Rack And Pinion Replacement Cost: A Complete Guide (2023)

Power steering mechanisms make turning your vehicle a stress-free task. Driving with bad steering can be frustrating, especially if you enjoy the convenience and ease of power steering. The systems that make up a power steering abound, including the rack and pinion system.

As with most components in any automobile, the rack and pinion system is made up of several moving components. With time these components tend to wear down and may require replacements. When this happens, people often ask, “how much does it cost to replace the rack and pinion?

Replacing a rack and pinion system does not come cheap, as it is a very labor-intensive adventure. As a matter of fact, replacing your rack and pinion will cost you about 2000 dollars. You can expect to pay about 300 to 1500 dollars on spare parts alone and about 500 to 1000 dollars in labor.

Understanding the rack and pinion system can be an arduous task. Hence, we have put together this comprehensive guide to help you understand what it is, the symptoms of a failing rack and pinion system, its causes and effects, and a general overview of your steering system. Let us dive in fully.

What Is A Rack And Pinion?

The rack and pinion system is a type of steering mechanism used in vehicles to convert rotational motion into linear motion. It is made up of a rack, the linear gear, and a pinion, the small circular gear. The rack and pinion system is typically found in front-wheel drive vehicles and is known for its precision and ease of use.

The rack and pinion system connects the steering wheel to the pinion gear. When the steering wheel is turned, the pinion gear rotates and meshes with the rack. The movement of the pinion gear causes the rack to move in a linear direction, which in turn moves the vehicle’s wheels.

Rack And Pinion Replacement Cost: A Complete Guide (1)

The amount of linear movement in the rack corresponds to the amount of rotational movement in the pinion gear, which is determined by the gear ratio of the system. These days, most small and medium-sized cars, as well as crossover utility vehicles, use rack, and pinion steering. Instead of a rack and pinion, larger trucks and heavy-duty vehicles often employ a recirculating ball steering system.

Rack and Pinion Replacement Cost

Rack and pinion replacement is a common repair for vehicles that use this type of steering system. The average rack and pinion replacement cost can range from $800 to $2000. However, this cost can vary depending on several factors, such as the vehicle’s make and model, the repair’s location, and the type of repair shop or mechanic.

VehicleRack & Pinion CostLabor
Honda Civic$100 – $1,010$300 – $600
Subaru Forester$200 – $2,400$400 – $800
Honda Odyssey$450 -$1,200$308-$590
Toyota Camry$150 – $740$590 -$800
Ford Explorer$100 – $262$250 – $570
BMW 325i$151-$1,019$180-$390
Nissan Murano$170 – $650$290 – $750
Honda Accord$100 -$1,050$500 – $650
Toyota Tacoma$90 – $900$200 -$400
Chevy Chrysler$180 – $450$170 – $500

For example, luxury vehicles often require specialized parts and labor, which can increase the repair cost. Additionally, the labor cost may vary depending on the location of the repair. A repair in a major metropolitan area may be more expensive than a repair in a rural area.

9 Factors That Affect Cost Of Rack And Pinion Replacement

To further understand the variation in the cost of replacing a rack and pinion system, we will look into some core cost-determining factors.

  1. Make and Model of Vehicle: The make and model of your vehicle can affect the cost of rack and pinion replacement. Luxury vehicles may have a higher cost due to the use of specialized parts and labor.
  2. Location of Repair: The location of the repair can also affect the cost of rack and pinion replacement. Repairs in urban areas may be more expensive than those in rural areas.
  3. Type of Replacement Parts Used: The type of replacement parts used can also affect the cost of rack and pinion replacement. OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts are typically more expensive than aftermarket parts.
  4. Labor Costs: Labor costs can also vary depending on the repair’s location and the technician’s experience.
  5. Additional Repairs: The rack and pinion replacement cost may be higher if additional repairs are needed, such as a steering gearbox replacement.
  6. Age and Condition of the Vehicle: The age and condition of the vehicle can also play a role in the cost of rack and pinion replacement. An older vehicle that has been well-maintained may have a lower cost for replacement compared to a newer vehicle that has been neglected and is in poor condition.
  7. Warranty: If the vehicle is still under warranty, the cost of rack and pinion replacement may be covered by the manufacturer. However, if the warranty has expired, the cost will have to be covered by the owner.
  8. The complexity of the Repair: The complexity of the repair can also affect the cost of rack and pinion replacement. A simple replacement may have a lower cost compared to a more complex repair that requires additional parts and labor.
  9. Insurance: Some insurance policies may cover the cost of rack and pinion replacement if it is a result of a collision or accident. However, it is important to check with the insurance company to determine the coverage.
Also Read: Why Car Shakes When Idling? (Rough Idling)

In order to greatly cut down costs, we recommend you get multiple quotes from different repair shops and research the cost of replacement parts to get an idea of the total average cost.

Additional Replacement Costs To Consider

Other components of the rack and pinion system will likely need to be replaced at the same time as the main gears. Common extra charges for upgrading to a new rack and pinion steering system are detailed below.

Power Steering Lines

Rack And Pinion Replacement Cost: A Complete Guide (2)
(Video) How Much Should A Rack And Pinion Replacement Cost?

Power steering lines transport lubricating oil to the steering gear. If the rack and pinion are broken, the power steering lines will likely need to be replaced as well. It will cost you around $600 to replace your power steering line, consisting of $300 for the parts and $200 for the labor.

Tie Rods

Rack And Pinion Replacement Cost: A Complete Guide (3)

A tie rod is a part of the steering mechanism in a vehicle. It connects the steering rack to the steering arm on the wheel hub, allowing the driver to steer the vehicle by turning the steering wheel. There are typically two tie rods per vehicle, one on the left and one on the right.

While replacing the rack and pinion, it is recommended you purchase new tie rods instead of recycling the old ones. Replacing it can cost anywhere from 20 to 100 dollars.

Power Steering Pump

A power steering pumps fluid under pressure to assist in turning the wheels. The power steering pump is driven by a belt connected to the engine crankshaft and pressurizes the power steering fluid, which is then sent through hoses to the steering gear. This pressurized fluid helps to make steering the vehicle easier, especially at low speeds or when the vehicle is stopped.

Rack And Pinion Replacement Cost: A Complete Guide (4)

If the power steering pump fails, the vehicle will be harder to steer and will require more effort from the driver. Generally, replacing the power steering pump for most modern models of cars will cost you between $100 to 1000 for parts and an additional $200 for labor costs.

Also Read: Can You Mix 10w30 And 5w30? | Full Guide

Power Steering Reservoir Tank

The power steering reservoir tank is a container that holds the power steering fluid, and it is usually located near the pump. The fluid is drawn from the reservoir and sent through the system before returning to the reservoir to be cooled and recirculated. The reservoir also acts as a reserve of fluid, so the system can continue to function even if there is a leak.

Rack And Pinion Replacement Cost: A Complete Guide (5)

However, over time, the power steering reservoir tank can become damaged or worn out, leading to leaks or decreased fluid levels. In this case, it would need to be replaced. The cost of replacing a power steering reservoir tank can vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle, but it is typically around $175.

4 Signs Of A Damaged Rack And Pinion

A broken or damaged rack and pinion system will show telltale signs indicating you need to replace it. Hence keep an eye out for these signs in your vehicle.

Grinding Noises

As previously mentioned, a rack and pinion consist of interlocking gears. The rack and pinion system works by connecting the steering wheel to the pinion gear. When the steering wheel is turned, the pinion gear rotates and meshes with the rack.

Grinding noises will be heard if the gear teeth break or go out of alignment with each other, hence causing them to grind. This sign is mostly noticed when you are turning your wheels. It is dangerous to keep driving with a grinding noise as your axle can also be adversely affected.

Burnt Oil Smell

The grinding of gear teeth causes friction and subsequently generates heat. Overheating can cause gear oil to burn or smoke. This is a major problem that can indicate additional issues with your vehicle. We recommend you take your vehicle to a mechanic once you perceive the smell of burning oil.

(Video) Installing a Rack & Pinion

Steering Fluid Leaks

Steering fluids mostly have a reddish-brown color. Hence if you see a fluid underneath your car, it may as well be that your steering fluid is leaking. A leaking steering fluid often indicates a faulty rack and pinion system and should not be overlooked.

Difficulty In Steering

The major function of a rack and pinion is to provide a smooth and seamless steering experience. So you can generally assume something is wrong when it suddenly starts getting difficult to steer or turn your vehicle.

Life Span of A Rack And Pinion

Generally, a rack and pinion system is built to last throughout the optimized life span of the vehicle. A well-maintained rack and pinion may never go bad and need replacement. It is, however, a good idea to periodically check your car by a qualified mechanic after about 100,000 miles. In doing this, you ensure that minor adjustments are made if needed.

How To Take Care Of Your Rack And Pinion

As previously mentioned, a well-maintained rack and pinion will last a lifetime of the vehicle. In this section, we will outline some basic things to do in order to ensure your rack and pinion are in optimum condition.

Regularly Check For Leaks

Regularly checking for leaks is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your rack and pinion. Examine the area surrounding the rack and pinion for evidence of oil or power steering fluid leaks. If you discover any leaks, it is essential to get them repaired immediately. Leaks can cause system damage and lead to major issues if left unchecked.

Also Read: Causes of Knocking Sound from Front Wheel while Driving -How to Fix

Monitor Your Power Steering Fluid Levels

Power steering fluid is necessary for the rack and pinion to work properly. The fluid lubricates the mechanism and facilitates the rack and pinion’s movement. Check the levels frequently and replenish them as necessary. Low power steering fluid levels can cause system damage and make it harder to control the car.

Check Your Alignment

Improper alignment can place additional stress on your rack and pinion, accelerating its wear. Have your alignment examined and adjusted as necessary. Misalignment can result in uneven tire wear, poor handling, and additional stress on steering components.

Do Not Ignore Noises

If you detect any strange noises or vibrations when turning the steering,you should have a professional examine your steering system. These signs may suggest that your rack and pinion or other steering components are malfunctioning and may need to be replaced.

Periodically Replace Oil, Filter, And Power Steering Fluid

Changing your oil, filter, and power steering fluid on a regular basis will help maintain your rack and pinion in good shape. The accumulation of sludge and debris in a system caused by old oil and filter might harm the rack and pinion. This service is advised every 3,000 miles or every three months.

By adhering to these guidelines and taking care of your rack and pinion, you may extend the system’s lifespan and keep your vehicle operating smoothly for many years. Remember to check for any wear and tear symptoms and get any problems immediately repaired by a skilled technician.


Rack and pinion replacement costs vary according to vehicle age and condition, location, and type of car. The average cost of rack and pinion replacement is about 2,000 dollars. This is expensive because it is a labor-intensive work done only by professionals.

Four signs that may indicate a malfunctioning rack and pinion include a burnt oil smell, grinding noises, difficulty in steering, and leaking steering fluid. It would be best to have your car checked by a mechanic once you notice any of these signs.

To properly maintain your rack and pinion, you could; regularly monitor your power steering fluid level, periodically replace oil and filters, and check your alignment. Doing this will go a long way in ensuring your rack and pinion will last for the vehicle’s lifetime.

This is all for now. We hope we have done justice to all your questions. Feel free to check out our other amazing content until I see you at the next one. Xoxo.

(Video) How to Replace a Power Steering Rack in Your Car


What happens if you don’t change a damaged rack and pinion?

Driving with a damaged rack and pinion is very inappropriate and can, amongst others, damage your axle. A damaged rack and pinion also account for poor handling while steering the vehicle. You should visit your mechanic anytime you see the symptoms of a bad rack and pinion.

Are rack and pinion easy to replace?

Replacing a rack and pinion requires expertise. This is because it involves dismantling major components in your vehicle before getting to the rack and pinion. Replacing a rack and pinion is a bit expensive because a proper replacement requires many labor hours.

What are the signs of a damaged steering rack?

Generally, the smell of burnt oil, difficulty in steering, grinding noises, and fluid leaks indicate a problem with your racks and pinion system. These signs can also indicate another underlying problem and should be properly diagnosed to avoid further damage done to your car’s engine and axle.

Related Posts

Rack And Pinion Replacement Cost: A Complete Guide (6)

Source: lll

Why Is Your Car Burning Oil? (Signs, 6 Causes, And Fixes)

Rack And Pinion Replacement Cost: A Complete Guide (7)

Source: Youtube/greasemonkeyrepairs

(Video) How to rebuild a STEERING RACK

6 Symptoms Of A Bad Car AC Compressor

Rack And Pinion Replacement Cost: A Complete Guide (8)

Source: puntoseguro

Rack And Pinion Replacement Cost: A Complete Guide (9)

(Video) Toyota / Lexus Rack And Pinion Replacement - Power Steering Fluid Leak?

Source: gelomaniasblogpost

How Much It Costs To Install Leveling Kit (DIY vs Expert)


What is the labor cost to replace a rack and pinion? ›

The average cost for rack and pinion replacement is between $1,558 and $1,881. Labor costs are estimated between $345 and $435 while parts are priced between $1,213 and $1,446. This range does not include taxes and fees, and does not factor in your specific vehicle or unique location.

How many hours does it take to fix a rack and pinion? ›

It is a toothed rod that engages with the pinion of the steering shaft. Rack and pinion replacement costs can vary greatly from make to make. Labour can also be costly . Anywhere from 2 to 4 hours or occasionally more.

How much does it cost to completely replace power steering? ›

While the price of this repair can vary, expect to pay between $500 and $800 to get your power steering pump replaced. Depending on your car, the cost could exceed that price, or fall below it. The best way to know for sure is to talk with the service advisors are your repair shop.

Is replacing a rack and pinion hard? ›

Replacing the steering rack is not physically difficult, but there are a few steps that you need to take in order to ensure that it is done correctly and that the repair lasts. Cleanliness is the key to a steering rack replacement.

Why are rack and pinions so expensive? ›

The average cost is between $1,296 to $2,100. The reason why this is so expensive to replace is that this is a labor-intensive job. But it's worth the cost. You don't want to try doing this work yourself because it requires highly technical skills, special equipment, and a lot of time.

How long does it take to fix a rack and pinion steering? ›

Replacing a steering gear will take a trained professional with proper shop lift and equipment about 3 and a half hours to complete.

What happens if you drive with a messed up rack and pinion? ›

A malfunctioning rack can cause your steering to either be loose or tight. If there's heat build-up on the steering column, the tendency is for it to become harder to steer.

What causes rack and pinion problems? ›

Top reasons for power steering rack and pinion failure

If there is a crack in a line, the power steering rack and pinion can fail. Loose connections: With use, connections in the system may loosen. The vibrations of the automobile and its travels can shake things loose.

How do you break in a new rack and pinion? ›

The suggested break in procedure is as follows,
  1. The first drive with the new ring and pinion should be under normal driving conditions (No hard starts, No racing, No off-roading, No towing and not at Highway speeds).
  2. The vehicle should be driven 15-20 minutes around town, normal stop and go driving.

Is a rack and pinion leak serious? ›

It is worth noting that while a leaking system won't directly cause a crash, it can contribute to an incident if the driver lacks sufficient strength to handle the heavy steering. Additionally, your leaking power steering system can quickly cause severe consequences.

How long does it take a mechanic to fix power steering? ›

Estimated times for your repair range from 1-2 hours. Most technicians and shops charge a minimum hourly charge for labor, on top of the cost for parts and fluids.

How much is the labor to replace a power steering pump? ›

Cost of Labor

Depending on where you live, a shop can charge you between $50 and $125 per hour for labor. Ultimately, having a shop replace the power steering pump for you will likely cost between $200 and $500 in labor alone. Labor is usually cheaper if you replace the power steering pump yourself.

What happens if you don't fix a leaking rack and pinion? ›

When the leak first starts, your steering will start to become difficult and inconsistent until it fails completely as all power assistance is lost. If this happens when you're driving on a relatively straight road, it won't make much difference.

What are the 3 types of rack and pinion systems? ›

Rack and pinion gears are available in three variations: Straight teeth have the tooth axis parallel to the axis of rotation. Straight teeth that run parallel to the axis of the gear. Load movement or transfer is manual or walk-behind.

Can you fix a rack and pinion without replacing it? ›

Most rack and pinion leaks will require the replacement of the entire rack and pinion assembly even if most of it works just fine. The good news is you do have another alternative to an expensive replacement. You can simply and quickly restore the seals in your rack and pinion without ever removing it.

Does rack and pinion affect alignment? ›

Absolutely! The steering rack is the key component to determining the direction a vehicle takes. Having the rack replaced by someone who does not have the capability to set the toe in/toe out is a huge mistake.

Does insurance cover rack and pinion? ›

Your rack and pinion (also known as the steering rack) should be covered by your extended warranty as long as you don't have powertrain coverage, which doesn't cover steering components. All 25 providers we reviewed have at least 1 plan which covers your rack and pinion.

Is rack and pinion steering the same as power steering? ›

Most of the cars on the road today use a rack and pinion steering system with power steering. The power steering makes it easier to steer, but adds complexity to the compact rack and pinion system, which can make it more difficult (and expensive) to repair.

Are remanufactured rack and pinions good? ›

The sleeve not only restores tolerances, but also prevents the wear problem from reoccurring. In that respect, a remanufactured rack may actually be better than the original. Most rebuilders also pressure test their racks after reassembly to make certain they function correctly and do not leak.

Can power steering fluid leak from rack and pinion? ›

The components in the rack and pinion system can wear out over time. The deterioration of the seals will cause loose fittings and leaking of power steering fluid. It seems that rack and pinion leak could be a common problem in old cars.

What is the lifespan of rack and pinion? ›

The rack and pinion will last up until about 100,000 miles. But they can wear out, and when they start to fail, you will see some noticeable symptoms. Some symptoms include clunking noises when you turn the steering wheel, leaking power steering fluid, and a loose steering wheel with a lot of play.

Can a pothole break rack and pinion? ›

Other than the alignment, a bad jolt from a pothole can also damage your car's steering and suspension systems. These systems include shocks & struts, tie rods and tie rod ends, bushings, hubs & wheel bearings, rack & pinion, sway bars & sway bar links, etc.

What are signs of worn rack and pinion? ›

When the Rack and Pinion Fails. There are a few ways you can tell if your steering gear is failing, such as excess noise, movement, effort or leaks. When you're turning the steering wheel and it seems to be looser or tighter than the rest of the rack, you could have a flat spot or notch in the steering.

What causes a new rack and pinion to leak? ›

Causes of Rack and Pinion Leaks

When the fluid can't flow properly, it can cause a leak or other damage. Damaged seals or gaskets inside the steering rack prevent proper fluid pressure. If the power steering pump fails, it can damage the system. Loose connections allow power steering fluid to leak from the system.

What is the most common power steering leak? ›

The Steering Gear

The last and most common power steering fluid leak happens in the actual steering gear or rack. The seals here are subject to the most road grime and dirt which can wear down the shafts and seals making this part more prone to leaks. Again, leaks are usually found at connection points and seals.

Does rack and pinion affect power steering? ›

Common Rack and Pinion Steering Problems

A tight steering wheel: If it seems like your steering wheel is harder to turn, this could indicate a problem with the steering rack or inadequate pressure in the power steering system. This issue is usually solved by adding more power steering fluid.

Do you have to bleed a new rack and pinion? ›

If you have replaced any components in the power steering system which did involve removing the fluid such as a power steering pump, hydraulic lines, steering rack, etc, the system will need to be bleed of any air.

Do you need to grease rack and pinion? ›

Effective lubrication is essential to ensuring long service life from rack-and-pinion sets because it keeps the subcomponents cool and prevents metal-to-metal contact that promotes wear.

Where does a rack and pinion usually leak? ›

Most leaks occur at one of the three seals- one where your steering column enters the rack and pinion assembly, then a seal where each tie rod attaches. This is typically due to dryness, shrinking, or misalignment.

What is the most likely cause of steering failure? ›

The most likely cause of steering failure is a loss of power steering. This can happen if a hydraulic pipe breaks or is cut by debris from the road.

Is there a fuse for power steering? ›

Electronic failure is when the electrical systems keeping the power steering running stop functioning. This type of failure can be caused by a fuse issue, so you can easily check the fuse box to see if one of the fuses needs replacing.

Does Jiffy Lube fix power steering? ›

If you're experiencing a power steering fluid leak or any other issue, don't hesitate to get in touch with the friendly technicians at your local Jiffy Lube®.

How much does it cost to replace power steering pulley? ›

Parts cost on average $40.02 - $48.91, and services cost $198.24 - $242.29. This repair takes on average 1.68h - 2.05h for a mechanic to complete. A mechanic will replace either the belt or bearing in your power steering system to help your car's steering function properly.

What is the average life of a power steering pump? ›

How often does a power steering pump need to be replaced? Most vehicle's power steering system will last for 100,000 to 150,000 miles before a pump replacement is warranted. Power steering pump replacement is usually an avoidable cost.

What happens if your power steering pump goes out while driving? ›

A serious problem with a faulty power steering pump is steering that doesn't respond. You may turn the wheel, but your vehicle may not change direction. As you can imagine, this can put you in a very dangerous situation and might even cause an automobile accident.

How do I know if my rack and pinion bushings are bad? ›

Signs of Bad Steering Rack Bushings
  1. Jerking while turning – It makes sense that wear on a steering component would impact your car's steering. ...
  2. Noise when going over bumps – Excessive movement of a loose steering rack caused by worn steering rack bushings can cause an audible clunk while going over bumps.

What is a rack and pinion also called? ›

The rack and pinion, also known as the steering rack, is an assembly in your vehicle that allows your wheels to rotate from side to side when you turn your steering wheel.

What is the best steering ratio? ›

Typical automotive steering ratios range from about 24:1 with manual steering to about 14:1 with power steering assist. The higher the steering ratio, the easier it is to turn the wheel and steer the vehicle. The lower the ratio is, the more effort is needed at the steering wheel.

How much does it cost to replace power steering rack and pinion? ›

Steering Rack Labor and Part Costs

On average, the price for a new steering rack ranges approximately from $100-500, depending on the year, make and model of your car. If you are on a budget, consider getting a remanufactured steering rack.

Can I drive with a damaged rack and pinion? ›

Originally Answered: How safe is it to drive with a rack and pinion leak? As long as you are only driving on a straight road, not much will happen. Power steering (which is what I think you mean is leaking) doesn't work on straight-ahead driving or even minor (less than 2-5 degrees of steering wheel movement) curves.

What breaks a rack and pinion? ›

Top reasons for power steering rack and pinion failure

If there is a crack in a line, the power steering rack and pinion can fail. Loose connections: With use, connections in the system may loosen. The vibrations of the automobile and its travels can shake things loose.

Does power steering fluid go through the rack and pinion? ›

The car's engine power pumps power steering fluid from the reservoir to the rack and pinion utilizing a belt and pulley. As the steering wheel is turned, the power steering fluid flows through a piston that provides additional power to move the vehicle into the desired direction.


1. Fixing a Leak the Cheap way - is it worth it?
(Donut Media)
(GasDiesel Garage)
3. NEVER Replace Steering Rack Boots Until Watching This!
4. How to Troubleshoot and Fix a Rack and Pinion for Steering Problems Like Stiffness, Pull, Wander
(BBB Industries)
5. How To Center a Steering Rack
6. 2007 Kia Sedona Steering Rack replacement [COMPLEX]
(The Marginal Mechanic)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Van Hayes

Last Updated: 01/08/2023

Views: 5482

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (46 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Van Hayes

Birthday: 1994-06-07

Address: 2004 Kling Rapid, New Destiny, MT 64658-2367

Phone: +512425013758

Job: National Farming Director

Hobby: Reading, Polo, Genealogy, amateur radio, Scouting, Stand-up comedy, Cryptography

Introduction: My name is Van Hayes, I am a thankful, friendly, smiling, calm, powerful, fine, enthusiastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.