How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Steering Column?

Written by: Staff

The steering column of a car 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 the front end and/or deployment of the airbag.

Steering column by rawmustard, on Flickr
Steering column” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by  rawmustard

How much do steering column repair costs?

In most cases, the cost to replace a steering column is going to depend on the mechanic and the car you’re driving.  To budget, the cost of replacing a steering column is going to average anywhere from $450 to $1,400 for a mechanic to fix the column with an OEM part.  All makes and models will vary with its steering column design.  If there are many controls on the face of your steering wheel, such as radio controls or cruise control, the wiring may be more complex leading to a higher cost of replacement, for instance.  Keep in mind that every column is not created equally, and a car that takes longer to take the steering column apart may cost more than a basic, straightforward job.  Most garages will charge by the hour.

Refer to our table below to see what other car owners were quoted to repair their steering column at a local mechanic/dealership:

Make/ModelAverage Price (parts + labor)
Chevrolet Silverado 1500$798
Chrysler Town and Country$950
Dodge Caravan$675
Honda Accord$800
Honda Civic$850

If you want to perform the repair on your own, a used steering column can cost less than $100, while a newer steering column could cost more than $250, depending on the make and model.  For example, on eBay, we were able to find quite a few steering wheel column parts for less than $200.

On this forum thread, for example, a handful of forum members claimed that they paid anywhere from $100 to $250 to do the steering column replacement on their own.

Steering column repair overview

During the process, the mechanic will remove the old column by unscrewing it from various positions, which will greatly depend on the car’s make and model.  Once unscrewed, the column will be lifted out of position and the wires will be disconnected.  Once removed, the mechanic will then 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 in place, the screws and bolts will hold it 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.

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.

What are the extra costs?

If your steering column has to be reprogrammed after the column has been installed, additional fees may apply.  The same can be said if an aftermarket part has to be painted to match your car’s interior.

Tips to know:

Refer to your warranty to see if this repair is covered if your car is still under warranty.  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 junkyard 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.  Some dealerships or mechanics may post a coupon on their website to help you save money.

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Average Reported Cost: $1800

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

How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. Linda (Oklahoma City,  Oklahoma) paid $1800 and said:

    1800.00 part and labor on a 2004 chevy malibu

    Was it worth it? Yes

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