Prevent costly Steering Rack Replacement With Routine Power Steering Fluid Changes

In this post I am going to try to prevent you from being faced with the large repair bill of having your power steering rack replaced. Those of you who are fortunate enough to have a newer vehicle with electric power steering this post does not apply to you. Most power steering systems consist of a pump, hydraulically

Old leaking power steering rack on the bottom indicated by red arrow. New power steering rack on top indicated by green arrow

Old leaking power steering rack on the bottom indicated by red arrow. New power steering rack on top indicated by green arrow

controlled steering rack and resevoir. The pump in this system is designed to create 1200 P.S.I of pressure or more and with that said a lot of heat to go with it. As the fluid gets older its ability to diminish or remove heat is greatly reduced. Guess what component takes most of the abuse from the heat? If you guessed the seals in the steering rack you are correct!  You can clearly in the photo by the old steering rack pictured on the bottom the seal was blown out so bad it filled the rack end boot! You can see the new steering rack in the above picture before it was to be installed As with any fluid I recommend that they be replaced on an individual basis because everyone subjects the vehicles to different conditions. I suggest that you follow the  maintenance recommendations under severe conditions in your owners manual. Also and most importantly the color of the fluid needs to be closely monitored darkening or burnt type of  odor. If you primarily drive in the city and the power system is under high demand you can expect to replace the power fluid more often. If you are faced with having to replace your power steering rack make sure to ask your service advisor or mechanic that all of the old contaminated fluid is completely flushed of contaminated power steering fluid. you also need to know that many vehicles have a filter in the fluid resevior that can only be replaced by replacing the entire resevior. You will need to have a front end alignment done, if the shop you are considering to do the work does not have an alignment rack I suggest you find one that does. Do not accept this phrase : “We don’t have an alignment rack ,but we will get it close by eye”. Many power steering fluid resevoirs have a minimum and max level if you find yours at the minimum level or below you may have a fluid leak somewhere in the system. And finally I always recommend an OEM replacement factory new or re manufactured unit. Please see the service recommendations in my book “If That Car Could Talk ” for service recommendations. Thank you for visiting

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