How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Steering Column?
The steering column of a car is the part to which the steering wheel in connected. This steering column will contain any wires, cables, or chips that are needed to make the steering system work correctly with the car. Without this system and a properly working steering column, the car would be impossible to control. Generally, a steering column may need to be replaced if the car owner either wants to replace it for cosmetic purposes or if it is causing problems. The steering column may also need to be replaced after a car accident that involves a front end and deployment of the air bag. The inner frame of a steering column is designed to collapse in a front end collision to protect the driver.
How much is it?
- In most cases, the cost to replace a steering column is going to depend on the mechanic, make and model of car. To budget, the cost of replacing a steering column is going to average anywhere from $450 to $1,100 for a mechanic to fix problem. However, if you want to perform the repair on your own, a used steering column can cost less than $100, while a newer part could cost more than $250, depending on the make and model.
- If the steering column can be scrapped and only a few parts need to be replaced, the costs could hover around the $100 to $300 range.
- On F150Forum.com, a handful of users claimed that they paid anywhere from $100 to $250 for them to do the steering column replacement on their own.
What is going to be included?
- During the process, the mechanic will remove the old column by unscrewing it from various positions. Once it has been unscrewed, the column will be lifted out of position and the wires will be disconnected. Once the steering column has been removed, the mechanic will make sure that the area is free of any obstacles or debris. Once cleared, the new steering column will be placed into position, connecting securely to the existing screw holes. When it is firm in place, the screws and bolts will hold it firmly in place. Lastly, when the column has been mounted to the dashboard, the mechanic will lift the hood of the car to connect any loose wires and cables to the column.
- The steering column can perform many different functions depending on the make and model of the car.
- A steering column should be adjustable to fit each individual driver for the utmost safety. Most steering columns will move up and down, and some will also move in and out.
- A steering column contains the ignition switch into which the key is placed.
- Windshield wipers will be located on one of the arms of the steering column. This will include rear wipers, washer fluid, and different wiper speeds.
- In some models, the headlights are controlled on one of the arms of the steering column. This will include a way to turn on the brights as well.
- The arm of the steering column controls the signals of the car showing other drivers whether you are turning right or left or changing lanes.
What are the extra costs?
- All makes and models are going to vary with their steering column design. Keep in mind that every column is not created equally. A car that takes longer to take the steering column apart may cost more than a basic job. Most garages will charge by the hour.
- If your steering column has to be reprogrammed after the column has been installed, additional fees may apply.
- If there are many controls on the face of your steering while, such as radio controls, cruise control, etc., the wiring may be more complex leading to a higher cost of replacement.
Tips to know:
- Refer to your warranty to see if this repair is covered. If you do not know if your car is under warranty, you can simply call up the car manufacturer.
How can I save money?
- If you are going to choose a mechanic, talk with at least three to five mechanics in the area. While some may be able to give you a quote over the phone, some may have to see it in person to give you an exact estimate. When getting a quote, always make sure you check with the local shops, along with the dealerships. Most of the time, privately owned mechanic shops will be cheaper than dealerships.
- If you are going to do the job on your own, consider looking for second hand parts at a local junk yard if you do not want to buy a newer OEM part. However, before you head to a salvage yard, call them up to see if they may have a part. Just give them the make and model of the car and they can let you know.
- Check for specials or coupons before sending your car in.