Rack and Pinion Replacement cost in Albany in 2023

The average cost for a rack & pinion assembly replacement is $2243

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Our data is sourced from over 100,000 repairs and thousand of different repair shops, and reviewed by our ASE certified editorial team.


Rack and Pinion Replacement costs by shop in Albany.

CarAdvise Customers save an average of $449 on Rack and Pinion Replacement.


Average cost of Rack and Pinion Replacement for popular vehicle models in Albany:

THE IMPORTANCE OF Rack and Pinion Replacement

What is a rack and pinion assembly and how does it work?

A “rack and pinion” is a type of steering gear, a device that transfers the rotational motion of your steering wheel to the lateral, side-to-side movement needed to turn your front wheels.

Sometimes referred to as the "steering rack", the rack and pinion assembly is made up of a long metal tube that is mounted between the front wheels. Inside the assembly is housed a long metal rod with teeth cut into one edge - the “rack”. The rack is moved to one side or the other by the “pinion” gear when you turn your steering wheel. Most rack and pinion assemblies also feature an internal hydraulic piston to lend power assist to the steering operation, making it easier to steer, especially when your vehicle is sitting still.

Attached to each end of the rack and pinion is another metal rod called a tie rod. The tie rod extends the rack outward to the components connected to the wheel.

While the rack and pinion type of steering gearbox is not the only gearbox used, it is the style most commonly found on late model vehicles.


How do I know if my vehicle needs the rack & pinion assembly replaced?

Most rack and pinion assemblies serve two functions - to transfer the motion of your steering wheel to the wheels on the ground, and to add hydraulic assist to make the operation easier. When the steering rack fails, the problem could be with the gears inside or with the hydraulic system. Your rack and pinion could be bad if you notice any of the following:

It becomes harder than usual to turn the steering wheel (or, in some cases, easier)

You hear unusual noises coming from underneath the front of your vehicle that get louder when you turn the wheel

Your steering wheel feels loose or exhibits excessive play

When turning the steering wheel, you notice a spot where it becomes difficult to turn through (indicating damage to one or more teeth in the rack)


How does a technician perform Rack and Pinion Replacement ?

The procedure to replace the rack and pinion assembly is fairly involved on most vehicles. The job often requires significant removal and disassembly of a number of other vehicle components, including the engine cradle (subframe) in some cases.

In general, steps to replace the rack and pinion assembly include:

  • Raise and support the vehicle in the air for access
  • Remove any guards, heat shields, or other components necessary
  • Detach the tie rod ends from the steering knuckles
  • Disconnect the power steering lines from the assembly
  • Detach and dislodge the steering shaft from the input shaft of the steering rack
  • Remove the mounting bolts that secure the assembly and extract the assembly from the vehicle
  • Unscrew the tie rod ends from the damaged steering rack and install on the new component
  • Insert and fasten the new steering rack and reconnect/replace all components that were removed. Note - If rack and pinion replacement requires that the engine subframe be lowered or removed, there are other engine and drivetrain components that must also be disconnected. Moreover, the engine and transmission/transaxle must be supported independently of the vehicle body to allow the subframe to be removed.


Do you need an alignment after replacing the rack and pinion?
Yes. Anytime adjustable steering and suspension components are replaced, your vehicle should undergo a wheel alignment. When the rack and pinion assembly is replaced, the outer tie rod ends are screwed onto the tie rods. The threads between the two allow for adjustment of the tie rods, affecting the direction in which your tires point. That adjustment should not be approximate, it should be measured with an alignment.
What causes a rack and pinion to fail?
A rack and pinion may fail due to anything from power steering fluid contamination to lack of lubrication, or even to simply using the vehicle in harsh driving conditions for long periods of time, such as extended off-road operation.
Can you drive if your rack and pinion is broken?
If your rack and pinion is broken, it can be very dangerous to drive. A faulty rack and pinion can cause binding or loose steering, which can ultimately lead to loss of control of the vehicle. If this occurs at highway speeds, the result could be fatal.

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