I took my car in to a national chain repair show. The car made noise when I turned so I figured the power steering pump needed to be replaced (I was right) but they also said I needed the rack and pinion system replaced as well. Here is the thing… I don’t notice anything wrong when I drive the car… it turns fine… there are no noises or weird jolts or anything like that to tell me something is wrong. I didn’t replace it and continue to drive the car. Were they trying to BS me into paying for a repair that wasn’t needed or am I playing with danger? What are the signs of a rack and pinion system failure?
“I took my car in to a national chain repair show.”
You’ve answered your own question right there. How fitting that you accidently wrote “show” instead of shop.
The chains and dealerships generally try to extract as much money as possible out of each customer.
There was a small chance that debris from the bad pump could circulate through the system and cause problems in the rack.
But, if it feels good it’s alright.
I didn’t realize I mistyped shop until I read your respsone… however it was clearly appropriate. I am not deeply knowledgable about such things… but I imagine a failure of the rack and pinion steering system (if not failure then sufficient damage that it needs to be replaced) would be noticable when I drove the car (in fact I doubt I would be able to steer the car at all).
Take the car to someone else for a second opinion.
A car with a bad steering rack can be driven. It might be leaking fluid, and the low fluid level could have damaged the power steering pump. You put in a new pump, but then all the fluid leaks out, and you’ll kill your new pump too.
Sometimes a bad steering rack can “hang up” and not operate smoothly, but you can still drive the car. I suspect you’ve got leaks, but whether you need a whole new steering rack is the question.
Go to a good independant shop for an opinion. Perhaps you can see what a Ford dealer says and wants for a repair too.
Make sure you check you power steering fluid level, but you can drive the car enough to get some other opinions before deciding exactly what to repair and who is going to do the work.