside or the outside than on the rest of the tire, it's possible you have a rack & pinion problem.
If you find that your car seems to be leaking fluid from the front end, the problem could stem from a leak from the rack and pinion steering system. Put some newspaper or cardboard under the boots of your rack and pinion system to find out where the fluid is coming from. If the fluid drips from the boots, you will know that it is your steering system that's been compromised. Most likely you will see at least some of the other symptoms listed in this article in tandem with a fluid leak.
Rack and Pinion Steering Parts
The average system includes rubber bellows, rack, pinion, inner socket and a tie rod. If your steering rack pinion is not functioning how you'd like, it's best to get it checked as soon as possible to avoid further damage. We recommend buying an OEM or trusted name brand rack & pinion kit, rather than a cheap kit of unknown origin and build quality-remember cheap parts are inexpensive for a reason! Paying for higher quality parts will ensure your don't waste money on useless repairs.
Overhauling a power rack is not a job for the beginner. Special tools are required to remove and install internal seals and other components. As expensive as these tools are, some shops can't justify the cost, especially if they're a shop that only does an occasional rack. For those in search of DIY fix, the tools could end up costing as much as a new or remanufactured rack.
Regardless of your vehicle, BuyAutoParts.com stocks a wide variety of steering rack and pinions for all makes and models. Be sure to check out the Buy Auto Parts for the best prices on online auto parts.