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Rack and pinion

I just returned from my car repair shop. They machined the front brakes. When I got in the car, the power steering was out. I was told that they tried to put fluid in, but it drained out and that I needed a new rack and pinion. I am wondering if they could have done something in the machining process to cause this as the steering was fine when I brought it in, and I have no evidence of leaking in my driveway. This is a reputable shop that I have been using for over 20 years.

It surely would be helpful to know the vehicle’s year and mileage.

If all they did was work on the brakes there really isn’t much of anything they could have done just accidentally or by carelessness to wreck the steering rack.

I find a couple of things about your description odd though. Are you saying that your shop sent you back out the car knowing that it wouldn’t hold power steering fluid? So they were sending you away without power steering but didn’t say anything about it?

Catastrophic fluid loss is also not the typical death of a rack. It could happen. But a catastrophic leak - one where the system won’t hold fluid - is more likely to be a hose than the rack. You said the steering had been fine before this. But does that include never having to add fluid? Were there any noises under the hood other than the ordinary ones?

Anyway, unless they are being completely dishonest with you about something weird that happened I think you have to chalk it up to coincidence. If it were me I’d surely be feeling a lot better if they showed me the leak.

Thanks for your thoughts. The car is a 2001 Subaru Outback with about 73,000 miles on it.They did inform me that there was a problem with the power steering and gave me a estimate of costs to repair. i did set an appointment for next week. I live only a half mile from the shop, so the drive wasn’t long and the car is driveable.

I have not added fluid prior to today. I didn’t hear any unusual noises under the hood. They mentioned that the seals were worn on both sides of the rack and that’swhere the leak was. That sounded a little strange to me.

I appreciate your comments.