Rack & Pinion

Rack & Pinion

The Rack & Pinion steering system is rapidly becoming one of the most common types of steering systems on cars, small trucks and SUVs, due to its mechanism and working simplicity. The rack and pinion is comprised of multiple components including the universal joints, main and intermediate shafts, steering valve, and at the center is the steering rack or gearbox. In this steering system a rack-and-pinion gearset is enclosed in a metalic tube, with each end of the rack protruding from the tube. A rod, called a tie rod, connects to each end of the rack. The pinion gear is attached to the steering shaft, so when you turn the steering wheel, the gear spins, moving the rack. The tie rod at each end of the rack connects to the steering arm on the spindle. It's this central unit that receives input from the driver, by way of the steering wheel and steering column and sends a mechanical signal to tie rods and steering shafts to complete smooth and efficient left and right turns.

 

The Rack & Pinion steering system is subjected to constant use so it is normal that the steering rack or gearbox will wear out over time. When it wears out or breaks entirely the ability to steer your vehicle is compromised. If this happens while you are driving, it can be extremely dangerous. Therefore, it's very important, to be alert to the warning signs of a bad or failing steering rack or gearbox. Quick and efficient service to repair this important component can mean the difference between a minor inconvenience and a major mechanical overhaul. A few symptoms or warning signs that indicate a potential problem brewing with your rack & pinion steering rack include: a very tight steering wheel, leaking power steering fluid or grinding noise when steering or burning oil smell. The steering rack or gearbox is an essential component vital to the smooth steering operation of any vehicle utilizing a rack and pinion steering system. If you notice any of the above symptoms or warning signs, contact a certified mechanic as quickly as possible so they can diagnose and repair any damage done.

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