Do mechanics ever just replace the power steering boot?

I have a 2003 PT Cruiser and the power steering in leaking on the left hand side when I have the wheel cranked (most noticeable when parallel parking). From what I can see it is leaking out from the end of the boot. Can I get someone to replace just the boot or is any mechanic going to insist on replacing the whole rack?

I don’t believe it would be the dust boot that is leaking but rather the inner tie rod seal on the steering rack. It can be replaced but sometimes more cost effective just to replace the whole rack instead. Just need to get an estimate. If it is not too bad, you can try some power steering stop leak and that might take care of it.

The boot isn’t the problem. The boot is just there to keep dirt and water from getting into the steering rack. The seal in the rack and pinion is what’s leaking. Replacing the boot will get you a new boot filled with fluid instead of an old boot filled with fluid. You need a rack and pinion.

That boot is just there to keep dirt from entering the system. A boot just sits over the end of the rack and covers part of the tie rods. It is not meant to keep the fluid in.
If it is indeed leaking, it has likely blown a seal. It will need to be serviced at best.

Are you losing power steering fluid?

Yeah, I’m getting the picture now. New rack needed. Thanks for the advice.

Before replacing the rack, make sure the leak isn’t just a high pressure power steering hose leaking. That is very common. More so than the rack leaking. The hoses tend to leak at the connectors, near where they fit into the rack housing. So the fluid may be leaking from the hose, and decanting onto the rack, so it looks like a leak from the rack, but you may only need to replace the hose is all. Ask your mechanic to clean everything off, then drive it a few days, then the mechanic can inspect for where the leak is actually coming from.

The reason the power steering hoses spring a leak is that they have to maintain a very high pressure inside, and they flex when you turn the steering wheel. The constant flexing degrades the stuff they are made of, and they eventually leak. And this effect is more pronounced when you turn the steering wheel all the way to the stop. Esp if you try to keep turning even when the stop is reached. When the steering wheel is all the way one direction or the other, you create an immovable object vs. an unstoppable force situation, which is another way to say, your mechanic will be able to make an extra boat payment this month!