Replacing a steering rack
Your steering rack is important. Not only does it help you aim your car where you want it to go, but it ensures it continues to go in that direction at all times.
The steering rack has a hard life - knuckle joints take a hammering over the course of their lifetime and eventually become sloppy and loose; the gaitors, or bellows, on each end of the rack catch all the dirt and any projectiles coming up off the road surface or from the car behind and can split and let out lubricating grease and let in water; seals in power steering racks are constantly under pressure and start to seep fluid as they age.
As the miles ‘rack’ up (no pun intended!) the steering assembly wears and play in the system can result in wandering or a vague feeling.
In a worse-case scenario, the knuckle joints could separate and both your wheels will try to turn in opposite directions at the same time. On PAS systems, a hydraulic seal could fail leading to a massive fluid leak that would leave you with no power assistance, or worse: locking the steering hard over in a turn.
Sooner or later you will find yourself having to change the steering rack. Here's how.
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