The steering system of most vehicles works by a system called the rack and pinion. The rack and pinion is the part that converts the rotational movement of your steering wheel into the left and right motion of your car’s front wheels. It works by a pinion gear on the end of the steering shaft, which moves along teeth on a horizontal rack. Rack and pinion systems have a simple design, and are usually not too hard to repair if any issues arise.
However, like any other part of your vehicle, your rack and pinion system will wear down over time until it needs to be repaired or replaced. The most important thing that you can do to prolong the life of your vehicle’s rack and pinion is to keep your power steering fluid filled to the proper level. This will prevent the moving parts in the rack and pinion from locking up and making your wheels hard or even impossible to turn. It will also keep the teeth on the pinion gear and rack from wearing out as quickly by reducing the friction between them. You don’t want your steering wheel locking up when driving around Long Beach – it could cause you to lose control and get into an accident!
The first sign of an issue with your rack and pinion system is often a change in the way your vehicle feels as you drive. The steering wheel may feel loose or start sticking at certain points while you turn, or your steering wheel may pull to one side even while you’re driving down a straight, level road. There are several parts of your steering system that may wear out and cause issues with your rack and pinion, including the ball joints, control arms, tie rods, coupler, knuckle, and pump.
If your rack and pinion system gets damaged, the entire system may need to be replaced with new parts. It is also a good idea to replace the fluid lines at the same time to ensure that the system stays well lubricated.
If you feel like there’s a problem with your vehicle’s steering system, feel free to give the team here at Orozco’s Auto Service Long Beach a call today at (562) 427-4256. Our ASE certified technicians can diagnose and repair any of your rack and pinion problems, guaranteed!