Power Steering Issue

Ford Explorer has been making horrible noise (constant whine when accelerator is pressed)… The mechanic said he found metal in the power steering fluid and told me we need to replace the power steering pump and the rack & pinion system. Is he right about this? He said you can’t replace one without the other… I’ve done a little research and I think we can get away with a new pump. Your thoughts?

What year Explorer and how many miles.  Any prior history of problems with the power steering?  Has the unit ever had any work done to it? 

I don't know if you can replace on and not the other on your car, but I think I would replace both, even if it is not required.  You would really hate yourself if you tried to get off cheap, only to find the problem was what you did not replace and now you get to do it all over again.

You can replace only the pump, but if there is really meal in the fluid, then the rack is already toast too. The metal in the fluid in the rack will destroy the new pump. You could flush the fluid, but if the rack is the source of the metal, then it will just spit out more and kill the new pump.

  1. Replace the pump and the rack and the hoses and be done with it.

  2. Replace just the pump now, and then replace the rack and re-replace the pump a week or month later.