Auto Repair Service

Free repair service information and advice.

How To Identify Rack And Pinion Problems


Taking Care of Rack and Pinion Steering

The majority of vehicles on the road today utilize rack and pinion steering. Rack and pinion is a durable steering mechanism, and when installed correctly they can last more than 100,000 miles. Because of the design however, they will end up needing repaired at some point. Many problems can be fixed yourself, while others may need a professional mechanic. Here are a few of the most common problems, and what you can do to correct it.


Leaks are common in power racks. Wear on the seal can allow fluid to leak from the power cylinder in to the ends of the rack itself. Since the end bellows are not made to hold power steering fluid, this can be problematic. When this happens the rack needs to be replaced. If you don’t replace the rack the bellow will continue to fill with fluid, and will eventually burst.

If fluid is leaking around the pinion input shaft, you can fix this temporarily by using a seal kit. However, it will eventually need to be replaced by a mechanic. Just installing the seal kits can be problematic for many shade tree mechanics, as it requires special tools and a delicate procedure.

Diagnosing Steering Issues Visually

If you feel like your steering is off, there are a few things you can do to check it before sending it off for repair. The most common way to check your rack and pinion steering is to perform whats referred to as a dry park check. This will require you to rock the steering on a ramp type lift. The lift is necessary so the full weight of the vehicle will stay on the wheels.

Start this by making sure the steering column is unlocked. You’ll want someone with you to rock the steering while you inspect. You want to inspect the outer tie rods for visible play. Visible play is a red flag. You also need to check the input shaft coupling. This should be turning freely with no audible noise. The inner sockets should show no motion. And you should not see any movement between the rack and chassis. While you are inspecting, look for obvious cracks or bulges. If you see any of these things you need to have the rack and pinion repaired.

Test Drive

Part of the diagnostic process should be a test drive. But you need to know what to look and listen for before this will do you any good.

Get the vehicle out on an open road where you can make turns without worrying about holding up traffic. Your neighborhood may be the best place for this as you probably won’t have to worry about listening to the car over the sounds of other traffic. Listen for noises when you turn, or any noises that are coming from the steering column. You also want to pay attention to any pulling to one side or the other as you turn. Pay attention to any looseness in the steering wheel or any play. Some of these things may be caused by alignment issues, but they could also be a result of something faulty on the rack and pinion. If you notice any of these issues you should have your vehicle inspected by a professional.

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02/10/2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Comments Off on How To Identify Rack And Pinion Problems

Suspension Repair


Car Suspension System Repairs

A car’s steering system enables the car to turn and its suspension system smooths out the ride. However things can go wrong, making the ride rough or steering difficult or dangerous. This means time to repair. Many types of steering and suspension systems have been used to control cars. Older cars use mechanical suspension that relies on springs and shock absorbers but new cars use hydraulic cylinders called struts. Besides this, many of today’s cars rely on rack and pinion steering. Without proper care, a car’s steering system should give 80,000 to 100,000 miles of smooth turns.

Why The Car Doesn’t Turn Where It Is Turned
Here are some tips for troubleshooting steering and suspension systems:
– If the car’s power steering system growls when turning, then the power steering booster fluid level needs to be checked.
– If the car makes strong squeal, the drive belt on the power steering unit should be checked.
– If the car shimmies, then the tire pressure should be checked for any damages.
– If the car leans hard in corners, the stabilizer and struts should be checked for loose parts and wear.
– If the older car is difficult to steer, then the steering system’s zerk fittings needs lubrication.

For repairing steering systems, follow this guide:
The tie-rod ends have to be inspected, adjusted and replaced if necessary. They connect the wheels to the steering unit. They can wear out if they damaged or worn. Mark the location of the old ones for the new ones to be replaced in the same position.
The steering gear unit has to be inspected adjusted and replaced if necessary. Adjustments can be made to steering gear systems with wrench and screwdriver. Help can be taken from the  service manual. In case of replacement, the steering wheel and column may need to be removed first. The manual has to be consulted as every car is different. The repaired steering system can be checked by taking a test drive.

The car’s suspension system includes leaf springs, a stabilizer bar, a suspension arm, a shock absorber and/or MacPherson struts.
For replacing suspension parts, follow this guide:

First, find out the specific suspension parts of the car. Jack up the car and place safety stands under the wheels. Replace the bushings by removing the brackets holding the bar in place. Shock absorbers are installed inside the coil spring at each wheel and can be replaced by removing the bolts at the top and bottom that connect them to the suspension system. The manufacturer’s instructions have to be followed because shock absorbers and springs are under tension and can cause injuries if improperly removed. Remove the fasteners at the top and bottom that connect them to the suspension system. The car service manual will help in this. Replace the strut as a unit. Many cars have upper and lower suspension arms mounted on rubber bushings. For replacing them, loosen and remove a bolt on which the bushing is mounted.

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11/09/2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Suspension Repair

Steering Problems


What You Need to Know About Rack & Pinion Steering

The Rack and Pinion system is the system that most vehicles use to actually steer the vehicle. The system allows for directional steering, allowing the driver to maneuver as they need while driving their vehicle.

Problems with the Rack and Pinion steering system can cause serious issues with your vehicle. While some will find that the steering becomes difficult and unnatural, others will find that they simply cannot steer properly.

If you operate your own vehicle, you need to fully understand the simple Rack and Pinion system. When you understand how the system works, you may be able to quickly identify any problems that you have with the steering of your vehicle.

What is the Rack and Pinion?

The Rack & Pinion system is actually a simple system that only uses a few different gears to control the direction of the vehicle. The Pinion is the part of the system that is connected to the steering shaft. As you turn your steering wheel, the pinion rotates. This rotation occurs in the grooves of the rack, forcing the rack to move in either direction (depending on the directional change of the steering wheel).

The Rack of the Rack & Pinion system is attached to a tie rod. This tie rod connects the system to the tires, as the tie rod is connected to the steering arm that is connected to the tire. When you turn your wheel, the tie rod moves to direct the tires in the direction of the turn.

How It Affects your Driving

If you have driven different vehicles, you have probably noticed the differences in the feel of the steering of the cars. While some vehicles turn with ease, others require more work to turn. This is due to the torque that is had through the Rack & Pinion system. The more torque you have, the easier it is for you to move the tires. Older vehicles, or vehicles with Rack & Pinion issues, are harder to turn because the system does not move as efficiently as it used to.

Power Steering

Power steering is an important part of the Rack & Pinion system in all vehicles. All vehicles come with power steering because of the difficulty of actually driving the vehicle under non-power circumstances. It would be difficult to move the wheel enough to move the tires if you do not have the power steering, as the vehicle weighs too much to move quickly under simple man-power. The power steering system actually give a hydraulic boost to your actions, making it simple and easy for you to turn the wheels of your vehicle with the Rack & Pinion System.

The Rack & Pinion system is actually an incredibly simple system that allows you to turn your tires in both directions. If you are having trouble steering your vehicle, you can be sure that the problem lies within this simple system. This makes issues easy to identify and fix, getting your car into proper working condition quickly and easily.

If you are looking for honest advice, prioritized repairs, options on repairs, maximized fuel economy, and a good feeling with who you are doing business with go to Fouzis Service Centre or

I,Fouzi thank you for your visit and subscribe for free information,if you need prices and  quotation for your steering, just subscribe  for free.I offer to my customer free wheel alignment check and free wheel alignment with suspension repairs.

10/09/2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Steering Problems


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