Power steering is a fundamental system in our vehicles… imagine having to steer the weight of your car without any help? We would never miss arm day, that’s for sure! So, it’s important for us to maintain our steering systems, just like we do with any other systems in our vehicles, some examples being the engine, the fuel system and transmission! While steering systems are created robustly enough to last a long time, you can sometimes encounter problems with some components, whether it be the power steering pump, the steering column or the steering rack.
The steering rack is one of the main units of the power steering system, as it controls the direction of your wheels. Essentially, you turn the steering wheel in a direction and this rotational motion is transferred through the steering column, to the intermediate shaft and then to the steering rack. This is where the rotational force is converted to lateral motion, which in simple terms means turning the front wheels either left or right.
If your rack is damaged or close to failing, then you have two options; either replace it with a brand new rack or allow it to undergo reconditioning.
What Is Reconditioning?
The process of reconditioning a steering rack unit involves a series of steps that must be carried out correctly. The unit must be washed, carefully dismantled, examined and then rebuilt using new replacement components. Following this procedure, it then must be systematically tested to ensure it meets the highest standards.
How To Recondition A Steering Rack
This is a meticulous procedure, that requires skill and organisation. The steps include:
- 1. The unit is processed through our industrial parts washer to degrease and clean the unit.
- 2. The unit is then tested to confirm the faults the customer has advised us of and also, to check if there are any other underlying problems with the unit.
- 3. It is then stripped down to a component level.
- 4. Components are then individually cleaned and inspected for any damage. Defective parts are either repaired or replaced.
- 5. The unit is then rebuilt using genuine parts to meet & exceed OE specifications.
- 6. The unit is then re-tested and set up on the bench, making any final adjustments if necessary before it is packaged for dispatch. If we have your vehicle in for a fitting service, it’s prepped ready to install back into the vehicle.
The power steering system on the vehicle should be flushed through with clean fluid before installing the rebuilt rack to avoid contamination. This is due to the fact that after a rebuild, the rack is re-tested and adjusted if necessary. So, now you know how a rack is rebuilt… what about being aware of the signs that indicate that your rack is developing a problem or slowly failing?
Symptoms Of A Bad Steering Rack
Dealing with a damaged steering rack can be dangerous, as you won’t have full control over where you are steering. There are a few common symptoms that could indicate the impending failure of your rack, some being:
- Grinding noises when you’re steering.
- Your vehicle wanders from left to right.
- A smell that resembles burning oil coming from your vehicle.
- A tight steering wheel, which would indicate low steering fluid levels, meaning there could be a leak.
If any of these signs seem familiar, it is important that you get your rack checked as soon as possible, in order to repair it. For more information on these symptoms, check out our article: Bad Steering Rack: Signs To Look Out For.
How Important Is It To Repair Your Steering Rack?
Developing steering rack problems and not being able to effectively guide your car in the direction it needs to go, is a big problem. A faulty steering rack can pose a risk to your safety and others on the road, as it limits your car’s driveability. Also, if you have a bad rack, it can cause other components of the steering system to become damaged, therefore, it’s better to get it repaired or replaced as soon as possible, as to avoid further issues.
How Much Does Steering Rack Reconditioning Cost?
The cost of reconditioning your steering rack will vary depending on the vehicle your rack is fitted to and the type of fault that has developed.
In some cases, a simple Test & Adjust can get your steering rack working as good as new.
Steering Rack Repairs And Replacements Near Me
Power Steering Services is based in Greenwich, London. It’s best to act quickly when dealing with steering rack problems, therefore, if you are local, you can give us a call on 0208 8533 343 and book an appointment with us. However, it isn’t a problem if you are not local, just simply fill in our online form!