2017 Chevy Equinox 2.4L Electronic Steering Whine

Hi everyone. I’ve been driving around a 2017 Chevy Equinox LT 2.4L and noticed that the steering whines slightly now. It’s been a gradual thing that I was keeping an ear out for.

So i did some quick research and found that it had Electronic steering with a power assist motor attached to it. Didn’t realize that newer electronic racks even had motors.

I also noticed that you can either buy just the rack and pinion with no motor, or it with the motor, but with the motor costs almost 800 bucks vs just 200 to 300 for the rack itself. Is there any way to narrow down if the issue is with the motor or the rack/pinion itself to replace the individual component? Can either one be replaced by itself or do they have to be replaced as a whole unit?

Also, according to the Haynes manual, it says that the catalytic converter and rear transmission mount need to be removed to ultimately take out the rack. Can the rack or power assist motor be removed without doing these? It would just make things a lot easier.

Proper diagnosis for a proper cure. A stethoscope can be helpful for locating the source of the whine.

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How did you think power assist was added without a motor? Just curious.

Anyway, rack and pinions don’t whine, they don’t spin fast enough. The whine you hear is the motor IF it is the steering system making the noise.

The motor is offered by itself from RockAuto for $300 with a $100 core charge. A new rack is $1000 with both parts. Rebuilt is $700 with a $150 core. Given the difficulty of removing the entire assembly, might make sense to buy complete and new depending on the miles and condition of the 'Nox.

If Haynes says the cat and the rear trans mount need to come out to remove the rack, believe it; I do. Assume a number of other parts need to come out as well. Doing this on your back in a garage with the car on jackstands adds a degree of difficulty you may not be ready to tackle.

Also assume you’ll need an alignment afterwards. Also assume you’ll need to calibrate the steering rack. Not sure what that procedure is but likely it requires a high level service scanner.

I’ll end with…If the power steering is still working…can’t you just turn up the stereo and live with the whine until it STOPS working?


I’d find it very unusual for a 2017 car to have serious power steering issues.

Are you actually having a problem with the steering, or is the whine just annoying you?

Personally, I’d just live with the whine as long as I could. And I’d have a shop do the repairs/replacement work, instead of trying to do the work myself. You don’t want to mess up your steering, kind of like brakes.

A hydraulic p/s system can whine from pump issues. Can an electric boost system whine? From what? A struggling elec motor? Wouldn’t that lead to a hum? Vs whine. The 2008 equinoxes had the boost motor under the dash. They moved the motor to a rack mount design in later years. Like 2017.

Electric motor bearings can whine…

Have you discovered whether or not it possible to replace the rack’s electric motor without having to remove the cat and the mount? If so, replacing just the motor is where I’d start.

It’s a linear motor. It’s does not rev to 1000 rpm. As the rotor extends it might do 1 rev? Maybe 2. It does draw a few amps though. That’s why it has a 80amp fuse.

No it is not a linear motor.


It is a rotary motor attached through a gear reduction to the rack.