Rack & Pinion on T& C Van w/45k mi Needs Replacing?



We have a 2005 T&C van with only 45,000 mi. We noticed a spot under the van, and also some squeaking when turning. Repair shop says whole rack & pinion steering needs to be replaced, costing about $800. Has anyone had similiar experience? We have never had to replace rack & pinion on any of our cars, all of which lasted well over 100,000 mi (altho they were not Chryslers). Can’t believe at 45K we’d need to replace it. This van has been NOTHING but problems, constantly in for repairs. Would appreciate any feedback from anyone knowing of similiar repair, and on whether the $800 repair cost seems reasonable.


I think it is quite uncommon - even on these cars - for a rack to go so soon. I had to do one on a '95 Caravan, but that was at about 9yrs & well over 100K miles.

What kind of shop did you go to? Proven trustworthy and competent? Its likely worth getting a second opinion on the source of the leak.


After doing more research, I discovered this is very common problem with T & C vans. On edmunds.com townhall site there are 76 postings under topic “Town &Country Steering Problems”. Over 90% of the posters have the exact same problem - often begins with a whining sound when car starts, then graduates to leakage of PS fluid, then to being told replacemt is needed. Most of the posters had less than 50,000 on their vans. It is so common that some were able to get reimbursed for the part from Chrysler, even after van was off warranty. Apparently this defect is well known to Chrysler dealers and the manufacturer. One poster was told by his dealer that they regularly replace several a week, and that the part is backordered, with 1300 racks on order.


You may get a better price for an independant mechanic. I have a brother in law who works for a Chrylser dealer and he is not complimentary about the build quality of the cars he works on for a living. After getting the van fixed you may want to sell it.