Caring for Your Car’s Steering System

April 25, 2019 2:27 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Your steering system features several parts, including a steering shaft, the steering column, pinions, racks and more. Caring for your steering system is an important part of auto maintenance because, after all, you need to be able to reliably steer your vehicle to safely operate it.

Here’s some information from an auto service in Athens County, OH about how you can care for your vehicle’s steering system.

What causes failure in the steering system?

There are a few things that can lead to the failure of the rack and pinion, the most common being tears and punctures on the seals that are attached to the steering rack, which results in a lack of fluid pressure, fluid leaks and loose/hard steering. You can replace these seals in most cases, depending on the make and model of the vehicle.

Another common cause of this failure is a lack of general maintenance. It’s important to flush the fluids in the steering system at regular intervals, as these fluids can become contaminated with debris, making it difficult for the fluid to transfer through the hoses and forcing the system to work harder to produce the same level of service. When this contamination occurs, you may need to replace portions of the steering system.

Finally, there are some circumstances in which the power steering pump can fail, or when normal wear and tear results in breakage of the rack and pinion.

When do I need to replace the steering rack?

There are a few tell-tale signs that indicate it is necessary for you to replace the steering rack. One of the most common such signs is a whining noise when you’re turning the wheel while at a standstill. Another common sign is if you have any problems steering the vehicle at lower speeds. If you’re driving at higher speeds on the highway and notice loose steering or shaking, that could also indicate a bad steering rack, as could badly worn tires or noticeable leaks of your power steering fluid.

Failure to replace the system when these signs occur could result in a loss of control over your steering, which is obviously something you’re going to want to avoid with your vehicle.

Many people attempt to put off replacing their steering rack, as the cost can run anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars, depending on how many parts of the system must be replaced. Labor costs can also be high, as it’s a particularly labor-intensive process. But these costs are worth it to make sure you have a vehicle that is safe to operate and that you’ll actually be able to steer as needed while you’re behind the wheel.

If you’re interested in learning more about your vehicle’s steering system, the most common types of problems that occur in the rack and pinion and the types of maintenance you need to perform on that system, we encourage you to contact Dana’s Tire Center about auto service in Athens County, OH today.

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