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

P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222...
Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires that all drivers in Kentucky carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle...
How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...

Related questions

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...

Q: Pitman arm and idler arm - 2000 Ford Expedition

The pitman and idler arms are both just as important for the steering to work correctly. Both of these components will cause the steering to wander, feel loose, and may cause a pull to one side or the other. Once...

Q: Car won't go in gear when hot?

Hi there, thanks for writing in. I'd be happy to help. Your transmission is a computer-controlled transmission which can be affected even when something as simple as a weak battery is the issue. I would first suggest checking the battery...