Vehicle: 2006 Mazda 6 S 3.0L V6 Hatchback
I noticed my brother’s Mazda 6 steering was a bit too tight compared to my own Mazda 6. It also has problems returning to the center if you turn the wheels all the way to either direction. The pump also makes noise if turn it all the way to either direction and hold it. Sometimes you can hear a little whining while turning.
I noticed the area of the rack was leaking but couldn’t tell where it was leaking from. I checked the tie rod boots and only the driver side boot was wet on the bottom. It is not dripping through the whole tie rod. It looks as if the leak as been there for a while… I don’t see any loss of power steering fluid though. I am confused.
I went and poured a half bottle of Seafoam Hydra tune to see if it helped the stiff steering a bit. Steering seems a tiny bit less stiff… maybe it is just placebo or I just go used to the steering.
I took the vehicle for an inspection and they did an alignment and told me they couldn’t determine if the steering rack was the problem because the rack was wet, but it could be because of the other leaks the vehicle has. Axle leak for example…
I know it wasn’t an alignment problem but I took the keys and test drove the vehicle… Yep the steering is still stiff and still has problems returning to center. I took it back and they test drove it with us in the car this time after explaining everything I wrote here. The owner took it to the lift again and said well it’s the steering rack because if I can turn the wheels freely with my hands but not with the steering that means the rack is bad.
I ordered a remanufactured rack, but I was thinking… Should I replace the hoses? What if the pump is bad too? How do I go about troubleshooting this?
The vehicle has very little room to work with, and seeing what piece is what and what hose is what is rather difficult without taking everything out of the way. As far as I know, in order to access the rack and remove it, you have to take down the sub frame and unbolt the engine mounts.
I don’t have have a proper jack to lift the vehicle that high, and I don’t have a proper place to do the work. Which is why I decided we should pay someone else to do it.
I wanted to take the car to the shop on Monday but I decided to order an UV dye to try to spot where the leak is coming from first. I don’t want the rack to break again. Would like to read your opinions about this.