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2003 Camry - replace the power steering rack?

In for an oil change at the dealer today and inspection led to trying to sell me on replacing the power steering rack ?? When I asked to see the problem the mechanic showed me a rubber boot with some leakage…not the CV boot…on the right side. This is what the replacement was based on I believe.

The car has 167000 miles on it and is a great car. I’m not willing to spend $1165 w/o knowing evaluating the risk of leaving the rack as is.

Do you have any advice. ??? Thanks, Craig

Yes, I do. From painful past experience.

Monitor the power steering fluid reservoir and ifyou’re actually losing fluid, then and only then consider changing out the rack.

Be aware that should the rack seal fail suddenly and catastrophically, your steering will become manual…and harder…but you won;t los it entirely. The PS assists you in moving the rack back and forth, but it is only an assist. Your steering gears, the toothed rack and pinion gears, remain intact.

I tell people with a high mileage vehicles with a leaking rack to try adding Lucas Power Steering Stop-Leak to the steering system. http://www.lucasoil.com/products/display_products.sd?iid=28&catid=9&loc=show

My son added this to the steering system of his vehicle a year ago and it still hasn’t leaked. And it’s cheaper than replacing the rack.

Tester