The boot is essential in ensuring that the steering rack is adequately protected. When the boot is damaged, it leaves your steering rack exposed to external contamination, like dirt and debris. It also comes with many symptoms, including leaking power steering fluid, unresponsive steering, and many more.
Repairing the rack boot on your vehicle is important and should be done as soon as possible to prevent damage to the steering rack and other steering system parts. You must understand how much does it cost to replace steering rack boot, and the necessary steps to carry out the replacement.
The steering rack and pinion boot, like thecar suspension boots, create a form of protection for the steering. It is a rubber found between the end tie rod and the rack and pinion. In addition, it prevents dirt and debris that may cause damage to it.
Also, the rack and pinion use the gear system to help with the wheel’s circular movementneeded to direct the vehicle’s movement. The steering is a metal housing containing a gearset that is open at two sides and attached to the axial rod.
Furthermore, the Beck Arnley steering rack boot provides sealing for the steering fluid. It seals the fluid in place and aids circulation from one part of the steering system to the other.
The steering rack boot is quick and cheap to replace. You can get a new boot for as little as $10 to $65. Many factors can influence the price. Some of those factors may include the brand and what vehicle you will be installing the boot on.
If you get a boot that is part of a kit, it would be more expensive. It could cost you as much as $200. Remember the labour cost if you are not installing the part yourself. You should budget an extra $100 or more.
The rack and pinion boot play a significant role in protecting the steering system. When the rack and pinion boot torn, it comes with some obvious signs. Below are some of the common symptoms that come with a leaking rack boot.
1. Knocking noise
The first sign you will notice is a knocking sound coming from the steering wheel and column. It is because the inner rod is exposed to external elements, which could cause corrosion. The movement of the inner rod then gives out a knocking or screeching sound.
2. Leaking rack and pinion boot
Another noticeable sign is that a rack and pinion will leak from the boot. As we know, the steering makes use of power steering fluid. The steering makes use of hydraulic fluid, which aids a link between the front wheel and the steering wheel, and also reduces the level of effort used in controlling the wheel.
The rack and pinion boot does not just protect the steering part. It also aids fluid circulation whenever there is a movement in the wheel. When the boot gets torn, the fluid flows from the steering part through this area, soaks the boot and it also causes tire wear.
3. Spongy feeling
When you feel spongy when steering your vehicle, it could be due to low-power steering fluid or a torn rack boot. The spongy feeling shows that the tie rod may be exposed to dirt and debris, affecting the steering movement.
Once the spongy feeling starts, you should have the parts of the steering system inspected.
These signs show that thepower steering boot is torn and needs fixing before it causes further damage.
You can replace the boot on the rack and pinion. The boot is sold separately from the steering rack. Once you buy the boot, all you will have to do is install it, which is not that complicated with the right steps.
If you have a steering issue and you are wondering how to replace steering rack boot, it is not hard to do. When you notice the rack boot is damaged, you must prepare your mechanical tools and follow the steps below.
1. You will have to loosen the nuts from the wheel of the damaged boot. Proceed to lift the front part of the vehicle using a jack. After doing this, remove the lug nut and unmount the tires.
2. Find the rod end that links the steering to the knuckle that can be seen behind the top brake rotor. Find the inner rod by simply tracing the outer rod. Go on to also loosen the nut connecting the tie to the ends.
3. Mark out where the inner and outer rods meet
4. Remove the outer tie rod connected to the steering chuckle. You can make use of a ball joint separator
5. Remove the locking nut located within the tie road end.
6. Locate the rack boot by tracing within the tie rod end and cut the outer and inner clamps connecting the tie rod end and the rack. You can use pliers.
7. Mount the big clamps on the rack and pinion bellow kit on the new rack boot. Slide the tie rod into the new rack into the inner tie rod and move it towards the steering rack. Slide in the much bigger boot right into the groove and tighten both clamps properly.
8. Also, ensure to tighten the nut back in place into the steering inner rod end. Remember the mark you made previously? Ensure that the nut goes beyond the mark. Move on to tighten the outer tie rod end to the one inner until they meet on the marked area.
9. Go on to put the rod end stud right into the steering knuckle and ensure it is tightened to the required extent. Use a torque wrench and socket when tightening this nut. Also, ensure to check the manual for specifications. After this, place in the cutter pin’s end, do this with the pin facing the opposite position so you can lock it to the position.
10. You should place the wheel back in position and screw it with your hand. Lower the vehicle back to the ground. Tighten the lug nut in place to the specified torque.
11. Finally, your vehicle will need alignment. Take to a professional to help with that.
It is advisable not to drive with a damaged steering gear boot. The steering rack is an assembly that makes up part of the steering system. The assembly ensures that the steering rotates as it should without any form of problem. When the steering gets damaged, it comes with a series of problems that make it difficult or impossible to steer or control the vehicle’s movement.
Some of the issues with a damaged steering rack include the following.
1. Unresponsive steering
One of the most common and dangerous problems with a damaged steering rack is not responding to steering control. When the steering is unresponsive due to problems with the rack, the steering will feel light. Before driving your vehicle, test the steering by moving it around. If it is too light, then there must be a problem. Also, check the wheels of the vehicle to see if they are responsive to the control you are giving.
2. Vibrating Wheel
Another problem is excessive vibration in the tire when driving. The wheel can vibrate when you hit a bumping road or when driving on a rough road. However, when you notice that the wheel keeps vibrating even while driving on a smooth road, it could result from a worn-out steering rack.
3. Noise from
You will continuously hear a clunking noise whenever you turn the steering. It could also come as a knocking noise. You can observe it coming from the end of the rack connection. In some cases, the knock could come once in a few minutes, and once you observe that it sounds whenever you turn the steering, you need to have the steering rack checked.
4. Leaking Fluid
Another common problem is leaking power steering fluid. Once you notice that the fluid is going down too fast, it could be that the fluid is leaking. This problem is the most obvious as you can see the fluid on the ground.
The steering rack ensures that the steering functions properly and responds to your every steer. The boot protects the rack and must be covered at all times to ensure maximum protection from dirt and debris. A damaged boot could cause the steering fluid to leak out. Thus you should fix the issue and know how much does it cost to replace steering rack boot.