Carrying out a rack and pinion replacement on your car, especially after a long winter, is a project that can be performed in your own garage. The rack and pinion assembly is a vital part of your steering. When this leaks, or begins to fail, it can make controlling your car much harder and unsafe. If your rack and pinion requires replacement, then you can perform this yourself, but there are some things to bear in mind. Here are a few replacement options for your rack and pinion.
Ensure your Car is Secure
Working under your car is something that most people are hesitant about doing. Anytime that you are going to be working under the car you should make sure that it is secure. Using a strong jack, jack stands, wheel chocks and setting your emergency brake are all great precautions to take. Having these done will give you adequate safety while working under your car.
Work with Precision
While performing your own DIY work on the rack and pinion is possible, it does need a certain amount of precision. The rack and pinion assembly is not a simple bolt on that you can remove and change them without paying attention to some details. The assembly itself is made up of gears that come together to steer the car when you turn the steering wheel. When you remove the old rack and pinion, give attention to how the gears are lining up so you can mount the new one in the same way.
Measurements are Vital
When you take out the old rack and pinion set, one of the most vital things to do is take measurements of how things are lining up. The tie rod ends, which have a lot to do with the alignment of the wheels, are linked to the rack and pinion assembly. As you take out the old rack and pinion you should take measurements of the distance between the boot and the tie rod end. This will assist you get it very close to alignment when you install the new rack and pinion.
Inspect for Leaks
The rack and pinion is equally a part of the power steering mechanism in your vehicle. Because of this, it will have fluid moving to it in order to make the turning of the gears easier. When you change the rack and pinion you will have to disconnect the hose from the power steering. Reconnecting the hose will have to be done without cracking it, or causing any other leaks. Once the rack and pinion is changed, check to make sure there are no leaks.
Work with Patience
One of the things that some backyard mechanics will do when there appears a stubborn bolt is to pound on it with a hammer. When you are working on a delicate system like the rack and pinion assembly you must work patiently without breaking or spoiling any of the gears, or teeth and thus creating more car problem. Work at the bolts until they become free, taking as much time as you require. This will ensure that the different components are lined up correctly when you re-mount the new set.