Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. How Long Does a Steering Rack/Gearbox Last?

How Long Does a Steering Rack/Gearbox Last?

Steering Rack/Gearbox

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.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Find the Keyless Code on a Ford Explorer or Mercury Mountaineer
Many Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers were manufactured with an option known as the Ford keyless entry keypad. Some models refer to it as SecuriCode as well. It...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...

Related questions

Q: What Are the Top Transmission Problems That Should Never Be Ignored?

Ignoring problems with cars is like ignoring problems with teeth. Waiting longer usually just results in more pain and expense. Seeing transmission fluid on the ground under your vehicle should get your attention right away. Transmission fluid is usually reddish-brown....

Q: Steering wheel vibration at high speeds

Hi there. A high speed shake is either caused by an imbalance issue with the tires and wheels or it can be a problem with worn out front end parts or warped hubs. I usually start diagnosing this by road...

Q: Shift selenoid "A" electrical P0753

If you did not do so while replacing shift solenoid "A" (if I am reading your query correctly), disconnect the battery for 10 minutes or so, re-connect the battery, and drive the car for 15-20 minutes. This will reset the...