Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Is a steering rack boot leak serious?

A steering rack boot leak is a symptom of a more serious steering rack problem

A leak from a steering rack boot is serious

When the seals fail on a rack and pinion steering gear, the gear leaks power steering fluid. The fluid can sometimes fill the boot, almost inflating it like a balloon. Other times, it tears the boot open and the power steering fluid leaks out.

leaking power steering rack

Replacing the boot will not stop the leak; it will only prevent you from seeing the leak for a while.

Are torn leaking steering rack boots a safety concern?

It’s the leak that’s a problem. If you don’t fix the steering rack leak, the steering system will run out of fluid and you will lose all power assist and that can cause a safety issue while driving.

What do the steering rack boots do?

The boots protect the inner tie rod ends from contamination from road salt, dust, dirt, and sand. Once contaminants get into the inner tie rod end, they can grind the joint and cause premature failure.

How to repair a leaking rack and pinion steering gear?

Installing new seals rarely works because the rack itself is usually worn as well. The fix is to replace the entire steering rack with a rebuilt unit.

How much does it cost to fix a rack and pinion steering gear leak?

Shops usually charge about $550 for a rebuilt rack. The labor cost depends on the vehicle; costing more if you drive a 4WD or AWD vehicle and less if you drive a small compact car. Generally, the replacement cost for a rack and pinion steering gear is around $1,400 including labor, parts and an alignment.

©, 2023 Rick Muscoplat

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat


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