Buying Used Auto Parts

Is Your Steering Rack Failing? 3 Quick Ways to Find Out

The steering rack is the heart of your vehicle's steering system. It comprises components whose function is to send a signal from your steering wheel's circular motion to the part of the steering system that makes it possible to make smooth turns. Like with many mechanical components, the steering rack will wear out after some time or develop a few problems. Driving with a faulty steering rack can be extremely dangerous because it will affect your ability to manoeuvre the car. To avoid the dangers that could result from this, here are some quick ways that will help you tell whether you have a steering rack problem.

A Tight or Stiff Steering Wheel

Most vehicles feature a power steering system, which uses hydraulic pressure to make it as smooth and easy as possible to handle the steering wheel. If you find it harder than usual to turn the wheel, it's mostly because of a failing steering rack. This tends to happen when heat builds up inside the steering box or when you lose hydraulic pressure. A loss of hydraulic pressure from your vehicle's power steering system is usually because of a steering fluid leak. You can tell if it's a steering fluid leak if you notice a red or pink fluid on the ground after your car has been parked for a while. Therefore, have the leak inspected because it could be originating from anywhere in the many mechanical parts that form the steering system. 

Unusual Noises When Turning

Do you hear knocking or clunking sounds when you turn your steering wheel? The steering rack could be the problem. Generally, you may hear this once when you make a turn and hear it again when returning the steering wheel to its original position. Metal components within the steering rack become loose as it wears out. That's why you may hear the noises when turning the steering wheel due to these loose metal parts coming into contact with each other.

Unresponsive Steering

If you turn the steering wheel, but the front wheels don't go along with this action, you have an unresponsive steering wheel. Usually, this will happen at a specific spot on your steering wheel, generally known as the numb or dead spot. Worn-out gears in the steering rack are often the culprit here.

Steering rack problems can be repaired or replaced. Repairing is more cost-effective but depends on the degree of damage. In severe cases where parts are completely worn out, you will need to replace the entire rack. For more information, contact a steering box repair service.