How Much Does Rack and Pinion Repair Cost?

Written by: Staff
Last Updated:  August 15, 2018

The rack and pinion, which is a part of the power steering, may fail after few years of use.  If you sense the steering is not as good as it was before, there may be a leak in the rack and pinion.

Rack and Pinion Steering by Ryan Frost, on Flickr
Rack and Pinion Steering” (CC BY 2.0) by Ryan Frost

How much does the typical rack and pinion replacement cost?

The price of the repair can be anywhere from $350 to $1,800, depending on the cost of the new rack and pinion, the car’s make/model, and the time spent by the mechanic to do the repair.  With additional repairs added in, such as a tire alignment, the bills can be between $500 and $1,500 for most car owners.

As for the parts, it can range anywhere from $150 to $400, on average.  This can all depend on where it’s purchased and the car’s make and model.

We were able to call a few franchises in our local area (Arizona) and asked them to offer us a ballpark for certain models.  Here’s what we found out they would charge:

Make and ModelCost
Buick Enclave$650 to $1,100
Dodge RAM$450 to $1,100
Ford Explorer$450 to $1,000
Ford Focus$400 to $800
Honda Accord$650 to $1,300
Honda Civic$600 to $1,100
Kia Sedona$450 to $1,000
Toyota Corolla$750 to $1,300
Toyota Sienna$400 to $1,000

Rack and pinion replacement overview

During the repair process, the mechanic will start by making sure the steering column is locked.  This can be done by using a belt to keep it in place.  The front tires will then be removed and the universal joint coupler will be removed.  From there, the power steering lines will be disconnected from the rack, and the tie rod ends, which help keep the rack together, will be removed.  The rack and pinion brushing brackets and assembly will be completely removed and a newer unit will be installed in its place.  Once installed, the power steering fluid will be replaced and the tires will be realigned.

The average job should take two to three hours.

What are the extra costs?

Sway bar and the bushings may have to be replaced and this can be an additional $150 to $200.

Some shops are going to charge additional shop fees and a local sales tax on top of the repair bill.

After a rack and pinion repair has been done, most mechanics will want to perform an alignment.  Some may include the alignment with the bill while others may not.  See: “How much does a wheel alignment cost?”

Like the alignment, a power steering flush may be necessary.  A flush can often start at $50, depending on the mechanic’s pricing policy.  This may or may not be included in the original estimate.

Tips to know:

If you find the steering is jerky or it’s hard to maneuver, there’s a good chance this part has gone bad.  Other symptoms may include a reduced ability to turn or a lot of noise when turning the wheel.  Most drivers are able to feel a difference as they turn in opposite direction.  If you feel any of these symptoms, you will want to get it checked out immediately as you wouldn’t want it to fail when driving.

The problem with replacing the rack and pinion is that the price can get rather high.  If you drive an older car, be sure to analyze the price.  You may find that it’s best to junk the car and proceed to purchase a newer car.

When purchasing a part or using a mechanic, always make sure that the labor and parts come with a limited warranty.  That way, if a problem does arise, you will be able to fix it.

If you’re unsure the rack and pinion caused the problem, you may want to ask the mechanic to show you the part after the job has been performed.  By doing this, you can usually be able to detect the damage rather easily.

How can I save money?

If the problem in the rack and pinion can be resolved without replacing it, you can save money since you will not need to buy a new one.  This is usually only possible if you check the parts regularly and when the leak is found early.

Try to steer clear of the dealerships.  They often will try to tack on tune-ups, oil changes and other unnecessary jobs.  It’s best to talk with at least three certified mechanics in your local area to get the best pricing possible.

Some people often think repairing the rack and pinion can be a cheaper route to go.  This often isn’t the case.  Since rebuilding can take a lot more time and a lot more risk is involved with the seals, mechanics will almost always recommend replacing it.  If they do, it’s probably best to do so.

Advertising Disclosure: This content may include referral links. Please read our disclosure policy for more info.


Average Reported Cost: $405.67

100 %
0 %
Less Expensive $1 $1.5K $3K $5K $6.5K More Expensive $8k

How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. frankie (corona,  ca) paid $ and said:

    140 for rack & pinion paid a mechanic that works on his own charged me 140 alignment 55 not bad compared to almost 1000

    Was it worth it? Yes

  2. JG (Grand Island,  Nebraska) paid $ and said:

    $700 to replace the rack. This included labor. Went to major dealership to have it done. This didn’t include alignment or anything else. They thought it was the fuel pump and replaced the fuel pump first, then found out it wasn’t the pump, so they put our old fuel pump back in and put on a new rack and said they would only charge us for the cost of a fuel pump. I think they charged us more.

    Was it worth it? Yes

  3. Doug (Atlanta,  Georgia) paid $ and said:

    Vehicle works great. Was at a Goodyear dealer.

    Was it worth it? Yes

  4. Debbie (Clarksville,  Indiana) paid $582 and said:

    I am blessed to know a very honest family owned auto repair shop. The mechanic performed an inspection. My car is a garage kept, town driven, 2000 Pontiac Grand AM with 152K miles on it. The recommendation was to monitor the power steering reservoir level, fill it as indicated and have the rack & pinion checked by the mechanic when I bring my car in for routine maintenance. I was quoted $582.00 for the entire replacement parts and labor. Good Honest Hard Working Americans! Thank you Worrall Family!

    Was it worth it? Yes

  5. Norma (Santa rosa,  California) paid $846.33 and said:

    $846.33 at a shop attached to a gas station – I had to use this shop as it was across the street from my house thus very convenient to not have to drive the car far away while leaking power steering fluid I took it in on a Tuesday part ordered same day repair complete the next day I was very pleased with the cost based on the quick turn around time

    Was it worth it? Yes

  6. CECELIA (Philadelphia,  Pennsylvania) paid $467 and said:

    I paid $467

    Was it worth it? Yes

  7. J-Leo (Bangor,  Maine) paid $700 and said:

    quoted $700.00 for 09 Subaru Outback w 156k miles

    Was it worth it? Yes

  8. Alex (Paramount,  California) paid $650 and said:

    Rack and pinion replaced and labor. Chevy Malibu 2012

    Was it worth it? Yes

About Us | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Amazon Affiliate Disclosure
Copyright © 2020 | Proudly affiliated with the T2 Web Network, LLC
The information contained on this website is intended as an educational aid only and is not intended as medical and/or legal advice.