I had a problem with clunking while I was turning at low speed a couple years ago. At the time, I got the intermediate steering shaft and assembly replaced. The problem has started again. The dealership says the noise and clunking are being caused by a bad rack-and-pinion this time. It might cost $1600 to get this fixed. Would a problem with the rack-and-pinion definitely cause clunking?
This sounds correct, the problem lies within the rack and pinion assembly and is the most common problem for what you've described. This noise may be a problem that will get worse as the vehicle ages and may get to a point of causing the steering to bind. If you want a second opinion on this, I'd recommend having a certified mechanic diagnose the sound firsthand to accurately find what the problem is.
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