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Power Steering Rack leaking

My 2006 Toyota Camry LE (4cyl) is in the shop today for its 120,000 mile maintenance. The Toyota shop says my power steering rack (or boot?) is leaking, the whole thing needs to be replaced, and this is a $1200 repair. I had an accident in this car on 01/03/13, I was hit on the front passenger side tire, pushing it in and under, along with damage to the front lower corner of the door and the whole fender. I got the car out of the repair shop last week and immediately noticed a lot of banging and bumping that was not there before. I called the repair shop, they said bring it in and they will look at it, I was planning to take it in tomorrow. Meanwhile my car was due for an oil change and the 120,000 mile maintenance, so I dropped it off this morning and you know the rest of the story. I asked Toyota if this could have happened in the accident - they said while it could be that the banging and bumping noises are the boot rattling, it was not likely this would have happened in the accident. What do you think, is it possible or likely the power steering rack could have been torn in the accident or in the ensuing replacement of parts on the undercarriage? I am a 58 year old grandmother who knows little to nothing about car repair issues. Any help or guidance would be appreciated.

Yes, it could easily be a result of the accident. You need to file a claims amendment with your insurance company.

Sincere best.

I Concur. It Is Very Possibly A Result Of Being Hit In The Wheel/Tire.
It would be very difficult for anybody to deny that the accident caused this, I believe.

The rattle could be part of the steering rack problem, another different accident related problem, or related to the repairs that were done. That will have to be diagnosed.

CSA

Thank you very much, Mr. mountainbike, I will start the claims amendment process.

I have seen Toyota power steering racks go 20 years and 300k+ miles without leaking, in fact I don’t remember seeing any power steering rack that is only 7 years old with only 120k miles on it leak from wear and tear. I’d agree that it is the result of the accident.

I really appreciate your input, Mountainbike, Common Sense and Keith! The Toyota shop said what they did because they wanted the $1200 repair, and they could easily have convinced me the leak was not accident related. After getting your comments, I took the car back to the original repair shop, they agreed with what you said and they have filed an amended claim with State Farm. Thanks very much!

You’re Welcome. I’m Happy That We Could Help.
CSA