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'99 Taurus, rack and pinion

I understand that it is a big and expensive job to replace the rack and pinion on a car. It is leaking badly at the far right end, I wonder if the seals or whatever needs repair, could be done in-car? '99 taurus with standard 3 liter V6.

The steering gear can not be repaired in the car. It will have to be replaced if it is indeed leaking and not a hose.

A steering rack is not that big of a deal to replace, provided you have the necessary tools.
An alignment will be needed afterwards.
I’ve seen my colleague replace a rack on a 2000 Taurus 3.0, and it took him a few hours.

Thanks, but that wasn’t what I wanted to hear

@EllyEllis . . . what does “seals and whatever” mean?

So, do you know for certain that the rack is leaking?

Hoses could most likely be replaced without dropping the rack.

By the way, if the bellows (looks like an accordion) is wet or if fluid is oozing out from under it, the rack is a goner.

Hopefully, that’ll help.

I don’t understand what your question is.

OK Elly, I’ll lie to you. Buy some miracle in a can power steering sealer. Good luck.

Purchase a bottle of Lucas Power Steering Stop Leak.
and follow the directions on the bottle.

This could delay the actual replacement of the R&P assembly.


db4690 All I know is that the thing is leaking badly fron the right hand end. By" seals or whatever "I mean whatever is bad that lets it leak. It isn’t my car but the owner says it is leaking badly.

@EllyEllis, it sounds like power steering fluid may be coming out from under the bellows.

Sure sounds like that rack is a goner, based on what I’m reading.

Mechanics don’t typically rebuild/reseal racks. They swap them out for new/rebuilt units.

Yeah, I think you are right. I was hopeing there might be an easier, cheaper way to go. It is not my car, and he has been quoted a price of $500 to $700.

@EllyEllis, does this $500-$700 include parts, labor and an alignment?

It should. If in doubt, you should ask.
You should also ask if that price is after the “core charge” has been adjusted for. It should be.
And, find out if that’s for a remanufactured rack. It probably is, just based on the price, but if not, ask if they can reduce the price by using a reman.

Yes it did, however we got it done for $90 plus $7 for fluid. I don’t know how good his work was bur, what the heck, the car has like 160k miles on it.

$90??? That must be a used rack, not rebuilt. I’m happy that it worked out for you, but it’s not something I’d recommend.

@EllyEllis, did you get an alignment?

the same mountainbike, I forgot to mention that he bought a rack separatly. I think it will be OK for a '99 vehicle with 160k miles.

db4690 The only part of the alignment that would be effected would be the toe=in. I trust he checked that.

@EllyEllis, I would hope that the mechanic checked/adjusted the toe.

Incorrect toe will kill the tires.

I said that the toe-in might be affected and that I HOPE he checked it.

@EllyEllis, call him and verify that he checked the toe.
Simply counting the number of turns on the tie rod ends is not sufficient, by the way.
Did you get any kind of written receipt?

My rack was leaking power steering fluid from the right side from the rubber boot and the fluid in the reservoir was foamy also the pump was whining so this is what i did I pulled back the boot and there is a seal with 4 holes around it.I took a screw diver and a hammer and tapped it and found that the seal was loose.I kept on doing this til it was tight,I made 3 full turns to get it tight or you can get a 3/16in. metal rod about 2-3ft long bend it in half and inert into holes on seal and try turning it that way.It saved me a tons of money by doing this because I know if I would have taken it to a garage they would have told me to replace the rack.Now it runs quite and has not leaked yet.