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Driving down the street you notice a certain stiffness with the steering. Not the usual play that you expect, it almost seems that a bit of resistance is taking place. No matter, you continue down the road and forget about it as the problem has seemed to have gone away. The next day you start your car up and as you back out of the driveway it happens again. This time, you do everything in your power to avoid hitting your neighbor's lawn statue. There is little give in your steering. A check under your hood may reveal that your car's steering rack is the culprit. If so, you need to get it replaced before serious trouble sets in. You see, when your car is cold that is when steering rack problems are most noticeable. Eventually, as the part continues to wear your steering problem will worsen. Can you imagine being on the freeway and not being able to steer clear of something in the road. That can be dangerous, even deadly. Yes, we stock steering racks and we have one for your car. Check our online catalog and order your part today. Our web store never closes.
Choosing the Right Steering Rack
When it is separated from your entire steering system, the steering rack might look like a worthless metal rod. But without the steering rack, your car would not be able to maneuver through the streets. So if your steering wheel starts feeling a little loose or you suddenly notice your tires are misaligned, it's about time you replace your steering rack.
Know your steering system
Since your steering rack is part of bigger system-the rack-and-pinion assembly-the type of steering rack you need would depend on the steering system you have on your car. Most cars are powered by normal rack-and-pinion steering. The steering rack for this kind of rack-and-pinion gear set is relatively easy to spot. It's a simple, lightweight rack with differently sized metal teeth. Unlike a simple steering system, a power steering system's rack has a slightly different design and contains more parts. On the middle of the steering rack, you'll find a cylinder with a piston. This piston is designed with two fluid ports to direct higher-pressure fluid to one of its side and eventually provide the power needed to steer your car. So if your car has a power steering system installed, finding the right steering rack can be more tedious. Aside from looking at the quality and fit of the rack for a power steering system, you should also inspect the fluid ports and their compatibility with your steering system's fluid lines.
Purchase the entire assembly
Whether you have a normal rack-and-pinion system or a power-assisted one, be sure that your steering rack includes fittings for inner tie rods. This ensures that everything will fit perfectly with the entire system. This will also help you prevent leaks. Another advantage of purchasing the entire assembly instead of just one part is that there are no core changes made on the assembly. This eliminates the hassle of returning your old part for a core refund. So remember, when buying a new steering rack, don't just buy the rack-buy the complete assembly for a more direct fit and increased life span.
Check the warranty
As with any part of your car, never purchase without a warranty. This saves you time, effort, and money if the serviced part is not functioning as expected. The standard warranty for steering racks is for one year. The mileage terms will vary according to the type of steering system you have. Since a normal rack-and-pinion steering has less moveable parts (add to this the fact that it's usually used for smaller loads), it is usually covered by an unlimited mileage warranty. On the other hand, the more complicated system, like a power steering system, is more susceptible to wear. Therefore, it does not have the same warranty terms as a normal system. Distributors and sellers usually cover 15,000 to 18,000 miles.
Installing a New Steering Rack on Your Power Steering System
Does your wheel feel a little loose? Do you hear thudding and clunking sounds when you drive? Are your tires more worn than they should be? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then there might be something wrong with your steering rack. Before your whole steering system gets worse, replace your steering rack with these easy steps:
Difficulty level: Easy
Things you'll need:
- Jack stands
- Brake line wrench set
- Power steering fluid
- Ratchet and socket set
- New steering rack
Step 1: Lift and secure your car using a jack and jack stands. You will be crawling underneath your vehicle to work on your steering rack, so be sure that your car is properly secured. Also see to it that your wheels are straight and the steering wheel is locked before working on the rack itself.
Step 2: Once you've got a good view of your steering rack, remove the tie rod ends from the steering knuckles using a wrench.
Step 3: Now that you've loosen all the bolts and attachments, locate your power steering lines. It is usually connected to the rack with the brake line wrenches. Since these lines carry a lot of pressure, crack them first before loosening.
Step 4: Remove the bolts from the steering rack and pull this off from the column. Remember that before unbolting the rack from the frame, it should be properly supported with either your hand or a spare set of jack stands.
Step 5: Put your new steering rack in place. Center it before completely installing the rack. Reassemble all the other parts that were removed in steps 2 to 4 in reverse order.
Step 6: Properly secure all bolts and make sure everything is in place before testing your installation job. To test your new steering rack, unlock your steering wheel (while your car is still lifted) and turn the wheels from side to side 10 times. Aside from knowing if you've installed the rack correctly, testing your steering rack will also help work the air out of the power steering system.