How Long Does a Steering Rack/Gearbox Last?

When you turn the steering wheel, the two front wheels also turn in the direction you want. It actually takes a lot of different components to translate the rotational movement of the steering wheel into side to side movement for the front wheels. Your steering wheel connects to the steering column, which connects to an intermediate shaft, which connects to the steering rack/gear box. The rack itself is what moves the wheels left or right, allowing you to steer.

The steering rack/gearbox is also responsible for providing the power assist that makes it easier to steer your car. Today’s vehicles weigh quite a bit, and manual steering is difficult even under the best of circumstances. Your rack is connected to the power steering pump, which pushes fluid through the lines, and into the rack, augmenting and amplifying the movement created by the steering wheel.

Your car’s steering rack/gearbox is used every time you turn the steering wheel. It’s also subjected to a lot of stress and vibration even when you’re not turning (driving on a straight section of road). Eventually, the rack will fail. However, there’s no definitive lifespan here. The more you drive, the faster it will wear. Still, most vehicle owners will never have to change their power steering rack, or will need to replace it just once during their ownership.

Given the immense importance of the steering rack/gearbox, it’s vital that you know a few signs and symptoms of excessive wear to watch for. These include the following:

  • Steering wheel feels loose, or sloppy
  • You notice power steering fluid leaks under the car, behind the engine
  • You hear a clunking noise when going over bumps or when turning the wheel
  • The steering wheel feels “disconnected” (it takes a lot of turning)
  • Steering is uneven
  • It requires a lot of effort to turn the steering wheel

If you’re experiencing any of these problems, it’s very important to have your steering rack/gearbox inspected. A professional mechanic can inspect the system and replace the steering rack/gearbox as well as any other failed components.


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Greg

22 years of experience
256 reviews
Greg
22 years of experience
Jeep Grand Cherokee L6-4.0L - Steering Rack/Gearbox - Tempe, Arizona
Greg is always reliable to complete great work on my Jeep Cheroke while always going the extra mile to insure I am completely satisfied with the work completed!
Dodge Ram 2500 - Steering Rack/Gearbox - Gilbert, Arizona
Greg showed up on time and ready to work. Was fast and efficient. Even went the extra mile to insure truck was squared away correctly.

Matthew

33 years of experience
1173 reviews
Matthew
33 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala V6-3.4L - Steering Rack/Gearbox Replacement - Norfolk, Virginia
Very professional and very informative on recommendations on what my vehicle would need in the future.
Ford Excursion - Steering Rack/Gearbox - Newport News, Virginia
Excellent service from mechanic and so convenient and Matt is knowledgeable and a real people person.

Alexander

6 years of experience
126 reviews
Alexander
6 years of experience
Toyota Camry L4-2.4L - Steering Rack/Gearbox - Columbus, Ohio
We have struggled to find a good, reliable, and trustworthy mechanic in our area since moving here a year ago. We are so happy to have found this service, and specifically Mr. Baukman. He is extremely knowledgeable and very professional. Even under less than ideal circumstances (it started raining) he was able to complete the repair and in less time than originally expected. Thanks so much and I look forward to working with you in the future!
Chevrolet Trailblazer - Steering Rack/Gearbox Replacement - Blacklick, Ohio
Knowledgeable, professional, and informative when you are curious on what's going. Only fixing what's needs fix. But still letting you know in a clear way of any other concerns.

Arturo

12 years of experience
78 reviews
Arturo
12 years of experience
Buick Rainier V8-5.3L - Steering Rack/Gearbox - Kissimmee, Florida
Had a very difficult job to do but he did not give up and had the get up and go attitude. The job took longer than quoted be he prevailed and did a good job.
Mercury Grand Marquis - Steering Rack/Gearbox - Kissimmee, Florida
I have known some mechanics at their service station that will make u believe they know what there doing but some do and some do not. But Arturo has the knowledge and the skill that some mechanics should learn from. He is a professional mechanic and i am very glad i had him to repair my car.

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