Rack and pinon

I know rack & pinon has something to do with steering, but what is it? What does it do? How do I know if mine is bad? Do I have to replace it? Is it worse than ball joints, axels, tie rods wearing out? Is it time to donate my old beast? I just got it last year and love it. Only repairs in the last 10,000 miles have been brakes and air conditioner and it only has 244,000 miles on it and still runs great. How do I know if it’s worth a $1200 repair?


Why do you think it needs to be repaired?

+1 to Texases question. Perhaps we can help.

Racks are expensive. Normally less than $1200, but where it’s a Volvo it’s more. Racks are just about the most expensive thing I can think of in the forward chassis to have to replace.

It’s the simplest type of steering with a gear on a rack of gear teeth. The rack slides left and right when the spur gear turns. It’s great for drag race cars because it weighs less than other systems.

$1200 sounds like a dealer price. Have you gotten a second opinion from an independent mechanic? I would.

"and it only has 244,000 miles on it "

Was that a little joke? I hope you’re not thinking your Volvo has unusual durability. Most any car with that many miles will need a fair number of repairs fairly often. Just know when to quit.

@texases those Volvo 240, 940 and 960 series cars are known to last hundreds of thousands of miles.

They’re usually still going strong by the time the owners have gotten tired of them and want to move on.

I have no idea what the condition of the car is (besides the rack), but it may be worth throwing a cheap remanned rack at.

@db4690 - I actually checked that out. I looked for high-mile Volvos anywhere in the US on cars.com. All of 13 with between 250k and 340k miles out of 10,287 for sale. There are over 50 Toyotas with more than 300k, a number over 350k, and over 200 between 250k and 300k. So I’m calling the Volvo reliability story a myth.

@texases Please don’t put words in mouth.

I never said those old Volvos were reliable

I merely said that they “are known to last hundreds of thousands of miles”

If you say otherwise, well that’s fine.

OK, then you stated they’re long lasting. I was addressing the commonly held myth that Volvos are reliable, long lasting cars. They’re neither, at least not unusually so.

" There are over 50 Toyotas with more than 300k"

Out of how many total for sale?

Doesn’t mean anything if the total Toyotas is more than 5 times the Volvo total.

250 Toyotas with more than 250K, 13 Volvos. There is no basis for claiming unusual life for Volvos.