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Rack and pinion steering systems help your vehicle move in the correct direction when you turn the wheel. The system works by turning the wheels as the pinion gear on the end of the steering shaft moves along the teeth on the rack. The system has a simplistic design that is usually fairly simple to repair if any issues arise.
While the system itself is easy to maintain, you do need to ensure that your steering rack fluid remains at an ideal level to prevent the moving parts from binding up. Adequate fluid levels also keep the teeth on the pinion gear and rack from wearing down due to excessive friction.
Rack & pinion steering issues often present themselves with a change in the way the vehicle feels as you drive down the road. You might notice the steering feels loose or possibly binds at a certain point during the turn. You may also notice that your steering pulls far to the left or right while moving down smooth roadways.
When you bring your vehicle into an auto repair center, your technician will perform a full inspection to pinpoint components in need of maintenance or repair.
Components usually suspected of causing problems associated with the rack and pinion steering include the ball joints, control arms, tie rods, coupler, knuckle and pump. Technicians will also check the rack mounting hardware to make sure it remains at spec for a solid fit. In many cases, several of these problems will require attention at the same time to bring your steering back into proper alignment.
If technicians notice damage to the rack and pinion components, you may need the entire system replaced using new parts. Technicians may also discuss replacement of the fluid lines at the same time to ensure the system remains lubricated and ready to drive at a moment's notice. The certified technicians at your local Meineke Car Care Center can perform a 23-point inspection to fully evaluate what your vehicle needs.