How to change the steering rack?

The steering rack is an important part that transmits the driver’s efforts to the steering wheel to the wheels. It is needed to turn them, so in a sense, the steering rack is responsible for driving safety, too. Despite the fact that it carries quite a lot of load, it is not fixed rigidly. In most models, it is fixed by clamps on two brackets. Like other parts, the rack eventually wears out and fails. In this case, it is better to apply to a service station to have the repair done by professionals. But if you want to do everything yourself, you need to understand how to change the steering rack, and first – how to understand that it is out of order. If the car is almost 100% broken, it’s better to recycle it:

When it’s time to change the rack

There are several characteristic signs, by which the owner of the car can understand that the steering mechanism is defective:

The steering wheel has become harder to handle, physically harder to twist. A rumble may be heard when turning the wheel.
Under the front axle in the parking lot will show signs of leaking.
You have to refill the reservoir with fluid every day.
A tapping sound can be heard when driving on rough roads, usually coming from the front or from the sides.
To be sure that your guesses are correct, you should apply to service station. But if you decide to do everything yourself, you need to read the instructions to act in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

What to do before replacement

To carry out the work, you need a standard set of tools – a set of wrenches, a hammer and a tip puller. You also need to prepare a brush to clean the metal. To carry out the work you need a jack and wooden bars, which will be used as a support. It is also desirable to keep a flashlight handy.

As for carrying out the work, then to begin with it is necessary to understand the type of rack construction, provided by the manufacturers of this TC. It can be electric, hydraulic or mechanical. The type of this device affects some nuances of further works.

How the replacement of the steering rack is carried out

Although there are nuances in different brands of cars, the general algorithm will be the same for all:

The vehicle should be left on the handbrake for security purposes, under the rear wheels to put supports for fixation.
The steering wheel is put in the zero position, slightly loosen the nuts on the wheels.
Under one of the sides of the machine put a jack and lift it to remove the wheel, and under the bottom put a bar for support. Do the same on the other side of the car. Removing the front wheels facilitates access to the part.
Next, work is done depending on the type of rail. If it is mechanical, then with the help of a brush on metal and the appropriate auto-chemistry it is necessary to clean it of contamination before disconnecting the fasteners. Before dismantling it is necessary to remove the terminals from the alarm system.
Loosen the fasteners of the crossover. Then open the hood and unscrew the nuts that fix the rack clamps. The rack is removed by gently pulling on itself. If you didn’t manage to remove it at the first attempt, you can lightly tap it with a hammer, but gently. In general, you should remove the part carefully so as not to damage anything.
If it is a rail with hydraulic booster, you need to get rid of the fluid from the reservoir before starting the work.
If the rail is electric, remove the terminal from the battery before starting the work.
Then a new rail is installed and all removed parts are put back in place.

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