What is a Power Steering Rack?

There are millions of parts on your vehicle and this one literally points you in the right direction. If your looking to find out what is a power steering rack? What does the steering rack do? What are the symptoms of a bad steering rack? and why do you need to repair your power steering rack? Read on to find out!

The steering rack is an aluminum housing enclosing a rack and a steering pinion. The steering pinion is connected to the steering wheel through the set of jointed shafts. As the steering wheel is turned, the pinion moves and pushes the steering rack either to the left or right. The ends of the steering rack are connected to the front wheels through the tie rods. This linkage transmits the movement to the wheels to move them left and right as well.

All modern racks have a form of power assist. Power Assisted steering has been around for many years. For most drivers today, power steering is a given standard. Power steering is designed to make our driving experience not only more comfortable but safer too.

Most power steering racks are assisted by a hydraulic fluid that is supplied by an engine driven pump. The high pressure fluid enables an easier turning of the steering rack. This also means that there is a system of hoses, seals, and o-rings to contain the hydraulic fluid. The best method of maintenance for your steering rack is to regularly flush the fluid, fluid service is performed every 3 Years or 30,000 miles.

How do you know if you need a new steering rack? One of the symptoms of a worn steering rack is fluid leakage on the ground, another symptom of a bad steering rack is difficulty turning the steering wheel. The last most common failure area in the steering rack is excess movement due to component wear. In any of these cases the repair will become replacement of the steering rack assembly. Your service consultant will also recommend flushing and replacing the power steering fluid when installing a new power steering rack as well as adjusting the wheel alignment.

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