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Rack and Pinion Leaking At Inner Tie Rod Joint

1996 Lexus LS400

Failed a state inspection due to leaky steering rack. They quoted me at $1300 to replace the rack and pinion, so obviously I wanted to take the car home to examine it for myself. After removing the tie rod bellow, I see that it is leaking at the inner tie rod joint–not excessively but any sign of leaking is an automatic failure.

Would replacing the inner tie rod stop the leak?

No.
The leak is coming from the power steering system and the rack holds the seal that is no longer keeping the oil in.

How long do you plan on keeping the car? A miracle in the bottle might help. though I think the tie rod has nothing to do with the power steering fluid leak.

I plan on keeping the car for as long as I can. Rides like a dream. I was worried a tie rod replacement wouldn’t be my saving grace. Guess I’ll suck it up and replace it.

Thanks!

Some get lucky, not sure of your car, a new o ring is all they need, in my case it was an $800 fix as the lines had rusted out in the boot to the rack and pinion. Proper diagnosis for the proper cure. The tie rod is where the symptom shows up, not necessarily the source of the problem.

Try this before replacing a rack for a leak.

Tester

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