There are two types of steering mechanisms. Steering rack and pinion and the one you find on trucks is a steering box. The question I received prompts our subject to be on the steering rack and pinion.
The steering rack and pinion in your car can be mechanical or power steering where in this last one the power steering pump is involved. They functioning and operating same. The pinion gear engages the transverse rack and its rotation in lateral movement of the rack.
What Are Rack-End And Tie Rod-End On The Steering System?
On each end of the rack connects enclosed rack-end( axial ball-joint) with a tie-rod end. Some auto mechanics can identify it to you as ball-jointed to steering arm. The position of the rack-end is adjustable on the tie-rod-end. This makes the adjustment and setting of the wheel alignment possible. The all steering rack is mounted with rubber insulators to the engine compartment rear bulkhead.
The Steering System Rack Shaft
The steering rack and the column assembly comprises a universally joined shaft supported in housing which is clamped to the dash panel mounting bracket. The axial movement on the shaft is controlled by spring. The steering rack must be lubricated with semi-fluid grease every time you take your for oil change or maintenance routine.
How And When Your Steering Rack Must Be Checked
Your car maintenance is mentioned in your manual book is between 10.000 and 15.000 km. You can check your car rack your self too. You check the steering rack and the suspension linkages for wear and damage. You check rack end rubbers covers if they are in good condition. The free axial movement of the rack-end should not exceed say 0.5 mm. Visually check the covers rubbers, suspension bushes, mounting and insulators. Check your steering rack bush for wear by moving the rack up and down at the end opposite to the pinion.If you have excessive tightness or looseness in your rack unit requires adjustment on the pinion assembly by loosing a nut and with screw driver you can adjust your steering rack assembly. Wear of your rack-end can be detected by lateral play. You can check for wear on your rack unit tie-rod end by using a lever between adjacent parts. To do this check out your car must be jacked up on the both side.
Rack And Pinion Problems
To identify your car rack unit and the pinion problems is by this fault diagnosis. Just by knowing this symptoms you going to save time, money and the most important is your safety. If your steering wheel can be moved but no sign of movement of the wheels, that is sign of wear in the steering linkage. Your vehicle difficult to steer in the straight line, is wear in the steering linkage, wheel alignment is incorrect indicated by wear or uneven tires. The front wheel hub bearings loose or worn can be also cause your car to pull to one side. Warn suspension unit swivel joint can cause the same problem to your car. And this one is from me to you, you never fit or mix different make and made of tires in the front wheels .i.e. (Goodyear tires on both side front wheels) not (Googdyear and Dunlop). Once you feel your steering is stiff and heavy is should be your car wheel alignment incorrect. Excessive wear or seizure in one or more joint of your steering linkage or suspension unit ball-joint. The steering gear unit has excessive wear can be cause also to stiff and heavy steering. The excessive play in your car steering can be from: Worn steering gear, tie-rod end and the ball-joints, tie-rod bushes, incorrect rack adjustment,and worn suspension ball-joint. Your car wheels are wobbling and you feel vibration that can be from wheel balancing, buckled wheels, incorrect wheel alignment, wear in the steering linkage, suspension front wheel bearing or track control arm bushes. Weak shock absorbers can be the cause of your car wheel wobble and have vibration on your car.
Rack And Pinion Power Steering
This rack and pinion problems appear if you driving power steering vehicle. All the components for this steering rack and pinion are same, but if you go to your auto parts shop you must tell the sale men what your car make, model, and if is power steering or not. Power steering rack and pinion problems, wanders or pull to one side due to low fluid level and presence of air in the system. The steering is stiff the cause come from low fluid level and air in the system. The power steering pump valves seized, reservoir filter is blocked or damaged seals in the steering gear. If your power steering rack and pinion are noisy from dirty filter in the fluid reservoir, loose unions on inlet allowing the air to be sucked in, and the fluid level too low. If your car has excessive pitching and rolling when you taking a corner, your shocks absorbers are defective. The drive belt and slack pump, the pump control valve blocked and air in system this symptoms makes the steering heavy if the steering wheel is turned rapidly.
I, Fouzi thank you for your comment, visit and subscribe to my website. If your have any problem with your steering rack contact me for free quotation plus free wheel alignment if your car is in need for rack and pinion repairs at Fouzis Service Centre. You may find your auto parts here. The part one of my ebook ( How You Diagnose Your Car Problem To Save Money ) is Free for you is limited edition.