How to replace power steering rack?
The steering rack connects the steering column to the wheels and transmits the movement of the steering wheel to the wheels. If the steering rack is damaged, it will be difficult to turn the steering wheel and the vehicle will lose stability. You'll need to replace your steering rack.
Why is it important to replace your steering rack?
The steering rack plays a vital role in the operation of your vehicle. It converts the rotational movement of the steering wheel into linear movement of the wheels, allowing you to control the steering. When it shows signs of wear or malfunction, it needs to be replaced to avoid the risks associated with poor steering.
Signs of a faulty steering rack
Before planning a replacement, it's important to recognize the signs that your rack may need attention:
- Excessive play in the steering wheel
- Unusual noises while driving
- Difficulty turning the steering wheel
- Power steering fluid leaks
If you notice any of the above symptoms, it's a sign that your part is faulty. You should then consider repairing or replacing it. It is generally recommended to replace this part every 300,000 km. Repair is not recommended. In fact, it's a key component that must be perfect to avoid surprises. An improvised or poorly executed repair can actually make the situation worse. So don't be a do-it-yourselfer and call in a professional to perform an automotive diagnosis.
How do I replace a steering rack?
With the vehicle on the two-post ramp, remove the wheels and make sure the steering wheel is in the straight-ahead position. Find the circuit breaker box and remove the cover. Remove the screws as shown.
Remove the bottom panel and disconnect the connectors. Remove the universal joint. Then remove the screws on the link arms and loosen the ball joints. Locate the mounting bolt. To gain access, remove the battery as shown. You will see the bolt below the battery location. Remove the bolt.
Next, locate the bolt under the master cylinder. Remove it. Locate the next bolt. You will need to lift the car onto the lift to reach this bolt from underneath as shown. Clean the area around the fluid lines and remove them from the steering rack. The rack can now be lifted and removed from inside the wheel well.
Label the old rack with the return shipping label. Verify that the replacement rack is identical to the removed rack. Insert the new rack through the wheel well as shown. Slide it into position and tighten the mounting bolts to the vehicle manufacturer's recommended torque.
Clean the hydraulic ports and replace the port sealing rings. Readjust the fluid lines and retighten the fasteners to the vehicle manufacturer's recommended torque. Wrap the connecting rod ball onto the ball joint as shown. Insert the rod ball into the link arm, making sure the top of the pivot is a maximum of 3 mm from the top of the link arm.
Re-install the bolts and torque to the correct specification according to the vehicle manufacturer's instructions. Fill the steering system with the appropriate fluid as specified by the vehicle manufacturer, then flush and bleed the system according to the vehicle manufacturer's instructions.
Readjust and check the alignment of the wheels. Stable vehicle handling cannot be guaranteed unless the wheels are properly aligned.
How do I service my vehicle's steering rack?
Checking your vehicle's power steering fluid level can help prevent many rack and pinion problems. A good habit to get into is to open the hood once a month and check the fluid level for oil leaks or obvious signs of damage.
Power steering fluid should be changed every year or two as it traps particles and debris as it is pumped through the power steering system. If the power steering fluid is not changed, it will eventually accelerate wear on other rack and pinion components.
The power steering pump belt should also be inspected approximately once a month. Power steering belts should be free of damage such as cracks, cuts, tears and fraying. If you notice any of these problems, the belt should be replaced. Another sign of belt wear is a screeching noise coming from the engine.
power steering rack