Q: Recently had rack and pinion replaced by backyard mechanic, now having problems shifting out of park? Coincidence or no?

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While me and my wife were on vacation my mother in law thought she would surprise us by taking our car to a backyard mechanic because the vehicle was leaking power steering fluid. By the end of the ordeal he had to replace the rack and pinion. Now when we turn the steering wheel it's making a grinding, almost purring like a cat noise. And there's times, especially when the car sits over night or a longer period of time, it's almost impossible to getting out of park. Most recently it took almost 30 minutes of turning the steering wheel and moving it up and down to get it to unlock. Could this problem be caused by somthing going wrong when the rack and pinion was replaced or is it just a coincidence?

My car has 130000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there. Unfortunately, if these concerns weren’t there before the repair then they are most likely the result of the repair. Although her intentions were well, there are many mechanics such as this that have similar results. Replacing the steering rack is a daunting task, especially at someone’s home or driveway and if it was performed at such a place, was a proper alignment performed? I strongly suggest having a qualified technician perform an inspection to avoid replacing unnecessary parts an determine the extent of the damage. Your Mechanic has several technicians available that can assist you with a car is making noise inspection.

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