Steering Problem

I own a 2005 Chevy Malibu Classic and I have had some recent steering difficulties. About 10 weeks ago I had an oil change, and at the time they said my steering fluid was low, but they didn’t notice anything obvious. Over the last several months I have noticed that around certain turns, especially hard left turns, I have heard a rubbing noise for a second or two, but when the turn is over, there is no noise. Also throughout that time, certain odd feelings have occurred while driving, where the wheel is more difficult to turn, and sometimes it feels normal.

I took it in to see what was wrong and they told me that it has a leak in one of the hoses and that they can see steel particles on at least one end of the steering rack so that needs to be replaced as well. So, with all the parts and labor for this job they estimated it at $950. There may be some other minor fixes that they are doing on some ancillary components, but I can’t remember.

Does this sound right to you? I have had good luck with this shop in the past, but this isn’t something I can just see and it sounds quite expensive for the job, although I have heard it is a lot of labor hours to complete.

The rack sounds realistic as a cause, but without knowing the other “ancilliary repairs” it’s impossible to tell if the price is reasonable.

Can you be more specific about the other work?

I just called back the store, and they said it was the following: hose $50.00; rack and pinion (long-rack) $330; and about $500 in labor (I believe he said about 5 hours of work).

Also a alignment done, but I have that covered through a lifetime alignment product I purchased a while back, so that won’t be any extra.