How Much Does Rack and Pinion Repair Cost?
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.
How much is 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 Model||Cost|
|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|
What is going to be included?
- 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 placed. 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.