Steering Racks Replacements – Everything You Need To Know

The steering rack is an important part of the power steering system and is between the two front wheels. Replacing the steering rack is a service which drivers often are unaware of and is important if the current steering rack fails. Here at Peninsula Auto Clinic, our mechanics will perform professional steering rack replacements for any person in the Northern Beaches. 

Steering rack replacement services often cost from $750 to $1,500 or more depending on the car model and type. During a steering rack replacement, a licensed mechanic will:

  • Ensure the car is in a safe position
  • Disconnect all parts to access the steering racks
  • The rack is removed safely from the car and the new one will be installed
  • All parts will be properly connected back to the rack
  • Tests and inspections will be performed to make sure the new steering racks work correctly

Steering Racks Replacements Everything You Need To Know Peninsula Auto Clinic

What are the Power Steering Racks?

The steering racks are within the power steering system and are an important part of it. They are located at the front in between the front wheels, connected by a linkage. They help reduce the effort which the car needs to turn when the steering wheel is turned. 

The racks have a cylinder with a pressured fluid for it to work and move side to side. The system is coated in aluminium while being sealed at both ends and the input shaft.  

How are the Steering Racks Replaced?

Steering racks are replaced by a fully qualified mechanic and is a process which needs professional skills.

  1. The mechanic will lift the car to easily access the steering racks and remove the tyres. The car will be lifted either through jack stands or by a hoist depending on how the car model is.
  2. Disconnecting the outer tie rods is performed which are on either side of the steering knuckles.
  3. The power steering hoses are all disconnected while the mounting bolts are also loosened.
  4. One last part of the car is disconnected, being the steering shaft, to have better access to the racks.
  5. The new steering rack is fitted into the car after the damaged one has been removed. The whole replacement process is carefully completed to ensure the rack is safely installed. All parts are properly installed and the rack is inspected during the replacement.
  6. All other parts which connect to the steering rack are connected onto the new one. This includes the steering shaft, tie rods and steering hoses, all refitted and adjusted. 
  7. After everything has been installed and reconnected the tyres are installed back onto the car. 
  8. The car is lowered and the mechanic will perform a wheel alignment test to make sure the wheels function correctly. Other tests, including a road test, occur to guarantee that the steering racks have been successfully installed. 

What are Some Signs and Symptoms of Broken Steering Racks?

There are many signs and symptoms drivers can look out for which indicate that the steering racks are failing:

  • Tight Steering Wheel – the rack and pinions steering system of the car are supported with the power steering system. If the steering wheel is tighter or is more difficult to turn then the steering rack may be defected. A build up of heat or a decrease of hydraulic pressure can lead to the rack failing. 
  • Leaky Power Steering Fluid – if power steering fluid begins to leak then a broken gasket, loose fitting or other issue is present. A side effect of this fluid leak is that the rack may begin to contain excess heat which leads to parts breaking. 
  • Grinding Noises – when the gearbox is not functioning correctly then the parts in the system are not lubricated properly and moving correctly. This scraping of metal will occur when the car moves right or left or when the car drives over a bump. The gearbox failing and being poorly lubricated can lead to the steering rack failing as well.
  • Burning Smell – burning odours is a clear sign that there is a fluid leak inside the rack or gearbox. It is dangerous to drive when the fluid is leaking and especially when a burning smell has developed. The racks will need to be inspected as soon as possible as the leaks can lead to serious problems. 

What Causes Steering Rack Issues?

The power steering rack system can become damaged from a lack of servicing and other factors:

  • Contaminated or Leaky Fluid – a hydraulic fluid runs within the power steering system to make sure all the parts are well lubricated. If this fluid becomes contaminated then the parts of the system, including the racks, cannot easily move. If the fluid leaks from a point then there can be a lower amount of fluid which can also lead to failures in the system. 
  • Poor Fluid Levels – with the system needing clean fluid it also needs to correct amount to function. The steering racks and other parts of the power system should be topped up regularly with hydraulic fluid to ensure they work correctly. A lubrication service will have a mechanic top up this liquid and other car fluids to ensure that this and other systems function properly. 
  • Broken Belts and Steering Pumps – if the power steering pump or belt is damaged then the racks and even the whole car can be affected. These systems connect to the racks, engine and other systems and if they stretch, fray or become damaged then this can lead to potential problems. 

Reliable Power Steering Rack Services

Peninsula Auto Clinic is here to perform services with any car’s steering racks and ensure they are functioning correctly. We will replace the existing racks and ensure that the car is driving correctly with working racks. Our mechanics will also perform Car Repair work to make certain the racks are working correctly and safely. 

Our services with steering racks are offered to the whole Northern Beaches, including Palm Beach, Mona Vale and Ingleside. To prevent the racks from experiencing damages we also offer Car Service work for us to regularly inspect and work on the system.For professional power steering rack replacement and services – contact Peninsula Auto Clinic on 9999 2553 or email us at