How To Center Steering Rack | 3 Quick Steps

A steering rack plays a great role to rotate the wheels of a vehicle from one side to another side at the time of turning the steering wheel. The steering rack is the nerve of the steering system. It receives a signal from the driver and passes through the steering wheel and transmits a signal to steering shafts that ensure the wheel’s proper left and right switching. For these reasons, it is called the center unit.

Sometimes this steering rack can be dangerous if the rack is not in the center or if there is any fault when driving.  A faulty rack may hinder your car and lead to a serious accident.  What will you do in this situation?  Stop driving? No. You just need to recenter or install a steering rack.

In this article, we will share with you all the possible tips on how to fix the steering rack problems. So, read on!

Centering Power Steering Rack-3 Easy Steps

Worried about how you can center a steering gear? Follow the steps:

First step: Firstly, you need to know that it is an alignment problem. The off-center happens when the steering gear is detached from the steering column. Before you connect the steering ensure that all the sides are in the same position. Because the whole system depends on the center.

Second step:  For putting all the sides in the same position, take a sharpie or a marker and mark a line right on the input shaft.  These marks help you a lot to identify the alignment.

Third step: When everything is at the center, you should attentively look at the tire of the surfaces and hit the inside of the tire. After that, your centering process is completed.

Where Is The Power Steering Rack Located?

The power steering rack is located between the front wheels and links them to the steering wheel. It consists of central aluminum and two large rubber boots on both sides.  This rack bar is parallel to the front axle which helps the car to move to right or left when the steering wheel is turned.

Types Of The Steering Rack

There are mainly three types of steering racks for providing relaxation to the driver while driving.

  • Mechanical steering rack: The configuration of this rack is simple. It directly uses torque gear out of the input shaft to the rack. This rack is installed on the steering column and is generally used with electro-hydraulic power steering.
  • Hydraulic power steering: Hydraulic power system pressurizes power steering fluid and continually fluid. Its main purpose is to maintain constant pressure no matter what the engine speed.
  • Electric power steering or motor-driven power steering: It helps to move the rack through additional gear when you turn the wheel. It reduces hydraulics and pressurizes fluid.

Symptoms Of The Faulty Steering Gearbox

There are some common symptoms by which you can identify a bad steering rack.

  • Loose  steering
  • Very tight steering wheel
  • Resembles burning oil smell
  • Steering  wheel shakes
  • Vehicle unstable
  • Leaking power steering fluid
  • Grinding noise when steering
  • Wheels do not come back to the center.
  • Very loose in the steering wheel
  • Excess slack in the steering wheel
  • A power steering fluid leak
  • Steering deed spot
  • The steering does not response
  • Car wanders or pulls to one side
  • Jerking movements in the steering wheel
  • Discolored power steering fluid 

Causes Of Leaking Rack System With Power Steering

The continuous movement of vehicles is responsible for wearing out the steering rack. As a result, the rack gets loose. Sometimes your driving style and environmental conditions may lead your seals to shrink, unseated, or dry out. We use oil for most of the parts of a vehicle, but sometimes dirty oil with dust, and water wears down the steering system. It increases pressure and injures the gear. If you drive with too much force; it breaks your power steering system. A damaged steering pump may also be a reason for damaging the rack.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is It Safe To Drive, If A Power Steering Rack Is Leaking?

The answer is, no. You can drive with a leaked steering power rack but not for a long time. A leak steer gear can harm the pamp. As a result, it overheats your vehicle and builds your car underpowered.

In such a situation, you can’t turn the car on. It is dangerous and difficult to steer. It can lead you to an unsafe driving situation. You should regularly check the steering gear fluid that helps you to prevent these types of problems.

Is It Worth  Repairing A Steering Rack?

You can repair a leak or faulty steering rack. But it is too much harder and it can cause serious damage to the seals and other parts of the pump. Repairing leak racks is costly because the seals are difficult to service. Overall, repairing is not worthwhile for this part. It’s always better to replace the rack instead of repairing it.

Is A Steering Rack Difficult To Replace?

Replacing a power steering rack is not physically difficult but a challenging job. It is simple for some cars and hard for others. Cars which have the rack in the front cross member are easy to do on the other hand the cars that have racks behind the powertrain are difficult. You may need a few steps to do this to sure that the whole process is done correctly.       

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Power Steering?

Normally the price range of new steering gear probably starts from $100 and goes up to $500. The cost depends on your car’s model, which type of steering rack you want to install, garage fees, and labor fees. The work takes 5-8 hours to complete. So you will pay $300 to $1000 for the garage fees, mechanic’s fees, and labor costs. On average, the total cost of replacing a steering rack is between $700 to $3500.


The steering rack is one of the most important parts of an automobile. The movement and direction of a car or vehicle mostly depend on this gear. When the steering is not in the center, may arise different types of problems. You should ensure that your steering rack is in the right place for a safe and comfortable ride.                            

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