Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Is my rack opinion damaged?

asked by on

Very loose steering. Squel noise but decrease when attempting to stop. Would turn but will have to hook steering wheel to prevent running off yellow lines while driving. Now completely won't steer. Tires won't turn one bit.

My car has 138000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: The rack and pinion gear set does two thing...

The rack and pinion gear set does two things: It converts the rotational motion of the steering wheel into the linear motion needed to turn the wheels. It also provides a gear reduction, making it easier to turn the wheels by the use of reduction gears where the steering shaft connects.

This system uses a torsion bar driven valve to direct and relieve pressure in a cylinder. When the steering wheel is not being turned, the steering valve is at rest. In this position fluid flows around the valve and out to the reservoir which is where the power steering fluid resides when not at work.

Slight pressure also enters both sides of the assist cylinder. Because pressure is equal on both sides of the piston nothing occurs when the wheel is straight and no assistance is need to turn the wheels either way.

To avoid any unnecessary repairs, I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your home to diagnose your car’s steering issue.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Power steering fluid leak

Hi. The source of the leak needs to be determined. Leaving a power steering system leaking will only make it worse and can possibly damage expensive components, such as the power steering rack or pump. You may want to enlist...

Q: Battery light on, temperature gauge maxed out, A/C system not working correctly

Hi, thanks for writing in. What you are describing happened to me personally a few weeks ago. It sounds like one (or both) of the accessory drive belt(s) that turn your alternator, water pump, and power steering pump is...

Q: How do i remove a steel bumper that is installed with front spoiller

Hello. Removing the bumper should only be a matter of unbolting from the frame. The bolts should be easily accessible from the undersides of the vehicle, or from the top with the hood open. The wheel-well plastic trim may also...

Related articles

What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.