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DIY: Replacing A Steering Rack
Replacing a power steering rack can be a difficult and challanging job. But if you are up the the challange, you can do it yourself and save hundreds of dollars.
 More of this Feature
Replacing A Steering Rack
• Can I Do It?
Can I Do It?
Doing It
Doing It
Doing It
Bleeding The System
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Now your attention turns to your car. "Why did it do that?" you ask yourself. You open the hood and look for an obvious problem. The power steering belt is still there and the power steering is full. The power steering fluid is black as night, but it is full. You close the hood, get inside and start it up. You turn the wheel back and forth a few times and it seems perfectly normal now. So with a little trepidation you back out again and head off to work.

Saturday morning comes and you go out and pop the hood on your car. The belt looks a little worn and it's past the four year power steering belt replacement interval. So you put a new one on. A few days later it happens again. This is what's known in the trade as "Morning Sickness". It doesn't get better, only worse.

The cause is normal wear and tear on the internal parts of the power steering rack, or "the rack" as we call it. The black power steering fluid is black because of metal worn from the inside of the rack and had become like sandpaper, eating away at the rack. So you will need to replace the power steering rack and flush the power steering system to get rid of all the old fluid.

Can I Do It?

Replacing a power steering rack can be an easy job on some vehicles, rear wheel drive vehicles for example, or it can be most difficult and nasty in others. So how do you know if yours is an easy or hard one? Reading the removal procedure in a service manual will tell you what's involved and you can decide if it is within your skill level. Be advised, however, that the manual may not be entirely accurate in that it will tell you to do something you may not have to do.

DIY: Replacing A Steering Rack
Typical Power Steering Rack Mountings

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© 2003 Vincent T. Ciulla

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